Saturdays @ 9 pm until 2 am * Recessions (below the Quincy Hotel) * 1823 L Street N.W. * Washington, D.C. * $7 Cash cover at the door * 21+ *
Mardi Gras! - This particular club-going experience was decked all out for celebrating Mardi Gras. Costuming was highly encouraged as well as donning the beads and masks. Don't have one, they provided masks at the door for $1. Excellent idea for clubs pushing costumed nights as it helped this weary traveller who walked the streets of downtown D.C. looking for masks to prepare yet didn't find one. On foot from the local Hostelling International, about 8 blocks away, that came as a welcomed idea. They also beaded us up as we entered the door. I arrived around 10 pm, it was slow to populate, but the music was good minus some speaker issues they were having. I had my fill of the cheap on special themed Hurricane drinks and got some good dancing in. Patrons all seemed to have a good time and the ambiance was very nice. DJs Shade, Transept, and Skunque did a fabulous job. Great music and selections. Great dancing and festivities. Recessions also served some good food, I had the Crab cakes which were affordable and quite tasty. Much more mature crowd at Spellbound. Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5.
Lola's Barracks Bar and Grill is one of the newer places on Barracks Row (8th Street SE) in Capitol Hill, DC. This bar just opened in September 2008 and its interior is dominated by a tall, deep, dark wooden bar with small lamps where the taps would normally be. The taps are along the wall behind the bar tender, along with the wines and liquors. They also have 5 or 10 tables, most seemed to be high tops, and a small outdoor patio with a few tables. They have a bunch of big plasma TVs in frames (though one of the apparently new TVs already lost about five percent of its pixels in a stripe right through the picture).
When Laura and I arrived around 7:30pm, we were lucky to grab the last two seats at the bar. I chose one of the 18 draft beers--a Dover, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Dogfish Head 60 Degree IPA for about $7. Laura was impressed at the selection of Monterey, CA wines, and selected a red she was familiar with. We spent about an hour and a half here with some of the neighborhood's wealthier, best dressed people... I don't think you'll find too many of the local Marines or Sailors here.
The food here is creative, the service good despite a few problems, and the interior is very fancy... perhaps better suited for Pebble Beach than Capitol Hill.
Rumor on the web is the owner of this place just bought Finn MacCools and will close the place down to remodel over the next few months. Hopefully it doesn't end up this fancy.
18+ event | cover $5.00 21+/$7 18-21 * open 9:00 PM - 2:00 AM
Nestled in Club Liv on thursdays resides a dark alternative night playing dark synthpop, goth, and industrial by DJ's Ras DNA, Mindcage, Missguided, Purevil, and Vlad. The night was slow to pickup, but by midnight had about 20-30 perhaps. Plenty of room to dance, drinks were small but potent, and very pricy from what I'm used to in my wanderings. I liked the nightclub space and couches. Everyone was very friendly and social. The music was good. We had a drunken good time. Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
While walking toward Union Station we decided to have one last beer for the evening before my friends had too take the Metro home. We decided to either hit up the Dubliner or right next door, Kelly's Irish Times. As we approached, the Dubliner looked dead and the Irish Times was overflowing into the street. The Irish Times was the logical choice, but my friend had to use the restroom, and we thought the Dubliner might have cleaner restrooms. Well, when we entered the Dubliner, I was very surprised by the number of people packed around the main bar and spread around the other rooms here; you'd never guess it from the outside.
We sat at the smaller back bar and each had a pint... two Smithwick's and a Guinness. When the live music started back up just before 1am, we decided it was time for some sleep, so we headed on home.
The Dubliner is in the Phoenix Park Hotel (named after the huge park in Dublin, Ireland), and they have Irish food and live entertainment seven days a week.
The Union Pub is the closest bar to my temporary apartment, so after wandering by a few times, I finally decided I had to give it a shot... especially since there was a football game on the NFL Network, a channel I don't get in apartment. I arrived around 8:30 or 9pm, and I took the only remaining seat in busy bar area that probably seats 30 or so. They had NFL, college football, and NHL on the 5 or 6 TV behind the bar, and there were 5 or 6 Browns fans watching their team choke (I didn't know there were 5 or 6 Browns fans in the whole country, let alone on Capitol Hill!).
I started with a draft Yuengling, then took a look at the menu. They have a standard array of bar food, but they seem to specialize in what they term, "Burgers of the World." The most unique burgers include their German burger (with Sauerkraut and Mushrooms), the American Indian Burger (Ground Turkey Seasoned with Chili and Fresh Apples), the Euro Burger (Spicy Pepperoni and Havarti Cheese), and their two seafood burgers--one with ground Arctic crab meat and one with ground tuna. I chose the Latin burger with Guacamole, Pico De Gallo, and fries for $10. It was a very tasty burger and the fries were also better than average.
The Union Pub has a much larger dining area with a huge outdoor patio that is completely separate from the bar. This is very popular on weekends, especially in the early afternoons when locals can sit outside with their dogs. The Union Pub is a University of Nebraska football bar on Saturdays.
The prices may be a little high, but they have a very good local following, and friendly staff. I will definately return, probably next Thursday for the football game on the NFL Network!
I am a huge fan of microbreweries across the US. They typically have great decor, above average food, a lot of people, and (of course!) excellent beers. The Capitol City Microbrewery, next to Washington DC's Union Station, is probably the most disappointing microbrewery I have been to in recent memory. The service was slow and poor--it took us ten minutes to get our beers, we asked for lemons and never received them, we had to go to the bar ourselves to get napkins, and on and on...
