Monthly Archives: June 2013

Barred in DC 90/92/96 Bus Bar Tour – July 20th 1-7p

Aside from DC bars (and restaurants), one of my biggest interests is following news about walkability and public transportation in the DC area. Although these interests seem very dissimilar, they’re actually quite related.  One of the most underrated and underappreciated aspects of living a car-free/reduced carbon footprint lifestyle is the ability to go out to bars wherever and whenever without worrying about the consequences of getting a DUI or, worse, finding parking. 

Embracing these two interests, Barred in DC will be hosting and leading (armed with my NextBus app) the first-ever (probably) 90/92/96 MetroBus Bar/Pub/Drinking Crawl/Tour/Excursion on Saturday, July 20th, from 1-7p. This bar tour, hopefully the first of many (though not all will involve buses), will span three of DC’s four quadrants and allow attendees to check out new spots or old favorites in Eastern Market/Barracks Row, H Street, U Street, and Adams Morgan.


Free to join in. You’ll need around $5 on your SmartTrip card to take the bus (Pro tip: free transfers within 2 hours each time we disembark).

Currently, working on drink specials and possible door/bus prize(s). Will update closer to the 20th.

Stops (times are tentative):

Molly Malone’s (Eastern Market/Barracks Row): 1-2:15p

  • Specials: $6 Bloody Mary’s & Mimosas (normal brunch specials), $6 Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier ($2 off, special for us)
  • Classy two-level Irish saloon, home of Kansas State Wildcats watch parties
  • 714 8th St. SE (8th & G SE)

Boundary Road (H Street): 2:30-3:50p

  • Specials: The bar is extending their normal brunch punch deal for us. $6 glass/$16 unlimited
  • Cozy neighborhood bistro/tavern barely a year old (I’ve yet to visit); notable for an Obama visit last year
  • 414 H St. NE (4th & H NE)

Solly’s (U Street): 4:20-5:30p

The Black Squirrel (Adams Morgan): 5:40-7p

  • Best beer selection in the neighborhood, definitely a much more adult friendly spot on weekends compared to the rest of the area
  • 2427 18th St. NW (18th & Belmont NW)

RSVP (not required):

Facebook page here.

I hope you can join us and  we encourage you to invite others. Daytime, summertime drinking excursion? You don’t wanna miss this. Of course, please walk, bike, Metro (rail or bus), or cab to starting point in Eastern Market. Handy map of the route here.

DC Bar News – Week in Review – June 19th – June 24th

This week brought the beginning of summer and lots of bar news:

  • Bar News
    • GoG’s Fritz Hahn writes up the Dr. Clock’s Nowhere Bar, a new one-room divey bar with a great name. This spot, located at the corner of 18th St. & Kalorama Rd. above Rendezvous Lounge, serves cheap beer and cocktails, along with solid DJs after 10p on weekends. Star Wars-themed, for some reason (the previous incarnation, the MiG Bar, had a Soviet-theme)-I hope to check this out soon. (Fritz Hahn/GoG)
    • Bar Di Bari, the new coffeehouse/cafe/bar from the owner of Drafting Table, opened Saturday morning on 14th & R Streets. Large outdoor seating area will surely be a draw. Open 7a-11p M-F, 10a-midnight Sat, & 10a-9p Sun. (PoPville)
    • Flash NightClub opens up on Florida Avenue in Shaw. Sounds like it has a good sound system. (PoPville)
    • Kabin Lounge, next to the recently-temporarily-closed The Gryphon in Dupont, is set to open Saturday June 29th. Unintentionally hilarious press release highlights the “aesthetic inspired by 1970s alpine culture” and its “360-degree departure from DC social life.” Bar will only be open Thu-Sat nights at 10p till close. Expect this to be full of dudes from McLean. (PoPville)
    • 1905 announces it will be hosting a 4th of July roof deck bbq with 3 Stars Brewing Co., one of the fledgling DC breweries. Tickets are on sale for $15 advance/$20 door, which gets you access to one of the best rooftop bars in town, 1 grill item (burger/wings/sausage/ribs) + 2 sides & $5 3 Stars draft beers from 3p-10p. (Facebook)
    • PoPville poses a great question: what’s the best sports bar in DC? Lots of votes in the comments for Ventnor’s and Nellie’s, along with my reluctant pick of Buffalo Billiards. (PoPville)
    • New cocktail menu debuts at Black Jack (U Street/Logan Circle). I’ve only had beer at this 14th street spot, but I’ve heard solid things about it’s cocktails. (Drink DC)
  • Barred in DC Activity: 
    • Thunder Burger & Bar (Georgetown): first trip to this slick, motorcycle-themed M Street restaurant/bar. Had a great boar burger and enjoyed a flight of three of the many draft beers on tap. Good beer list for Georgetown, surpassed only by Pizzeria Paradiso in Gtown.
    • Park Tavern (Navy Yard/Capitol Riverfront): one of the first (hopefully many to come) bar/eateries near Nationals Park; nice large U-shaped bar with solid beer/cocktail list dominates the small interior, while a large patio in the unique Canal Park is a good space. Slow service for post-Nats game crowd, but good to have options other than The Bullpen.
    • Pacifico (Eastern Market/Barracks Row): solid margaritas on the huge rooftop overlooking 8th Street (bar itself is covered). Only second time ever for me on that strip on a weekend night; solid crowd.

