Bar Charley Allowed to be Open Two Hours Later Each Night

The bar at Bar Charley
The bar at Bar Charley

Barred in DC has learned that Bar Charley, the six-month old spot in north Dupont, has reached a settlement agreement with neighbors, allowing it to serve alcohol two hours later each night. As a result, the establishment can stay open until 1a on weekday nights, 2a on weekends; doors will close to new patrons 30 minutes before that.

In exchange for the dropping of the protest (which was discussed earlier here), Bar Charley has agreed to the hours just mentioned (it had been seeking full hours-2a/3a), sound mitigation, trash collection procedures, offering full menu (kitchen must be open 90 minutes before closing), keeping tables in dining space until close, and other restrictions intended to placate neighbors who want it to prevent from turning into a full-fledged bar  rather than a restaurant.

ABRA still has to approve the settlement, which should take place shortly, before Bar Charley can be open past midnight for the first time ever. Soon, it will be joined by a promising whiskey-focused joint across the street, Rebellion (which can be open until 2a/3a if it keeps the liquor license as the previous tenant, Mum Mumtogether with the nearby Jack Rose, the area will soon have a number of spots for adults to enjoy.

3/19 PM Edit: The settlement agreement can be read here: Settlement Agreement Bar Charley ANC 2B et al.
This post has been revised to reflect the provisions of the settlement agreement.

4/15 Edit: Bar Charley is now officially open for these later hours.

Advertisements

Snow Patrick’s Day in DC

Snow Patrick’s Day (credit: WTOP https://twitter.com/WTOP/status/445537021491040256/photo/1)

The snow gods granted the wish of Irish-wannabes in DC-OPM closed the government today, on St. Patrick’s Day. Our social media overlord have thus deemed this Snow Patrick’s Day (clever), and so I’ve compiled this list of DC spots open during the day for day-drinking, some of which already we’re going to be open for St. Paddy’s Day festivities (Irish bars are highlighted in green). A handful of these came from WCP, Washingtonian, Post, & Eater’s roundups.

Dupont Circle

James Hoban’s

  • doors open at 10a
  • live music all day in patio tent
  • music Mon. afternoon and evening in patio tent

Irish Whiskey

  • doors open at 8a
  • 8-10a: $5 breakfast sandwiches / $5 Irish coffee
  • patio party all day (may be delayed due to weather)
  • Guinness / Harp / Smithwicks / Miller Lite / Jameson /Baileys

The Mighty Pint

  • doors open at 10a
  • Beat-the-clock Miller Lite & Jameson shots: 10-11a ($1) 11a-noon ($2) noon-1p ($3) 1-2p ($4) 2-3p ($5)
  • $1 drafts & rails from 4-5p / $10 carbombs all day
  • Ice luge / jello shots / bag piper

Duke’s Grocery

  • $35 prix fixe Irish Supper
  • $5 Paddy & Jameson Irish whiskey

Urbana

  • all night happy hour 4p-close in bar & lounge

The Board Room

  • doors open at noon
  • HH till 7p ( $4 rails / house wine /selected beers)

Buffalo Billiards

  • 5p-2a
  • $5 Guinness / $6 Jameson / $8 Irish car bomb

Bread & Brew

  • till 10p: $1 jello shot / $2 draft beer & Irish creme shot / $3 Jameson Shot, Blue Moon, ShockTop & Bud cans / $4 Bushmill shot

Sign of the Whale

  • $3 green beer / $5 Jameson / $8 car bombs

Public Bar

  • $2 Coors Light / $3 Blue Moon / $5 Baby Guinness shooters / $5 Bushmills

14th / U Street / Logan Circle

Duffy’s Irish Pub

  • doors open at 11a
  • $5 cover 
  • free t-shirt at door (limited) / green beer & jello shooters / bagpipers / Irish dancers /$5 Guinness from 11a-1p / Irish tunes on jukebox

Logan Tavern

  • 1/2 price drafts / happy hour all day at bar, patio & community table
  • small plate Irish food specials
  • Irish quiz & contest
  • St. Paddy’s Day-themed cocktails Thu-Mon ($5 granita / $6 punch / $7 shandy / $9 Irish coffee / $12 The Langer

