DC Bar News Roundup – January 15th – February 9th

Apologies for the delay in getting one of these eagerly awaited (yet rarely read) news round-ups. Had a somewhat important life event (got engaged!), so haven’t been able to turn to this lately. Will do better at some point, though now we need to plan for a 9 day trip to Colombia (Cartagena & Bogota) a week from now so you may hear some radio silence on this front

  • Barred in DC Articles (quite a few in the last 3 weeks)
    • My exclusive look/recap at a new Capitol Hill restaurant (Romeo & Juliet) and its effort to obtain a new liquor license that would allow it serve booze after midnight. Some fun quotes and lively discussion in the comments. Thanks to Eater and Reddit for spreading the word (over 1300 hits, one of Barred in DC’s most popular posts ever)
    • Published my “legendary” DC restaurant spreadsheet containing nearly 500 DC area restaurants
    • Reviewed the Dupont cocktail bar- Bar Charley
    • Hosted another fun bar crawl, this time a tour of 4 new spots in the Shaw neighborhood around 7th Street
  • Bar Openings
    • Den of Thieves (U Street/Logan Circle) – 2005 14th St. NW (at U) (Facebook, Twitter) – opened Fri. Jan. 17th – yet another Hilton Bros. spot replaced Hanoi House (and the short-lived Blackbyrd). Lower key (not a dive) spot focus on DJs and some street food (BYT, WaPo, Urbandaddy, PoPville, WCP)
    • Pinstripes (Georgetown) – 3222 M St. NW (in Georgetown Mall) (website, FacebookTwitter) – opened Fri. Feb. 7th – enormous bowling/bocce/bistro opened in Georgetown mall, 5th in national chain. Can fit nearly 1000 people with a small summer garden (The Georgetowner, WaPo, InTheCapital, WBJ, DCist, BYT, Washingtonian
    • Bistro Bar at Menu MBK (Penn Quarter) – 405 8th St. NW (at D) (Facebook, website, Twitter)- opened Thu. Jan. 30 – chill spot in the former Azur space; many different concepts in one location, bar is on 3rd/4th floor (BYT, Washingtonian)
  • Bar Announcements
    • Dacha 2 (Mt. Vernon Triangle/Square) – 923-25 5th St. NW (at K) –ETA Summer 2014 – huge news as Dacha hopes to open 2nd location in open-air space (historic facade currently in place). Will seek entertainment license and accommodate 300 patrons. 10 year lease signed for property. Local ANC voted to support liquor license (The TrianglePoPville, WCPBadwolfDC)
    • Red Light (Logan Circle/U Street) – 1401 R St. NW – ETA April 2014 – replacing the little-visited Bar de Bari, this dessert/champagne bordello/hooker-themed bar will have lots of sweets, champagne on tap, and other sweet cocktails (WCP, Washingtonian)
    • Sin Bin Sports Bar & Restaurant (H Street) – 1336 H St. NE  – ETA June 2014 – new H Street spot will be Caps/hockey-themed bar, hopes to open in June (WaPo)
    • Halftime Sports Bar (H Street) – 1427 H St. NE – ETA TBD – The owners of the Elroy opening up a nearby sports bar (PoPville)
    • The Alibi (Capitol Hill) – 237 2nd St. NE – ETA mid-March 2014 – Brit-themed bar to open in old My Brother’s Place by St. Paddy’s Day (PoPville)
    • Nomad Hookah Bar (H Street) – 1200 H St. NE – Sahra Hookah Lounge is now Nomad Hookah Bar (Frozen Tropics)
    • Hilltop Bar & Restaurant (ColHi) – 2737 Sherman Ave. NW (at Girard) – ETA March/April 2014 – applies for tavern liquor license, from owner of The Saloon (PoPville)
  • Other News
    • Must-read Jessica Sidman/Y&H piece about jackass yuppies you steal stuff from DC bars/restaurants
    • Solid overview and look forward at the several liquor license moratoriums in DC (Glover Park, Georgetown, AdMo, Dupont (2 zones) (WaPo)
    • Duke’s Grocery adds a new low-cost beer to the line-up-$3 Natty Boh’s 
    • Lots of Olympic-themed specials next few weeks in DC. My best bet is the hidden Topaz Bar on the 1700 block of N Street in Dupont-happy hour from 5-8p, with $1 reduced off every happy hour tab (there’s gotta be a catch?) for each US gold medal one. Also check out Mari Vanna, Loews Madison Hotel bar, Redline, Bar Rouge, MXDC, Penn Social, A.G.B. Restaurant & Lounge at The Graham, Capitol City Brewing Company, Nellie’s, Lincoln, Teddy Bully Bar (WaPo, Examiner, WCP, Washingtonian)
    • Where to go for Valentine’s Day. The Anti-Valentine’s Day HH at BlackJack from 5-8p sounds like the best (WaPo, Washingtonian)
    • New drink menu at Logan Tavern
    • Entertaining story (and comments) about owners/residents (mostly coming from the residential island in an otherwise commercial neighborhood that is the Palladium condo on 18th/N Street) creating a vigilante noise patrol group for all the clubs/bars around 18th/M (WCP)
    • Ghana Cafe (Logan Circle) is not getting an entertainment to have live music (SALM)
    • More progress on Brookland’s Finest (PoPville)
