Again, recapping the news that was in DC bar-land for the first half of December-
No NYE plans yet? Check out my continually-updated list of events at DC bars
Pics & recap of the fun times of the Barred in DC Circulator Bus Bar crawl
Barred in DC hit 400 followers (now up to 422) on Twitter; not too shabby for a 9 month old website/blog run by a fake journalist
Stoney’s on L (West End) (Facebook, Twitter) – 2101 L St. NW – opened Tuesday December 17th – new outpost of the P Street spot, same food, but not divey at all, much nicer, with actually some cocktails (Post, WCP)
Right Proper Brew Pub (Shaw) (website, Facebook, Twitter)- 624 T St. NW – opened Tuesday December 10th – nice 115-seat micro brewpub opened with 4 house beers, 3 collaboration beers & a guest tap. Ridiculously cheap (for DC standards) with $4-6 beers. 65 seat dining area with lounge/bar area in front. Need to make a visit stat. (Eater, DC Beer, Urban Daddy, WCP, Post)
All Souls Bar (Shaw) (website, Facebook) – 725 T St. NW – opened Sunday December 8th – neighborhood 40-seat corner bar; cool curved bar inside. Definitely excited to check this out with simple menu with a small list of wine, beer, & cocktails. Solid on sparking wine. (PoPville, WBJ, GGW, Eater, WCP)
City Tap House (Chinatown/PQ) (website, Facebook, Twitter) 901 I St. NW – Philly-based 40-tap gastropub seating 180. Set to open in first half of December; already had a semi-private event for the UVa Alumni on November 22nd. Full-court press on media coverage. (PoPville, Post, Washingtonian, Eater, WCP)
Dunya (Shaw) (website) – 801 Florida Ave. NW -opened Dec 3rd150-seat Turkish tapas spot serving high-end cocktails with outdoor roof deck from former owner of Shaw’s Tavern. Open late (PoPville, Post, Eater)
Southern Efficiency (Shaw) – 1841 7th St. NW – ETA Saturday December 21st – the 3rd in the trilogy of adjacent bars (Mockingbird Hill & Eat the Rich) from Derek Brown focusing on whiskey and Southern food. To sample early, bar will be having an intriguing Southern Whiskey 101 class for $45 next couple days. (Washingtonian, InTheCapital, Zagat, Post)
El Rey (U Street) – 919 U St. NW – ETA late December 2013 – taqueria & beer garden from Hilton Brothers, made up a shipping containers. With a retractable roof (Post)
Pinstripes (PoPville) – 1000 Wisconsin Ave. NW – ETA January 2014 – huge 34000 square foot venue with 14 bowling alleys, 6 bocce courts, bistro/wine cellar, and outdoor patio with C&O canal. (PoPville, Post)
Compass Rose (U Street) -1346 T. St. NW – aims to open in early January. Also seeking a few seats on patio, per SALM)
Glass House Coffee (14th/U Streets)- settlement agreement recently reached with local ANC. (SALM)
Cause (U Street) receives approval to construct rooftop deck.
AdMo ANC votes to request that ABRA modify the moratorium (similar to the recent action in Dupont) to allow for new restaurant liquor license, but keep in place prohibition to have new taverns or nightclubs
Board Room incorporates classic Anna Maria Italian Restaurant sign (PoPville)
Thrillist lists DC’s best dive bars: The Red Derby, The Raven, The Big Hunt, Codmother, Recessions, American Ice Co., The Board Room, & Capitol Lounge. Sadly still haven’t made it to the first two; the next three are certifiable dives, while the last three certainly are not.
Mad Momo’s (ColHi) will be closed for two weeks starting Monday, Dec. 23rd (so no NYE celebration there).
Barred in DC Activity
Bourbon Adams Morgan: First trip in a couple years to an old 18th Street fave; great beer on tap & bourbon. Pretty lively dance floor upstairs. Skews 4-5 years older than the rest of the strip.
Duke’s Grocery (Dupont):chill late night crowd post 12:30am on weekends and very lively dinner + HH crowd on weekdays
Maddy’s Tap Room (Downtown):big beer & whiskey list, great set up to watch 4 games at once on huge tvs. Nice space. Stop 1 on Barred in DC Circulator Bus Bar Tour
Touchdown Sports Bar and Grill(U Street):pleasant surprise of a sports bar (2nd trip there); lively atmosphere in cozy first floor (sound on for game we watched); the many tvs make up for the lack of size on most of them. Stop 2 on Barred in DC Circulator Bus Bar Tour.
