I wasn’t asked by BYT to respond to their 2018 Food Round-Up (and they shouldn’t have, as you’ll see below), but given the format is actually pretty great, amazing source of info and Laura Hayes shouted out my Twitter account/polls, I spent 15 minutes replicating (fancy word for “stealing”) below:
Sum up 2018 in bars in a word (or, fine, a sentence)?
Something for everyone, probably.
The best bar trend on 2018/The worst?
Best: More bars giving card back to customer when starting a tab. Worst: People thinking that the person(s) who run the admittedly incredible Dan’s Cafe Twitter account are actually affiliated with Dan’s Cafe.
The most anticipated or best DC bar opening in 2018/The one that didn’t quite live up?
Most anticipated-TikiTNT of course. Probably the most hyped bar in DC since Churchkey opened in 2009. Though, I’ll probably see myself at the Crown and Crow and the Pie Shop (above Dangerously Delicious) more. Didn’t quite live up: Wish 1905 was still there, Cortez probably makes more sense though.
Most underrated bar in DC right now? Why?
Most great bars are properly rated, though people probably haven’t checked out The Crown and the Crow and Pie Shop, which both feature live music, and I think they’ll be pleased when they do.
The best drink you had in 2018?/ The one you wish you hadn’t?
Best: No clue, I went to a lot of bars in many countries. Worst: Definitely this sweet cherry drink I had at Moxy last week since I still remember it.
Favorite cocktail of 2018?
$7 Daiquiri at Colada Shop, primarily because it was $7 and I love a good Hemingway daiquiri. For people who say DC is overpriced, they’re right, but there are spots like Colada Shop you can eat/drink for not much and feel like you’re not slumming it.
Best drinks event of 2018?
I don’t goto many events unless a PR company comps me so nothing really. The 5th Annual All Souls party at All Souls is ridiculous ($1 Tecate, $2 Sparking Wine $3 Makers)
What do you think was THE bar story of the year in 2018? Why?
Duh, the rise and fall of Initiative 77. Amazing to see the mobilization of bartenders politically and the Save Our Tips signs everyone, but also hopefully the public has learned that barbacks get screwed a bit.
What opening are you most looking forward to in 2019?
Little Grand, from Dave and the awesome folks behind All Souls coming to H Street near the Whole Foods. Hopefully it opens by early fall.
What you wish for DC in 2019 food trend wise?/ What you hope stays away?
Bars uniformly agreeing to include tax with price of drinks. NY transplants trying to do some shit here
Favorite Chef? Favorite Restaurant? Favorite Bar?
Chef: I’ve met Michael Rafidi a few times, and he’s cool, so let’s go with that. Restaurant: I rarely have sit down dinners because I spend so much money on bars and traveling. I haven’t been to Little Serow in several years but it’s awesome. In 2019, dinners at Maydan and Chloe were memorable. Bar: All Souls
What is the place you ended up at the most in your own spare time? Why?
Barwise-I hit Eatbar’s incredible $4 HH nearly every week on way home from work. My FOMOness means I don’t goto same bar that often though I probably make it to Hill Prince monthly. In total, probably my buddy’s Darin’s spot who has been referring to Barred in DC as just “barred” for years. He lives in a condo building that is a glorified dorm off H Street with great deck and floor parties.
Favorite food/drinks story of the year someone else wrote and why?
I learned a ton from Laura Hayes stories in 2018, one standout was this piece about chargebacks at bars (not just saying due to my shoutout) Between her and Jessica Sidman, the Young & Hungry space for the Washington City Paper since May 2012 has been INFINITELY more important than whatever Tom Sietsma writes about DC’s fanciest restaurants every week
Favorite thing YOU covered in 2018 and why?
My favorite polls/stories/tweets were about chain restaurants. People have strong opinions about them and are really interested
Go to cookbook – released this year, and evergreen?
Ha, wut. I actually do cook, but whatever takes 3 ingredients and the least amount of time I find by googling. I make these idiot savant cocktails where I just wing like whatever ingredients in my house. 75% of time it’s awesome, 25% tastes worse than puke.
Instagram vs twitter for staying in the bar loop and why?
Definitely Twitter. Every food/bar writer in DC has their stories tweeted out and bars announce events/specials. Instagram isn’t that great for this. Facebook is actually frustratingly more useful than Instagram in finding info on bars who don’t their info on any other social media site/website, but I can’t follow all the bars in DC on Facebook like I do on Twitter.
Favorite instagram accounts and why?
@rsantra – cool dude
@popville – blantantly doesn’t even bother to post his own photos, but people give him some great ones and it has a good scene of DC. I know he has a lot of haters (including from many of my active followers) but he’s a great guy.
Truxton Inn, McClellan’s Retreat, Union Pub, Barrel – My man Sam does a great job with varying posts/stories and is a great bar manager.
Favorite twitter accounts and why?
@thepug – Tony has some great opinions and thoughts about DC and bars, and sometimes his own bar, the 14th worst in DC
@ivyandconey – Just hilarious and sometimes confusing.
@dcreynolds – always good for mixing it up
@morelandstavern – ditto
@maustermuhle – I refuse to listen to NPR/public radio but he’s great at fact-checking and clarifying local news
@lolomcg – Both fun and real insights from the beverage director/bartender at DC9
A question you wish we asked here (and your answer)
Are blogs dead? Yes but not everyone is on Twitter so you need to put info out somehow and newsletters seem like a ton of work.