A Normative Profile of Tipping at DC Bars

You’ve probably begun to hear a lot about Initiative 77, the ballot measure up for vote on the June 19th DC election put forward by some progressive groups (not DC itself, as some restaurant owners seem to think) which would eliminate the lower “tipped wage” by 2026 so restaurant/bar workers would be required to be paid the the full minimum wage by their employers. Right now, these workers get paid $3.33/hour ($5 in 2020) directly by the employer, and any difference between normal minimum wage ($15 in 2020) must be paid the employer. I have yet to hear from anyone in the restaurant/DC industry actually in favor of this.

It got me thinking: what do most folks tip in DC? Becky Krystal and Fritz Hahn posted this handy explainer in the Post about what you should do in 2016, but it’s interesting what people actually do. Those who’ve worked as bartenders were furious at poll results. Based on Twitter polls and tweet feedback, here are the norms, based on strong consensus (70%+, Majority rules: 50%, Split: No Strong:

Near Consensus

  • Tip post-tax
  • 20% for a flight of beers
  • 20% for “solid service” at restaurant
  • Tipping at least some of the time based on the level of effort involved in making drinks
  • Grabbing a beer or two is very different than posting up at a bar for a long time

Majority or Close to It


  • Growler fill tipping: 39% don’t tip on growler fills, 31% tip only if they get other beer/food, 30% tip even if getting nothing else
  • Glass of wine: $1 or 20% evenly split
  • Rounding on tip with credit card: 32% tip in whole dollars (lot of folks have trouble doing math), 22% add tip so the total is whole dollars, 40% don’t do that

Trusty’s Set For Live Music; Torai to Offer Sake (Beer and Wine Too)

[This post was cross-posted earlier to The Hill is Home, where Barred in DC sometimes contributes stories that are more focused towards the neighborhood in which he lives]

Trusty’s, 1420 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, the beloved neighborhood bar in Hill East, is on track to host live bands and other entertainment both inside and on its 2nd floor deck. On Tuesday April 10, ANC 6B concurred with the ANC’s Alcohol Beverage Control Committee recommendation to support Trusty’s request for an entertainment endorsement. (You can see Barred in DC for an explainer.)

At the committee’s meeting last Thursday, co-owner Mark Menard explained the rationale for asking for an endorsement after nearly 13 years in business, saying that patrons and neighbors have asked for a venue for schools and local organization fundraisers, as well as local musicians. Menard specifically mentioned King Bullfrog, “a high-energy acoustic duo playing folk, blues, world, and original music for children and their grown-ups,” as a musical act that would be featured. The ANC supported hours of entertainment beginning at 10 a.m. for both inside and outside, and until closing inside; at midnight Sunday through Thursday; and at 1 a.m. Friday through Saturday on the 2nd floor deck (which fits about 25-30 folks).

The request now goes to the Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) for approval; we can expect the first event late to happen in the spring/early summer.

In other liquor licensing news, the ANC also supported a beer/wine license for the new Asian Barracks Row eatery, Torai. In response to customer requests (particularly for sake), Torai, which will close at 10 p.m., will serve bottled beer, wine and sake once their liquor license is approved by ABRA.

#ThisTown – DC Bars Showing Stormy Daniels 60 Minutes Interview

The CBS TV newsmagazine 60 Minutes is airing an interview tonight (after 7p, immediately following Elite 8 NCAA Kansas-Duke matchup) with adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who reportedly had an affair with Donald Trump. Because this is DC, many bars are getting in on the action and hosting watch parties (even though even cord cutters can get this on TV if they own a $20 antenna) . This is #soDC, people either love it or hate it.