    • Idiot asks PoPville whether RedRocks ColHi was in the wrong for not allowing him to order food for take out and get happy hour pricing (PoPville)
    • Best bars without TV in DC, per BYT: A&D, Black Cat, Eat The Rich, El Centro, El Rey, The Gibson, Mockingbird Hill, 1905, The Passenger, Pharmacy Bar, P.O.V., Room 11, The Saloon, Southern Efficiency, Wonderland Ballroom (BYT)
    • Bluejacket’s head brewer parts ways (WaPo)
    • Where to Get $3 beers in DC. Take-away, goto Red Derby or ask for a Natty Boh. The Tombs later tweeted that they serve $2.05 Coors Light drafts everyday (WCP)
    • Were DC’s Gay Bars Always Gay Bars? Short answer: yes (WCP)
    • Best Wings/Pub Grub in DC include Smoke & Barrel, Petworth Citizen, Duffy’s, Nanny O’Briens, Boundary Stone, DC9, Looking Glass Lounge, Comet Ping Pong (DCist)
    • Budget-friendly bars: Bier Baron, The Big Hunt, Glen’s Garden Market, JR’s Bar & Grill, Petworth Citizen, Raven Grill, Red Derby, Right Proper, Shake Shack, Vendetta, We The Pizza (Eater)
    • Southern Living listed its top 100 best bars in the South. Putting aside the controversial notion that DC is part of the South, it picked some good spots: 2 birds 1 stone, The Arsenel/Bluejacket, Mockingbird Hill, The Passenger, The Rye Bar at Capella Hotel (Southern Living)
  • Barred in DC Activity
    • The Big Hunt (Dupont) – stopped by a mid-evening Friday for a few beers, pleasantly surprised with the selection of $6 craft beers I’ve never had before (other places in town would charge a buck more); not as pleased with the Fri 8-10p $1 tacos (you get what you pay for)
    • Cafe Citron (Dupont) – downed a few $5 mojitos at this underrated happy hour (til 7:30 most days)
    • Redline Gastrolounge (Penn Quarter/Chinatown) – More on this soon, but had a blast as invited guests of this sports bar/lounge overlooking the Verizon Center. Terrific food, drinks and poured my own beer from the tableside tap
    • RedRocks H Street (H Street) – first trip to this huge spot, low-key first floor, clubby dance floor on the second, and a great (covered roof deck) where you can order from a bar that also serves a lower level. Need to check out again soon.
    • H Street Country Club (H Street) – played a lot of drunk/jumbo Jenga here
    • El Rey (U Street) – first trip to a surprisingly uncrowded El Rey. The retractable roof was of course closed, but the patio area was a nice spot to chill. Decent $8 margs and standard Mexican beer.
    • Velvet Lounge (U Street) – took in a friend’s band (Railsplitter) at the second floor at this divey spot. Raging dance party going on first floor when we left after midnight.
    • GBD (Dupont) – took some friends from out of town to my go-to happy hour spot ($3-5 beers/punch/wine/bites till 8pm)
    • Chadwick’s (Georgetown) – under-the-radar spot under-the-Whitehurst Freeway in Georgetown. Neighborhood old-school vibe.
    • Malmaison (Georgetown) – French lounge almost under Key Bridge, kind of isolated. Very minimalist and very French. Solid sparkling wine cocktail menu (1/2 for happy hour till 7:30p on weekdays). Not the best spot on weekdays after work
    • Duke’s Grocery (Dupont) – treated to some great Scotch to celebrate our engagement and enjoyed a snow-day beer on another occasion
    • Piola (U Street/Logan Circle) – sampled the solid HH (goes till 7:30p), free food passed around, $4 beer, $5 wine & $6 cocktails
    • Meridian Pint (ColHi) – rare trip to this beer mecca, though it was slightly marred by several beer choices that were not actually in existence. Made up for it by the old school 90s Outkast.
    • Iron Gate (Dupont) – had some drinks at this romantic spot. Was hoping to try some draft beers, but taps had an issue and since it was near last call (11pmish), they decided not to fix them
    • Darlington House-Cantina Pub (Dupont)
    • The Fainting Goat (U Street) – first trip to this new U Street spot, nice space, good-looking crowd. Will be back soon.
    • Taqueria Nacional (U Street/Logan Circle) – enjoyed some tacos and boozy fruit drinks here. Good spot for cheap, no-fuss eats/drinks
    • Bar Pilar (U Street/Logan Circle) – checked out new happy hour-$5 rum daiquiris, draft slow n low, all draft beer, wine & some eats
    • Ghibellina (U Street/Logan Circle – one of best HHs in town in terms of food/drink. $5-6 fancy cocktails, $4 20 oz. beers, $5 wine, and $6.50-9 pizzas from 4:30-6:30p EVERYDAY
    • Boundary Stone (Bloomingdale) – stopped by during an impromptu Bikeshare ride during a holiday for a day beer. Really cool space, exposed, hope to come back soon to try the extensive whiskey list
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DC Bar News Roundup – January 2nd-14th