Ventnor Sports Cafe(Adams Morgan): Fun two-level sports bar with friendly bartenders. Bar extended us $3.50 Bud Light bottle special, which was nice. Stop 2 on Barred in DC Circulator Bus Bar Tour.
Mellow Mushroom (Adams Morgan): bonus stop for 2nd straight Barred in DC bar crawl. Great draft list; upstairs (4huge tvs) decent spot to catch a game.
City Tap House (Penn Quarter / Chinatown): stopped by opening week for couple beers at a very bustling HH. Very nice space, good variety/organization for beers. Lots of space for private events. Cool touch-personalized happy hours for groups of friends. Eater DC mentioned my tweet about the bar in a recent story.
Ceiba (Downtown): post-work holiday party HH; $5 mojitos, piso sours & other Latin drinks + $6 bites in lounge
Sushi Taro (Dupont Circle): terrific 1/2 price drinks + sushi happy hour in cozy 14 seat bar from 5:30-7p. Must get there by 5:20 to be in line to secure spot on Fridays.
Darnell’s Bar (U Street): made my first trip to this tiny crowded dive near 9th and Florida. Definitely a very diverse spot with good tunes, though didn’t have any drinks.
Blackjack (14th Street): Festive and good crowd at this 14th Street spot above Pearl Dive Oyster Bar
Black Whiskey (14th Street): Deafeningly loud rock music and a half-full upstairs bar
Pizzeria Paradiso (Dupont Circle): Took advantage of great can food drive for Martha’s Table to get a couple cans of quality craft beers in exchange for a couple of cans of food. Also noticed decent 12 oz. draft beer prices.
District Chophouse & Brewery (Chinatown / PQ): Rectify a 6+ year oversight to finally stop by this 7th Street mainstay for its great happy hour. Bar only serves its own 9 beers that are brewed on site; most of these drafts are $3.25 or $3.75 (about $2) during the happy hour that runs until 7p (see perhaps the only copy of the HH list on the interwebs here. Other specials on wine, cocktails, and food can also be had; served by very helpful & friendly bartenders.
New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. If you’ll be in town, you may still be scrambling for something to do with your friends. Although Barred in DC considers it Amateur Night/most overrated night of the year, I figure most people still want to go out. To help you out, I’ve compiled a list of celebrations at DC bars below (nearly all include a champagne toast and party favors), which I’ve split up in a few categories (open bar/cover charge party/no cover event). The Post has a comprehensive list of events at music venues if you want to go that route instead. Personally, I plan on being at one of the lower-key, no cover spots listed below.
This list will be continually updated until NYE.
[12/18 Edit: I’ve highlighted my recommended picks]
[12/28 Edit: Some of this information came from the very helpful lists (though I had already included many events that were listed) from the Post & the Washingtonian]
Open Bar (going past midnight)
The Madhatter– $100 ($75 early bird) – 9p-2a – open bar + food buffet (9p-10p) + DJ + live entertainment
Irish Whiskey – $100 – 8p-1:30a – top shelf open bar + passed hors d’oeurves + dancing
Dirty Martini – $100 – 10p-4a – open bar ($43 general admission from 9p-4a)
Duffy’s Irish Pub – $60 – 9p-3a – open bar (all beers, rail drinks) + $5 shot specials + apps until 11p + Jameson toast at midnight + DJ
DC9 – $70 ($60 early bird before 12/29) – 9p-2a – full open bar (not just rails) + Scratch & Win prizes
The Gibson – $150 – 9p-3a – open bar + Calling All Troops USO themed celebration ($25 from each ticket goes to Wounded Warriors Project) + hors d’oeuvres + burlesque dancers
New Vegas Lounge– $80 – 9:30p-2:30a – open bar + Dr. Blues & the Out of Town Blues Band + free hors d’oeuvres
