Atlanta has a rich history of being a hub where people gather, so whether you're looking for the perfect place to celebrate the year's successes with your colleagues, or a venue to thank your most loyal customers for their business; there are venues to cater for every possible taste.
In no particular order (we don't play favorites), here are 10 venue suggestions for your office or client get together.
Bones's mission statement is to provide the best service, steaks and seafood - something they've been doing since 1979. They regularly sweep up the accolade as the best steakhouse in Atlanta, though some argue it's the best in the U.S. TripAdvisor allocates it the number 2 spot, beaten only by the Lebanese eatery, Aviva (which didn't make this list simply because of its limited café-style seating for a party).
Bones can provide private party rooms and even personalized menus if you want to deviate from the usual menu, but given their reputation, why would you? Yes, there are cheaper steak houses out there, but 16 consecutive years of winning awards tells its own story.
If you fancy paying homage to food with Southern roots, Pittypat's is an Atlanta institution which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year. Named after Scarlett O'Hara's aunt in Gone with the Wind for both the notoriety and her reputation as a gracious hostess, Pittypat's evokes the feeling of an old plantation where place settings are pewter and guests can still sip mint juleps.
Speaking of institutions, the all-encompassing Coca-Cola made its very first sale back in 1886 in Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta. More than a century on, founder John Pemberton would find his brainchild still in Atlanta - albeit in much grander surroundings.
If you're feeling flush and fancy carrying out your own taste experiments (Coca-Cola was originally designed as a medicine), The World of Coca-Cola at Pemberton Place offers guests the chance to create their own favorite beverage while sampling Coca-Cola brands from around the world. Gingerbread Coke anyone?
Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall offers an alternative dining experience for adventurous types. If you're the sort of business who thinks nothing of striding out, Ladybird is an outdoor-oriented restaurant at mile marker 9.25 on the Beltline, offering elevated campfire cuisine.
With three unique environments, including (weather permitting), the patio which can seat up to 70 people, the menu includes craft cocktails, local beers, s'mores, chicken, bratwurst and fish for that perfect memory jog of childhood cook-outs and camping.
Sometimes, finding the perfect place for your holiday celebration can be an art. This venue takes it literally. Brush Painting Lounge was created by a family of artists out of a passion for creating and inspiring.
With a private lounge space, you and your colleagues/guests can enjoy a Paint Night and find your inner artist, aided by an instructor to help you separate your burnt umber from your yellow ochre. Wine and beer is available along with a small catering option to help lubricate your creative juices and create your perfect canvas.
While sleeping with the fishes is not to be recommended, eating and drinking is a different kettle of, well, fish. For the smaller business, the Georgia Aquarium's Gallery Events is available for smaller, intimate groups who fancy dining under the lazy gaze of beluga whales and whale sharks.
The Ocean Voyager takes your party to the ocean floor as thousands of fish swim overhead, the Cold Water Quest transports your party to the Arctic and the chilly unknown, or for something a little more unseasonal, Tropical Diver takes you to the tropics, where you dine among one of the world's largest living reef exhibits.
If you're looking for somewhere to spend some quality, brainteasing time with the team or your clients before you head out for eats and drinks elsewhere, look no further than Mission Escape. A live-action escape game (the title sort of gives it away), you and your colleagues/guests are locked in a room and have 60 minutes to escape.
Choose The Study - where the world's most coveted jewel, The Siena III, has been stolen from the British Royal Family - or The Hotel, where Monsieur Moe's dream of becoming a baker was dashed by his father. Test your wits, patience and team-working skills. Can you escape the room before time runs out? (Don't worry - they'll release you in time for the evening festivities).
For those businesses who love a beer, Monday Night Brewing (weekends are overrated) is a craft brewery that unusually originated from an Atlanta bible study group.. Some five years later, as well as giving Atlantans some quality beers, Monday Night Brewing will gladly host your party on any day of the week.
Small groups of 2-30 people can be accommodated in their VIP Area, complete with lounge, parlor, conference room, private bartender, plus pint glass for each guest. Bigger businesses with more cash to flash can rent out the tasting room or patio for larger parties which also includes a complimentary tour and tasting, plus a souvenir pint glass for each guest.
Cost: $ - $$ (depending on room hire)
Inspired by the South's rich history of juke joints, Sweet Georgia's celebrates a time when life was slower and sweeter, and music and food was at the heart of social gatherings. Located in the former Macy's building at the iconic 200 Peachtree address, Sweet Georgia's Juke Joint offers live entertainment and food based on the Deep South.
With a tadpole and lily-pad inspired design that pays homage to the wetlands where juke joints traditionally stood, the music-centric restaurant also features a wooden dance floor, stage for live music, and state-of-the-art video screen for guests' entertainment. If you'd rather party in private, their dining room offers guests a VIP view of the stage and live musical performances.
10. The Painted Pin
While bowling has been a staple of office parties for decades, The Painted Pin is an upscale boutique bar, bowling and entertainment venue set in an industrial warehouse space in the heart of Buckhead's Miami Circle.
There are 20 full service lanes, but for something a little more intimate, a semi-private event space offers 8 bowling lanes and lounge-style soft seating areas, plus booths equipped with flat-screen televisions. There's also an indoor gaming courtyard that's perfect for parties.
If you have a talent for leaving 7-10 splits, try your hand at indoor bocce ball, table shuffleboard, ping pong, skee-ball, darts, southern skittles or oversized basketball pop a shots. Food is comforting appetizers such as wood-fired pizzas, tacos, sliders, salads and small plates, while the bar serves classic cocktails, craft and local beer and artisanal wines by the glass.
The companies I mention or link to in this post are just examples that I thought you'd find useful - I don't endorse them or their services. I have no affiliation with them and make no representation about their services.