First news round-up of 2014, hope you follow me on Twitter (now with more followers than accounts followed!) and Facebook.

  • Bar Openings
    • El Rey (U Street) – 919 U St. NW – opened Fri. Jan. 10th – (Facebook, Twitter, website) taqueria & beer garden from Hilton Brothers, made up a shipping containers and a patio with a retractable roof. 3100 square foot space. Lots of tacos and beers. (PoPville, WCP, Washingtonian, UrbanDaddy, WBJ, BYT, Eater, Post, Zagat)
    • Jackpot Tavern (Chinatown/PQ) – 726 7th St. NW (at H) – opened Fri. Jan. 3rd (Facebook) – low-key neighborhood spot from folks behind Iron Horse & Rocket Bar, but without any games and food. Solid beers and a fancy cocktail menu. (WCP, PoPville)
    • RiRa Irish Pub (Georgetown) – 3123-3125 M St. NW – (Twitter, Facebook, website) – opened Tues. Dec 31st – Only Irish bar in Georgetown opens in the old Mie n Yu spot. Chainlet (about 10 US locations, including one in Clarendon). Very nice space, I predict it will be a hit, though this bar opening has been completely under the radar. (PoPville, Eater)
  • Bar Announcements
    • Compass Rose (U Street) – 1346 T St. NW (Twitter)  ETA early February 2014 – Street food + bar posts “Coming Soon” sign, hope to open early February. Has been delayed since fall (PoPville, Twitter)
    • The Alibi (Capitol Hill) – (Facebook, Twitter, websiteETA early February 2014 – new British-themed spot in old My Brothers’ Place. News of new opening date exclusively reported by Barred in DC
    • The Royal (Ledroit Park) – 501 Florida Ave. – ETA early summer – neighborhood spot with 40 seats in early 19th century building from Vinoteca owner (Washingtonian, WCP)
    • Bar di Bari (14th and R) to be replaced with new concept called Red Light (WCP)
    • DC Eagle – legendary gay bar to open in space east of the Anacostia River at Minnesota Ave. & Benning Road. Huge space in old warehouse accommodating 800, 4-piece bands, dancing, open-mike nights (WCP, Blade)
  • Other News
    • As first reported by Barred in DC, the owner of Madam’s Organ is not a fan of the nearby Tryst. One of the comments on PoPville purports to be from Bill Duggan, the owner of Madam’ Organ. DC Reynolds chimes in with a characteristically entertaining Tweet. (Washingtonian, PoPville)
    • Thrillist has entertaining list of DC’s Bad Decision Bars. Lot of overlap with the douchiest bars, though some actual solid spots. McFadden’s, Rumors, Madam’s Organ, Cafe St. Ex (Gate 54-downstairs bar), Smith Point, Little Miss Whiskey’s, Sign of the Whale, Public Bar, Cafe Asia, Local 16, Lucky Bar, & Wonderland Ballroom make up the list.  (Thrillist)
    • BYT with a review of new Shaw spot Ivy & Coney
    • The Post with a review of the new RiRa Georgetown, predicts it will be popular for happy hour.
    • Duffy’s kicking off a new Monday happy hour: $1 PBR 16 oz. cans (Post)
    • ANC2B supported beer/wine liquor license for Amsterdam Falafelshop to open on 14th St. (Twitter)\
    • Neighborhood meeting this Wednesday, January 15th to discuss Bar Charley‘s request to have extended hours (Twitter)
    • Post reviews two new music venues in very different spots: Gypsy Sally’s (Americana music off K Street in Georgetown) & Tree House Lounge (in Trinidad near Galludet, not really near H Street)
    • Tom Sietsma reviews Bluejacket/The Arsenel; good reviews for space & beers, not so much food.
    • BYT with a roundup of H Street happy hour spots.
  • Barred in DC Activity
    • GBD (Dupont) – had some $3-4 great cheap beers and punch, along with some $3.50 catfish nuggets at happy hour
    • Jack Rose (AdMo) –
    • The Pinch  (ColHi) – stop 1 of upper Columbia Heights bar crawl, my first trip to a 14th Street Columbia Heights bar. Very friendly Twitter feed. Interesting spot-definitely divey from outside, first floor is like a neighborhood bar (Stoney’s-ish), while the basement (at least night I was there) is like a wild college frat party (dark lights, dance floor, etc.) $4 Yuengling bottles regular price is pretty solid.
    • Mad Momo’s (ColHi) – stop 2 of ColHi bar crawl, very chill, yet nice, spot; seems more of a restaurant space than a late-night bar. Very cool patio and roof deck
    • Red Derby (ColHi) – last stop of mini-ColHi bar crawl, awesome dive bar, sad I haven’t been sooner. Narrow first floor and nice roof deck (heated during winter). Canned beers and cash only (at least upstairs).
    • Trusty’s Full-Serve Bar (Hill East/Potomac Ave.) – Holy shit, this is an awesome bar, especially the second floor-the bar upstairs is fashioned out of a school bus (order drinks through the open windows. One side of the upstairs is lined with school bus seats and cup holders. Draft beers are served in mason jars (they apparently started doing this before it was cool) and lots of craft can beers. Definitely a dive with a neighborhood feel and a mixed crowd (old, young, black, white, etc.). Worth a trip
    • Wisdom (Hill East/Potomac Ave.) – shabby chic-decor cocktail bar in residential neighborhood near the Potomac Ave. Metro; friendly bartenders, lots of cool little nooks; $8 Bluecoat American gin cocktails from 6-8p weekdays for happy hour and lots of other craft cocktails
    • Bar Charley (Dupont) – very nice Thursday night crowd here at this cocktail bar; enjoyed the Monk Buck $8 cocktail and a gratis Old Overholt Rye shot
    • Duke’s Grocery (Dupont) – nightcap here, very chill and cool after midnight
    • Glen’s Garden Market (Dupont) – had a great $4 Chocolate Stout from Southern Tier
    • Jack Rose (AdMo) – stopped by the upstairs terrace for the terrific NFL playoffs special. $5 beer, whiskey & c0cktails, along with 1/2 price bites. Definitely plan on making it to the DC Brau tap takeover (13 $5 beers) this Sunday for the NFC & AFC title games

DC Bar News Roundup – December 18th-January 1st

Happy New Year! Hope you enjoyed New Year’s Eve with the help of Barred in DC’s most popular post ever (over 2500 hits)-the comprehensive list of NYE events at DC bars. Thanks to those Google searchers, three different Reddit threads, and a Yelper who led all those folks to this site.  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. On to the last DC bar news for 2013

