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Seattle's Best Private Rooms for Primo Parties

Bypass the beige banquet hall and get down in one of these private spaces.

By Jaime Archer and Allecia Vermillion August 20, 2019 Published in the September 2019 issue of Seattle Met

You needn’t be a member to book the Gold Room.

Seats ≤ 20

An Intimate Gathering

Dead Line

A speakeasy-style chamber known as the Gold Room, tucked in the back of this dark and moody bar in Pioneer Square, goes all in on Prohibition-era vibes with antique pin cushion couches and a massive golden chandelier (though the name actually stems from the owners’ Stanley Kubrick obsession). Luckily a psychotic Jack Nicholson’s not on the agenda, but rather dedicated servers, full control over music and decor, and a customized food and drink menu, from uncommon liquors and flights to mini chorizo tostadas and avocado baguettes. A Gold Room membership gets you priority—and discounts—when reserving the space. Seats 14*;


Upstairs at Eric Donnelly’s remarkable Fremont seafood restaurant, a barn door slides open to reveal a petite, shelf-lined room built for sit-down dinners. Party menus often skew family style (fresh oysters and shaved cauliflower salad are popular counterparts to seasonal seafood dishes) and the restaurant can prepare accompanying wine flights, something not available in the main dining room. Seats 14;

Via Tribunali

A brick room sequestered in the back of the pizzeria’s Capitol Hill location once housed horse-drawn buggies. In more recent years, however, it’s played host to rock stars, restaurateurs, and other Seattle luminaries who appreciate both the privacy and those heat-blistered Neapolitan pies. Larger parties mostly stick to a fixed menu—three options clock in between $25 and $45 per person—which might include a capricciosa pizza topped with prosciutto, olives, artichokes, and mushrooms, or a classic margherita, maybe even a chocolate hazelnut calzone. Seats 16;

Staple and Fancy Mercantile

The wine storage facility beneath one of Ethan Stowell’s most popular restaurants exudes a century of Ballard history, complete with a low-lit cellar dining room. After the host weighs in on any allergies or dietary restrictions, the family-style meal will be a night-of surprise—the format’s based on Staple and Fancy’s popular chef’s menu. Music, however, is fully under your control, and the room’s small bar can dispense beer, wine, and a few simple cocktails. Seats 18;

Shug’s Soda Fountain

If a party at an ice cream parlor sounds like kid stuff, consider the Pike Place Market soda fountain’s full espresso bar (ahem, affogatos), and preponderance of cocktails and bubbles (ahem, prosecco floats). Occupants of the party room, with its cheerful stripes and arty wall of actual ice cream cones, get a dedicated server and can celebrate in sit-down or mingle mode. Hosts can bring their own cold snacks to round out the s’more sundaes and cherry phosphates; afterward, sugared-up revelers spill out into the market and the heart of the city. Seats 20;

10 Degrees is in the heart of it all on Capitol Hill.

Seats 21–50

Reasonably Rocking 


The glassblowers who craft Seattle’s ferociously revered votives wield fire here throughout the day, doubling as a live-action backdrop for the frequent parties that go down at the Madrona studio. An entry and separate event room accommodate sit-down soirees or set up a nice flow if gatherings skew more casual. Hosts have major catering latitude and of course you get to choose the color scheme for the candleholders that adorn tabletops. Events that generate sales in the Glassybaby shop generally get to select what org receives the company’s signature charitable donation. Seats 22; 


That skyline. Those rippling water vistas. The dockside restaurant on Lake Union’s northern shore—now part of chef Renee Erickson’s Sea Creatures universe—is a destination nonpareil in summer months. The atrium space, basically a glassed-in and fully heated snippet between dining room and patio, lets private parties marvel at those views when it’s too cold to hang on the Adirondack chairs outside. Be they finger food or family-style dinner, event menus often star fresh-shucked oysters, and baller guests tie up their boats on the dock out front. Seats 25; 

Brimmer and Heeltap

A canny makeover converted a century-old shed in the back garden of one of Ballard’s loveliest restaurants into the “studio,” an absurdly quaint little event space that includes a patio and firepit, complete with fleecy orange blankets on cold nights. Any meal (passed apps, sit-down, buffet) that’s built on chef Angela Ortez-Davis’s vibrant flavors feels inherently festive, but she does a few off-menu dishes just for parties—including rockfish croquettes, housemade cheese spread, and a resplendent pickle plate. Seats 25; 

10 Degrees

Capitol Hill’s resident vodka, gin, and whiskey purveyor Oola Distillery has an adjacent event space that can accommodate most any kind of party, be it a birthday shindig with a Skillet food truck parked out front, or a cocktail hour with a private spirits tasting. Larger groups have the option to commandeer Oola too, plus the massive deck out front. Customization shouldn’t be a problem, between five event packages, a lengthy list of caterers and food trucks, and even ceiling points for aerialists. Seats 35–50; 10degrees

