Bardo Officially Moving Permanently Out of Trinidad to Nationals Park Location

Bardo Brewpub officially announced today that it will be permanently closing its Trinidad location, moving to the new Bardo River Brewery just south of Nationals Park in the Navy Yard/Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. This move, which was first reported months ago by Barred in DC, is required by DC law (specifically section 25-303 of the DC Code). Holders of manufacturer licenses are prohibited from possessing other types of liquor licenses, so Bardo’s owners can’t own a brewery and a brewpub at the same time. Bardo hopes to reopen the two-acre Anacostia River site in March 2017 ,just in time for baseball season. [Note: if you’re wondering, Right Proper, which has a production brewery in Brookland and a brewpub in Shaw, is technically owned by two couples, with half of each couple jointly owning each location, as discussed in this April 2015 ABRA hearing.]

The full message from Bardo’s Facebook page is below:

A Real Life Footloose Situation Averted and ABRA Defines “Dance Floor”

In an illuminating decision, ABRA ruled this week that Policy’s 2nd floor Liberty lounge does not improperly offer a “permanent space for dancing.” Instead the 14th Street bar, according to ABRA, “merely operates a cocktail lounge with a large standing area.”

Under DC law, bars with restaurant liquor licenses cannot “offer facilities for dancing” without first getting permission (through an entertainment endorsement) from ABRA. Someone complained that Policy, which did not have permission at the time, that people were **gasps** ***clutches pearls*** dancing at Policy. To investigate the complaint, an ABRA investigator visited four times, eventually counting the number of people dancing on the second floor (12 out of 30 people on a Friday, 8 out of 22 later the same weekend); Policy’s co-owners admitted that folks danced at the bar.

In the end, ABRA said that Policy didn’t create an illegal dance floor, and that “sporadic and isolated incidents of dancing” by itself, isn’t improper. ABRA outlined a list of factors considered to determine whether a dance floor exists:

  • Wood/vinyl flooring (e.g. wood paneling, floor LED light panels or interactive floor panels)
  • Open area distinguished from other areas (by barriers, elevated/depressed floors, furniture, lighting)
  • Advertising a dance party
  • Providing music and encouraging people to dance
  • No tables/chairs for dining or
  • Large standing crowds engaged in dancing.

ABRA said that while it “was possible” Policy had created a 2nd floor dance floor, it was “just as likely” the “dance floor” was just a “large standing area” because sporadic dancing isn’t enough and ABRA failed to show the layout on the 2nd floor showed that a dance floor existed.

Policy's Alleged Dance Floor is in the Background

Policy’s Alleged Dance Floor is in the Background

Bardo River Brewery Gets Approval – Can Stay Open til Midnight

[This story has been updated on 12/3 & 12/6 based on comments to the post below, which you should definitely read]
The long saga for the Bardo River Brewery appears to be over. On Wednesday, ABRA and Bardo entered into a consent order, resolving the issues with Bardo’s manufacturer liquor license application for its new Anacostia River location just south of Nationals Park. Bardo had filed a lawsuit against ABRA for not issuing a liquor license, and complained that ABRA didn’t follow the law and had improper contacts with the Nationals and the ANC. In mid-October, following an entertaining fact-finding hearing, ABRA essentially told Bardo that it would grant the license but make it close at 10p everyday.

The consent order, to the chagrin of the sole dissenting member, makes no such restrictions on hours. And, according to commenters (including a rep from Bardo), ABRA may have issued a manufacturer’s license without any restrictions after Bardo supposedly rejected the consent order. If the order does apply, Bardo is required to create a security plan and maintain a comprehensive security camera system and cannot seek permission to have entertainment, such as live music or DJs. The new brewery, which will reportedly replace the Trinidad location, can be open till 7a-midnight. Check Bardo’s Facebook page for updates. According to Bardo, it is  “still pursuing legal measures due to the delays ABRA’s illegal actions caused” and “fuck the ABRA board.”

On December 6th, Bardo sniped at the local ANC on Twitter, warning Bluejacket and other bars to watch out that ANC was now requiring bars to close at 10p. ANC commissioner responded that this was false (which is accurate, they only wanted Bardo to close at 10p); Bardo then tweeted out a copy of the ANC’s letter to ABRA that Bardo is claiming is illegal ex parte communication. Bardo concluded the volley by complaining that the ANC had a policy of protesting liquor licenses if the licensee doesn’t enter into a settlement agreement with the ANC, which is a widespread practice in DC.