Vinoteca– $75 (~$98 inc. tip/tax) – 10:30p-2:30a – open bar + bottomless sparking wine (11:45p-12:15a) + midnight snack buffet + live entertainment + tented/heated outdoor bar in back patio +
Jack Rose – $125 – 8p-1a – open bar + passed hors d’oeuvres 8:30-9:30p + photo booth + dancing + cigar specials
The Blaguard – $65 – 8:30p-close – open bar (craft beers & select liquor) + masquerade party + hors d’oeuvres
Town Tavern – $100 – 8p-2a – premium open bar ($40 & $80 options for shorter open bars) +Monte Carlo party with blackjack & roulette casino gaming tables until midnight + buffet/passed appetizers from 8-10p
Columbia Room (Mt Vernon Sq/Shaw)- $145 – 10p-close + evening cocktail party (special cocktails- Winter Manhattan & a German mulled wine) + seasonal snacks & small bites
Hill Country DC – $125 -7:30p-close – Boots, Beers & Happy New Year’s #2: A Concert for Epilepsy – open bar + heavy appetizers + Craig Morgan, The 19th Street Band, Scott McMillen, Kenny Rae Horton (music starts at 8:35p)
Cuba Libre – $100 ($35 early bird admission only) – 10:30p-1:30a – open bar + DJ/dancing + Late Night Latin floor show includes dancers and master percussionist
Ibiza(NoMa) – $105 ($55 admission only) – 6p-4a – 6 hour premium open bar + passed hors d’oeuvres
Mothership (Petworth) – $75 – 8p-2a – 3 Stars Brewing (8 beers) + all you can eat & drink
El Chucho (ColHi) – $45 – 9p-close – open bar (rail, drafts, frozen margaritas + all-you-can-eat tacos + 1 chips n salsa per table + 1 elote per person + 1 glass of sparkling wine + hats/noisemakers (a la carte also available)
The Ugly Mug(Eastern Market) – $75 – 9p-2a – premium open bar + DJ + NYE buffet ($20 admission only includes champagne toast)
The Getaway(ColHi) – $40 – 9p-close – Last Night Ever Open Farewell party + unlimited open bar + heavy hors d’oeuvres all night + DJ + free champagne + raffles for stuff from walls of bar + “special celebrity appearances”
Cover Charge and/or Open Bar Ending at Midnight or Before
Stonefish DC – $50 ($40 early bird) – 9p-4a + premium open bar & hors d’oeuvres from 9-10p + masquerade ball + mask
Barcode– $30 ($40 door) – doors open at 7p + hors d’oeuvres from 10-11p + DJ
Ozio– $25 (early bird) – 8p-4a – Masquerade Ball ($50 for VIP admission gives access to VIP rooftop & open bar from 8-10p + $15 extra gets access to buffet from 8-10p)
Rosebar– $35 ($65 couples – early bird) – 9p-4a – Ocean’s 11 theme + DJs + hookah available
The Huxley – $100 – 9p-4a – premium open bar from 9p-midnight + costumed dancers + surprise entertainment + live instrumentalists + DJs
Panache DC – $30 ($25 early bird, $50 VIP entrance) – Bollywood NYE + free garage parking + free apps from 9:30-10:30p
The Board Room DC – $5 – 9p-2a (includes champagne toast) + $45 to reserve tables (8p-2a)up to 4 or 6 attendees upstairs (includes bottle of champagne, party favors & 2 game tokens + first come/served downstairs
Treehouse Lounge – $12 (early bird) – doors open at 7:30p + drink specials from 7:30-8:30p + Alchemical Records NYE Extravaganza + lots of musical acts, comedians and other performers
RedRocks H Street – $15 ($10 in costume) – 9-close – 1920s vibe A Beautiful Fool’s NYE + DJs + 2nd floor lounge & covered rooftop party + $5 drafts & rails
Avery’s Bar and Lounge – $40 ($30 early bird, $50-60 last minute) – party from 10p-3a +open bar (selective top shelf + all rails) from 10-11p + buffet from 10-11:30p + DJs on both floors + semi-formal dress
Chinatown / Penn Quarter / Mt. Vernon Square
Bar 7 (Mt. Vernon Square/Shaw) – $50 – 8p-3a – “Aristocratic Part II party” – open bar & passed d’oeuvres from 8-11p + professional dancers
