December is already dwindling, but you’re trying to pack in the most number of parties. If you’ve put off finding a spot for your office party, here’s a tip: Later may be better.

We checked in with a variety of restaurants, looking for a range of prices and places with private rooms or quiet spots where you aren’t elbowing strangers.

One thing we heard over and over: The next two weeks are tight. You can still get a space at many places, but you’ll have to be flexible on days of the week and times. In other words: Think about a lunch early in the week. But if you can hang on until the week of Dec. 18, you’ll have better luck. With Christmas festivities not starting (officially) until that Sunday, many venues have wide-open schedules that week, and many people won’t be traveling yet.

Where can you have a party right now and what will it cost you? Prices given are ranges: Minimums vary based on the day of the week and how extensive you want the menu. We checked with these:

The Asbury, 235 N. Tryon St in the Dunhill Hotel. Two private spaces upstairs, one large (seats 60), one small (seats 10 to 12). Booked for the week of Dec. 11, but mostly available after that. Lunch and dinner. $75 per person for a plated dinner. www.theasbury.com.

Bonterra, 1829 Cleveland Ave. Three private spaces, the wine cellar (seats 10), the choir room (up to 20) and the balcony (up to 30). While the restaurant isn’t usually open for lunch, you can book it for lunch for 40 or more. Prices range from $30 for a three-course lunch to $55 and up for dinner. www.bonterradining.com.

Dilworth Tasting Room, 704 E. Tremont Ave. You can do private parties on the patio and some inside. While it’s dinner-only except on weekends, you can book a weekday luncheon. Some dates are still open, particularly the week of Dec. 18. Event packages are $30, $40 or $50 per person. Email booking@dilworthtr.com or www.dilworthtr.com.

Draught, 601 S. Cedar St. Private spaces can seat up to 85 people or 125 for a standing event. No room-rental fee, but there’s a $1,000 minimum for food and beverages. A lot of dates are still available. An updated catering menu should be available soon at www.draughtcharlotte.com or email events@draughtcharlotte.com.

Fahrenheit, 222 S. Caldwell St. Availability is limited right now, but it’s more open the week before Christmas. Several spaces can handle from 10 to 140 people seated; a cocktail party can hold 125 people standing. Dinner only, but luncheons can be booked. Plates range from $30 for lunch to $75 to $120 for dinner. Email bookings@fahrenheit-charlotte.com.

The Fig Tree, 1601 E. 7th St. Fridays and Saturdays are booked, but Sunday and Monday slots are still available. Dinner only. Private rooms range from 10 to 28 seats. Food and beverage minimums vary by room, but expect to pay about $2,000 depending on the number of people. Call 704-332-3322 or www.charlottefigtree.com.

Fran’s Filling Station, 2410 Park Road. It’s mostly booked, but some dates are still open for lunch and dinner. The private room seats about 38, plus there’s party space in the tap room. Lunch ranges from $12 to $20, or $25 and up for a buffet. www.fransfillingstation.com.

Ink n Ivy, 222 S. Church St. Mostly booked, but there’s still space early on weekdays. Reservations only available for parties of 20 or more; the heated patio can handle 100 or more. Prices vary widely. www.charlotte.inkanivy.com.

The Packhouse, 500 E. Morehead. Many dates still open. The private room with a sliding door can hold 36 for lunch or dinner. Prices range from $15 or $20 per person at lunch to $40 and up for dinner. Email cassie@treehousekitchenclt.com or call 252-717-0373.

Reid’s Fine Foods, SouthPark, 4331 Barclay Downs Drive. The Wine Room seats up to 25 people. An hors d’oeuvres and cocktail party ranges from $40 to $80 per person; dinners are $65 to $95 per person. Contact Leyla Arcovio, leyla@reids.com or call 704-377-7686.

The Summit Room, 1531 East Blvd. The breakfast and lunch side, the Mayo Bird, can be booked for dinner and seats 40 or up to 55 for stand-up parties with heavy hors d’oeuvres. $40 and up per person. Email cassie@treehousekitchenclt.com or call 252-717-0373.

Vivace, 1100 Metropolitan Ave. Mostly open for lunch, with private dinner openings the week of Dec. 18. The chef’s table seats up to 12, the bar area can hold 50 and the private room can seat up to 60. The private dining room runs $35, $45 or $55 per person, with other cocktail, appetizer and buffet options available. www.vivacecharlotte.com.

This story first ran at CharlotteObserver.com.

Photo: Kip Dawkins/The Asbury

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