The Brixton

  • doors open at 2p 
  • HH from 2-7p
  • live band at 7p
  • $4 Bud Lites / $5 St. Patrick’s Snake Juice (whiskey punch)
  • photo booth / photographer

Ben’s Next Door

  • $3 house shots / $5 Jameson & Guinness / $5.95 burgers 
  • late night HH 11p-close

DC9

  • doors open at 5p
  • $5 Jameson & Guinness
  • Happy Hour all night
  • roof deck open & heated

Cafe St. Ex

  • $6 Jameson shots, Great Lakes Irish Ale
  • $6 twice-baked potato Shepherd’s pie / $8 braised lamb & Guinness stew

Piola

  • $12 Guinness + pizza

Nellie’s

  • doors open at 1p

Black Whiskey

  • doors open at 5p
  • free crunkcakes & drink specials

The Pig

  • doors open at 4p
  • bourbon HH all night at bar
  • $7 bourbon flights / $3 local beer (Troegs, Mad Fox, Devil’s Backbone, Bold Rock, DC Brau)

Shaw / Bloomingdale

Ivy & Coney

  • doors open at noon (first time ever open on weekday afternoon?)

Boundary Stone

  • doors open at noon

Shaw’s Tavern

  • live music starts at 3p

Adams Morgan

The Blaguard

  • doors open at noon
  • $6 anything Irish today (beer & whiskey)
  • Guinness promo Sun 3-5p
  • Corned beef & other Irish specialties

Jack Rose

  • Pints, Punch & Whiskey on Terrace starting at 11a
  • $5 Guinness & Flying Dog S.O.B pints / $5 Powers Whiskey / $5 punch / $6 Jameson Whiskey
  • $8 Fish n chips / $10 Irish burger
  • Irish whiskeys/apps tasting 6-8p in cellar  – $40

Town Tavern

  • doors open at 3p
  • 3-10p: $5 Guinness / $6 green pitchers / $7 carbombs
  • 8-10p: $10 open bar w/ online RSVP
  • 10-11p: $3 green pints
  • 11p-midnight: $2 green pints
  • midnight-1a: $1 green pints

The Diner

  • $3 Guinness all day

Ventnor Sports Cafe

  • doors open at 1p
  • green beer / $5 carbombs

Chinatown / Penn Quarter

Fado Irish Pub

  • doors open at 8a
  • $10 cover after 1p
  • Live music at 1 & 8p

Irish Channel

  • doors open at 9a
  • table service stops at 2p for all-day party

Hill Country

  • doors open at 11:30a
  • $4 Shiner cans / $20 pitchers + wings

Poste

  • Bloody Mary bar / bottomless mimosas / happy hour all day

Alba Osteria

  • doors open at 11a
  • 1/2 price wine bottles all day

RFD Washington

  • until 8p: $5 Irish Draft (snakebite / black & tan) or Irish-style draft / $22 four glass flight of Irish whiskey

Redline

  • $3 green beer / $4 rails / $5 carbombs & fireball shots

Downtown

P.J. Clarke’s

  • DC Fire Dept.’s pipe & drum corps
  • Irish food
  • HH from 2:45-close
  • $5 Jameson / Guinness / Irish coffee
  • $1884 raffle if you purchase t-shirt

Maddy’s Taproom

  • $4 Smithwicks, Harps, Magners / $5 Guinness & select Irish craft

Georgetown / Foggy Bottom

RiRa Georgetown

  • doors open at 7a
  • live music all day (band direct from Ireland)
  • $6 Guinness cocktails

McFadden’s

  • doors open at 10a
  • No cover with college ID
  • 10a-3p: Kegs & Eggs brunch with $3 beers, mimosas & Irish coffee
  • $8 yards of beer all day long
  • win free beer for a year

Columbia Heights / Petworth

El Chucho

  • Mon.
  • all-night HH includes green margs / $4 Jameson shots

Acre 121

  • $5 Irish combos (Guinness, Magners, etc.)
  • tasty Irish specials

Lou’s City Bar

  • doors open at 11:30a
  • $10 corned beef & Lamb stew / 1/2 price burgers till 7p
  • $5 Irish drafts

