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A couple of pioneering business owners are thinking there could be big bucks in spaces that allow parents to drink while their kids play safely nearby. First, Dacha Beer Garden announced plans to have a playground at its proposed 14th Street NW location. Now SkillZone-DC, a membership-based indoor play space and birthday party hub, seeks to offer stressed-out parents a way to wind down.
“We started the business because we wanted it to be a place for the whole family to be comfortable,” says co-owner Liza Fox. That’s why they offer free coffee, tea, and wi-fi, among other amenities. “People have come in and said, ‘I’m so relaxed. This is wonderful. All that’s missing is a glass of wine in my hand or cold beer.’” The business should be able to start serving alcohol within the next couple of weeks.
SkillZone opened in January on Capitol Hill for families with children age six and younger. Anyone can sign up for membership, which costs $89 per month for a single-child family and $109 per month for families with more than one child. Fox cautions that they’re inching close to 200 members, which is when they’ll move to a wait list. Non-members can pay for drop-in visits, but they won’t be able to get their hands on the members-only wine or beer.
Fox says SkillZone was inspired by two family clubs in London, Purple Dragon and Maggie & Rose. “They’re almost like a country club without the golf course,” she says. “That’s what we aspire to be when we grow up.”
SkillZone-DC, 709 8th St. SE; (202) 763-7629; skillzonedc.com