Guide to Bar Hopping with the DC Streetcar

DC Streetcar

DC Streetcar

The long-delayed DC Streetcar finally opened on Saturday (4 years after it’s originally announced start date), shuttling thousands of excited and curious riders down H Street and Benning Road in Northeast DC. The lengthy process has been well documented by Greater Greater Washington, WAMU, and the Washington Post, and the jury is still out on whether the $200 million project ($50 million for the car barn at end of line and $20 million for test line in Anacostia that will never be used) will be worth it.

Interior of DC Streetcar

Interior of DC Streetcar

What’s undeniable is that the Streetcar will be ripe for drinking excursions (though not on Sunday, since it’s not open, at least not yet)-particularly while it’s free for at least the first six months (SmartTrip will never be accepted, BTW). After walking most of the route and taking the ride the entire length, Barred in DC has discovered which drinking spots are closest to each of the stops. Although full blown bar crawls may be complicated to organize due to the restrictions on them for the eastern half of H Street, nothing stops you from grabbing some friends and hitching a ride, hopping from bar to bar.

How to Get There

Plenty of signs pointing you the right way in Union Station

Plenty of signs pointing you the right way in Union Station

To get to the beginning of the DC Streetcar from the Red Line Metro station, take the Amtrak/MARC exit, go up the escalator by Amtrak Gate C and follow the signs through the parking garage and past the intercity bus station. It takes about 5 minutes to walk to the Streetcar’s first stop in the median of H Street on the Hopscotch Bridge above the railyard.

Stops

DC Streetcar Map Route (graphic by author)

DC Streetcar Map Route (graphic by author)

Union Station
Thunder Grill in Union Station (1100 feet away)
Recommended: The Dubliner (2200 feet away)

3rd St/H St
Eastbound: Ethiopic (280 feet) [closes at 10p]
Westbound: Driftwood Kitchen (355 feet)

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5th St/H St
Eastbound: The Big Board (right at stop)
Westbound: Le Grenier (right at stop) [closes at midnight on weekdays]

The Big Board

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8th St/H St
Eastbound: Po Boy Jim (110 feet)
Westbound: Chupacabra (265 feet) [closed during late Nov-mid March, closes at 10p weekdays, midnight weekends]
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13th St/H St
Eastbound: Sol Mexican Grill & Cantina, Smith Commons (right at stop)
Westbound: Sally’s Middle Name (150 feet) [closes at 11p]; Da Luft (215 feet)
Expect this stop to one of the most popular-there are at least 20 places to drink on the 1200 and 1300 blocks of H Street.

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15th St/Benning Rd
The Argonaut (380 feet)
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19th St / Benning Rd
Langston Bar & Grille (260 feet)

Credit: UrbanTurf

Oklahoma Ave/Benning Rd
Langston Clubhouse Grill at Golf Course (500 feet) [open til 3p during winter, till early evening rest of year]
RFK Stadium [half mile]

Take your clubs to play at the best municipal course in DC  (or hit the range). Another option to watch DC United play.
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