Looking Glass Lounge

  • doors open at noon
  • $5 everything Irish

Meridian Pint

  • doors open at 10a
  • Indiana Jones trilogy shown in basement at noon with sound

Kangaroo Boxing Club

  • doors open at noon (kitchen at 5p)
  • bring your own food
  • $10 pint of Brooklyn Dry Irish Stout + Jameson shot

The Pinch

  • open at 2p

H Street

Star & Shamrock

  • doors open at 10a
  • St. Paddy’s Purim Simcha Celebration (Irish & Jewish)
  • dancing, music and entertainment

The Queen Vic

  • doors open at 11a
  • $20 Lucky Charms, Corned Beef Hash & Jameson all day

The Argonaut

  • $2 cans until 5p
  • 25 cent wings 5p-close

The Big Board

  • 1/2 price apps noon-7p

RedRocks H Street

  • doors open at noon
  • HH all day
  • $10 lunch specials

The Pug

  • doors open at noon
  • $5 Guinness tall boys

Boundary Road

  • open at 1p for drinks & snacks

Capitol Hill / Eastern Market / Navy Yard

The Dubliner 

  • doors open at 10a
  • Celebrating 40th St. Paddy’s Day
  • $10 cover
  • doors open at 10a
  • 3 bands on 2 stages
  • 6 bars including 1 on tented patio

Kelly’s Irish Times

  • good alternative to The Dubliner
  • bagpipers often on patio
  • $7 Guinness, Harp, & Smithwicks on tap / $6 Murphy’s Stout tall boys

The Ugly Mug

  • $5 Smithwicks & Harp drafts / $8 Irish Car Bombs / $4 green beer / $10 Reuben sandwiches
  • $10 St Patty Day mugs (include 1 green beer)

Justin’s Cafe

  • doors open at 11:30a
  • 1/2 price wine bottles / $3 Jameson / $5 carbombs

Hawk n Dove

  • $5 Guinness all day

Molly Malone’s

  • $5 Guinness / Smithwicks / Harp / Powers whiskey shots

Cleveland Park / Woodley Park

Nanny O’Brien’s

  • doors open at 10a, live music after noon
  • $5 cover after noon
  • $2 green jello shots

Murphy’s of DC

  • doors open at 9a
  • live entertainment/music after 2p
  • drink specials all day

Atomic Billiards

  • open at noon

Tenleytown

Kitty O’Shea’s

  • $1 jello shots/$4 whiskey/$5 half pitchers of green beer/$5 Smithwick’s, Guinness & Harp
  • $5 burgers/wings (+Irish fare)
  • $5 breakfast / $4 Irish Mary’s till 2p each day

Public Tenley

  • $8 Jameson shot + Guinness pint
  • $6 Irish “car bom”

District 2 Bar & Grille

  • doors open at 11a
  • $4 Green beer drafts / $5 Smithwicks & Harp / $4 Leprechaun shooters / $8 Irish car bombs
  • $10 Reuben sandwiches

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in DC – 2014

Young lady doing push-ups randomly at Jack Rose's St. Patrick's Day Celebration in 2013
Young lady doing push-ups randomly at Jack Rose’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration in 2013

Although bars are guaranteed to be amateur night and a cluster, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are still usually good times. As March 17th is on a Monday this year, many bars/people will actually celebrate on the Saturday before, but pubs will nevertheless be jam-packed on the actual holiday itself.