Where to Ring in 2017 in DC Bars – New Year’s Eve Guide

2017 is coming. To help you out, Barred in DC has compiled a list (which will be updated regularly until Saturday, December 31st, 2016) of New Year’s Eve celebrations at DC bars below (nearly all with a cover include a champagne toast, party favors, and a DJ), which I’ve split up by neighborhood and whether there is an open bar (at least 3.5 hours long), a cover charge (many of these include an open bar) and no cover bars (likely these won’t be announced until the week or so before the NYE). For those of you braving open bars, remember to tip well to start and for each drink. Barred in DC picks are highlighted below. If you know of a solid bar party, please let me know (

For college football fans and their significant others, keep this in mind-the College Football Playoffs will be held again on New Year’s Eve- at 3p and 7p.

This list will be continually updated until NYE. Prices don’t include fees.

Recommended Open Bars: The Sheppard, Roofer’s Union, Kelly’s Irish Times (dirt cheap)


Open Bar

  • Dirty Martini – doors open at 8p – $85 open bar ($45 admission only)
  • Saufhaus – 9p-2a – $150 ($280 couples; discount until 12/14) – open bar + passed apps all night +  Secret Society NYE masquerade party (mask required)/black-tie cocktail attire + live jazz singer
  • Sign of the Whale – 9p-4a – $75 open bar + app buffet till 11p
  • Irish Whiskey – 9p-21 – $75 open bar (inc. selection of Irish whiskeys) + passed apps + inc
  • Mission – 9p-1a – $100 (tickets go up close to 12/31) – premium open bar (inc. mixed drinks, import beer, wine, sangria, & margarita) + app/dessert buffet + coat/tie required
  • Front Page – 9p-2a – $75 open bar – Prohibition-themed – confetti shower
  • The Sheppard – 8p-2a – $100 open bar + apps + unlimited bubbly + live jazz + cocktail attire requested but not required

Cover Charge and/or Limited Open Bar

  • Rosebar – 9p-4a – $35 – inc Grey Goose open bar from 9-10p
  • Ozio – 8p-3:30a- $30
  • Barcode – 9p-3a – $40 ($30 early bird) – Black & White Ball – open bar from 9-10p + apps from 9-11p + live radio broadcast from 10p-midnight
  • Blackfinn – 10p-1a – $65 for open bar from 10p-1a ($100 for VIP with group of 10 gets table with comp. bottle of bubbly, open bar from 9p-1a, free coach check) + passed apps 9:30-10:30p + prizes

No Cover

  • Bar Dupont – 9p-1a


Open Bar

  • Duffy’s – 9p-1:30a – $70 open bar on all beer/wine/most liquor (no shots) + Free apps from 9-11p + Jameson whiskey toast at midnight + limited to 200 people
  • Churchkey – 9p-2a – $115 open bar  (50 drafts/5 casks/select liquor, cocktails & wine) + passed bites + photobooth
  • Hawthorne – 9p-1a – $100 (tickets go up close to 12/31) – premium open bar (inc. mixed drinks, import beer, wine, and call bourbons) + app/dessert buffet + coat/tie required
  • DC9 – 10p-2a (open later) – $75 ($65 early bird, $85 last minute) premium open bar + Monopoly theme + games/prizes

Cover Charge and/or Limited Open Bar

  • Flash – 8p til 4a (Mon Jan 2nd) – $50 ($40 early bird) – 32 (!!) Hour Dance party – no booze from 4a-8a
  • Provision No. 14 – 9p-2a – $30 (early bird) – includes 1 drink & toast
  • Policy – 9p-close – $20 for upstairs Liberty Lounge party
  • Lost Society – 9p-4a – $45 – includes 2 drink tickets + masquerade party
  • 9:30 Club – 9p-close – $75 – Band of Horses concert

No Cover

  • Sudhouse – low key + $3 canned beers + $6 rail/mixed drinks all night
  • Ivy & Coney – will be celebrating 3rd anniversary with $3 specials TBD
  • All Souls – business as usual


Open Bar

  • Songbyrd – 9p-1a – $80 ($100 on 12/31) open bar + 3 separately themed rooms + limited apps + photo booth + games
  • Town Tavern – 9p-3a – $125 open bar ($50 admission gets open bar from 9-11p; $75 from 9-midnight – passed apps from 9-11p + late night breakfast buffet at 11p + Jager specials
  • Roofer’s Union – 10p-2a – $90 ($70 early bird) – open bar (10 craft beers from DC Brau & Port City, wine,  Beefeater Gin, Tito’s Vodka, El Dorado Rum, Jim Beam Bourbon, Milagro Silver Tequila) + late night buffet eats + live music + 2nd floor & heated rooftop

