Idle Hands a Solid Addition to the H Street Scene


[NOTE: This bar closed at end of September 2018]


Idle Hands [Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, 1236 H St. NE, open at 6p, est. 2018] is a solid addition to H Street from Hill bar owner Erik Holzherr. Idle Hands comes to the space that was the super (overly?) chill Church & State. Erik also ran Church & State so the space is still recognizable and many of the cool church-like touches (like windows and the confessional room off the bar) and the relative lack of light remain. Think board games (available for rent for a few bucks except from 6-7:30p M-F and Sun when they’re free), a few arcade games you can sit your drink on, video games. Unlike Church & State, which offered great cocktails which took forever to make, Idle Hands menu is simplified, with a list of 7 quick and easy (but still tasty) $9-11 cocktails named after late 80s/90s movies, 2 housemade shots (“fireball” & “coffee liqueur”), about 14 types of canned/bottled beer (mostly around $7), and wine ($8-11/glass). Happy hour runs 6-7:30p M-F and Sun with a buck off wine and beer and $5 off bottles of wine.

Holzherr made the place much livelier, enlisting his friend to create speakers made out of cardboard and pumping out 90s tunes. You could call Idle Hands a more adult/less divey version of Atlas Arcade downstairs (also run by Holzherr, who appears to own the rowhouse, as he does his SE gin joint Wisdom).

Also, you may have heard the controversy stemming from marketing materials/interviews which talked about the bar being a “sexy nerd bar,” Drunken Twister (which incidentally may be hard to play since space is so tight) and infamously, the “casting couch” (Read DCist, WCP). The bar was blasted in social media and in Frozen Tropics blog comments, which led to a post by Erik on The Hill is Home blog apologizing but defending himself from the “anonymity of the Internet.” As someone who has met Erik many times (I live near Wisdom and am a lifetime member of the bar’s Gin Club), the vibe people are getting from those descriptions is different than the super chill, laid back dude I’ve met, so I’m giving the benefit of the doubt, but I understand if others are not.

DC Voters Vote Yes to Approve Initiative 77

Taken from DC Board of Elections site

Tuesday night, Initiative 77, the ballot measure to gradually eliminate the tipped minimum wage by 2026 in DC, passed 55% Yes to 45% No with about 1 of 6 DC registered voters weighing in. This will go to Congress for a 30-day review period; DC Council still has the power to overturn or modify it (Barred in DC expects this to move forward, with modifications/extensions/exemptions. Nearly unanimously opposed by restaurants/bars and seemingly by servers and bartenders as well, many folks believe this will lead to closed restaurants, lost shifts, and less tips. For more/better analysis, read Jessica Sidman, Laura Hayes, and others.

An overwhelming majority of the precincts in DC supported Initiative 77, though most seem to have results close to the relatively slim margin of the entire city. Strong support (60%+) was found in far NE near MD border and particularly in SE east of the Anacostia. Majority surprisingly supported in AU Park, Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom, and Kalorama (how did the Obamas vote?).

Neighborhoods which a majority voted No roughly align with the neighborhoods the few Republicans in DC can be found. Still, only Spring Valley, Wesley Heights, and Georgetown had “No” votes exceed 59% of the vote..

Areas which voted against Initiative 77:

  • Palisades
  • Spring Valley
  • Wesley Heights
  • Foxhall
  • Georgetown
  • Glover Park
  • West End
  • Mass Ave Heights
  • Cleveland Park
  • Van Ness (west side)
  • Cathedralw Heights
  • Tenleytown
  • Chevy Chase
  • Barnaby
  • Adams Morgan (Kalorama Triangle)
  • Logan Circle
  • North Shaw
  • Much of Capitol Hill (south of Union Station, near Cap Hill South metro, Eastern Market, Barracks Row, a sliver northeast of Lincoln Park)
  • Dupont Park area in SE

Where to Watch the 2018 World Cup in DC


The 2018 World Cup, played in Russia, kicks off at 11am Eastern time on Thursday June 14th with Russia v. Saudi Arabia, and ends with the Final at 11a on Sunday, July 15th (schedule). Between June 15th and June 28th there will be 3-4 group stage games daily (usually 8a, 11a, and 2p), followed by the Round of 16/Quarterfinals at 10a and 2p June 30th – July 3rd & July 6th-7th, and the Semifinals at 2p July 10th-11th. Even without the U.S. in it and a record 38 games on broadcast TV (so you can get the game with your antenna), expect many DC bars to be be lively affairs filled with fans of the competing nations.