To help you plan your green-themed celebration, I’ve listed any events at bars, both Irish and non-Gaelic, that have been announced, continually updating as places announce their events and paid journalists/bloggers post their round-ups. [3/13 Edit: Roundups from Post, Washingtonian, DC After Five]

There is no cover unless otherwise stated (covers aren’t the worst thing, they lessen the crowds slightly). I’ve also highlighted (in green, of course) those bars who are actually having events on St. Paddy’s Day itself (in addition to Saturday or other days)

IRISH BARS

Tenleytown
Kitty O’Shea’s

  • Specials Sat-Mon
  • $1 jello shots/$4 whiskey/$5 half pitchers of green beer/$5 Smithwick’s, Guinness & Harp
  • $5 burgers/wings (+Irish fare)
  • $5 breakfast / $4 Irish Mary’s till 2p each day

Cleveland Park
Nanny O’Brien’s

  • Opens at 10a Mon., live music after noon
  • specials/entertainment TBA

Woodley Park
Murphy’s of DC

  • TBA

Adams Morgan
The Blaguard

  • Fri.-Mon. party
  • Fri: $5 carbombs all night
  • Sat.-Mon: open at noon
  • $6 Irish beer & whiskey all weekend ($5 after 9p on Sun.)
  • Guinness promo Sun 3-5p
  • Corned beef & other Irish specialties all weekend

Shenanigan’s DC

  • TBA

Dupont Circle
James Hoban’s

  • live music each evening Thu.-Mon.
  • 6 Nations Rugby all morning Sat.
  • Irish brunch 10:30a-3p Sun.
  • music Mon. afternoon and evening in patio tent

Irish Whiskey

  • Sat. & Mon.
  • Irish brunch 9a-2p features $1 sparking wine bottle deal
  • Patio party with t-shirt-giveaways / games + prizes /bag piper
  • Guinness / Harp /Smithwicks / Reilly’s Red / Magners / Jameson / Clontarf / Carbombs available throughout
  • Mon.
    • doors open at 8a
    • 8-10: $5 breakfast sandwiches / $5 Irish coffee
    • patio party all day
    • Guinness / Harp / Smithwicks / Miller Lite / Jameson /Baileys

Mackey’s

  • specials/entertainment TBA

U Street
Duffy’s Irish Pub

  • Events & specials Thu-Mon.
  • $5 cover all day Mon. & after 7p Sat.
  • Thu: live music / green beer begins / $5 Guinness
  • Fri: green beer & jello shooters / Irish music on jukebox
  • Sat: green beer & jello shooters
  • Sun: all-you-can-eat corned beef & cabbage from noon-7p / green beer & jello shooters
  • Mon: open at 11a / free t-shirt at door (limited) / green beer & jello shooters / bagpipers / Irish dancers /$5 Guinness from 11a-1p / Irish tunes on jukebox

Foggy Bottom
McFadden’s (Technically an Irish bar)

  • Sat. & Mon. party
  • Sat.
    • Free brunch buffet at 10a
    • Miller Lite beat-the-clock beers: 10-11a (15 cents) 11a-noon ($1.15) noon-1p ($2.15) 1p-2p ($3.15)
    • $3 Coors Light after 3p / $5 Jameson & $8 Carbombs 3-7p
    • live music / Caribbean trip giveaways / Irish bagpipers & dancers
    • Ride the mechanical bull from noon-9p
  • Mon.
    • No cover with college ID
    • 10a-3p: Kegs & Eggs brunch with $3 beers, mimosas & Irish coffee
    • $8 yards of beer all day long
    • win free beer for a year

Georgetown
RiRa Georgetown

  • parties now until Mon.
  • live music all week (all day Sat. & Mon and during afternoon Sun., evening other nights), including band direct from Ireland
  • doors open at 8a Sat. for Six Nations Rugby ($20 entry fee mandated by PPV provider) & 7a Mon.
  • $6 Guinness cocktails

Chinatown/Penn Quarter
Fado Irish Pub

  • Sat. & Mon.
  • Opens at 8a Mon.; “St. Practice Day” on Sat.
  • $10 cover after 1p Mon.; after 8a Sat.
  • Live music at 1 & 8p Mon.; at 8p Sat.

