Maddy’s Bar and Grille, website, Facebook, Twitter, 1726 Connecticut Ave. NW (near 20th & S), 202-483-2266, opens at 11a everyday, HH 4-7p (M-F) midnight-3a (Fri) 2p-2a (Sun), est. 2009 [Yelp, WaPo, Tripadvisor]
Maddy’s replaced Timberlake’s, an institution in the northern reaches of Dupont Circle (on Conn. between R & S streets), in late 2009. A fairly standard neighborhood spot, Maddy’s can get crowded around happy hour and during boxing fights, though it’s been empty the couple times I’ve been here late on the weekend. There are a decent amount of tables in the front, on the side opposite the sole, long bar and in the back, but when it gets crowded, the awkward half-wall/partition in the middle of the room requires you to squeeze through to get a drink at the bar. Went here for the Pacquio-Margarito fight in November 2010, very crowded but a great scene; good place to watch fights that isn’t a cavernous sports bar like Public Bar or Buffalo Billiards. Otherwise, haven’t had much reason to stop by despite living in the neighborhood and being a chill spot. The chalkboards above the bar listing the beers on draft, along with their prices, is a nice touch and would be something that other bars should replicate.
Nice touch – chalkboards with beer prices
Saturday – 10 PM
Barred in DC Rating: 3/5
ChurchKey, web site, Facebook, Twitter, 1337 14th St. NW (14th & Rhode Island b/t N & P), 202-567-2576, opens at 4p (weekdays) noon (weekends), closes at 1a except Fri-Sat (2a), est. 2009 [Yelp, WaPo, Tripadvisor, Urbanspoon, D.C. Foodies, Frommer’s, Fodor’s]
This is probably the best beer bar and the most popular bar for non-tourist adults (25+) in DC. Massive beer list with ton on draft and some on cask. Always crowded (except when old people go to bed after midnight), fairly narrow, and impossible to get a bar stool or one of their cozy booths during most hours, so I actually don’t go here that often even though it’s only a few blocks away from where I live. Once you get in (always a line between 9pm-midnight on weekends), surprisingly not that hard to get a beer, but I always ask to see the beer list so I can try something new. Solid bar food, and the restaurant downstairs (Birch & Barley) is terrific. Although it doesn’t have a happy hour, lots of special beer events are hosted here and a lot of the beers aren’t as expensive (though some definitely are, so you always want to check the menu before acting fake fancy) as you might think. Opened in late 2009 after what felt like years of anticipation.
Barred in DC Rating: 4.5/5
Bedrock Billiards, web site, Facebook, Twitter, 1841 Columbia Road NW, 202-667-7665, opens at 4p (weekdays) 1p (weekends), HH 4-8p (weekdays), 1-7p (weekends), est. 1992 [Yelp, WaPo]
Opened back in 1992, this basement pool hall/game room bar feels miles from the bedlam of 18th Street a block away. Bedrock, which was the first bar in the mini-chain that now includes Atomic Billiards, Buffalo Billiards, Rocket Bar, and Board Room, is reminiscent of someone’s 1980s somewhat dusty basement. I’ve only been here twice, and not since probably 2009, but I remember lots of pool tables, darts, and board games and a solid divey atmosphere. They have a popular Sunday night trivia that is supposed to be kind of hard. Happy hour goes from 4-8p M-F and 1-7p on the weekends, along with some pool and darts leagues during the week, though I’ve never been.
Barred in DC Rating: 3/5