  • Bar Openings
    • Southern Efficiency (Shaw) – 1841 7th St. NW (at T) – (Twitter, FacebookOpened Sat. Dec. 21st – the 3rd in the trilogy of adjacent bars (Mockingbird Hill & Eat the Rich) from Derek Brown focusing on bourbon and Tennessee whiskey and Southern food. There is a whiskey and smoked Cola on tap and you can also spend $5 to have peanuts in a glass of Coke (WashingtonianInTheCapitalZagatPost, Eater, WCP, PoPville, BYT)
    • Ivy & Coney (Shaw) – 1537 7th St. NW (at P) – (Twitter, Facebook, websiteSoft opened Sat. Dec. 28th, Officially opened Wed. Jan 1st – eagerly awaited tiny 2nd floor Detroit and Chicago-themed neighborhood spot from the Kangaroo Boxing Club folks. Cheap beer and hot dogs. Amazingly cash-only as a throwback. Rooftop deck coming in summer or fall. (Post, PoPville)
    • Simple Bar and Grill (Brightwood) – 5828 Georgia Ave. NW (at Military/Missouri) – Opened Tues. Dec. 31st – neighborhood bar and grill (PoPville)
    • RiRa Irish Pub (Georgetown) – 3123-3125 M St. NW – (Twitter, Facebook, websiteOpened Tues. Dec 31st – Only Irish bar in Georgetown opens in the old Mie n Yu spot. Chainlet (about 10 US locations, including one in Clarendon). Very nice space, I predict it will be a hit, though this bar opening has been completely under the radar. (PoPville, Eater)
    • New Town Kitchen & Bar (U Street) – 1336 U St. NW (Facebook, Twitter, website) – Soft opened Sat. Dec. 15th, Officially opened Mon. Dec. 17th- New American spot opens in old Tabaq Bistro space, accommodates 600 (PoPville)
  • Bar Announcements
    • Cause (U Street) – Officially closes for good on Friday Dec. 27th, vindicating Barred in DC and my anonymous source who reported the bar was closing back in August. The “philanthropub” just didn’t turn any profit. (WCP, DCist, PoPville)
    • The Getaway (Columbia Heights) – closed NYE, as earlier reported. Everything being auctioned off (PoPville)
    • El Rey  (U Street) – 919 U St. NW – ETA early January 2014 – taqueria & beer garden from Hilton Brothers, made up a shipping containers with a retractable roof. Gets detailed write-up (with picture graphics) of construction process from the Post, which is definitely worth checking out.
    • Bin 1301 (U Street) -1301 U St. NW – new wine bar in old U Scream ice cream shop gets a construction permit (PoPville)
    • Ultramint Sports Bar & Hookah (Petworth) -713 Kennedy St. NW – 15-seat tavern/sports bar with hookah gets construction permit (WBJ)
  • Other News
    • The Derek Brown Shaw Bar Crawl-the top two bar writers in DC both describe an ideal bar crawl for the 3 new Derek Brown spots at 7th/T (Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich & Southern Efficiency)
    • Eat the Rich (Shaw) reviewed by Tom Sietsma of the Post
    • The Passenger, Bar7, and Hogo in Shaw/Mount Vernon Square likely temporarily (at least) set to close by May due to construction of adjacent building (WCP)
    • The Big Hunt named one of the best 19 dive bars in America by Maxim Magazine. Well-deserved.
    • InTheCapital lists the best happy hours on Barracks Row in Eastern Market
    • Pretty cool PBR mural outside Solly’s U Street Tavern
    • New chef and menu at Bar Charley (Post). Also, Bar Charley is not a gay bar-hope this satisfies the random Google searcher who found this website.
    • The Argonaut gets approval for new patio layout to be covered with retractable greenhouse
    • BYT’s 2013 Food roundup is worth reading
  • Barred in DC Activity
    • Estadio (U Street/Logan) – enjoyed a Pistachio Slushito, some tastes of Sherry and Madeira and a well-priced Sangria at the bar here. Fun bartender Mick too.
    • Clyde’s of Gallery Place (Chinatown/Penn Quarter) – enjoyed a few drinks at this sprawling bar’s daily 3-6p HH ($2.50 PBR, $4 Yuengling, $5 Absolut vodka drinks) on a recent Saturday before catching a movie. Favorite moment was the 40-something man quietly asking the bartender for a “Three Wise Men” shot (“I’ll pay in cash, real quick”) while wife in restroom.
    • 1905 (U Street) – Enjoyed the best rooftop bar in DC (though bar itself wasn’t open, had to go down to main bar to grab drinks) on an unseasonably warm December night
    • Thomas Foolery (Dupont) – Last ThurstDay of 2013 held at this goofy spot. Definitely had a Sweet tart-flavored shot of vodka with candy in it and some cookies
    • El Centro D.F. (U Street/Logan) – Checked out the covered (in the winter) rooftop bar, good crowd/spot for dancing on 14th Street (much more relaxed than the basement dance party)
    • 2 Birds 1 Stone (U Street/Logan) – My first trip to the new cocktail bar under Doi Moi. Fashionable crowd in a fashionable space. Had the $8 punch, which was a hot mulled cider that was quite good. Will need to sample one of the $14 cocktails at a future date.
    • Duke’s Grocery (Dupont) – Had a blast here for a lower key (but still bustling/fun) New Year’s Eve in the upstairs bar.

DC Bar News Roundup – December 2nd – 17th

Again, recapping the news that was in DC bar-land for the first half of December-