Irish Channel

  • random promotions and live music all week (inexplicably nothing announced for Mon. yet)

Capitol Hill/Union Station
The Dubliner 

  • Sat. & Mon. parties
  • Celebrating 40th St. Paddy’s Day
  • Sat. party (St. Practice Day)
    • may be cover
    • music starts at 2p (3 bands on 2 stages)
    • 4 bars including 1 on tented patio
  • Mon.
    • $10 cover
    • doors open at 10a
    • 3 bands on 2 stages
    • 6 bars including 1 on tented patio

Kelly’s Irish Times

  • Fri-Mon.
  • no cover
  • good alternative to The Dubliner
  • bagpipers often on patio

Eastern Market
Molly Malone’s

  • specials/entertainment TBD

H Street
Star & Shamrock

  • St. Paddy’s Purim Simcha Celebration (Irish & Jewish)
  • Sat-Mon
  • dancing, music and entertainment all weekend

NON-IRISH BAR CELEBRATIONS

Dupont
The Mighty Pint

  • Sat. & Mon.
  • Sat party starts at 8a
    • 8-9a: $1 all drafts inc. Guinness / free jello shots
    • until noon: $3 all drafts / $4 Jameson shots / $5 16 oz. rails / $10 carbombs
    • first 50 people get free t-shirt & cup
  • Mon. party starts at 10a
    • Beat-the-clock Miller Lite & Jameson shots: 10-11a ($1) 11a-noon ($2) noon-1p ($3) 1-2p ($4) 2-3p ($5)
    • $1 drafts & rails from 4-5p / $10 carbombs all day
    • Ice luge / jello shots / bag piper

Bar Dupont

  • Sat.
  • live music starts at 1p until 10p (2 different bands)
  • Guinness & Irish specialties / special cocktails

Rumors

  • Sat.
  • 15th Annual Shamrocks & Shenanigans
  • doors open at 11a
  • Cover charge, $5 early
  • beat-the-clock-specials from 11a-2p: $1.17 Coors Lights / $2.17 Blue Moons / $5 Bushmills & Bailey’s drinks
  • live Irish music / bagpipers / green beads

Madhatter

  • Sat.
  • Kegs and Eggs Brunch
  • 11a-3p
  • $25 ($40 for couples) cover
  • Irish brunch buffet / green glow wear & swag / DJ / bagpiper / live music
  • $2 green beer / $3 mixed drinks  / $4 Shamrock shots / $5 Guinness / $7 Irish Car Bombs
  • best costume for each gender wins crappy sunglasses and koozies

Sign of the Whale

  • Sat.
  • $3 green beer / $5 Jameson / $8 car bombs
  • DJ / bagpiper / Irish dancers / leprechauns

Duke’s Grocery

  • Sat-Mon.
  • Full Irish breakfast Sat.-Sun
  • $35 prix fixe Irish Supper

14th Street/Logan Circle

Logan Tavern

  • Mon.
  • 1/2 price drafts / happy hour all day at bar, patio & community table
  • small plate Irish food specials
  • Irish quiz & contest
  • St. Paddy’s Day-themed cocktails Thu-Mon ($5 granita / $6 punch / $7 shandy / $9 Irish coffee / $12 The Langer

U Street/Shaw

Shaw’s Tavern

  • Sun. party
  • doors open at 10a
  • live music all day (6 bands)
  • Irish-inspired menu
  • jello shots / face painting
  • live music on Mon.

The Brixton

  • Mon. party
  • party starts at 5p
  • live band at 7p
  • $4 Bud Lites / $5 St. Patrick’s Snake Juice (whiskey punch)
  • photo booth / photographer

Ben’s Next Door

  • Mon.
  • $3 house shots / $5 Jameson & Guinness / $5.95 burgers 
  • late night HH 11p-close

Adams Morgan

Ventnor Sports Cafe

  • Sat. party
  • $5 carbombs & Guinness
  • green beer

Jack Rose

  • Mon.
  • Pints, Punch & Whiskey on Terrace starting at 11a
  • $5 Guinness & Flying Dog S.O.B pints / $5 Powers Whiskey / $5 punch / $6 Jameson Whiskey
  • $8 Fish n chips / $10 Irish burger
  • Irish whiskeys/apps tasting 6-8p – $40

