Tag Archives: Cleveland Park

Uptown Tap House

Happy New Year!  Good news, I have not failed at my resolution yet.

Last Friday night I ventured to Uptown Tap House in Cleveland Park with a few friends.  How do I know it was a good night?

1)    I woke up with an empty jar of peanut butter in my bed (DON’T JUDGE, there was only a little left and it saved me from being hung over)

2)    I got to dance my ass off

3)    Cheap drinks

I swear my friends said I could post this photo

I swear my friends said I could post this photo

Formerly Four Fields, Uptown has transformed from a large Irish pup into an American Tavern with a lot of potential.  True story:  Four Fields was the first bar I ever went to in DC (not that I drank back then).  At that time, the food was pretty bad and there was a complete lack of ambiance for such a large space.

This was my first experience of Uptown.  That being said, what I saw of this establishment, I liked and would definitely come back again.  The whole reason for attendance was that a friend of mine won a free happy hour from 10pm-1am.   What does that mean?  She received free drinks during that time slot and everyone that name-dropped her got $3 drinks (rail drinks and select beers).  For prime time drinking, this was too good of an offer to turn down.

Arriving around 10:30pm, I found my friends at a large table just to the left of the bar. For those that do remember Four Fields, Uptown has preserved the spacious interior.  Tables are plentiful and it looks like they could accommodate quite sizable groups.  Truth be told, youngsters, the crowd here did appear to be slightly older and by that I mean, you’re not going to find the dumb boys and girls you do at a place like Mad Hatter.  Trust me, this is a good thing, ha.  Also given the size of the place and the fact that it was a mellow night (remember this was in the midst of the holidays), there really wasn’t much mingling among the crowd. After socializing amongst friends and getting a couple rounds in, typical IntoxiKatie had to take it to the dance floor.  They have plenty of space to dance to their DJ spinning typical top 40s.  Nothing overly impressive, but sometimes you just need a neighborhood bar with reasonable drink prices and the opportunity to dance like no one is watching…even if they are.

I will say I was quite impressed that the bar manager made the rounds to the different parties making sure they were enjoying themselves.  Unlike other bar management, he seemed to actually give a damn and wasn’t putting on a show.  As I have become more and more jaded in my “old” age, ha, I appreciate people who stop trying to bullshit me…Of course the shots he offered me and my dancing crew didn’t hurt either.  While I did not sample any food, taking a look at the menu online, I certainly would not be opposed to trying it at another date.  It really is hard to complain about a place that offered up such affordable “happy hour” prices, while offering dancing and still space to chat with friends.  The versatility of Uptown is not always something that is easy to find in DC and should be appreciated.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , ,

Atomic Billiards – My First and Favorite Dive Bar in DC

*Warning: This review might be slightly sentimental, but keep reading for the nuggets of humor*

Let us flash back to July 2010.  I had just moved to the lovely neighborhood of Cleveland Park, graduated college in May, and was ready to start a master’s program at GWU.  Yes, it was a fresh beginning in a new city.  Ironically at the time, I had never had a drink in my life, nor had I intended to start drinking.  Despite not drinking, I still needed a place to hang out on the weekends. Those of you that know me and my killer pool skillz (yes, with a ‘z’), I can thank my time at Atomic Billiards and some fine teaching from a friend or two.  Atomic Billiards and Nanny O’Briens quickly became where I spent most of my original bar time in DC prior to drinking.

Dark, Crowded Interior on a Friday Night

My initial impression of Atomic Billiards was nothing too exciting.  You enter by going down a set of stairs like basically every other billiards place in DC.  It’s dark and basement like.  The interior has a retro 60s feel to it, very mod, topped off with the Jetsons painted on the bathroom doors.  There are 5 pool tables (which have been newly felted in blue!), two shuffleboard tables, 2 dart boards, various board games, and an AWESOME jukebox at your disposal.  The pool and shuffleboard rates do run on the higher side ($14/hour for 2 players during prime time and are slightly reduced at off times), but about the same as other places.  Atomic Billiards is also where I picked up my mean shuffleboard talent.  As if I weren’t cool enough playing pool, I also needed to learn how to have a decent showing at shuffleboard.

Having lived in Cleveland Park for almost a year and being in attendance at least once every two weeks, you can imagine I have a collection of stories.  Aside from my countless times of beating the boys at pool 😛 and a number of dates (have I mentioned on here before that I think pool is one of the best date ideas? Because it really is), Atomic Billiards will always be the place where I had my first alcoholic beverage.

I get this question all the time.  Why did you start drinking? To answer it here, in writing for everyone to see so maybe I don’t have to explain it as frequently as I do now, it was just time.  I had no responsibilities to an athletic team, everyone had finally stopped pressuring me to drink (my family and friends wised up), and I had gotten over my fear of my family’s history with alcohol. None of this really fazes me now and it’s almost funny to think that prior to drinking so much of what I considered to be apart of me was defined by ‘not drinking.’

My drink of choice that glorious night?  Fuzzy navels. Super classy, I know and no, I didn’t get drunk.  My first drunken experience would come the next night on U Street following a concert, haha #typical.

More recently, I was lucky enough to visit Atomic Billiards two weeks in a row.  The one week I crashed a boys’ night and the other was a mostly girls’ night out.  The first week, I stuck to my classic vodka tonics, which rang up at $4 a pop.  The girls’ night was a bit more adventurous with buttery nipple shots ($5 each, I believe).  Either way, I’m definitely a fan of the super affordable $4 rail drinks here.

The bartenders are cool and down-to-earth.  They are definitely willing to joke around with you, but during busy hours it can be slightly difficult to get that kind of personalized attention.  The bar is typically crowded Friday and Saturday nights and with the logistics of the pool tables you may have to wait a couple minutes for a drink, but nothing unbearable or obnoxious.  One thing that I am never quite good at predicting is the clientele that will be present here.  Sometimes you have a younger ‘hipster’ crowd or college aged students (especially on their way elsewhere for the night), other times you have a slightly older yuppie crowd, and then you never know when the table of old guys will be playing a game in midst of the younger folk.

Over many observations, I can proudly say that Atomic Billiards is my favorite dive bar in DC.  Is this somewhat biased and sentimental? Heck yes, but isn’t that what choosing a favorite dive bar is all about?  This establishment is really great for a lot of purposes (girls’ nights, guys’ nights, dates, relaxing).  From my first real neighborhood dive bar, to the time I almost punched a drunk girl for sitting on our pool table, to my first real drink, to the first time I could nostalgically bring other friends to Atomic Billiards and rave about it – these are the memories that I will not forget.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: