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.
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:
Mass Ave Heights
Van Ness (west side)
Adams Morgan (Kalorama Triangle)
Much of Capitol Hill (south of Union Station, near Cap Hill South metro, Eastern Market, Barracks Row, a sliver northeast of Lincoln Park)
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
Across the Pond (opening at 7a, with brunch at 8a)
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
The Big Board
The Star & Shamrock
Lou’s City Bar
Other Worthwhile Spots
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
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
$10.99 breakfast special (scrambled eggs, bacon/sausage, home fries, toast, tea/coffe
showing all 11a & 2p games in Cantina Pub
Emissary – coffee/drinks spot
The Front Page
watch party for Panama v. Belgium hosted by Panamanian Embassy 6/18
Big spot for Colombia and other South American teams
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
Camelot – strip club
Sign of the Whale
Abigail Room – lounge
Fox & Hounds*
open at 11a every gameday
express lunch weekdays + bottomless brunch on wknds
open earlier for select matches
open at 2p for Portugal-Spain 6/15
showing most matches
specials on beer/cocktails
private rooms available
Sat 6/16 watch party v. Denmark
showing other games
U Street/14th Street
Drafting Table – soccer bar
Ted’s Bulletin – always open at 8a for breakfast
open early for select games
2p 6/15; 9a Sat June 16 for Arg v. Iceland; 11a Germany v Mexico Sun June 17)
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
Dukem – Ethiopian spot
open at 11a for opening match 6/14; noon Thurs-Sun
HH during all WC games + $5 Modelo Tall boys + $22 buckets of 5
open at 1p Fri 6/15
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
open for at least some of the 8a matches (may be ore
1230 DC – champagne lounge
Queen of Sheba – Ethiopian spot
open at 2p for M-Th; 11a-Fri; 8a Sat-Sun
open at 2p M-Th while games are on; Fri Noon and Sat-Sun 11a
open at 8a daily, showing all matches
drink specials during Colombia matches (refajo, Colombiana soda, aguardiente boilermakers)
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.