  • No NYE plans yet? Check out my continually-updated list of events at DC bars
  • Pics & recap of the fun times of the Barred in DC Circulator Bus Bar crawl
  • Barred in DC hit 400 followers (now up to 422) on Twitter; not too shabby for a 9 month old website/blog run by a fake journalist
  • Bar Openings
    • Stoney’s on L (West End) (Facebook, Twitter) – 2101 L St. NW – opened Tuesday December 17th – new outpost of the P Street spot, same food, but not divey at all, much nicer, with actually some cocktails (Post, WCP)
    • Right Proper Brew Pub (Shaw) (websiteFacebookTwitter)- 624 T St. NW – opened Tuesday December 10th – nice 115-seat micro brewpub opened with 4 house beers, 3 collaboration beers & a guest tap. Ridiculously cheap (for DC standards) with $4-6 beers. 65 seat dining area with lounge/bar area in front. Need to make a visit stat. (Eater, DC Beer, Urban Daddy, WCP, Post)
    • All Souls Bar (Shaw) (websiteFacebook) – 725 T St. NW – opened Sunday December 8th – neighborhood 40-seat corner bar; cool curved bar inside. Definitely excited to check this out with simple menu with a small list of wine, beer, & cocktails. Solid on sparking wine. (PoPvilleWBJGGWEater, WCP)
    • City Tap House (Chinatown/PQ) (website, Facebook, Twitter) 901 I St. NW – Philly-based 40-tap gastropub seating 180. Set to open in first half of December; already had a semi-private event for the UVa Alumni on November 22nd. Full-court press on media coverage. (PoPville, Post, Washingtonian, Eater, WCP)
    • Dunya (Shaw) (website) – 801 Florida Ave. NW -opened Dec 3rd 150-seat Turkish tapas spot serving high-end cocktails with outdoor roof deck from former owner of Shaw’s Tavern. Open late (PoPville, Post, Eater)
  • Bar Announcements
    • Southern Efficiency (Shaw) – 1841 7th St. NW – ETA Saturday December 21st – the 3rd in the trilogy of adjacent bars (Mockingbird Hill & Eat the Rich) from Derek Brown focusing on whiskey and Southern food. To sample early, bar will be having an intriguing Southern Whiskey 101 class for $45 next couple days. (WashingtonianInTheCapital, Zagat, Post)
    • El Rey  (U Street) – 919 U St. NW – ETA late December 2013 – taqueria & beer garden from Hilton Brothers, made up a shipping containers. With a retractable roof (Post)
    • Pinstripes (PoPville) – 1000 Wisconsin Ave. NW – ETA January 2014 – huge 34000 square foot venue with 14 bowling alleys, 6 bocce courts, bistro/wine cellar, and outdoor patio with C&O canal. (PoPville, Post)
    • Compass Rose (U Street) -1346 T. St. NW – aims to open in early January. Also seeking a few seats on patio, per SALM)
  • Other News
    • Glass House Coffee (14th/U Streets)- settlement agreement recently reached with local ANC. (SALM)
    • Cause (U Street) receives approval to construct rooftop deck.
    • AdMo ANC votes to request that ABRA modify the moratorium (similar to the recent action in Dupont) to allow for new restaurant liquor license, but keep in place prohibition to have new taverns or nightclubs
    • Board Room incorporates classic Anna Maria Italian Restaurant sign (PoPville)
    • Thrillist lists DC’s best dive bars: The Red Derby, The Raven, The Big Hunt, Codmother, Recessions, American Ice Co., The Board Room, & Capitol Lounge. Sadly still haven’t made it to the first two; the next three are certifiable dives, while the last three certainly are not.
    • Mad Momo’s (ColHi) will be closed for two weeks starting Monday, Dec. 23rd (so no NYE celebration there).
  • Barred in DC Activity
    • Bourbon Adams MorganFirst trip in a couple years to an old 18th Street fave; great beer on tap & bourbon. Pretty lively dance floor upstairs. Skews 4-5 years older than the rest of the strip.
    • Duke’s Grocery (Dupont): chill late night crowd post 12:30am on weekends and very lively dinner + HH crowd on weekdays
    • Maddy’s Tap Room (Downtown): big beer & whiskey list, great set up to watch 4 games at once on huge tvs. Nice space. Stop 1 on Barred in DC Circulator Bus Bar Tour
    • Touchdown Sports Bar and Grill (U Street): pleasant surprise of a sports bar (2nd trip there); lively atmosphere in cozy first floor (sound on for game we watched); the many tvs make up for the lack of size on most of them. Stop 2 on Barred in DC Circulator Bus Bar Tour.
    • Ventnor Sports Cafe (Adams Morgan): Fun two-level sports bar with friendly bartenders. Bar extended us $3.50 Bud Light bottle special, which was nice. Stop 2 on Barred in DC Circulator Bus Bar Tour.
    • Mellow Mushroom (Adams Morgan): bonus stop for 2nd straight Barred  in DC bar crawl. Great draft list; upstairs (4huge tvs) decent spot to catch a game.
    • Jack Rose (Adams Morgan)
    • City Tap House (Penn Quarter / Chinatown): stopped by opening week for couple beers at a very bustling HH. Very nice space, good variety/organization for beers. Lots of space for private events. Cool touch-personalized happy hours for groups of friends. Eater DC mentioned my tweet about the bar in a recent story.
    • Ceiba (Downtown): post-work holiday party HH; $5 mojitos, piso sours & other Latin drinks + $6 bites in lounge
    • Sushi Taro (Dupont Circle): terrific 1/2 price drinks + sushi happy hour in cozy 14 seat bar from 5:30-7p. Must get there by 5:20 to be in line to secure spot on Fridays.
    • Darnell’s Bar (U Street): made my first trip to this tiny crowded dive near 9th and Florida. Definitely a very diverse spot with good tunes, though didn’t have any drinks.
    • Blackjack (14th Street): Festive and good crowd at this 14th Street spot above Pearl Dive Oyster Bar
    • Black Whiskey (14th Street): Deafeningly loud rock music and a half-full upstairs bar
    • Pizzeria Paradiso (Dupont Circle): Took advantage of great can food drive for Martha’s Table to get a couple cans of quality craft beers in exchange for a couple of cans of food. Also noticed decent 12 oz. draft beer prices.
    • District Chophouse & Brewery (Chinatown / PQ): Rectify a 6+ year oversight to finally stop by this 7th Street mainstay for its great happy hour. Bar only serves its own 9 beers that are brewed on site; most of these drafts are $3.25 or $3.75 (about $2) during the happy hour that runs until 7p (see perhaps the only copy of the HH list on the interwebs here. Other specials on wine, cocktails, and food can also be had; served by very helpful & friendly bartenders.

DC Bar News Roundup – November 18th-December 1st

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday, whether back home, in DC, or in a vacation spot. Don’t forget to read the details about this Saturday’s college football-themed Barred in DC Circulator Bus Bar Tour here. Hope to see many of you there!