Town Tavern

  • Sat. & Mon.
  • Sat. Countdown Party
    • Noon-3p: noon keg kill (normal weekly special)
    • 8-10p: $10 open bar w/ online RSVP
    • 10-11p: $3 select bottles / $4 rails / $5 green drafts
    • 11p-midnight: $5 green drafts / $8 carbombs, Jameson & more
    • Live DJ / giveaways
  • Mon.
    • doors open at 3p
    • 3-10p: $5 Guinness / $6 green pitchers / $7 carbombs
    • 8-10p: $10 open bar w/ online RSVP
    • 10-11p: $3 green pints
    • 11p-midnight: $2 green pints
    • midnight-1a: $1 green pints

Capitol Hill/Eastern Market

The Ugly Mug

  • Sat-Mon
  • $5 Smithwicks & Harp drafts / $8 Irish Car Bombs / $4 green beer / $10 Reuben sandwiches

Columbia Heights/Petworth

The Red Derby

  • $2 Irish whiskey / $4 pub cans of Guinness

El Chucho

  • Mon.
  • all-night HH includes green margs / $4 Jameson shots

Acre 121

  • $5 Irish combos (Guinness, Magners, etc.)
  • tasty Irish specials

Downtown

P.J. Clarke’s

  • Mon.
  • DC Fire Dept.’s pipe & drum corps
  • Irish food
  • HH from 2:45-close
  • $5 Jameson / Guinness / Irish coffee
  • $1884 raffle

New U Street Bar to Replace Touchdown Sports Bar from The Codmother Owners

Credit: Handsome Cock Facebook Page

The folks behind the cult favorite dive bar The Codmother appear to be set to soon open a new dive in the upstairs space at 1334 U St. NW formerly home to the Touchdown Sports Bar & Grill (a popular stop on the recent Barred in DC Circulator Bus Tour).

Keeping this week’s theme of interesting names for new bars (a new Columbia Heights bar will be called Tipsy Peacock) the name of this bar will apparently be Handsome Cock, according to a new Facebook page launched this week (hope your work/browser filter doesn’t flag this post). The Codmother announced the new bar in mid-February on its Facebook page, and I’m 80% confident that this not a moderately elaborate joke; phone calls made to the listed number for Touchdown were not answered, and Touchdown’s home page is currently down for “maintenance.” Both the new bar and The Codmother asked for some knick-knacks to decorate the bar:

Handsome Cock needs assorted craps for decoration purpose , from a unwanted Barbie Doll ,to your used dildo and everything between. You can donate your craps to The Codmother and make the most beloved farm animal very happy.
Please stay tuned for details as they arise.

Want to Have a Bar Crawl in DC? Don’t Do It in H Street and Adams Morgan – Part 3

Little Miss Whiskey’s on the right.
By AgnosticPreachersKid (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.
Tuesday I relayed the surprising discovery that many bars in Adams Morgan and nearly all H Street bars are forbidden from hosting bar crawls. Yesterday I explored how and why this restriction is imposed, and explained how a Brightest Young Things Zombie Takeover event in October 2012 led to thousands of dollars in fines for H Street pubs. However, one H Street bar, Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar, refused to settle and admit it did anything illegal, so a hearing proceeded for ABRA to decide whether a violation occurred.

At the October 2013 hearing to decide this issue, the bar defended itself, explaining that it did not offer any discounted drinks so it did not technically participate in an unapproved bar crawl. The bar’s owner, Mark Thorp, explained that two of the specials-$3 Stroh’s & $4 DAB tallboy beer-weren’t even specials at all as they were offered at their normal everyday price (according to the hearing transcript, Thorp didn’t even explain this fact to BYT; I’m sure some of the attendees would have been miffed that they weren’t actually getting a discount). The other special offered, a free shot of Bulleit bourbon, did not actually cost the bar any money, as the local Diageo distributor (who makes Bulleit) provided 2 one-liter bottles of Bulleit to the bar to give out as part of the event. Thorp claimed that this meant it wasn’t technically discounted (though he conceded a normal Bulleit drink would cost $8).