Although there will only be games before 10a on 10 days (June 15-25th) and only 1 game that’s even before 8a, DC has enacted a law (the 2018 All-Star Game and World Cup Emergency Amendment Act of 2018) allowing any bar to pay $100 for the privilege to be open for boozing at 7a, an hour earlier than normal, for the entire tournament, even when there aren’t games on. 75 bars that have ponied up the $100 to get the extra hour, which you can see here on the map/listing. Don’t expect all 75 to especially raucous spots to watch soccer but I’ve listed them below with any available details as well other spots with plans. I’ve listed other spots who have announced World Cup plans since only one game actually starts before the normal 8a opening time (France v Australia at 6a this Saturday). More spots/details to be added.

*-Not approved to open before 8a.

Confirmed Showing All Matches 

  • The Midlands
  • Bonchon Chicken
  • Sauf Haus
  • Lucky Bar
  • Across the Pond (opening at 7a, with brunch at 8a)
  • RiRa

Showing All Matches (Except possibly 6a Sat. 6/16 France-Australia)

  • World Cup Pop-Up Bar (old Prospect DC)
  • World Cup HQ
  • Across the Pond
  • Fado
  • The Big Board
  • The Star & Shamrock
  • Blackfinn
  • Lou’s City Bar
  • The Airedale
  • The Royal
  • Dirty Water
  • Dock FC

Other Worthwhile Spots

  • Biergarten Haus
  • The Brig
  • James Hoban’s

Dupont Circle

  • Lucky Bar
    • showing all games
    • open at 7:30a everyday (when games early); 10a for opening ceremony Thursday
    • Russian food specials available during lunch + Russian cocktails/beers
    • Big crowd for Colombia
  • Duke’s Grocery
    • large TV set up on patio when weather permits
    • England team watch: specials on Fullers draft beer + Pimms Cup
  • Across the Pond
    • show every game
    • $5 Heinekens
    • $10.99 breakfast special (scrambled eggs, bacon/sausage, home fries, toast, tea/coffe
  • Darlington House
    • showing all 11a & 2p games in Cantina Pub
  • Mission
  • Emissary – coffee/drinks spot
  • The Front Page
    • watch party for Panama v. Belgium hosted by Panamanian Embassy 6/18
  • Cafe Citron
    • Big spot for Colombia and other South American teams
  • Mad Hatter
  • Sauf Haus – surely German spot
    • Open for all games
    • coffee from Junius Coffee
    • $5 1/2 liter can specials on beer
    • cohost embassies of Mexico v. Germany for 6/7 game
  • Public Bar
  • Camelot – strip club
  • Sign of the Whale
  • Abigail Room – lounge
  • Fox & Hounds*
    • open at 11a every gameday
    • express lunch weekdays + bottomless brunch on wknds
  • Buffalo Billiards*
    • open earlier for select matches
    • open at 2p for Portugal-Spain 6/15
  • James Hoban’s*
    • showing most matches
    • specials on beer/cocktails
    • private rooms available
  • Nazca Mochica*
    • Sat 6/16 watch party v. Denmark
    • showing other games

U Street/14th Street

  • Drafting Table – soccer bar
  • Red Light
  • Ted’s Bulletin – always open at 8a for breakfast
  • Exile’s
  • Red Lounge
  • Franklin Hall
    • open early for select games
    • 2p 6/15; 9a Sat June 16 for Arg v. Iceland; 11a Germany v Mexico Sun June 17)
  • Hawthorne
  • World Cup HQ (In old Prospect DC)
    • open 8a-8pish everyday
    • cocktails/frose/beer in giant steins/wine carafes
    • $4 beers/$4 wine/$6 cocktails from 4-7p
    • daily international food specials
  • Amsterdam Lounge
  • Dukem – Ethiopian spot
  • El Rey*
    • open at 11a for opening match 6/14; noon Thurs-Sun
    • HH during all WC games + $5 Modelo Tall boys + $22 buckets of 5
  • Solly’s*
    • open at 1p Fri 6/15
  • Estadio*
    • staying open between lunch & dinner (poss. just for Spain matches)
    • Spain matches: Mahou beer specials and full lunch menu. Porrons (wine pitchers) passed after every goal


