Tag Archives: Clarendon

Neighborhood Hopping – Mad Rose Tavern, The Ugly Mug, Midtown, and Cafe Citron

Oh what a Friday!  What I thought would be a relatively relaxing evening, turned out to be packed full of events.  A last minute decision to go to happy hour on Friday, found me at Mad Rose Tavern in Clarendon.  While I’m not a huge Clarendon fan, I was still surprised that I had never been there just because of its proximity to everything else.  Arriving a little after 5pm, we found a few coworkers already there enjoying some beverages inside on the ‘hip’ couch area.  After ordering a $4 screwdriver, I knew I should set a limit for my consumption knowing I’d be going elsewhere later.  While we quickly ordered and promptly served, our waitress spilled part of a beer on a friend.  Yes, yes, this happens, but in my cranky old age of 23, I was taken aback that the waitress was more concerned with wiping up the table and the lack of offering of paper towels for my beer soaked friend, ha.  Aside from our slightly spacey waitress, I did enjoy Mad Rose for happy hour.  The drinks were cheap and provided a good space for meeting with a larger group of people.  Despite the humidity, we ended up moving to the outside seating area.  I did enjoy the outside couches that provided a cozier environment than most outdoor seating areas (I think any girl in a skirt or guy in shorts can identify the pain of the ever popular wire chair).  Overall, I would come back for Mad Rose for happy hour with a group of people.  I won’t comment on what the night scene is like, but I wouldn’t want to come here with just one or two other people.

Leaving Mad Rose around 7pm, I had just enough time to go home, cook dinner, and freshen up before heading out to my late evening plans – hanging out with my volleyball teammates.  One girl just happens to work at The Ugly Mug in Eastern Market and had always suggested we all come visit her on Friday night.  The only other time I had ventured to this establishment was for a brunch/lunch with my roomies.  While the food was still good, it certainly did not have the same atmosphere as a Friday night.  Starting off with a screwdriver, I was initially surprised when my teammate brought me such a large glass – don’t worry, it was a good surprise.  Proceeding to with my normal vodka tonics, I was far from disappointed with the quality.  These three large drinks set me back $20.  Important to note: My teammate provided some awesome service (never letting anyone get parched).  After a few drinks and banter, bear fights were the next obvious step.  The back story is our indoor team name was Bear Fight.  Now, I only have partaken in a bear fight once before (on a lovely business trip to St. Louis…at City Museum).  That experience was so good that ever since I’ve been raving about the drink.  Now being the girl racing two guys, I won’t say I lost…but I definitely did not win, ha.  More importantly, the bear fight was just as good, if not better, than I remember.

So what does The Ugly Mug have to offer?  Large drinks and good service.  It has the feeling of a neighborhood bar, but did have an oddly inserted DJ there on Friday.  People weren’t really dancing, but it does add to the fun/lighthearted atmosphere.  This is definitely a chill place and great for meeting a small group of people.  I wouldn’t suggest this establishment for too large of a group just because of the numbered seating inside.  Also to note for the outside bar dwellers, they do have a sidewalk patio that I’m sure is great for people watching/mocking.

Being quite toasty at this point, the guys decided it was time to move on from the Ugly Mug.  Proceeding to Dupont Circle, our next stop was Midtown.  Oh Midtown…I’ve had many a memory at Midtown (or blurs, haha)…typically involving dancing.  My first time there I may have ended up in many cell phone picture collections, but I will most likely deny any such events if you ask me about it in person, ha.  Midtown, for those of you unfamiliar, offers several floors, many bars, overpriced drinks, a relaxed lounge (for those that aren’t dressed appropriately), creepy dudes, and a more exclusive lounge area.  It really is great for women that enjoy dancing because there is typically enough space, but beware the sausage fest.  Moving on from Midtown, we walked a block or so to Café Citron for some real dancing.  I will point this out now, if I haven’t already.  I am by no means a dancer.  Do I like to dance? Heck yes!   Even before drinking, I’d be the girl wanting to get on the dance floor and make a fool of myself.  The making a fool of myself still continues, don’t worry, haha.  Hopefully my evening dance partner wasn’t too embarrassed by my subpar dance moves.  Sometimes I like to think my enthusiasm is all that really matters #thingsyourmomtellsyou.  While I won’t give Café Citron a full review due to a lack of experience here, I did have a positive first impression and hope to venture back with more dance enthusiasts.  Overall, Friday was a pleasantly eventful evening.   Special thanks to my teammates for a good night, even if it was rough waking up early Saturday morning.

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Spider Kelly’s

Every time I walk past Spider Kelly’s on a Friday or Saturday night, there is always a line.  Saturday night was no different, however, it was upon my friends to decide the evening’s locale and I was not going to turn down the excuse to check out this place.  Waiting in line wasn’t too terrible, especially considering unlike some other Clarendon establishments, there was NO cover.  I arrived slightly before my friends and was left to get a feel for the place alone (nice for a change). Walking around, I got a chance to evaluate the clientele and space.  Upon waiting to purchase my first drink, I was offered a shot of Absolut from another patron. *Maybe this place will be really good if this happens within 5 minutes of entering*

Spider Kelly's

Drinks weren’t the cheapest, but not the most expensive either – $6.50 for a vodka tonic and $7.50 for a Kamikaze shot.  I was doing well at sticking to my $20 limit for the night, until I offered shots, oy.

Spider Kelly’s didn’t have the same “Bro-tastic” people as other Clarendon bars, which was MUCH appreciated.  Don’t get me wrong, this is Clarendon and there were still bros in attendance along with the stereotypical Bro-girl, but they felt less overwhelming here.  Even the guy that offered me the shot was not forceful with conversation and very respectful. I joked with my friends about leaving comments out about the bathroom lines, but in case you were wondering, the women’s line actually moved quicker than the men’s line.  This was refreshing.  There were definitely more men in attendance Saturday night, but I’m not sure if that’s a regular occurrence or rather just an isolated example.

Upon first glance, you can tell Spider Kelly’s is not a dancing establishment, but instead a place you can go for some relaxed mingling and spending time with a group of friends.  It also has more than just a bar offering.  This establishment also has pool, shuffleboard, skeeball, and other bar games.  I didn’t get a chance to play so I can’t speak to the rates, but I imagine they would be no cheaper than other billiards places.  Overall, I loved the feel to Spider Kelly’s because it offered multiple lounge areas and bars inside (5, I believe).  It’s definitely a great place to go with a small or large group.  There isn’t always a place to sit (hence a lot of standing around), but there is plenty of space.  Next time you find yourself in Clarendon, not wanting to pay a cover and looking to just relax with some people, check out Spider Kelly’s.

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