Unfortunately for the bar, ABRA soundly rejected all of Little Miss Whiskey’s arguments, finding that it participated in a pub crawl in violation of its settlement agreement. ABRA stated that “[b]y agreeing to participate in the event” Little Miss Whiskey’s “permitted BYT to act as [its] agent … [so that it] is not entitled to argue that it is not responsible for the actions taken by BYT to promote the event.” The ABRA board found the bar’s testimony unpersuasive that the beers offered weren’t considered discounted drinks due to two facts: 1) the BYT advertisement listed them as “SPECIALS”; and 2) Zombie crawlers had to “pick up a coupon book and present coupons to take advantage” of all these “SPECIALS” including those at Little Miss Whiskey’s. It further found that the free shot of Bulleit bourbon, despite it being provided for free by the distributor, was a discounted drink because it was provided for free by the bartender; according to ABRA, the “source of the beverages served by [the bartender] is completely irrelevant to the determination whether discounted drinks were offered by the bar.” The Board imposed, for all that trouble of a hearing, a $500 fine, similar to what was paid by most of the other H Street bar participants.

More about DC’s Bar Crawl Restrictions

For more insight into DC’s bar crawl restrictions, in addition to the Washington Times article from 2001 discussed yesterday,  articles from 2007 & 2008 in the Washington City Paper and the InTowner about the controversy surrounding the urban Idiotarod are worth the read.

Fortunately, aside from Adams Morgan and the bulk of H Street, organized bar crawls and pub tours are still permitted in most of the city. In addition, if you want to stop at a spot in those neighborhoods, in spite of these restrictions, as part of going bar to bar, you can still do so (you just might not be able get any specials from the bars for your group as part of your self bar crawl). You can also go on unconventional bar tours like a Barred in DC Bus Bar Tour; such an event technically is not a “pub crawl” under DC regulations, as the stops are not walking distance from another. Notably, at the Little Miss Whiskey’s hearing, one investigator testified that he “walked to every single bar without physical challenges” and did not have to rely upon a vehicle or public transportation.

Barred in DC Turns One Year Old Today

Credit: Fixitwizkid.com

Barred in DC turns one year old today! Thanks to all of the readers, Twitter followers (over 640 at last count!), Facebook fans, lurkers, commenters (even the spam commenters!), Redditors, and real-life friends and family who’ve given such valuable input and supported the site in many ways. I’ve learned a lot and interacted with tons of great people over the past 365 days.

In case you didn’t know, the bar originally was designed to feature reviews from DC bars; I had been to over 200 as of last year and folks were fans of my restaurant spreadsheet. After launching with three bar reviews, I quickly realized that I also enjoyed the bar news aspect, breaking a few stories and doing round-ups of events for holidays (the best moment was hands-down being referred to in a Washington Post story: “The story was first reported by Barred in DC”). The Bus Bar Crawls have been terrific fun too. Hopefully I’ll publish more reviews (especially for the new bars and old favorites) in the next year.

I’ve listed the most (and least) popular stories of the year below:

Most Popular

  1. Where to Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2013 at DC Bars (over 2500 hits)
  2. BREAKING NEWS: Sticky Rice’s Liquor License Suspended for 15 Days for Ejecting ABRA Investigators
  3. A New Restaurant on the Hill Applies for Late Hours, Hilarity Ensues

Least Popular

  1. DC Bar News – Week in Review – May 6th-12th (a whopping 1 hit, which may have been me)
  2. Week(s) in Review – 4/14- 4/28 (double the hits of the least popular story)

Want to Have a Bar Crawl in DC? Don’t Do It in H Street and Adams Morgan – Part 2

Read Part 1 Here

Yesterday, I wrote about how a BYT Zombie Takeover event in October 2012 led to thousands of dollars in fines for H Street establishments. I discussed how bars in DC often enter into voluntary/settlement agreements with neighbors that contain restrictions on how they do business. Nearly every single bar on H Street has a voluntary agreement that prevents them from participating in bar/pub crawls. I also looked into what constitutes such a crawl, which is actually defined in DC’s regulations. Today, I’ll look into why neighbors don’t like bar crawls and reveal how the ABRA investigators discovered the zombies and their illicit bar crawling.

Why ban bar crawls?