  • Unity (Salina?) – Ethiopian spot
  • MK Lounge – Ethiopian spot
  • Cloud Restaurant – Ethiopian spot
  • Right Proper
    • open for at least some of the 8a matches (may be ore
  • Shaw’s Tavern
  • 1230 DC – champagne lounge
  • Queen of Sheba – Ethiopian spot
  • Boundary Stone*
    • open at 2p for M-Th; 11a-Fri; 8a Sat-Sun
  • Dacha*
    • open at 2p M-Th while games are on; Fri Noon and Sat-Sun 11a
  • Royal*
    • open at 8a daily, showing all matches
    • drink specials during Colombia matches (refajo, Colombiana soda, aguardiente boilermakers)
    • HH specials during 2p games
  • Appioo*
    • Nigeria & Senegal rooting. African beer/food speicials
  • Cortez*
    • rooting for Mexico
    • $5 Sol beers

Adams Morgan/Cleveland Park/Tenleytown/Upper NW

  • Ventnor Sports Cafe
    • open for all matches
    • expanded breakfast menu / early AM drink specials
    • coffee drinks w/ or w/o booze
    • additional outlets + Wi-Fi
    • open at 10a for opening match
  • Asmara Lounge – Eritrean/Ethiopian spot
  • Duke’s Counter
    • all matches w/ sound (possibly just during biz hours)
    • $5 Modelo pints for all matches
    • England matches: specials on Fullers London Pride, Pimms Cupps
  • Kitty O’Shea’s
  • Chatter*
    • Showing all matches during business hours (after 7a on weekdays and certain hours on weekends)
    • Cans of Schaefer beer $2.18 + $3 bar snacks (fried pickles + sweet corn fritters)
  • Cleveland Park Bar & Grill*
    • Select games shown, some with sound
    • $4 Bud/Bud Light bottles during games
    • Call 202-806-8940 for WC hours of business
  • Nanny O’Brien’s*
    • open at 11a, sound on at least for select matches
  • The Blaguard*
    • open early for select games (1st match at least)
  • The Grill From Impanema*
    • watch Brazil matches

Columbia Heights/Park View/Petworth/Brightwood/Takoma

  • The Midlands
    • open for all matches (even 6a match on Saturday) with audio inside/outside
    • Nitro Cold Brew coffee
    • potentially wear World Cup gear for additional discounts
  • The House – strip club
  • La Molienda – Salvadoran spot
  • La Dulce Noche – Salvadoran spot
  • Sabor Latino & Grill – Salvadoran spot
  • Safari – East African
  • EL Pulgarcito – Salvadoran spot
  • Bettys Gojo – Ethiopian hookah spot
  • DC Reynolds*
    • open everyday at 11a like usual
  • The Airedale*
    • soccer bar
    • open for all matches
    • breakfast buffets & brand-new lunch menu
  • The Pitch* -international sports bar
  • Lou’s City Bar*
    • open for all matches  w/ sound on
    • Heineken special
    • Good spot to watch Peru and Mexico
    • full brunch for matches that start before noon
  • Esencias Panamenas*
    • food/drink specials for all Panama matches

Penn Quarter/Chinatown/Mt Vernon Square

  • Penn Social
  • Fado Irish Pub
    • open for all matches
    • $25 5 beer buckets (Bud/Bud Light/Mich Ultra 16 oz, Goose Island IPA/Summer/312 + Harp + Guinness Blonde 12 oz
    • $4 mimosas/Red Bulls
    • $8 Bloody Mary
    • contest to predict winners/scores of each match (get pub credit
  • Umaya – Japanese izakaya
  • Hooters
  • Marriott Marquis (High Velocity Sports Bar)
  • Irish Channel Pub*


  • Elephant & Castle Pub Restaurant 19th STreet
  • Sofitel Lafayette Square
  • Blackfinn
    • showing every match
    • “DC’s Official World Cup Kick Off Party” w/ food/drink specials feat. Heineken + replays
  • The Park at 14th
  • Living Room
  • Cuba Libre*
    • viewing parties at 2p for Poland v. Columbia June 24; Spain v/ Morrocco June 25 & Nigeria v. Argentina June 26
    • HH specials ($5 caipirinhas)
  • St. Regis DC*
    • bar transforms into “Astor World Cup Lounge” breakfast/lunch/beer specials inspired by cuisine generally 9-5:30p everyday