  • New neighborhood page for Adams Morgan posted.
  • Check out my review of Lucky Bar and my updated pending bars page if you haven’t yet.
  • Bar Announcements
    • City Tap House (Chinatown) (901 I St. NW) – 40-tap gastropub seating 180. Set to open in first half of December; already had a semi-private event for the UVa Alumni on November 22nd. Full-court press on media coverage (WaPo, WCP, Revamp, Drink DC, WBJ, Bad Wolf DC)
    • The Fainting Goat (U Street) (1330 U St. NW) – 3000 square foot, 130 seat new neighborhood spot opened yesterday evening (Sunday Dec. 1st) (Eater, WCP)
    • Right Proper Brew Pub (Shaw) (624 T St. NW) – Hoping to open Tuesday December 10th. PoPville has pictures of the inside (PoPville)
    • Flight Wine Bar (Chinatown/PQ) (777 6th St. NW at H) – new 60-seat wine bar opening in mid-December (WaPo, WCP, PoPville)
    • Hilltop Bar and Restaurant (Petworth) (2737 Sherman Ave. NW at Girard) – hopes to finish construction in December and open in January (PoPville)
    • Sin Bin Sports Bar (U Street) (1336 H St. NE) – huge new spot (200 seats, 400 occupancy) applies for liquor license including summer garden and entertainment. Sin bin is another name for the penalty box in hockey. Would be first sports bar in neighborhood (though the people  who think that the other H Street bars with multiple tvs count as a sports bar is why this is a terrible sports town/rant over) (Helder Gill Twitter, PoPville, Frozen Tropics)
    • All Souls Bar (Shaw) (725 T St. NW) (website, Facebook) (ETA late November 2013) – neighborhood 40-seat spot with limited menu set to open after years-long fight (Eater)
    • The Getaway (ColHi) makes it official that they’ll be closing after New Years Eve (PoPville)
  • Other News
    • Policy gets new settlement agreement that allows it to stay open as late as other bars (2a/3a). Before had to close at 2a on weekends (ANC2B)
    • Hank’s Oyster Bar’s happy hour will start couple hours early (3p) on December Friday’s in both Dupont & Cap Hill (Twitter)
    • Ceiba extends its solid Mon-Sat. afternoon happy hour another hour to 7p. $5 signature cocktails, $6 appetizers from 3-7p and late night (Twitter)
    • Thrillist with great list of best bars for certain liquors: Gin (The Gin Joint), Vodka (Mari Vanna), Rum (Hogo), Whiskey (Jack Rose), Tequila (El Centro D.F. Georgetown), Sherry (Mockingbird Hill)
    • New beverage manager of Bar Pilar & St. Ex, formerly of Range (WaPo, PoPville)
    • Progress continues at Washington Firehouse in Bloomingdale. Lots of interesting debate in comments (PoPville)
    • Huge brouhaha about an automated tweet (since deleted) that was sent out after the Bloomingdale hipster fave Boundary Stone signed a petition against a proposal to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers. The Post did great reporting after the bar apologized.
    • ANC2B votes to protest liquor licenses of Public Bar, 18th St Lounge, Dirty Martini, Midtown, Bistro Bistro, Fireplace, & Barcode. More details in this SALM post.
    • Neighboring office building to protest Lotus Lounge renewal, in efforts to get settlement agrement (SALM)
    • Both DCist and the Post do stories about great bars/restaurants with fireplaces & firepits. Biergarten Haus, Room 11Bardo, Poste, and Art & Soul are mentioned in both stories.
    • Excellent reporting by Post blogger/columnist Clinton Yates on the controversy over the liquor license for Brookland’s Finest, which Barred in DC first reported was granted its liquor license last month.
    • WCP takes a look at some bars and how many credit cards are left at them each night. Of course, this would be solved by bars (like Jack Rose) that give your card back to you when you start a tab.
    • ABRA votes to remove the moratorium on new restaurant liquor licenses (and liquor/beer stores) on 17th Street in Dupont. Tavern licenses remain capped at 2 (J.R.’s and Cobalt/30degrees have the current ones), and no nightclub licenses are allowed. I foresee little change w/ respect to places to eat and drink, but I wouldn’t be surprised if another wine shop opens at some point.
  • Barred in DC Activity
    • Duke’s Grocery: stopped by the neighborhood spot for a couple $5 wine/beers for HH
    • GBD: enjoyed punch, beer and chicken wings at my favorite happy hour
    • Iron Gate: swung by new NRG spot on N Street in Dupont, good drinks and very romantic restaurant
    • Black Whiskey: stopped by twice at this chill hipstery divey spot on 14th, good for free pool and lots of whiskey selection. Beer is a $1 too expensive though
    • Bayou: first late night visit to this Cajun restaurant/bar/live music venue. Fun to be on first floor and hear the band upstairs playing
    • One Lounge: rare trip to the sprawling Dupont lounge/dance spot. Never too crowded (go upstairs to get a drink quickly)
    • Bar Charley: sampled the very good all night Monday happy hour. $2 off all draft beer & tiki drinks, 1/2 off sandwiches
    • Hank’s Oyster Bar: couple late night drinks at the nearby spot
    • Masa 14: kicked off a mini-14th Street bar crawl here; the spicy cucumber margarita is solid
    • Blackjack: good time drinking at the 2nd stop on the crawl; place is festively decorated for the holidays
    • New Vegas Lounge: good live music at this old spot on P Street; haven’t been there in 4 years. $10 cover, pretty sparse turnout due to holiday

DC Bar News Roundup – November 5th-18th

Recapping DC bar news for the past two weeks:

