Barred in DC’s Completely Arbitrary Ranking of U.S. Cities

Barred in DC’s Completely arbitrary rankings of U.S cities

[Not included-college towns, cities I’ve visited but never stayed the night in (Detroit, Minneapolis, Houston, St. Louis, Columbus), and cities I’ve never visited (Oklahoma City, Milwaukee, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Cincy, Kansas City, Nashville)]

  1. Chicago
  2. Charleston, SC
  3. San Diego
  4. DC
  5. New Orleans
  6. Austin
  7. NYC
  8. San Francisco
  9. Los Angeles
  10. Vegas
  11. Seattle
  12. Portland
  13. Boston
  14. Indianapolis
  15. Savannah
  16. Denver
  17. Philadelphia
  18. Pittsburgh
  19. Baltimore
  20. Miami/Fort Lauderdale
  21. Charlotte
  22. Cleveland
  23. San Antonio
  24. Fort Worth
  25. Louisville
  26. Jacksonville
  27. Tampa
  28. Orlando
  29. Dallas
  30. Atlanta

The Royal Set to Open in Early June in Ledroit Park/Shaw

The Royal (Twitter, website), an all-day coffee/lunch/cafe/bar from the owner of the U Street wine bar Vinoteca, will open in early June at 501 Florida Ave. NW (near S Street), not far from Shaw’s Tavern, according to a press release. The 45-seat two-story spot, which will be open early (7a on weekdays, 8a on weekends), will feature Counter Culture coffee and Latin-inspired snacks (empanadas and arepas) from the wood-burning grill. The Royal proudly boasts its location in Ledroit Park, though I suspect it will be referred to by many as being in adjacent Shaw.

Drinks-wise, the focus will be on craft cocktails (often with a Latin-flavor, and of course, one cocktail on draft), shaved-ice cocktails (vintage ice shaver from Guatemala), lots of vermouth (including one housemade on draft), along with a few wines and draft/bottled beer (locals, domestic and Mexican).

With The Royal, I foresee a new independent alternative to the local Derek Brown trio bar crawl-All Souls, Right Proper, and the Royal.

Wunder Garten Beer Garden Pop-Up Opens in NoMa – With Potential Noise Penalties

Wunder Garten (150 M. St NW, Facebook, Twitter, website) a new temporary beer garden in a lot slated for redevelopment in NoMa in the near future, opened this Wednesday. The spot, which serves German and Austrian beers (perhaps some wine, no hard stuff), as well as a couple local DC-area brews, will surely be popular in an area not known for many outdoor options. Food trucks may be on site at times.

Wunder Garten will open at noon Fridays-Sundays, 4p other days, and will close at 10p Sun-Thurs and at midnight on Friday & Saturday evenings. However, the bar’s liquor license has a unique (I’ve never seen this before in DC) noise trigger clause that says that the closing time hours will be reduced to 10p every night if 5 separate people who live within 2 blocks complains to ABRA about the noise:

Applicant agrees that in the event five separate residents within a two block radius deem noise (including, but not limited to, noise from speakers or other devices from amplification) to be excessive and file a written complaint or complaints to ABRA to that effect, the operating hours will be adjusted as follows:
Monday – Tuesday: 4 PM to 10 PM
Wednesday – Thursday: 4 PM to 10 PM
Friday: 12 PM to 10 PM
Saturday: 12 PM to 10 PM
Sunday: 12 PM to 10 PM.

This clause was modified by the ABRA board in a way that ostensibly makes it less harsh to the bar but in reality makes it quite possible that a few disgruntled neighbors could force Wunder Garten to close earlier on weekends. Originally the clause said that after 3 neighbors complained about noise, the bar would have 48 hours to fix. If the ANC was not satisfied, then the hours would be reduced for a one month period, when it could be revisited. There is no such waiting period and ANC input in the final version approved by ABRA.

ANC Recommends Virtual End to West Dupont Moratorium

The moratorium on liquor licenses in the western part of the Dupont Circle neighborhood is on the verge of its virtual demise. That is the bottom line after the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC)  2B voted 4-2 (with 1 abstention) last Wednesday to request that the ABC Board end the moratorium completely, aside from a 3-year extension of the current ban on nightclub licenses. The ABC Board still will have a hearing and vote to determine whether to accept the recommendation and make it the law of DC.