H Street/NoMa

  • Biergarten Haus
    • open at 11a weekdays/9a on weekends
    • 20 TVs / 12 German beers on tap
  • Dangerously Delicious DC
  • Dirty Water
    • open for all matches
    • $18 pitchers of Estrella Jalisco / $18 bottomless mimosas/select cocktails available till end of final game
    • open 30 minute before 1st game of day
  • The Big Board
    • open for all matches
    • $16 Peroni pitchers (possibly just for Thurs 6/14 game)
    • coffee & limited menu until 11:30a
  • Wunder Garten*
    • open for select matches (Fri June 15 -2p Portugal v. Spain; Sat Jun 16 (noon & 3p games); Sun June 17 (11a and 2p games);
    • Belgian Embassy & British Embassy has 2p watch party on 6/28
    • gates open 1 hour before kickoff
    • 9 foot big screen w/ sound on weekend games
    • $1 from each Devils Backbone Vienna Lager donated to DC SCORES charity
  • Stable*
    • Shows all Swiss team matches (opening early at 1p on June 22 and June 27)
    • Swiss food / drink specials / Swiss beer buckets / Schnapsicles
  • The Queen Vic*
    • $5 20 oz. Carlsbergs
    • open for all England matches
    • open early on request if large group of people (normal hours 5p M-F and 10a Sat-Sun)
  • The Star & Shamrock*
    • open early for all matches with sound
    • Bullfrog Bagels, beer & whiskey
  • H Street Country Club*
    • select watch parties (more TBD)
      • Spain/Portugal 6/15 open at 1:30p (during game, $16 Tecate buckets / $5 Agave azul tequila shots)
      • Germany/Mexico 6/17 open at 11a – $14 bottomless mimosas + (during game, $16 Tecate buckets / $5 Agave azul tequila shots)

Eastern Market/Capitol Hill

  • The Brig
    • open 2p M-F & 11a Sat-Sun (extended HH 2-7p M-F)
    • open 11a 6/14 for opening match and special early-open dates (check Facebook page)
  • Ted’s Bulletin – breakfast spot usually open at 8a
  • The Capitol Lounge
  • Union Pub
    • Doors open for opening match 6/14 at 11a & $5 beer specials (Hoegaarden bottle, Stella Artois Draft, Bass bottle, Spaten bottle, Estrella Jalisco on draft)
  • Belga Cafe*
    • Showing Belgian World Cup games w/ HH specials
  • The Dubliner*
    • drawing contest for purchases of Teeling Irish Whiskey
  • The Ugly Mug*
    • open for all matches after 11a

Navy Yard/The Wharf/SW

  • Capitol Skyline Hotel
  • Bonchon
    • open for all matches (even 6a one)
    • food/drink specials
    • Korean fried chicken
  • Chloe – fancyish restaurant
  • Intercontinental Wharf – hotel
  • Mandarin Oriental – hotel
  • Field House DC (World Cup Bar DC)*
    • new 42,000 square foot bar next to Audi Field
    • 20-foot LED video wall
    • food trucks
    • WTF
    • beer specialties from countries each day
    • open for all matches
  • The Brighton*
    • open early w/ sound on for selected matches

Ivy City/NE

  • Ivy City Tavern
  • Dock FC
    • appears to be open for 11a matches or later soccer bar; now appears to be open for 8a matches
    • Food & Beverage package-$50: pitcher of beer + Cholula chicken wings + nachos + churros
    • pro-Argentina bar (some Nigeria)
  • Power Night Club – nightclub
  • Sip – lounge

Georgetown/West End

  • Church
    • big watch parties (e.g Croatia v Nigeria 6/16)
  • Fairmont*
    • hotel
    • lobby becomes “Soccer Central”
    • re-runs at 5:30p
    • $9 international snacks
    • HH starts at 5:30p with discount soccer-themed cocktails/beer
  • Ri Ra* 
    • global food specials
    • every match live
    • scratch card for prizes w/ purchase of Guinness
  • Bodega*
    • 6/15 Spain-Portugal w/ $5-6 drink specials
  • The Sovereign
    • all Belgian matches (and others) in upstairs bar)


The 201 Bar on Capitol Hill Closes June 15th

The 201 Bar Closes June 15th (Credit: The 201 Twitter account)

The 201 Bar closes its doors on Friday, June 15th. Originally opened in 2003 as “Lounge 201” (before a summer 2012 make-over), the subterranean watering hole on Capitol Hill near Union Station has long welcomed Senate staffers and lobbyists for after-work happy hours as well as many private events over the years. An appreciation party will be held Thursday, June 14th.

For several years, the spot has hosted Nebraska Husker college football watch parties, though otherwise has been most recently closed on Saturdays and Sundays except for private events. The folks behind the 201 Bar also run the nearby Union Pub, as well as Barrel near Eastern Market, McClellan’s Retreat in Dupont, and Truxton Inn in Bloomingdale.