Neighborhood Pages + More DC Bar Info

Based on reader feedback, I’ve made a couple improvements to the site. First, I’ve added easy-to-read key information about each bar that I’ve reviewed to my previous reviews (stolen/modeled off the great Tyler Cowen’s Ethnic Dining Guide) and will be added to future reviews once I decide to ever write them again. Second, I’m creating a page for each DC neighborhood that contains a list of every bar (and selected restaurants with a bar scene) in the neighborhood along with each bar’s key attributes.  The links to each neighborhood page will be posted on the top menu of this page. I’ve started with my home neighborhood-Dupont Circle, check it out here:

DC Bar News – Week in Review – June 11th – June 18th

Before I recap the week that was in bars in DC (while I also recover from a great 3 day wedding celebration in the hills of my home state of WV), welcome to all of you who have stumbled your way on this site from Reddit (thanks BG). Hope you stay-in the next couple weeks I’ll get the site better organized and add more content. Onto the DC bar news:

  • Bar News
    • Oyamel, Jose Andres’s great Mexican restaurant in Penn Quarter, opened a significant expansion to its bar on Monday. An additional 18 seats can be found, with possible changes to its hora feliz on its way (Young & Hungry, Twitter)
    • Like me, do you know next-to-nothing about sherry? Good news for you unemployed/stay-at-home parents/government employees, Mockingbird Hill, the new sherry-and-ham bar in Shaw, is hosting free sherry classes & tastings on Tuesdays from 5p-6p. Get there right at 5p if you want to make it in. Also, read this Young & Hungry story about this new bar and the supremely quotably (hoping that this is a made-up word) hilarious Derek Brown (Twitter).
    • Also in Shaw, Right Proper Brew Pub, applied for its liquor license and hopes for an October opening (my guess-opens in January). This brewpub, located at 6th and T next to Howard Theater, sounds pretty sweet-focus “in Belgian-inspired farmhouse ales and aged sour beers” and will fit 155 people (PoPville, Fritz Hahn/GoG)
    • Eater DC comes up with a list of 30 places with “summer hours” to go drink, meaning early-starting happy hours and/or open all afternoon. Some highlights: Graffiato’s new Friday happy hour starts at 2p (more on this below), Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue  (opens at noon on Fridays), Agora (on my block in Dupont) has a happy hour that begins at 3p, Quill’s (the classy-ass bar in the Jefferson hotel) $2 fries ($8 regularly) special begins at 1p, Ceiba ($5 cocktails & half off great bar food-I can vouch for this-from 3-6p), Laughing Man (HH after 3).
    • Mike Isabella’s not-Italian spot Graffiato (the best brussels sprouts in town) started its terrific-sounding early Friday summer happy hour. Until the end of August, from 2p-6p,, the bar only will have a host of $5 drinks including market punch, house wines, draft Prosecco and a few draft beers (BYT)
    • Izakaya Seki, the “low-key Japanese joint” off U street launched a new limited $5 happy hour 5-7p Monday, Wednesday & Thursday. $5 gets you a small bite + a Japanese draft beer or glass of shochu. (Young & Hungry).
    • Teddy and the Bully Bar, the Dupont (19th & M) follow-up to the downtown restaurant Lincoln, announces that it will finally be opening (originally was slated to open before inauguration, shocking) Monday, June 24th. Definitely tons of cool Teddy Roosevelt themed-decor. Due to this location, definitely see this being more of a late night scene that Lincoln. (Fritz Hahn/GoG, Young & Hungry)
    • Maddy’s Tap Room, the no-man’s land bar at 13th and L, opens a 50 seat outdoor dining + drinking area on L Street.  Happy hour will be in effect outside as well-good development, the bar area is fairly cramped and the whole place is kind of small. (Borderstan)
    • The newly opened Dupont “sports bar” The Gryphon, announces it will be closing for a couple weeks to build a new patio/entrance and a Nano/Nana wall (whatever the hell that is-I assume they mean a folding glass wall). Hopefully they start turning on the sound for games. (Facebook, Eater DC)
    • Interesting Borderstan review of the new 14th street diveish bar, Black Whiskey, where the reviewer notes several of her assumptions were proven wrong. I stopped in for a few minutes on a Friday awhile back, but the lack of operating A/C caused us to leave soon thereafter. I have also heard complaints about the lack of whiskey list (and importantly the prices), but will need to check it out very soon.
    • A few blocks up the street, Borderstan explains that Policy has filed an application to terminate its voluntary/settlement agreement. Apparently it’s overly restrictive compared to other local places; the local ANC voted unanimously to protest the termination of the settlement agreement. I’ve seen some folks complain about this action, but it makes sense, so long as the ANC is serious about negotiating a more equitable agreement.
    • National Martini Day is Wednesday and Best Bites Blog comes up with a list of 5 spots (3 in DC) to get a great martini. DC Coast will celebrate with “the cocktail from which our modern-day martini evolved: the Martinez.” I do disagree that Washington is a martini town (I don’t think any cocktail defines DC, though the simple refreshing Rickey was invented here), and it was interesting to read a somewhat negative comment about one of DC iconic bars, Off The Record, but I recommend reading the post if you’re one of the dwindling number of folks who still like to drink martinis.