  • The Brighton  (Wharf)
    • Stormy Daniel cocktail (Jack and ginger beer)
    • special surprise treats
    • The OG bar with specials, Been serving since Jan https://www.thewrap.com/stormy-daniels-cocktail-dc-bar-trump/
  • Satellite Room (U St)
    • $2 Dark n Stormy (rum + ginger beer)
    • $3 off select draft beer
    • Orange cream puff boozy milkshake
  • Wisdom (Hill)
    • $6 Dark n Stormy
  • Atlas Arcade (H St)
    • $6 Dark n Stormy
  • Duffy’s Irish Pub (U St)
    • $2.50 Miller High Life / $3 Irish red drafts
  • Ventnors (AdMo)
  • Reliable Tavern (Petworth / Park View)
    • $8 Dark n Stormy’s after 6p
    • free bourbon shots if video/photo evidence confirms affair
  • JR’s (Dupont)
  • Union Pub (Capitol Hill)

DC #Snowday Specials … On the First Day of Spring

Photo by Author of Snow

Although it’s the first day of spring, snow has decided to come to DC instead of warm weather and OPM has shut down the Government on March 21, 2018. Which means Barred in DC has the day off (no telework required at the agencies I’ve worked at), and due to popular demand, here’s a list of bar specials (or otherwise open spots that are worthwhile):

Here’s a running list as Barred in DC now has the day off:

Specials/Open Earlier Than Usual:

  • The Blaguard (AdMo)
    • open at Noon
    • $6 PBR Tallboy + shot of Rye all day
    • Extended HH from 5-10p
  • DC Reynolds (Park View / Petworth)
    • Open at Noon for BOGO till 9p
  • Ivy & Coney (Shaw)
    • open at noon
    • $2 Stroh’s & $4 combos till 7p
  • Meridian Pint (Col Hi)
    • open for brunch at 11a
    • Neighborhood special – Bring in an ID, library card or bill with address on it. If you live in #20010 four $4 beers available all day
  • Boundary Stone (Bloomingdale)
    • Open at 11a
  • Solly’s (U St)
    • $15 fish fry from Sloppy Mamma’s starts at 3p
  • TaKorean (multiple locations)
    • $3 draft beers starting at 11a
  • Beuchert’s Saloon (Cap Hill/Eastern Market)
    • open at 11a
    • HH all day
  • District Winery/Ana (Navy Yard)
    • 1/2 price wine tastings
    • all-day HH
  • The Queen Vic (H St)
    • open at 11a today
  • The Star & Shamrock (H St)
    • open at 1p
  • City Tap House (PQ & Dupont)
    • HH all day long (inc. $7 cookie dough smahs)
  • Anxo (Brightwood Park/Petworth)
    • open at 1p, 4p kitchen
  • Cafe Berlin (Cap Hill)
    • open at Noon
    • $10 liters of Warsteiner Pils all day
  • Bar Pilar (Logan Circle)
    • ramen starts at 3p
    • Extended HH
  • Tyber Creek (Bloomingdale)
    • open at 3:30
    • extended HH
  • The Dirty Goose (U St)
    • open at 1p
  • Hill Country (Chinatown/PQ)
    • $2 Genesee Brewery Cream Ales and Happy Hour all day
  • The Public Option (Woodridge)
    • open at 2p
  • Bourbon (AdMo)
    • Open at noon today with
    • HH till 7, reserve whiskeywednesday half-price pours, $8 hot toddies, plus food specials
  • Player’s Club (Logan Circle)
    • open at 2p
    • . $2 Off Beers/Ciders/Wines, $3 Well drinks til 7p
  • Capitol Lounge (Capitol Hill)
    • open at 11a
  • The Brighton (The Wharf)
    • Opening at 11a
    • $2 Off Wines $5 Well drinks til 7p
  • Martin’s (Georgetown)
    • full brunch/lunch 11a-4p
  • EatBar (Eastern Market)
    • open at 4p
    • $10 Stout + Shot snowday special
  • Bluejacket (Navy Yard)
    • open at 11a for normal hours
    • ½ price casks / $4 Bluejacket classics / $7 rittenhouse hot apple cider / $8 tater tot pie
  • Penn Commons (PQ/CHinatown)
    • all day HH drafts
  • El Camino (Bloomingdale)
    • open at noon
  • Purple Patch (Mt Pleasant)
    • open at 1p
    • $2 off cocktails and $5 drafts
  • The Pug (H St)
    • open at noon
  • Nellie’s (U St)
    • open at 1p
    • HH food and drink
  • Churchkey (Logan Circle)
    • open at 4p normal hours
    • “Tasters & Tots” special: any 2 tasters ($5/under) + an order of tots for $10.
  • La Jambe (Shaw)
    • open at noon
    • noon-2p wine HH
  • Rare Tavern (Downtown)
    • bloody Mary paired with a Miller High Life Pony and Wisconsin-style fried cheese curds for $12.
  • Red Derby (ColHi)
    • open at 3p
    • HH 3p-8p
  • Lost & Found (Shaw)
    • open at 2pm with HH running until 7p
  • The Black Squirrel (AdMo)
    • Open at noon
    • Full menu,
    • $5 Goose Island till 5p
  • J Paul’s (Georgetown)
    • open at 11a
    • all Day HH
    • $5 Craft Drafts $5 Rail Drinks $5 House Wine
  • Acadiana (Chinatown/PQ)
    • $5 HH all day
  • The Partisan (PQ)
    • two $5 special wines all day
  • Hamilton’s (near Capitol Hill/Judiciary Square)
    • open at 11a
    • $1 PBRs and $1 Miller High Life’s
  • Union Pub (Capitol Hill)
    • open at 11a
    • All day: $4 rails / $5 Dominion Oak Barrel Stout / $14 Old Style buckets
    • 5pm-close: $4 select bourbons / $4 Belgian bottles  / $12.50 Bud Light pitchers
  • The Good Silver (ColHi)
    • open at noon
  • Joe’s (Downtown)
    • Extended cocktail hour in Banking Hall 11:30a-6:30p: Half-price signature cocktails, wines by the glass, draft beers and oysters on the half-shell
  • Joselito (Eastern Market)
    • All Day Hemingway Hour at Bar ($6 dollar tapas and libations at the bar, as well as 20 percent off the regular menu at the bar)
  • Mellow Mushroom (AdMo)
    • $5 cheese pizza till 3p
  • Showtime (Bloomingdale)
    • open at 1p