Restrictions on restaurant liquor licenses were lifted in 2011, but other licenses have continued to be capped in the moratorium area (on-premises: 3 multi-purpose licenses, 6 tavern licenses, and 0 nightclub licenses). The moratorium has been in effect since 1994.

Notably, the resolution  also asked authorities “to codify a city-wide restriction on nightclubs next to residential buildings and residential buildings next to nightclubs” so the moratorium could be fully lifted in another 3 years. A working group convened to discuss the moratorium had recommended that the moratorium be ended completely but accompanied by a standing policy to protest all liquor licenses.  This standing policy was not adopted.

Sudhouse Set to Open at 14th and U on May 31st (UPDATED)

Sudhouse (credit: Sudhouse Facebook page)

Sudhouse (1340 U St. NW, Facebook, Twitter, website), a new “beer hall and social club,” announced today that it will open Friday, May 22nd  that it will open Sunday, May 31st (with all day happy hour) in the space previously occupied by Bistro La Bonne (which closed in mid-April) near the intersection of 14th and U Streets. The bar will feature domestic and craft beers, billiards, and Big Buck Hunter along with classic American fare and hopes to be a “mom-and-pop style bar and grill.”

The three-floor spot features 2 bars in a 2,000-square-feet space. Co-owners/managers Simo and Ally Farouidi appear to have connections in the past with other current/former spots like Soussi in Adams Morgan, Dunya in Shaw, and the dearly departed  Tabaq on U Street. PoPville first reported that Sudhouse was replacing Bistro La Bonne last week.

[This post has been updated since it was originally posted.]


Cafe Deluxe’s Burger Days of Summer Kicks Off Today

Burger Days of Summer Menu
Burger Days of Summer Menu
Cafe Deluxe, the DC-area mini-chain offering familiar American classics, kicks off its “Burger Days of Summer” menu today. From now until the end of July, the weekday lunch menu will feature a gourmet slate of six creative burgers (including salmon and veggie versions), priced from $13-16, accompanied by a side of shoestring fries. On Wednesdays, the restaurant will have a special treat-the burgers can be ordered all day for half price. The restaurant has two DC locations-the original in Cathedral Heights (3228 Wisconsin Ave. NW) and the new flagship location in the Hilton Garden Inn in the West End (2201 M St. NW), along with several others in the MD/VA suburbs.

Barred in DC was invited to the West End location on a recent evening to sample these tasty new burgers and enjoy a few great drinks. I can foresee these substantial patties, all sandwiched between great buns (the jalapeno cheddar version being the standout) from the local wholesaler Uptown Bakers, being quite popular for both tourists staying at the Hilton Garden Inn and the many hotels within the block as well as nearby summer associates at its West End location. The handsome modern airy space features front wall-to-ceiling windows at the corner of 22nd and M.

Dining room at Cafe Deluxe West End
Dining room at Cafe Deluxe West End
7 ounces of ground angus beef were juicy and well complemented by creative toppings on each of the 4 bovine burgers:

Porter Burger
Porter Burger
  • Porter: my favorite one of the evening, with onions slow braised in Anchor Porter beer, applewood-smoked bacon, provolone, and porter mayo on an onion poppy seed bun;
T-Coast Burger
T-Coast Burger
  • T Coast (named as an homage to Tortilla Coast, part of same chain): two types of peppers (red peppers and jalapeños) and pepper jack cheese, house made avocado spread (which cuts down on the heat), topped with crunchy cumin-dusted tortilla strips, between halves of a stunningly tasty and handsome jalapeno cheddar bun;
  • Red White and Blue: probably the simplest concoction  on the menu with blue cheese complimented with a sweet and tangy red onion marmalade and horseradish mayo on a sesame bun;
Philly Cheesesteak Burger with cheese sauce
Philly Cheesesteak Burger with cheese sauce
  • Philly Cheesesteak (homage to Chef Jason McIntosh’s hometown): massive burger featuring provolone topped with prime rib and house made cheese sauce on the side (made with cheddar and American cheeses in a bechamel sauce). Pro-tip: dip your fries in the cheese sauce, you won’t regret it.

Austin Veggie Burger
Austin Veggie Burger
Pescetarians will enjoy the Salmon Burger #3  with a heavily Asian influence that has a taste resembling a salmon sushi roll; this burger is made with ground salmon (with egg and panko as the binder), topped with seaweed salad, pickled ginger, crispy spring roll strips and wasabi mayo on a oat/wheat bun, while vegetarians can scarf down the 23-ingredient Austin Veggie – with black bean relish, jack cheese, avocado spread and sandwiched in a jalapeño cheddar bun.