DC Bar News – Week in Review – June 4th – June 10th

Recapping the week that was with bars in DC during this rainy week…

  • Bar News
    • Mockingbird Hill, a sherry-and-ham bar (seriously), opened up on Friday deep in Shaw (7th and T NW). Excited about this cozy spot (seats 40); I knew it was from Derek Brown (one of the folks behind The Passenger & Columbia Road down the street), but just learned last week that he is partnering with his wife, Chantal Tseng-one of the city’s best bartenders who’s shown us some terrific drinks at Tabard Inn and other venues in the past. 54 sherrys are on the list (each comes with a few nibbles), along with 4 ham’s (not HAM).  Beers and cocktails (including the Green Hat & Tonics) on tap. (BYT, Tom Sietsma/GoG)
    • Suburbia, the latest pop-up DC bar (last year’s NY Avenue Beach Bar is no mas) opens up in the parking lot of the super yupster Union Market in NE, a few blocks from the NoMa Metro. The bar is set up in a 1960s Airstream trailer, serving $8 frozen drinks and $4-7 beers (including rotating local beers on tap). Cash-only, but sounds pretty awesome; only open Fri-Sat until July 11th. (Fritz Hahn/WaPo GoG)
    • The bar-ification of the east side of Connecticut Ave. directly south of Dupont Circle continues. PoPville (or his tipsters) spots an alcoholic license placard for NTH (National Tap House) at a current dry cleaners. Supposedly a sports bar, personally doubt it will differ too much from the nearby Public Bar, Gryphon and Madhatters, though I will continue to monitor as it’s only a couple blocks from home for me. (PoPville)
    • Over on 14th Street (north of U), the gay bar Mova announces that it will open a rooftop absinthe bar, called Le Fee Verte (The Green Fairy), and will begin taking reservations July 1st. It will have an unlisted phone number that you’ll have to text if you want to get in. As Young & Hungry notes, this will not last very long. (Young & Hungry, Eater)
    • More details about the 5-7p weekday happy hour at DNV (Donovan House’s rooftop bar in Thomas Circle): $6 Pimm’s Cup on draft, $6.50 frozen caipirinha drink. Other frozen cocktails, punches, & sangrias are $6-7, draft beers are $5. (Fritz Hahn/WaPo GoG)
    • Although the sequester didn’t cause huge widespread furloughs to most federal agencies, it did hit some agencies pretty hard. To ease some of this pain, Duffy’s in the U Street area announced it would begin hosting a DoD Thursday night Furlough Happy Hour July 11th and continuing the rest of the summer (perhaps fiscal year). $1 Miller Lite/Sam & Sam Summer/ PBR/Tecate, and 1/2 price menu from 4-7p (Duffy’s Website)
    • Washingtonian’s Best Bites Blog has a great post listing 20 (15 in DC) weekend happy hours.  Personally a huge fan of Black Jack‘s Sunday Funday happy hour, though it means that I’ve never sampled the supposedly solid cocktails there.
    • Bier Baron apparently has $3 mystery beers always available. Lets hope they’re not just Stroh’s or PBR. (Twitter).
  • Barred in DC Activity: 
    • Elephant & Castle – first trip to this location of this British-themed chain for work happy hour, lighter & cozier than Pennsylvania Ave. outpost (Downtown-19th/I)
    • GBD – first post-happy hour/early-evening trip, biscuits as good as ever, as was the bucket of chicken shared with 2 other friends; pro-tip for beer drinkers who like variety-get the taster portions of many beers (Dupont)
    • The Gryphon – another first-made it to this newish sports bar/lounge late night on a weekend. Not crowded but  slow service at front bar, where the TVs are still turned on to sports; easier to get drinks at the back bar, where TVs are turned to music videos or off, and where folks create impromptu dance floors.  Better than Public Bar for the sports bar/lounge scene, less crowded than Madhatter for dancing. S0mewhat defensive on Twitter. (Dupont)
    • Estadio – sidled up to the bar to this upscale Spanish restaurant for the best G&T I’ve ever had (old Raj gin + orange/thyme house-made tonic; $12), a slushito (alcoholic slushee), and a $6 sangrai at 11p for nightcap (hard to get a barstool earlier) (Logan Circle)