Spots Normal Hours/Specials to Check Out

  • Duke’s Grocery (Dupont)
    • $5 HH from Noon-7p
  • Duke’s Counter (AdMo)
    • $5 HH from Noon-7p (all 8 draft beers, wines and rail liquors too)
  • The Royal (Ledroit)
    • Open all day
    • HH starts at 3p
  • Glen’s (Dupont & Shaw)
    • always open at 8a (10a in Shaw) for $4 beers
  • Lou’s City Bar (ColHi)
    • open at 11a
    • BOGO till 7p
  • Shop Made in DC (Dupont)
    • HH starts at 11:30a
  • DC City Smokehouse (Bloomingdale)
    • open at 11a
  • Across the Pond (Dupont)
    • open all day, for lunch, happy hour and dinner:
    • Happy Hour, 4-8 pm, including $5 apps and $3 Pilsner

Where to Watch March Madness in DC – 2018

This isn’t the official logo

March Madness is upon us, and it does not get better than Thursday and Friday for the first round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. See TV schedule and bracket here. I’ve highlighted all the sports bars, which are your best bets to have an atmosphere, and specials. I’ll be taking off the afternoon once again, like I’ve done every year I’ve worked. Email/Tweet at me if you wanna meet up if your friends aren’t. Saturday is St. Paddy’s Day, so be forewarned

Dupont Circle

  • Public Bar
    • showing every game
    • TBD food/drink specials
  • Buffalo Billiards
    • $22 buckets of 16 oz. Bud Light/Coors Light / $6 Captain Morgan
  • Lucky Bar
    • doors open at 2p
  • Across the Pond
    • Specials during games Thurs-Fri, & Sun
    • $5 apps
    • $4 house pilsner, $5 Carlsberg; $9 Modelo & Jameson shot combo; $10 PBR & Jameson shot combo
    • HH specials 4-8p
  • City Tap House
    • Special $5 pint special throughout tourney