Cover Charge and/or Limited Open Bar

  • Southern Hospitality – 9:30p-3a – $45 (early bird discount avail) – premium open bars/apps from 9:30-10:30p – heated tent (promoters rented bar out)
  • Mellow Mushroom – 9p-3a – $50 – 90s themed – open bar from 9-10p

No Cover

  • Ventnor Sports Cafe – downstairs open for game watching (private party from 9p on upstairs)


Open Bar

  • The Sovereign – 9p-2a – $115 ($99 early bird) – open bar (50 drafts + select liquor) + passed apps + live jazz downstairs
  • RiRa Georgetown – 9p-2a – $100 ($90 for 1st 30; $120 12/30) – open bar + light apps + Roaring Twenties party + live jazz band
  • Orange Anchor – 8p-2a – $100 – open bar – Nautical themed
  • Mad Fox Taproom – 9p-1a – $90 ($75 early bird til 12/7) – full premium open bar – passed apps + free coat check
  • Town Hall – 9p-3a – $92 ($75 til 12/11) – full premium open bar + plenty of gourmet food + free coat check/overnight parking

Cover Charge and/or Limited Open Bar

  • Mate Lounge – 9p-4a – $45 ($80 couples) sushi/Latin fusion buffet from 9-11p (promoters rented bar out)
  • Malmaison– 9:30p-3a – $45 ($80 couples) – premium open bars/apps from 9-10p – Midnight in Paris being screened (promoters rented bar out)

No Cover


Open Bar

Cover Charge and/or Limited Open Bar

  • City Tap House – 10p-2a – $40 optional open bar from 10p-midnight (1a-2a DJ focused on musical artists who died in 2016)
  • The Park at Fourteenth – 8p-3a – $30 general admission ($80 VIP ticket comes w/ open bar from 8-11p
  • MXDC – 9p-4a – $45 (early bird discount avail) – premium open bars/apps from 9-10p – Masquerade Ball (promoters rented bar out)
  • Cities – 10p-3a – $75 ($45 til 12/18) – COURVOISIER OPEN BAR 10-11PM
  • Ultrabar – 8p-close – $30 early bird – open bar from 8-9p – 4 DJs
  • Oyamel – 10:30p-close – $95 – unlimited food & beverage stations
  • Hill Country – 8p-close – $50 for open bar on draft beer, wine, and rail ($15 for admission only) + Rock N’ Twang NYE w/ Hari Karaoke (live band karaoke)

No Cover


Open Bar

  • Bluejacket – 9p-2a – $115 open bar (all 25 original BJ drafts, select liquor/wine/cocktails) + passed bites + live music
  • Kelly’s Irish Times – 9p-1a – $59 open bar (discount for bringing 10 friends) – heavy apps

Cover Charge/Limited Open Bar

  • Scarlet Oak – 9p-2:30a – $30 early bird – inc. premium open bar/apps from 9:30-10:30p

No Cover

  • Wisdom


Open Bar

  • Rock and Roll Hotel – 8p-4a – $85 ($100 at door) open bar + limited app buffet at 8p + DJs + roof deck + 2 balloon drops + photo booth
  • H St Country Club – 9p-2a – $69 ($85 at door) open bar (margaritas, beer, wine & rail drinks_ + mini golf + Prom theme
  • Little Miss Whiskey’s – 10p-close – $95 – top shelf open bar + hosted by Closed Sessions + multiple DJs
  • Driftwood Kitchen – 10p-2a- $45 open bar + DJ upstairs – no cover downstairs

Cover Charge/Limited Open Bar

  • Church & State – 8:30p-close – $79 (before 12/12) includes All-American craft cocktail at 9:30p, 10p, 10:30p, 11p, 11:30p and midnight – Choose either GLASS (gin, vodka, light rum)
    or WOOD (Rye & Bourbon Whiskey, Aged Rum) –  email reservations at
  • RedRocks H Street – 9p-4a- $55 Early Bird inc. open bar from 9p-midnight + DJs on all floors + Black Tie Affair

No Cover

  • The Pug – Miller High Life midnight toast


Open Bar

Cover Charge/Limited Open Bar

No Cover

  • Red Derby – 1977 themed upstairs / 1997 themed upstairs


Cover Charge and/or Limited Open Bar


Where to Drink on Thanksgiving in DC – 2016

If you want to get away from the relatives or just wanna be awesome, lots of bars are ready to serve you today (more than past years since the Redskins are playing the Cowboys at 4:30p). Here’s a partial list, based on what time they open (count on most if not all hotel bars to be open today). Many of them will either serve a limited food menu or nothing at all.