Penn Social – $30 ($25 early bird) – doors open at 8p – free games all night + 1 drink & 1 champagne toast ticket + appetizers & hors d’oeuvres from 8-9p + skeeball tournaments, limbo lines, hoola hoop contests, pop-a-shot games, cornhole, Money Grab machine
Muse Lounge – $60 ($50 early bird) – 8p-4a party + premium open bar & appetizers buffet from 8-10p + masquerade masks
Zengo – $50 ($40 early bird) – 9p-4a party + open bar & passed hors d’oeuvres from 9-1op + Destination Rio Brazilian theme + DJ + mask
Redline – $65 – 9p-3a – open bar (selected beer, wine & rails) from 9p-midnight + passed hors d’oeuvres
Oya Lounge – $70 ($100 last minute) – 10p-3a Billionaire Ball Drop party + free sushi from 10-11p + free champagne from 10p-midnight
Lux Lounge – $30 – doors open at 8p – buffet & hors d’oeuvres + video countdown + giveaways + 3 floors of music
The Passenger / Hogo – $10 – cover charge from 9p-4a – joint “Block Party” in Warehouse Theater space adjacent + 80s music + late night tacos + champagne toast + party hats + access to both bars
Lucky Strike – $20 – 9p-2a – casino night theme w/ play money (Blackjack, Craps, & Roulette) + passed appetizers from 9-11p + champagne toast + bowling available for fee
Fado Irish Pub – $10 – cover after 9p – DJs + complimentary toast at 7p (Ireland) & midnight
Co Co Sala – $40 – 11p-close + midnight toast + DJ
RFD– party starts at 9p – large bottle beer / champagne / appetizer / drink / cocktail specials + DJ + party favors
Irish Channel – party starts at 6p – $7.50 burgers/55 cent wings + $4.25 Estrella draft / $3.75 Miller Lite draft / $4 Washington apples / $7 Cabo Wabo Tequilla shots + toast at 7p & midnight + raffle entry with each drink ordered with raffles at 8/9/10p
Carving Room – Anti-NYE Party + full menu & small plate specials
Showtime Lounge – New Year’s Sleaze party + DJs + dancing + free mystery champagne toast
Thank you to everyone who made Barred in DC’s second bus bar tour a success on Saturday. Nearly 20 attendees took part in the DC Circulator Bus Bar Tour, starting at the nice space at Maddy’s Tap Room, where we enjoyed $2 off draft beers and watched Oklahoma upset Oklahoma State, taking the DC Circulator to the surprisingly lively Touchdown Sports Bar & Grille on U Street (lots of $6 beer + bourbon shot combos had) and ending up at Ventnor Sports Cafe in Adams Morgan for $3.50 beers. We caught the de facto Big 12 title game and the actual SEC title game at both bars. Many of us continued the night across the street at Mellow Mushroom and down the street at Jack Rose. Good times, hope to have another one in the spring.
As a reminder, Barred in DC will be hosting its second bar tour via public transportation tomorrow, Saturday, December 7th-this time on the DC Circulator Bus (Woodley Park – Adams Morgan – McPherson Square Metro route).
The fun (just bring your SmarTrip card) starts at 2pm Downtown at Maddy’s Tap Room(13th & L) with $2 off all draft beers (except PBR), $5 select wines & rail drinks; continues on U Street at 4pm at Touchdown Sports Bar & Grill (14th & U) with $3 PBR/Bud/Bud Light/Miller Lite/Natty Boh/Schaefer Lager bottles, $6 beer & shot combo, food specials; and finish up in Adams Morgan at Ventnor Sports Cafe (18th & Belmont) with $3.50 Bud Light bottles.
To celebrate the last day of college football season, everyone is encouraged to don their favorite team’s or alma mater’s apparel or colors. Of course, everyone, even non-sports/college football fans are welcome. More details can be found here. Hope to see you there!
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday, whether back home, in DC, or in a vacation spot. Don’t forget to read the details about this Saturday’s college football-themed Barred in DC Circulator Bus Bar Tour here. Hope to see many of you there!