Adams Morgan

  • Ventnor Sports Cafe
    • open at 11a Thurs & Fri
    • $5 tall boys of select beer every game  / $5 green beer & discount pitchers Sat 
    • Skyline Chili-style Coney dogs during Cincy games
  • Jack Rose
    • Courtside Rooftop HH
    • Opens at 5p
    • 5 Pints, $7 Punch and $9 Whisk(e)ys
    • 4-5 TVs

U Street / Shaw / Logan Circle / Bloomingdale

  • Franklin Hall
    • open at noon
    • $3 Narragansett pints / $8 Narragansett Liter Mugs for all games
  • Duffy’s
    • $5 pints of green beer starting March 14th
  • Nellie’s Sports Bar
    • open at 11a
    • $4 Miller lite bottles during games
  • Stoney’s
    • discount drafts ($4-6 Bud Light or Vienna Lager) / $12 Bud Light pitcher / $15 Shock Top pitcher / $20 Vienna Lager pitcher / $5 shots
    • $5 grilled cheese / $7 super grilled cheese during games
  • Exile’s
    • Opens at 2p Fri for extra-long HH
  • Solly’s
    • Open at noon Thurs-Sat for tourney
  • Ivy & Coney
    • Open at Noon
    • HH till 7p ($2 Stroh’s, $4 Combos)
  • Player’s Club
    • Open at Noon
  • The Pub and the People
    • Open for lunch at 11a

Chinatown / Penn Quarter

  • Penn Social
    • doors open at noon
    • $4 Miller Lite, $4 Blue Moon, and $5 Devil’s Backbone
  • Penn Quarter Sports Tavern
    • HH 4-7p
    • 1/2 price nachos on Thurs at 7:30p
  • Whiskey Diner
    • drink specials during all games
  • Hill Country
    • During games, $9 pitchers of Genessee Cream Ale any time game on
  • Penn Commons
    • open at 11a
    • HH starts at 4p
    • HH all the time if you wear team gear for any A-10, Big 10 or ACC game
    • beer madness bracket
  • Rocket Bar
    • doors open at 4p
    • $4 16 oz. Dos Equis cans during all games
  • The Partisan
    • Meat Madness available after 5p (32 types of charcuterie)
    • 2 TVs
  • City Tap House
    • Special $5 pint special throughout tourney

Columbia Heights / Petworth

  • Lou’s City Bar
    • BOGO HH kicks off 11:30a-7p
    • 10 lunch items for under $10 ready in 10 minutes
    • 23 TVs

Capitol Hill/Navy Yard/The Wharf/H Street/Ivy City

  • The Ugly Mug
    • open at 11a
    • specials
    • live bands at 9:30 Fri & Sat night
  • Union Pub
    • $15 Bud/Bud Light Buckets / $14 Bud Light Pitchers / $5 Goose Island IPA drafts / $5 rails
    • all day on gamedays
  • Dirty Water
    • open at 11a
    • $24 Budweiser tubes / $28 8 Bud Light bottle buckets
  • Finn McCool’s
    • open at 11a Thu-Fri & Sun; 9a Sat
    • $4 Heineken draft / $18 Heineken buckets during games (except Sat.)
    • food specials as well except Sat.
    • 4 122 inch project screens, 12 60″ TV
  • Dock FC
    • all games
  • Star & Shamrock
    • open at noon (Bullfrog Bagels available)
  • The Brig
    • open at noon
    • 10 TVs
    • HH 3-7p $6 Half Liters | $11 Liters on selected beer / $4 Tall Boy 16oz. Can
      Natty Boh, PBR / $5 Besos Del Sol White Sangria / ​$4 Bavarian Pretzel with beer cheese
  • The Brighton
    • open at 11a
    • drink specials if you wear alumni/team gear

Cleveland Park/NW DC

  •  Jake’s
    • downstairs open Wed-Sat for games
  • Millie’s
    • food specials /prizes
    • $5 Cisco drafts all tournament long

