I recently moved to Washington and, after asking the head of my local college alumni association why we don't do monthly happy hours, was told that we could do that if I ran them. Since I'm new here and don't know any potential venues yet, I thought my fellow Chowhounders could suggest some worthy places.
I'd expect to change venues every month. We'd certainly repeat particularly popular venues, but I wouldn't expect to go back to any one venue more than once a year or so. We haven't formally decided what we're looking for yet, but based on initial discussions I think we're looking for:
1) Venues that would work for smaller crowds (maybe 30 or so) but that can accommodate larger groups in case a lot of people turn up.
2) Venues within walking distance of a Metro (we'll consider all of Georgetown to be Metro accessible). Most venues will probably be within DC, but I'll push to do things in Maryland or Virginia (again, only if close to the Metro) every few months.
3) Venues where an interesting twist is available to entice people to come. Examples could include good views (rooftop bars, bars along the river, etc), unusual locations (like on a boat), entertainment (a place with a lot of pool tables or other games, for example), or a particular food or drink theme that the venue is known for.
4) Venues that would be reasonably appealing to both younger and older alumni. That is, the place shouldn't be too staid or formal (or expensive) but also shouldn't be some raucous dive bar.
5) I'd consider the actual quality of the food and drink to be secondary to the above, but it's certainly not an irrelevant criterion.
In case it makes a difference, we're thinking that we'll do these on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays so we can avoid competing for space with huge crowds.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have.