Blue Lemonade & GT 500 cocktails
Blue Lemonade & GT 500 cocktails
Cucumber Martini
Cucumber Martini
Aside from the burgers, Cafe Deluxe’s cocktails were a surprising highlight of the evening. The $10 Blue Lemonade cocktail, with house-infused lemon vodka, lemon juice, and blueberries captured the essence of summertime lemonade with a crisp tartness, along with fruity secrets, while the $10 GT 500 was a fresh gin and tonic/club soda combo. The $12 Cucumber Martini topped with a twist of cracked pepper is summer must. Elderflower liqueur aficionados and not-such-big fans will be pleased. Enjoy on a summer day-make sure it’s hot as the cucumber will work better that way; sit near one of the big picture windows that open to the fresh summer breeze and let this balanced cocktail get you in the groove. A solid list of beers also go well with the burgers-I had a Reviver Red IPA from Starr Hill. Happy hour is on deck weekdays from 3:30-7p at the bar with $4-6 bar bites and $4 Stella Artois drafts & house wine, $5 rocks margarita & a Cosmopolitan, and $1 off all drafts.

Happy Hour Menu
Happy Hour Menu
Cocktail Menu
Cocktail Menu
IMG_1861 IMG_1862 IMG_1880 IMG_1888 IMG_1890

Where to Watch Mayweather – Pacquiao Fight in DC – May 2nd

Credit –

The most eagerly anticipated boxing match in recent memory, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao, is set for Saturday, May 2nd. The two welterweights, who the sports world have been clamoring to face off against each other for years, finally get to show everyone who’s the best. This being boxing, the matches will be only available on pay-per-view, so if you or your friends are not willing to shell out the $100 ($10 discount for whoever the hell would get it in standard def) you’ll have to catch it at a bar. Thankfully, many bars (who have to pay $20-25 per listed occupant to show the fight) have announced they’ll be hosting watch parties-mostly with $20 cover charges. To help you start planning your night, I’ve compiled the list of those bars who have plans so far; updates will be made until the fight (which will start around 11p though you should be there well before). Also, I realize it’s not in DC, but if you like beer, Denizens Brewing Co. in Silver Spring right by the DC border features a $100 open bar (all you can drink Denizens beer + red/white wine). [4/28 EDIT – I’ve organized the roughly by price, from cheapest to most expensive; 4/29 EDIT – Big thanks to folks who’ve found this page through Reddit and TIME/Money]. Don’t forget to follow me at @barredindc to get updates on the DC bar scene.


  • Purple Patch (Mount Pleasant)
    • NO COVER – GUEST LIST ONLY [5/1 EDIT – Guest list full]
    • Filipino restaurant (former Tonic space), this is where PacMan fans should go
    • e-mail the owner Patrice at to get on wait list for table reservations (reserved starting at 9p)  [5/1 EDIT – Guest list full]
  • Layla Lounge (NoMa)
    • NO COVER
      • Order free pass at link or text “LaylaDC” to 313131 to get on guest list
      • all night for gals & till midnight for guys (with pass/text)
    • free open bar from 10-11p
    • free jerk wings from 11p-midnight
    • premium bottle service starts at $300
    • 26 tvs
    • free parking

$10-20 Cover (depending on gender/time of purchase)

  • Town Hall (Glover Park)
    • $10
    • starts at 10p
    • 18 TVs
  • Cleveland Park Bar & Grill (Cleveland Park)
    • $10
    • after 9p (every patron in bar needs to pay $10)
    • 40 TVs
  • DC Reynolds (Petworth / Park View)
    • $15 advance / $20 door
  • Tenley Gastropub (Tenleytown) [SOLD OUT]
    • $10 (1st 50 tickets) [SOLD OUT] / $15 (next 100 tickets) [SOLD OUT] / $17 advance [SOLD OUT] / $25 last minute [SOLD OUT] / $25 door [SOLD OUT]
    • reserved table for 6 – $160 [SOLD OUT] / table for 10 $260
    • in old Public Tenley spot
    • 55 TVs / 120 inch projector
    • late night HH for drinks from 9p-close
  • Chinese Disco (Georgetown)
    • $20 guys / $10 gals / TBD Door
    • starts at 9p
    • 5 big screens & 120 in. projector
  • Mason Inn (Glover Park) [SOLD OUT]
    • $20 guys / $10 gals [SOLD OUT]
    • starts at 10:30p
    • 11 big screens & 100 in. projector
    • $9.75 Miller Lite pitchers / $6 Fireball
  • Chi Cha Lounge (U Street)
    • $15 advance / $20 door
    • starts at 10p