Downtown/West End

  • Bottom Line
    • open at 11a
  • Blackfinn
    • open at 11a
  • Old Ebbitt Grill
    • open at 7:30a or 8:30a
  • Union Trust Bar
    • open at noon
  • Stoney’s on L
    • open at 11a
    • Pigpile Totchos $10, 20-wing platter for $18, Nachos $8
    • $4 Stoney’s Drafts, $12 Bud Light Pitchers

#Windmageddon DC Bar/Restaurant Specials

Since OPM has shut down the federal government due to sustained 35 MPH winds and 60 MPH gusts, some bars have decided to (recklessly or not?) open earlier than usual with bar specials. Also a good day to get reps in for watching March Madness (Big 10 is playing a week earlier and two games start at noon on BTN).

Here’s a running list as Barred in DC now has the day off:


  • DC Reynolds (Park View / Petworth)
    • Open at 1p for BOGO till 9p
    • Showing Gone with the Wind (possibly other Scarlett O’Hara movies)
  • Reliable Tavern (Park View / Petworth)
    • Open at noon
    • $8 Old Fashioneds and HH till 7p
  • Homestead (Petworth)
    • Open at noon
    • HH 3-7 and 10-12am. $5 Drafts and Rails
  • Ivy & Coney (Shaw)
    • open at noon
    • $2 Stroh’s till 7p
    • good spot to watch Big Ten games (both Michigan schools in doubleheader)
  • Hellbender (NW DC)
    • Open at 2pm today.
    • 10 beers on tap, $5 pours till 9p closing
  • Southern Hospitality (AdMo)
    • HH 11:30a-8p – $5 select drafts, $5 wines by the glass, $5 rail drinks
  • The Pug (H St)
    • opens at 1p

Spots Normally Open to Check Out

  • Duke’s Grocery (Dupont)
    • $5 HH from Noon-7p
  • Duke’s Counter (AdMo)
    • $5 HH from Noon-7p
  • Bluejacket (Navy Yard)
    • Pick up cans of Lost Weekend IPA starting at noon
  • Boundary Stone (Bloomingdale)
    • Open like usual on Fridays
  • Pearl Dive (14th / Logan Circle)
    • Brunch,
    • $20 bottomless option available
  • Cafe Saint-Ex (14th / Logan Circle)
    • Brunch
    • 1st mimosa is $10, every one after is $20
  • DC Harvest (H St)
    • Brunch
    • $20 (mimosas); $25 (bloodies) bottomless options
  • The Royal (Ledroit)
    • Open all day
    • HH starts at 3p

Barred in DC Five Year Anniversary Party – Union Trust – Tuesday March 6th

Terrible Graphic by Author

To mark, if not celebrate, a half decade of ignominy since Barred in DC was officially launched on March 6, 2013, a happy hour (and longer) celebration will be held at Union Trust Bar (740 15th Street, NW, south of H, next to Joe’s Stone Crab) next Tuesday, March 6th, with festivities kicking off at 5:30p and lasting till late, in case you don’t get out of work early. If you haven’t heard or been, Union Trust is the new spot that opened downtown in late November from Tony and Solly, the guys (“bar impresarios” is too strong) behind beloved/terrible bars The Pug and Solly’s, respectively, as well as Brookland’s Finest.

After 240+ blog posts, 260,000 hits (literally half of of that on 4 boxing posts, rest bots and family members probably, though my parents still don’t know about this thing), a whopping $220 in net ad revenue, 14,400 tweets, and (improbably) nearly 4,200 Twitter followers, it makes some sense to commemorate Barred in DC’s “contribution” to DC bar news and life as well as thank the many of you followers who have interacted with the blog and Twitter account, which makes it so worthwhile.

Reasons to come (bulleted of course):

  • Happy hour specials ($5 draft beers, prosecco, wines and Jameson) till 7p
  • Pizza (come early, limited supplies til it runs out; see above low ad revenue)
  • A prize drawing or two
  • Pitch your story idea
  • A bunch of more important reasons
  • Meet Barred in DC (updated photo below)
Not Barred in DC, but he’s an Indian dude, so probably close enough