2018 Preview: 10 Most Anticipated Washington Venues for Meetings and Events

The hotels, conference spaces, restaurants, and cultural spaces slated to open in Washington for events and entertaining this year.

By Adele Chapin January 4, 2018, 7:16 AM EST

The International Spy Museum

Photo: David Peterson

Looking for a new venue for your next event? Here are the most anticipated Washington restaurants, corporate event venues, hotels, conference centers, and party rooms slated to open in 2018. These new and renovated Washington venues will accommodate groups large or small for private and corporate events, conferences, meetings, weddings, business dinners, teambuilding activities, cocktail parties, and more.

1. The International Spy Museum is moving from Penn Quarter to a new home in Southwest Washington, which is slated to be completed in the fall. The espionage-theme museum's new building will be 140,000 square feet, which is double the floor space of its existing building. A multifunction event space will offer expansive views of D.C. London-based architects Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners designed the new building, and D.C.'s Hickok Cole Architects is the architect of record.

2. The first major expansion in the history of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is slated to open this year. American architect Steven Holl designed three new pavilions for the Kennedy Center: a Welcome Pavilion to introduce guests to the expanded campus, a Skylight Pavilion overlooking the new landscape, and a River Pavilion adjacent to the Potomac River. The 113,906-square-foot expansion will include room for studios, classrooms, rehearsal rooms, performance space, event space, a traditional lecture hall, an outdoor wall for simulcast presentations, and a new bistro.

3. Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto will reimagine the lobby at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, giving it a new look for the first time in the Smithsonian museum's 42-year history. Sugimoto is designing welcome desks and other furnishings, and Dolcezza Coffee & Gelato at Hirshhorn will open when the redesign is revealed in February.

4. The opening for the Trump International Hotel's newest restaurant, a D.C. outpost of New York's Sushi Nakazawa, is now slated for March. The restaurant will feature a separate entrance from the hotel and will offer a 20-course omakase menu designed by chef Daisuke Nakazawa.

5. On the other side of the political spectrum is Eaton Workshop. Advocating “progressive social change,” the platform will offer more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space, a 209-room hotel, a co-working space, and programming including speaking engagements, an art program, and a wellness program. Other amenities include a radio station, a 50-person cinema, and food and drink from locals like mixologist Derek Brown and chef Tim Ma, who will also provide catering. The venture comes from Hong Kong-based Great Eagle Holdings.

6. In the spring, City Winery will open an outpost in Ivy City in the former Love nightclub space. The 40,000-square-foot outpost will include a 300-seat concert hall, dining room, and a rooftop wine garden along with multiple rooms for private events.

7. The St. James, a state-of-the-art 450,000-square-foot sports facility, is slated to open in Springfield, Virginia, in September. The massive complex includes an Olympic size-pool, climbing walls, indoor water park, golf simulators, basketball courts, ice rink, batting cages, obstacle course, spa, and more. Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn is also planning a restaurant in the facility.

8. A 357-room Courtyard by Marriott and 147-guest suite Residence Inn by Marriott is slated to open in Shaw in the third quarter of 2018. The hotels will share approximately 10,000 square feet of meeting space including a 4,000-square-foot outdoor rooftop terrace, multiple meetings rooms, a board room, and three hospitality suites.

9. Officina by Nicholas Stefanelli—a three-story Italian artisanal market and restaurant from the Masseria chef—will open in the spring at new waterfront development the Wharf. The market will be on the ground floor, a Southern Italian restaurant will be on the second floor, and the third floor will be devoted to a rooftop bar and private dining spaces.

10. Ballston Mall will transform into Quarter Market Food Hall, a new 25,000-square-foot food hall slated to open in September. Among the 18 new dining spaces will be outposts from Timber Pizza Co., Cucina Al Volo, and Ice Cream Jubilee.

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