Black Bottle

Even some regulars are unaware of the small secret hiding behind the Belltown wine bar’s massive 12-foot steel door: a bright room that faces out onto First Ave with a long banquette, modern finishes, and its own bar. An order of the beloved blasted broccoli is practically a given when hosts set the menu, but might be joined by bite-sized fried chicken or bacon-wrapped scallops. Food comes family style (though the space itself is strictly 21-plus) for both sit-down affairs and cocktail parties. This being a bar, the drinking agenda can be way customized, from themed cocktails to a few choice wines to a full bar. Invitees can even pay their own tab at the end of the night. Seats 36;

Elsom Cellars

The rustic elegance plastered all over Pinterest has been fully realized at Jody Elsom’s eponymous tasting room and production facility in the industrial district: Edison-style string lights, an oversize garage door, exposed beams—even a bar made with barrel staves. Whether it’s a more intimate sit-down dinner or a 100-person cocktail party that fans out onto the patio, the star is, unsurprisingly, the wine—smoky malbec, cab-syrah blend, even a crisp rosé. Seats 36;

Stoup Brewing

Parties proliferate in Ballard’s brewery district, but few operations have dedicated event spaces—in this case an upstairs room with its own deck and a view of Stoup’s light-strung beer garden below. The layout cycles from corporate retreats to first birthday parties to full-on weddings, and the food situation is equally as flexible: Past hosts have brought in caterers, or just a party tray from Costco, and the on-site food truck can coordinate easy order-ahead platters. Four taps dispense your choice of Stoup beer, and an easy $10 banquet permit lets bartenders pour other drinks, too. Seats 40;

Grab a drink upstairs or down at one of Cathedral's two bars.

Seats 50+

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Ballard’s most stylish bistro packs a ballroom’s worth of drama into its back bar, where 8-foot oil portraits and vintage lights layer over the former machine shop’s exposed brick walls, all beneath a chandelier seemingly lifted from a Beauty and the Beast musical number. Having a full-service (grandiose, ornately curved) bar in the room means cocktail-minded hosts have more latitude than in most event spaces, plus parties also have the run of the side patio—great for pre-dinner cocktail hour. Seats 60;


The destination restaurant next to Pike Place Market leans into its wall of dazzling Elliott Bay views with a pair of private rooms that flank the main dining area. Table setups (round! square! long! cocktail!) accommodate any type of event, and the farm-oriented menu can transform into a buffet or finger food. Aerlume isn’t afraid to go big: One buyout party hired movers to disappear all the furniture, then installed art and built a food menu around the paintings. Seats 40–60;

The Stables

If a vintage store and events space spent the night together (after a really good party, of course) their progeny would look a lot like this Georgetown venue, an actual stable back when Boeing Field was Meadows Racetrack. Now the space is more like an oddity museum, albeit one with amenities—a lounge with a gas fireplace, a retro kitchen, and an ample patio—and extra perks like a small stage and bangin’ sound system. Extra extra perks include coin-operated kiddie rides, jukeboxes, a curved bar, and all kinds of old-school advertisements. Seats 120; 


Ballard Avenue has no shortage of brick-walled historic buildings filled with exposed beams and marble bar tops—but only one private events space that packs all these things and also donates its profits to charity. Really, no catch: Cathedral covers its overhead with a portion of rental rates, then gives away the rest to your org of choice, or one of the seven partners, like Treehouse, World Relief Seattle, or Two Feet Project. Each of the two floors boasts its own bar and together can hold up to 170 standing. Seats 120;

Melrose Market Studios

Beneath Melrose Market sits a spacious brick room with exposed fir beams, string lights galore, and industrial charm in spades. The event planners who designed it during the complex’s 2010 remodel considered all the necessities: sound system, large kitchen, dimmable lights, as well as track curtains that can section off smaller spaces. Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes, the exclusive caterer, does anything from buffets to family-style plates to passed appetizers. Seats 175;

Washington Hall

A Central District meeting space built in 1908 by the Danish Brotherhood harbors a century of Seattle history. The hall once hosted the likes of W.E.B. Du Bois, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and Jimi Hendrix. A restoration later restored some bygone character and added private events to its diverse calendar. These can happen either in the Lodge Room, an open hall with sloped ceilings, or in the main ballroom. The latter can cram in more than 700 standing or 200 seated, with a stage, theater lighting, even an overhead balcony for max ambience. Seats 150–200; 

Fremont Mischief

The compound perched on the edge of the Fremont Cut wove a veritable event playland into a working distillery: A central courtyard complete with a stage, a rooftop terrace, a photo-ready octopus mural, plus several indoor areas for dining and drinking. Partiers mostly work with a list of designated caterers, and while the space can accommodate a once-in-a-lifetime blowout (up to 400 for stand-up cocktail gatherings), individual areas have flexibility for smaller gatherings. Seats 250;

*Maximum indoor seated capacity

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