DC Bar News – Week in Review – May 29th – June 3rd

Recapping the week that was with bars in DC.  This week I hope to unveil a slightly different concept for this website, less crappily written reviews and more content.

  • Bar News
    • The fledgling bar scene in hipsterdom Bloomingdale gets bolstered with the arrival of this terrific-sounding dive bar, Showtime Lounge at 1st and Rhode Island Ave. NW.  “Low-ceilinged one-room bar” focuses on cheap drinks and great tunes from a free @jukeboxes.  A few draft beers come out of a 80 year old water tank, with $3 canned beers and $4 glasses of boxed wine makes this sound awesome. Opened by a local DJ on May 31st, this bar bucks the trend by going cash only. (Fritz Hahn/GoG)
    • Federal Restaurant & Lounge opened on May 29th in Adams Morgan. From the owners of Floriana and Pulpo, this two-level spot was formerly home to Saki and District Underground. The main ground floor is the restaurant, which serves Modern American, while the lounge located downstairs won’t open till 10p most nights. (Young & Hungry)
    • The Hilton Brothers (Marvin, 18th Street Lounge, Gibson, Chez Billy, Satellite Room, Hanoi House, The Brixton) are planning to open a German beer garden in a vacant lot next to Dodge City.  Apparently, they’ll serve German food out of shipping containers and may have a take out window on U street when it opens in October (Barred in DC prediction: opens next April). (PoPville)
    • Washingtonian’s After Hours Blog has a stellar post listing 23 (16 in DC) bars and restaurants that host outdoor happy hours.  I’m personally intrigued by BLT Steak, despite the kind of lousy view of Eye Street commuter traffic jams.
    • Mason Inn (Glover Park) announces that they’ve reached an agreement to open up a 48-person rooftop bar as early as October (Barred in DC prediction, this won’t open till next March), according to Fritz Hahn/GoG.  This bar (I need to make a visit) will be hosting a $30 Crab Feast Summer Kickoff ($25 until 48 hours before event) on June 8th from 4-8p. All-you-can-eat-crabs, sides, live music & drink specials.
    • The great Standard on 14th Street expands to Monday for the summer. (Twitter)
    • Circa in Dupont gets in on the late night happy hour train. $6 wings, calamari, and flatbreads from 10:30p to close on weekdays, even Friday. More bars/spots need to do this (I’m looking at you, GBD). (Twitter).
  • Barred in DC Activity: Ceiba (Downtown)-I got the $5 Sinkhole de Mayo drink, Bread & Brew (Dupont), Cafe St. Ex (U Street/Logan Circle), El Centro D.F. (U Street/Logan Circle