City Tap House (Chinatown) (901 I St. NW) – 40-tap gastropub seating 180. Set to open in first half of December; already had a semi-private event for the UVa Alumni on November 22nd. Full-court press on media coverage (WaPo, WCP, Revamp, Drink DC, WBJ, Bad Wolf DC)
The Fainting Goat (U Street) (1330 U St. NW) – 3000 square foot, 130 seat new neighborhood spot opened yesterday evening (Sunday Dec. 1st) (Eater, WCP)
Right Proper Brew Pub (Shaw) (624 T St. NW) – Hoping to open Tuesday December 10th. PoPville has pictures of the inside (PoPville)
Flight Wine Bar (Chinatown/PQ) (777 6th St. NW at H) – new 60-seat wine bar opening in mid-December (WaPo, WCP, PoPville)
Hilltop Bar and Restaurant (Petworth) (2737 Sherman Ave. NW at Girard) – hopes to finish construction in December and open in January (PoPville)
Sin Bin Sports Bar (U Street) (1336 H St. NE) – huge new spot (200 seats, 400 occupancy) applies for liquor license including summer garden and entertainment. Sin bin is another name for the penalty box in hockey. Would be first sports bar in neighborhood (though the people who think that the other H Street bars with multiple tvs count as a sports bar is why this is a terrible sports town/rant over) (Helder Gill Twitter, PoPville, Frozen Tropics)
All SoulsBar (Shaw) (725 T St. NW) (website, Facebook) (ETA late November 2013) – neighborhood 40-seat spot with limited menu set to open after years-long fight (Eater)
The Getaway (ColHi) makes it official that they’ll be closing after New Years Eve (PoPville)
Policy gets new settlement agreement that allows it to stay open as late as other bars (2a/3a). Before had to close at 2a on weekends (ANC2B)
Hank’s Oyster Bar’s happy hour will start couple hours early (3p) on December Friday’s in both Dupont & Cap Hill (Twitter)
Ceiba extends its solid Mon-Sat. afternoon happy hour another hour to 7p. $5 signature cocktails, $6 appetizers from 3-7p and late night (Twitter)
Thrillist with great list of best bars for certain liquors: Gin (The Gin Joint), Vodka (Mari Vanna), Rum (Hogo), Whiskey (Jack Rose), Tequila (El Centro D.F. Georgetown), Sherry (Mockingbird Hill)
New beverage manager of Bar Pilar & St. Ex, formerly of Range (WaPo, PoPville)
Progress continues at Washington Firehouse in Bloomingdale. Lots of interesting debate in comments (PoPville)
Huge brouhaha about an automated tweet (since deleted) that was sent out after the Bloomingdale hipster fave Boundary Stone signed a petition against a proposal to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers. The Post did great reporting after the bar apologized.
ANC2B votes to protest liquor licenses of Public Bar, 18th St Lounge, Dirty Martini, Midtown, Bistro Bistro, Fireplace, & Barcode. More details in this SALM post.
Neighboring office building to protest Lotus Lounge renewal, in efforts to get settlement agrement (SALM)
Both DCistand the Post do stories about great bars/restaurants with fireplaces & firepits. Biergarten Haus, Room 11, Bardo, Poste, and Art & Soul are mentioned in both stories.
Excellent reporting by Post blogger/columnist Clinton Yates on the controversy over the liquor license for Brookland’s Finest, which Barred in DC first reported was granted its liquor license last month.
WCP takes a look at some bars and how many credit cards are left at them each night. Of course, this would be solved by bars (like Jack Rose) that give your card back to you when you start a tab.
ABRA votes to remove the moratorium on new restaurant liquor licenses (and liquor/beer stores) on 17th Street in Dupont. Tavern licenses remain capped at 2 (J.R.’s and Cobalt/30degrees have the current ones), and no nightclub licenses are allowed. I foresee little change w/ respect to places to eat and drink, but I wouldn’t be surprised if another wine shop opens at some point.
Barred in DC Activity
Duke’s Grocery: stopped by the neighborhood spot for a couple $5 wine/beers for HH
GBD: enjoyed punch, beer and chicken wings at my favorite happy hour
Iron Gate: swung by new NRG spot on N Street in Dupont, good drinks and very romantic restaurant
Black Whiskey: stopped by twice at this chill hipstery divey spot on 14th, good for free pool and lots of whiskey selection. Beer is a $1 too expensive though
Bayou: first late night visit to this Cajun restaurant/bar/live music venue. Fun to be on first floor and hear the band upstairs playing
One Lounge: rare trip to the sprawling Dupont lounge/dance spot. Never too crowded (go upstairs to get a drink quickly)
Bar Charley: sampled the very good all night Monday happy hour. $2 off all draft beer & tiki drinks, 1/2 off sandwiches
Hank’s Oyster Bar: couple late night drinks at the nearby spot
Masa 14: kicked off a mini-14th Street bar crawl here; the spicy cucumber margarita is solid
Blackjack: good time drinking at the 2nd stop on the crawl; place is festively decorated for the holidays
New Vegas Lounge: good live music at this old spot on P Street; haven’t been there in 4 years. $10 cover, pretty sparse turnout due to holiday