The beer was really nothing special either. I tried a German-style Alt Beer, which tasted like no Alt Beer I've had before. My friends who had honey lager said the same -- the beer was really nothing special.
The best part about our visit was the free soft pretzels we had with our beer... good, but not worth the visit!
Of note, one seat on the back side of the bar allows a unique view of the Capitol Building over the taps and out the door...
This is one of the few places that are open late at night on a weekday, and thank God we found it. This is a cozy eating-and-drinking place that plays live jazz from Tuesday to Sunday, and is artistically decorated with lots of paintings over the brick walls, which gives the place a bohemian air. Most people go here to have a drink and a nice chat with the company of some good music. Food and drinks are OK and reasonably priced.
On their website you can find their calendar, schedule, menu and pics of their paintings:
Dress Code: No special dress required
This cool club is named for House Resolution Number 57 that was passed in 1987 that designated jazz "a rare and valuable national American treasure." More than a club, HR-57 is also the Center for the Preservation of Jazz and Blues. Step inside Wednesday through Saturday evenings for a jazz jam session or star performance. The energy in the club is electrifying and the staff are very friendly!
The club itself does not serve alcohol, but one of the club's rather unique features is that it allows patrons to bring their own drinks (for a small charge) into the club. So, bring a bottle of wine and enjoy the jazz!
Cover: $6-$10, depending on performance.
Dress Code: Smart casual
Recessions is a staple Washington DC bar that far too few people know about. Located in the heart of the business district in Washington (L & 19th Street, NW), Recessions is a friendly bar that is easy to miss. Owned by a Pakistani named Kazi, the bar offers pool, karoke (on Friday and Saturday nights), and a variety of electronic games. First and foremost, though, Recessions has become famous for their Giant draft beers (only $3.00 during happy hour - 5:00 - 8:00).
The thing I like the most about Recessions, though, is the people. Unfortunately, Washington is still largely a segregated city. Recessions, however, attracks a wide variety of people - black, white, Asian, etc.. from a wide variety of backgrounds - government, private business, city services, unemployed drunks, etc.. The bar accepts everybody, which generally makes for a very fun evening.
One of the more unique qualities of this bar is the fact that the interior looks a bit like it was transplanted directly from a 1970s Atlantic City Casino. I love it!
Check this place out, if you have the chance!
Dress Code: None
The best dive bar in DC is the Raven, located in Mount Pleasant. This tiny bar was supposedly opened the day after prohibition ended and is one of the oldest bars in the city. It's one room attracts people from all walks of life, particularly those who live in the surrounding neighborhoods. Popular amongst hipsters, day laborers, government employees, etc., the Raven is a great place to observe a slice of life in Washington. Photos of James Dean and the American Constitution adorne the walls and Patsy Cline and Hank Williams can be heard on the juke box, making for a great atmosphere!
The $2 Miller Lites are also attractive. Though the word "Grill" is in their name, no food is served here (and you should be happy about that :) )
The bar has a great juke box and a friendly bar staff. Come down and enjoy!
Dress Code: None
Every Friday, during the summer, the National Scupture Garden hosts live, free jazz concerts. These shows feature some of the best local talent. Shows begin at 5:00 pm and go until about 8:30.
Light meals are available inside the bistro, and a bar serves beer, wine, and cocktails, including sangria (really good on a hot summer day). This is the perfect opener for an evening of entertainment.
Dress Code: Come as you are.
This place has the best mojitos in town. I have never eaten here, but I am sure the food is great. In the evenings, they take the tables out and it becomes one big dance floor. It can get a little hot, specially in the second floor. They also have salsa lessons !!
Turns the science dweeb stereotype completely on its head. I'm never a fan of places with a line where cooler, prettier people can cut in front and get in first. Felt like a true lame-o here. Luckily I was with friends who felt the same way... we made a good time of it. Impossible to get the bartender's attention... packed in like sardines. A major plus was the design of the place, it was really beautiful. Three or four floors, I think. The basement was the best. But obnoxious snooty people, no thank you! Still I'd give it another shot.
Dress Code: Apparently we weren't dressed to specifications. If you want to go, the crowd is very Ivy League-sophisticate. Dress to impress.
I'm so out of touch with the music scene these days, but this place is always on point. Tickets are reasonably priced, whether the show is a band, a DJ or a special event (I saw a GREAT comedy show with Michael Ian Black & Michael Showalter not so long ago... tickets were $12). Alot of local music, but also some bands touring nationally and internationally. Their cafe, Food For Thought, has an impressive Vegetarian menu with options like Vegan Lasagna and Felafel in a Pita--but also some good junk food--Chili Dogs, Cheeseburgers, Fries. And if you need something in between... they've got you covered. How does an Organic Turkey Burger sound? There are two bars, one upstairs and one downstairs. The Red Room (downstairs) is really sexy... some pool tables & pinball machines. No cover!
Dress Code: It's an indie rock joint, so pretty much anything goes.
Definitely one of the biggest tango communities in the States. Check out the weekly events by typing on google "capital tangueros" the calendar is the first link.
Dress Code: Venues are different, but most of them have a nice floor, plus, I dont think you could overdressed for tango.
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