$20 Cover

  • Buffalo Billiards (Dupont)
    • $20 cover
    • starts at 8p
    • Pro-tip for cheapskates – get there before 8p, hang out for several hours watching TV, easily most guilt-free bar for freeloaders in DC
  • Barcode (Dupont)
    • $20 cover
    • starts at 6p
    • 17 HD TVs & 2 projectors
    • sports memorabilia giveaways (such as signed gloves) by Round By Round Boxing
    • free shots given away to select folks every round
  • Public Bar (Dupont)
    • $20 cover
    • $500 communal table for 8 people + 1 bottle of liquor + 1 bottle of sparkling wine
    • $750 lounge tables for 8 people + 2 bottles of liquor + 1 bottle of champagne
  • The Park at Fourteenth (Downtown)
    • $20 advance [SOLD OUT] / $30 day off & door
    • starts at 8p
    • 30 big screen TVs
  • Lou’s City Bar (Columbia Heights)
    • $20 if you RSVP on Facebook page / $30 after 11p
    • starts at 9p
    • $20 Tecate buckets / $5 Heineken drafts / $20 Heineken pitchers
  • Red Lounge (U Street)
    • $20 before 10p / $25 10-10:30p / $30 after 10:30p
  • Smith Public Trust (Brookland)
    • $20
    • includes choice of Don Julio tequila or Zacapa rum cocktail
    • starts at 9p

$25+ Cover

  • Avery’s Bar and Lounge (H Street)
    • $25 advance
    • $300 VIP (5 guests + 1 premium bottle + 1 bottle of sparkling wine) [SOLD OUT]
    • 5 flat screens (1st floor) + 2 flat screens (2nd floor) + 2 flat screens (rooftop)
  • Dirty Martini (Dupont)
    • $25 cover
    • starts at 9p
    • 100″ projection tv
  • Redline (Chinatown/PQ)
    • $30 before 11p / $35 after 11p
    • starts at 8p
  • The Ugly Mug (Eastern Market)
    • $30 Presale / $40 Door
    • starts at 6p
    • $150 table (4 tickets + Miller Lite/Blue Moon/Yuengling/Fat Tire tower) [SOLD OUT]
    • $250 Booths/Tables (6 tickets + Miller Lite tower) [SOLD OUT]
    • $575 VIP section includes 20 tickets + Miller Lite tower in private section [SOLD OUT]
  • The Big Stick (Navy Yard/Capitol Riverfront)
    • $30 advance / $35 door
    • VIP lounge seating available
  • Halftime Sports Bar (H Street)
    • $40 cover
    • starts at 9p
    • free food while it lasts
    • table reservations available
  • J Paul’s (Georgetown)
    • $40 cover
    • includes 2 Bud Light bottles & seat
    • cover charged for anyone there at 10:45p
  • Bar7 (Mount Vernon Triangle)
    • $40 cover (FREE before 7p)
    • Open bar from 6-8p
    • 13 TVs
  • Da Luft Lounge (H Street)
    • TBD cover
    • free entry before 8p
    • HH from 6-9p
    • fight party from 9p-2:30a
  • Vita Lounge (Shaw)
    • TBD cover / free for gals before 11p with pass
    • Text 202-903-9545 to get free pass for gals
    • doors open at 9p
    • open bar from 9-10p
    • $5 Siroc/Patron from 10-11p
    • 7 TVs
    • hookah available all night
    • $300 tables
  • Hooters (Chinatown)
    • $30 reserved seat
    • free fried pickles
    • $20 in free food for future visits
  • Sip Lounge (NE DC/Woodbridge)
    • TBD cover
    • drink specials til midnight
  • Stadium Club (NE DC)
    • TBD cover
    • gentleman’s club
  • The Howard Theatre (Shaw)
    • $40
    • includes concert
    • table/VIP seating available
    • doors open at 8p

Reviews and Happenings of DC Bars


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