If we’re being honest with ourselves, we have to admit that the annual holiday work party is about the only time of year some of us can stand being around some of our co-workers. That doesn’t make us bad people. It just makes the importance of a night with co-workers — away from the workplace, and with good spirits — that much greater. After all, this party is going to have to get you through roughly another 365 days of biting your tongue during seemingly unnecessary office meetings.
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Thankfully, the Dayton area has a number of good-time bars offering party spaces that make you feel welcome, while not being too hoity-toity or busting your party budget.
Bunkers Sports Bar & Grill
893 E. National Road, Vandalia
Website | 937-890-8899
We’ve been telling you about this place for years because their customers had been telling us about it before that. Bunkers has been a heavy-hitter in each of the last two Best of Dayton reader polls for things like their wings, Bloody Marys, customer service and more.
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Their sports-themed party room holds roughly 20 to 25 people, and is quite popular this time of year. The minimum charge is $300 in food and beverage purchases with an 18 percent gratuity. The room can be split in half for a $150 in purchases and the same gratuity. With a great menu and more than 40 beers on tap, a group of 10 or 20 should be able to meet those thresholds whilst making spirits bright. You can go here for more details and to download a reservation form. The staff says December availability is filling up, so you'll want to act fast.
Fox & Hound Sports Tavern
2661 Fairfield Commons Blvd., Beavercreek
Website | 937-426-4145
Beavercreek’s Fox & Hound offers two swanky rooms from which to choose. They accommodate 75 to 100 people each and come with two pool tables and either a dart board or shuffleboard to keep you entertained. Prices vary depending on the food plan, which ranges from appetizers to a buffet. Speaking of their food, the Fox & Hound menu offers up some tempting options, including Drunken Chicken Tenders, Blistered Shishito Peppers and Chipotle Chicken Flautas. December dates still exist, but the month is quickly filling up.
Jimmie’s Ladder 11
935 Brown St,, Dayton
Website | 937-424-1784
Party rooms are great, but what about a whole party floor … or a party house? Jimmie’s offers both for your holiday fun. The second floor of this restored firehouse from 1892 holds up to 80 guests and comes with its own bar, a projection screen and a cool overhead view of the stage when musical acts are performing.
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But did you know Jimmie’s has a separate location for gatherings? Jimmie’s Greenhouse, located at 24 Park Drive in Dayton, is great for more intimate gatherings. The home can accommodate up to 35 people.
Both locations require a minimum of 20 guests and can be rented for $250 each. If you’re flexible with your holiday party schedule, you can have either this month.
530 E. Fifth St., Dayton
Website | 937-461-1101
Speaking of party houses, Trolley Stop has been providing a cool space for holiday get-togethers for years in its own party house, located just behind the restaurant. The home seats 24, or can accommodate 30 to 40 for a more casual stand-around gathering. Trolley Stop is known for its great, locally-sourced food menu, however, it is unable to cater your party. But you are welcome to order food in the restaurant individually or bring in your own food. Rates are $150 for deposit plus a $100 fee. They will even loan you a bartender at $20 per hour. Parties are for ages 21 and up, and it’s recommended to call two weeks in advance, but the staff tells me they can usually work with you on finding an available date that works.
Kramers Party Supply
1018 Irving Ave., Dayton
Website | 937-294-9141
I'm a big believer in the no-frills party: friends, booze, food and music. Kramers is offering that and a little more. A $100 deposit gets you four hours in their party room equipped with a jukebox, pool table, a TV and Golden Tee. The bar will deduct your food and drink orders from the deposit cost. So if you spend $100 in big beers and pizza (or anything else off the menu), you'll get your full deposit back. The room will comfortably hold about 30 people and you can decorate it if you like. Kramers has several dates, including weekends, available. Email them at email@example.com to book.