  • First, don’t forget to read the details about December 7th’s Barred in DC Circulator Bus Bar Tour here.
  • If you haven’t already, check out my story about the ANC protest of Bar Charley‘s request to be open until 2a/3a. Story includes closing times for the neighboring establishments and the nuances of why the ANC decided to protest despite being in favor of the later closing times. SALM has a few more details.
  • Bar Announcements
    • El Ray (U Street) (917 U St. NW) (ETA late December 2013) –  taqueria from Hilton Bros (Marvin, 18th St Lounge, Local 16, etc.) set among shipping containers. Will have a retractable roof & multiple bars. Next to Dodge City (PoPville)
    • Right Proper Brewing (Shaw) (624 T St. NW) (website, Facebook, Twitter) (ETA early December 2013) – brewpub set to open with 8 draft beers, including 2 house beers. 65 seat dining area with lounge/bar area in front (WCP)
    • All Souls Bar (Shaw) (725 T St. NW) (website, Facebook) (ETA late November 2013) – neighborhood 40-seat spot with limited menu set to open after years-long fight (Eater)
    • Alibi Restaurant & Lounge (Capitol Hill) (237 2nd St. NW) (ETA December 2013) – “British American pub” opening in the old hilarious dive My Brother’s Place spot (apparently from same owners). Sounds like it will be a complete 180 with chandeliers and good food. News originally first reported by Barred in DC over a month ago. (PoPville)
    • Seven Faces Barroom (Bloomingdale) (251 Florida Ave. NW at S) (ETA May-June 2014) – 1200 square foot, 85-person tavern from bartenders from Range, Ripple, & Velvet Lounge.
    • Sky Lounge (U Street) (913 U St. NW) (ETA unknown) – not much information on this place; just spotted that they’ve applied for a liquor license. ABRA tells me that it’s a transfer from a previous tavern licensee. Some digging uncovers a settlement agreement with “MBB” (perhaps previous licensee) and some PoPville discussion about the building being gutted.
    • Casual Mexican Richard Sandoval Restaurant/Bar (Shaw) (1547 7th St. NW at P) (ETA unknown) – Casual Mexican concept, not another El Centro as PoPville reported (EaterPoPville)
    • Not opening- Kiji Club, a new planned cocktail bar from Daikaya owners, will not open after all, mostly b/c Daikaya has a great cocktail program (WCP/Y&H)
    • The Getaway likely closing by end of November. Never made it to this Columbia Heights spot. A PoPville commenter says the bank foreclosed on the property. (PoPville)
  • Other News
    • Sticky Rice began serving its 2 week liquor license suspension on Nov. 13th for interfering with an ABRA investigation. Sticky Rice did file a motion for reconsideration of the suspension, but it was denied. Still open & serving sushi; apparently hosting AA meetings.
    • Riverfront at the Ball Park denied liquor license by ABRA despite support by local ANC; ABRA thought DC cops couldn’t police 6 acre area (technically capacity of 12000 people) and worried about sound emanating from the open air bar affecting the houses 1.5 blocks away. Was going to be bocce and kickball venue. Very bizarre ruling from ABRA (PoPville)
    • Dacha Beer Garden‘s attempts to build permanent structure has ran into the historic preservation roadblock. Lots of good info from WBJ. Dacha has turned to Facebook to drum up support for its plans.  Dacha’s last day for the season was Sunday. (WBJ, WCP)
    • Opportunity for new tavern license (or existing restaurant transferred to tavern license) in Georgetown. By law, Georgetown can only have 6 tavern licenses. According to the Post, Gypsy Sally’s (new music venue) and Smith Point have applied to have their licenses converted into the much less restrictive restaurant license.  There are 68 on-premises liquor licensees in Georgetown; only five have a tavern license: Rhino Bar, Chadwick’s El Centro D.F., Modern & Blue Gin (latter is currently closed) (Post, ABRA)
    • ANC 2F entered into settlement agreement (ABRA approval pending) with The American, new gastropub in Blagden Alley inside block bordered by 9th/10th/M Streets. The ANC voted to oppose termination of settlement agreement with The Park at 14th (SALM)
    • Two new bars (Ivy and Coney and The Pub and the People) received $85,000 each in DC grants as part of the Great Streets Small Business Capital Improvement Program. Jessica Sidman (Y&H/WCP) has a great look at whether this is a worthwhile use of tax dollars. PoPville first reported about Ivy and Coney’s grant using to fund a retractable roof deck (which spawned a good discussion in the comments).
    • Great new nightly specials from RedRocks H Street. Includes 1/2 price pizzas Tuesdays & HH all night long Wed. ($1 off drafts, $5 mixed drinks) (GoG/Post)
    • BYT’s rolls out its The Least Douchey Bars in DC for 2013 (hate to admit-haven’t frequented many of these, I’ve bolded those I’ve been to: Shaw (A&D, Hogo), Dupont (Bar Charley, The Bier Baron TavernEastern Market (Beuchert’s Saloon,) Logan Circle/U Street (Black Whiskey, Satellite RoomBloomingdale (Boundary Stone, Showtime Lounge), NW DC (Comet Pizza & Ping Pong), Petworth/Park View (DC Reynolds, The Looking Glass Lounge, Petworth Citizen) Woodley Park (The Gin Joint) H Street (Jimmy Valentine’s Lonely Hearts Club,  The Pug), Columbia Heights (Meridian Pint, The Pinch,  Adams Morgan (The Pharmacy Bar), Mount Pleasant (The Raven Grill), Capitol Hill (Wisdom). Check the link for 2012’s list too (BYT)
    • 10 new happy hours to try including 7 in DC: The Heights, Kapnos, Mi Cocina, Mintwood Place, ParkView Patio, The W Hotel Living Room, Zentan (Washingtonian/Best Bites)
    • Young & Hungry spotlights a few new wine spots, including Eno Wine Bar, Barcelona Wine Bar, & Vin de Chez (pop up at Union Market)
    • ANC 2B protest renewals for Bistro Bistro & The Fireplace, Barcode (peace quiet/parking issues) & Public Bar’s request to terminate settlement agreement. ANC is fine with Public Bar’s request to be open at 11am.
    • Fiola/Casa Luca head mixologist/bartender Jeff Faile moving the Neighborhood Restaurant Group to head group’s cocktail program (Post)
    • ABRA to decide what to do about 17th Street liquor license moratorium this Wednesday afternoon.
    • 22 year old man from Silver Spring stabbed to death Sunday night outside Midtown in Dupont. A cop was also kicked (DCist)
    • Thrillist lists 47 coolest bars and restaurants in DC (really 43 in DC)
    • No new lease yet for TruOrleans space on H Street (WCP)
  • Barred in DC Activity
    • Lots of bars in Memphis – too many to count or remember
    • GBD  – still cheapest best happy hour in city, goes till 8p, $3-4-5 beers, $3 punches, often $3-4 food items
    • Lucky Bar – solid Friday HH goes till 8 includes $4 drafts (includes local drafts such as Chocolate City and Atlas on recent visit)
    • Garden District – spent a terrific Sunday afternoon here; catch it before it closes December 7th
    • Blackjack – swung by for solid Sunday HH
    • Ghibellina – although limited time (only 4:30-6:30p), this might have best food & drink combo deals for HH. $3-4.50 20 oz beers, $5 wines, cheap cocktails,~$8 pizzas
    • Pearl Dive Oyster Bar – hung out on the great patio outside
    • Duke’s Grocery – terrific neighborhood bar with great sandwiches
    • The Board Room DC – had some solid cheap cocktails
    • Maddy’s Bar and Grille – watched some Thursday night football here, definitely impressed by the sports bar atmosphere, will bump up their rating 1/2 star

DC Bar News – Week(s) in Review – October 22nd – November 4th

Read the news I broke about the new bar in Brookland (Brookland’s Finest) receiving an unrestricted liquor license, despite ANC protest, my roundup of news about the opening of The Arsenel/Bluejacket, and my review of Jack Rose.