  • 7:30a
    • Old Ebbitt (Downtown)
  •  8a
    • Tune Inn (Cap Hill)
  • 11a
    • Clyde’s (Georgetown/PQ/Chinatown)
    • Bar Dupont (Dupont)
    • Stoney’s (Logan)
      • Thanksgiving feast available
      • Redskins Live radio pre and post-game show
  •  11:30a
    • Black Squirrel (Adams Morgan)
      • $10 AYCE buffet till food runs out
    • The Front Page (Dupont)
  • Noon
    • City Tap House (Penn Quarter/Chinatown)
    • The Pinch (ColHi)
    • Tenley Bar & Grill
  • 3p
    • Lyman’s Tavern (ColHi)
      • potluck supper (with food from bar as well) begins at 5p
    • Prospect (U St)
    • Parlay (Dupont)
    • Smoke & Barrel (Adams Morgan)
      • basement only for walk-ins with limited menu
      • upstairs reservation only
  • 3:30p
    • Cleveland Park Bar & Grill
      • $7 Belvedere cocktails & $5 Fatti German beer
  • 4p
    • DC Reynolds (Park View/Petworth)
      • free Tgiving dinner
      • normal 2-for-1 HH til 9p
    • Exiles (U Street)
    • The Blaguard (Adams Morgan)
    • Rebellion (Dupont)
    • Town Tavern (Adams Morgan)
      • $3 domestic bottles / $4 rails / $5 select pints & wine/ food specials
  • 4:30p
    • Big Board (H St)
      • kitchen at 5p
    • Driftwood Kitchen (H St)
  • 5p
    • Rumba Cafe (Adams Morgan
    • TRADE (Logan Circle)
      • HH till 10p
  • 6p
    • Rocket Bar (PQ/Chinatown)
    • Nanny O’Briens (PQ/Chinatown)
  • 7p
    • Black Cat Red Room (14th st/Logan)
  •  8p
    • Songbyrd Music House (Adams Morgan)
    • All Souls (Shaw)
    • The Pug (H St)
    • Solly’s (Shaw)
    • Brookland Pint
    • Bedrock Billiards (Adams Morgan)
    • Madam’s Organ (Adams Morgan)
    • Showtime (Bloomingdale)
  • 9p
    • Cobalt (Dupont)
      • DJ/Best Body Contest
  • 10p
    • Bar 7 (Mt Vernon Triangle)
      • open bar from 10-11p


Brass Monkey / Spaghetti Garden / Roxanne’s / Peyote Cafe Fined $30,000 & Shut Down for Month


Brass Monkey aka Spaghetti Garden aka Roxanne’s aka Peyote Cafe, the legendary Adams Morgan meat market, has been fined $30,000 and has had its liquor license suspended for 30 days for failing to keep books and records and qualify as a restaurant. The collection of connected bars in adjacent 18th Street rowhouses has been a rite of passage for many 22-24 year olds who have come to DC in the 15 years. The fine is the 2nd biggest Barred in DC can recall, and the longest liquor license suspension, which will be served beginning Sunday November 27th through right after Christmas, in recent memory. The fine/suspension cannot be a shock to many, as it’s unclear the last time the bars actually served food (Yelp reviews indicate perhaps in 2009 there was a menu).


Barred in DC has put in a request for more details on the fine and suspension and will update this post.

Shake-Up on Barracks Row – Say Hello to Finn McCool’s (Again) & Tio Javier

Molly Malone's has been renamed Finn McCool's

Molly Malone’s has been renamed Finn McCool’s

Pacifico Cantina is now Tio Javier

Pacifico Cantina is now Tio Javier

Visitors to Barracks Row will see some changes to a few of the eateries/bars on the 8th Street SE strip owned by Xavier Cervera’s group.  Molly Malone’s is now called Finn McCool’s, which was the name of the bar that previously occupied the space before Molly’s opened in 2009. Pacifico Cantina is now Tio Javier.

In addition, Chesapeake Room closed for renovations (a similar fate befell Lola’s earlier this year) [UPDATE-This reopened with name Ophelia’s Fish House]. Even Senart’s Oyster House changed its last part of its name to Grille Room (from Chop House). So far, these name changes, which are not surprising after Cervera recently took back control of these restaurants, have included new menus and more changes are forthcoming. However, Barred in DC has not seen any recent trade name change applications approved by the ABRA Board for these spots, so stay tuned on that issue [UPDATE-ABRA approved the bar name changes on 11/30]


New menu at Finn McCool’s