DGS Delicatessen, website, Facebook, Twitter, 1317 Connecticut Ave. NW (between N and Dupont Circle, near 18th and N), 202-293-4400, open for lunch/brunch & dinner (5:30p) everyday, closes at 10p (Sun-Thurs) 11p (Fri-Sat), HH 5-7p everyday, est. 2012 [Yelp, WaPo]
What is a bar? Webster’s defines a “bar” as…I’m not looking up bar in the dictionary. Generally people think of a bar as a place you go to drink. The overwhelming majority of the bars I’ve listed and I will review are traditionally bars, though many of them serve food. Some of the places I’ve listed, along with DGS Delicatessen-the subject of this review, are actually really restaurants. I’m not going to list/review every single restaurant, but I’ve included some worthwhile spots to drink, like DGS, which have a very defined bar area/menu (look at that sweet sign below) and/or have solid happy hour specials, that are not traditional bars and close before midnight, even on weekends.
DGS Delicatessen, which opened up in late 2012, has itself been subject to some yuppie controversy over what’s in a name, as folks are upset that it really is a spotless, upscale restaurant as opposed to a traditional deli, with gargantuan sandwiches and a lot of old-world character. With that not in mind, we stopped by for their happy hour on a Friday to grab some bites and drinks in their sliver of the bar tucked in the back with its own hiddenish entrance off 18th street. Get there by 5:15 or you won’t be able to get one of the 10-15 seats, though the standing room area isn’t too crowded against the exposed brick behind the barstools. It’s a friendly spot, with some clear regulars there for chopped liver, pickles, latkes, pastrami chili and cheese fries (we got the latter two, which were very good, as was the tongue sliders). A wide range of ages in there, with some elderly folks along with young couples on a date. We sampled a few of their cocktails, priced $6-9, mostly $7 (themed names-The Chosen Highball, Le Marais, the Mensch), which were very good and had a couple beers (the ones on special were fairly random-Genesee Cream Ale in a can, Tsingtao and Mama Little Yella Pils in a 12. oz draft) for $3-4. Tunes from the 70s played on the speaker the whole time we were there, which gave it a pretty chill vibe. All in all, a solid place for happy hour to get a drink and some unique (for DC) eats.
Barred in DC Rating: 4/5