Other news:

  • Openings
    • The Arsenel/Bluejacket Brewery (Navy Yard) ( websiteFacebookTwitter,) – (300 Tingey St. SE) – eagerly awaited brewery/bar opened near Nats Park on Tuesday October 29th
    • Park View Patio (Petworth) (Twiiter, Facebook, website ) (3632 Georgia Ave. NW at Princeton Place) – sports-ish bar with a huge back patio soft-opened up Halloween night (will open for good Thursday) in the old Blue Banana space. From Reed Landry, the owner of the preppy spots George and Mason Inn, and others, including a partner from the K Street club Capitale. (WaPo, UrbanDaddy, New Columbia Heights, PoPville, Park View, D.C.)
  • New Bar Announcements
    • New Neighborhood Bar at 14th/W: PoPville reports “that the owners of Federal and Palace5ive (2216 14th St, NW) are opening a neighborhood tavern in the former Dynasty Ethiopian Restaurant space” and that it will be “a very chill spot with beer in cans.”
    • Barrel (Capitol Hill) (613 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) (ETA: late 2013/early 2014) – new Southern-themed bourbon-and-beer bar from folks behind Union Pub & 201. Likely in old 18th Amendment spot (WCP, Capitol Hill Corner)
  • DC Beerathon – Saturday November 9th – Noon – 3am
    • Great event held by one of the owner’s of Duke’s Grocery, went last year and had a great time
    • 26 12 oz beers at 26 different bars + food specials
    • $69 with fees
    • Check-in at Madhatter (Dupont) or Black Jack (U/Logan Circle) between Noon and 3pm to get ticket and wristband which are good until bars close
    • Bars & beers include (check back to see all bars, subject to change):  Madhatter (New Belgium – Fat Tire), Rumors (TBD), Front Page (Harpoon Brewery – Winter Warmer), Buffalo Billiards (Founder’s All Day IPA), The Board Room DC (Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat), Maddy’s Bar and Grille (Batch 19), Black Jack (Port City Revival Stout), Stoney’s (Widmer Brothers – Alchemy Ale) Black Whiskey (DC Brau – Public Ale), Ulah Bistro (Peroni)
    • A portion of ticket sales will benefit Ranger Lead the Way Fund and Dreams For Kids DC.
  • Other Bar News
    • Indulj Restaurant & Lounge (U Street) – ANC 1B liquor committee recommends that the ANC protest its liquor license renewal due to the multiple license infractions, along with a shooting outside the bar that led to bar’s closure last Dec. (Short Articles About Long Meetings)
    • Kapnos – Greek eatery from Mike Isabella at 14th/W announces new happy hour: 5-7p M-F $5 drafts, $6 draft wines, $7 draft lemonade cocktails, $5 snacks (WaPo)
    • Bar Di Bari – Hybrid bar/coffee spot, rumored to be closed, actually will just shutter doors on Mondays during winter (PoPville)
    • Ivy and Coney – Detroit/Chicago themed Shaw spot gets $85,000 grant from city to add fully retractable roof. Commenters hotly debate whether this both lessens the cool/neighborhoodness of the bar and whether this grant is advisable (PoPville)
    • Love – Northeast club shut down due to over $100,000 in unpaid taxes (WaPo)
    • Bar Charley – announces all night (till close at 11p) Monday HH; $6 burgers, bison sloppy joes & tuna burgers (1/2 off normal price), $5 Tiki Taps ($2 off), wines by glass as low as $4 (Facebook)
    • The Guards – Politico CEO bought old sign from legendary Georgetown spot that recently closed for $5,000 (WBJ, WCP)
    • Secret Lounge and Sports Bar in Shaw apparently closed. (PoPville)
    • Deadspin with a great breakdown on why your drink at a bar costs what it does.
    • Eater DC has a great list of its 16 favorite happy hours: Piola, Old Ebbitt Grill, Chef Geoff’s Downtown, Sushi Taro, Vinoteca, Black Jack, DC Reynolds, Urbana, The Palm, Boqueria, DGS Delicatessen (I wrote about its HH earlier this year), Poste, Mad Hatter, Tonic at Quigley’s, Vidalia, & GBD. I’ve been to all of these spots (except Piola, and never HH at The Palm and Boqueria); definitely recommend GBD, Chef Geoff’s, Sushi Taro, Black Jack, DC Reynolds, DGS, Vidalia and GBD. The 1/2 price pizza HH at Ghibellina is the one big oversight, IMO.
  •  Barred in DC activity
    • Iota (Arlington): perhaps only hispter bar in Clarendon. Really cool vibe for friend’s concert (Bombadil)
    • Glen’s Garden Market (Dupont)
    • Whole Foods P Street (U St/Logan)
    • GBD (Dupont)
    • The Board Room DC (Dupont)
    • Bar Charley (Dupont)
    • Duke’s Grocery (Dupont)
    • Barcelona Wine Bar (U St/Logan): new mini-chainlet (based of CT), on 14th near R. Really cool space, very popular with upper 20s/early 30somethings, drinks are pretty cheap for 14th
    • Black Whiskey (U St/Logan): good $10 whiskey cocktails and free pool