So, what’s the deal with bar crawls? Luckily for me, the ANC 6A’s website provides official insights into its negative stance towards crawls. Earlier last year, a member of ANC 6A’s alcohol licensing committee explained that “in the 90s, there were some ‘really bad’ bar crawls [on H Street], which led the ANC to decide to oppose these types events across the board.” (Aside: there were bars on H Street in the 90s???). Late in 2012, the same committee rejected a request from Atlas Flats, a new apartment building in the neighborhood, that several bars be granted a one-day exception to participate in a promotional bar crawl; the committee didn’t want to open the floodgates for more exceptions. Earlier, in May 2008, this ANC unanimously rejected a request to amend the standard agreement to allow pub crawls even for charity events, finding little “enthusiasm from the committee or the audience” and that

[b]usiness owners … said they view pub/bar crawls as a way to promote cheap liquor or beer and excessive drinking. One stated he doesn’t ever want to be attached to anything called a pub crawl and doesn’t want to [be] shanghaied into reducing prices.

After I posted Part 1 of this story, Jay Williams, an ANC 6A commissioner responded, explaining in a series of Tweets that “ANC 6A is exploring way to relax this restriction. [A]lso, we’ve tried our best to work with organizers to not run afoul of [definition] of pub crawl … but too many organizers just set up the event and let bars deal with fallout.”

Local residents have also, unsurprisingly, expressed their dismay with bar crawls. In one 2001 Washington Times article about the problematic Adams Morgan Bar Crawl (which stopped being held soon after the article was published), one local neighbor colorfully explained, referring to bar crawl attendees:

As far as I’m concerned, these guys are a plague on the land. They promote filth, dirty trash, loud noise and disturbance to people who don’t happen to be drunk.

In fact, a recent decision shows that this disfavor towards bar crawls has been taken into account by ABRA itself. A new bar in Adams Morgan, Libertine, recently refused to negotiate a settlement agreement with its neighbors when requesting later hours for its sidewalk patio, taking its chances with ABRA as the neighbors protested the request. In September 2013, ABRA denied this protest, granting Libertine’s request. However, in a potentially far-reaching decision, ABRA ruled, as an express condition of the bar’s liquor license, that it could not participate in bar crawls, one of the restrictions sought by the neighbors in the settlement agreement. This was included explicitly to address the neighbors’ “specific concerns regarding noise that may be considered generic to establishments in Adams Morgan and that may reasonably be anticipated to disturb the neighborhood in the same manner [which] involve pub crawls and amplified music which historically have disturbed the peace, order, and quiet in the neighborhood.”

What happened in the BYT H Street Zombie Takeover?

Credit: BYT & Eventbrite.com

So how did a fun little zombie event by BYT turn into so many headaches for H Street bars? According to investigative reports, ABRA received an anonymous tip a week before the Zombie Takeover that BYT was promoting a bar crawl without pre-approval. After confirming that BYT had not obtained this approval, ABRA investigators went “undercover” (which sounds like the lamest undercover operation in the history of law enforcement); a pair of investigators bought tickets from BYT, and, using the coupon book and wristband given to them after that purchase, stopped by many participating bars (Dangerously Delicious, Rock and Roll Hotel, Atlas Arcade, SOVA, Church and State, Little Miss Whiskey’s, The Queen Vic, Red Palace, Smith Commons, and Sticky Rice all participated) to get (but not consume) the shot or drink they were entitled to. Another pair of investigators went to these same bars later in the night to cite these bars for violating its settlement agreement. Most of the bars cited settled with ABRA staff for fairly modest $250, $500, or $750 fines, though (likely because of its repeated previous violations) the now-defunct RedPalace (recently replaced by Vendetta) was fined a whopping $2,000. Interestingly, while The Queen Vic agreed to a settlement agreement with ANC 6A when it opened back in 2010, the agreement was never submitted to and approved by ABRA until last summer, and the bar escaped any sanctions. At the time of the publication of this story, BYT had not responded to my e-mail request for comment.

One bar, the hipster dance spot Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar, however, did not agree to settle with ABRA staff and pay the $500 fine ABRA requested. Tomorrow, I’ll explore why it fought back and what happened when it did.