Tag Archives: Good for Groups

Black Jack

Summertime and the living’s easy…as the song goes.  It may be “easy,” but uneventful and non-busy it is not.  To get refreshed for the summer season of drinking and bars, I thought it was quite necessary to take a small vacation to Curacao.  I’m back, “tan”, and ready to keep you all updated on which bars you should or shouldn’t be attending!

My most recent bar addiction has been Black Jack!  Located in Logan Circle, what started off as a random Friday happy hour with a girlfriend has quickly turned into my new weekly trivia destination.  I first attended Black Jack about 2 months ago as a second and last stop of a Friday happy hour outing.  Having heard good things about said bar and making what at the time was a rare appearance in Logan Circle, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try some place new.  Black Jack is slightly hidden; located directly above Pearl Dive.  It offers a tasty selection of mussels and oysters that should NOT be overlooked.  Somewhat masquerading as a ‘speakeasy’ because there is no official sign, there is no arrogance here.

The bartenders/wait staff are cordial and accommodating.  They were even willing to buy us a round when there was a last-minute cancellation of trivia.  These are the rare type of people that I actually feel comfortable engaging in light banter.   To describe a little more about the décor, Black Jack is relatively narrow once you get upstairs.  There is only one bar, but I’ve never had an issue waiting too long on a drink or food for that matter.  The main part of the bar offers a handful of tall tables, a couple booths, and some cozy couches that are great for those looking for a slightly larger gathering of people in addition to seating at the bar itself.  Be warned though, grabbing a couch or even a table during popular happy hour times or during trivia has been fairly difficult and requires a little bit of patience.  Further away from the blinking GOLF sign in the main bar area, you can find the indoor bocce court, complete with some baseball stadium type seating.  Quirky and slightly eclectic in comparison with many DC bars, I think it really is important to stress that the atmosphere here is not pretentious and laid back enough that most people can feel comfortable here.

Tuesday nights, as many of you are aware is my weekly trivia night.  At Black Jack, the trivia is hosted by Trivia Kings, which should be your reassurance that it is a quality product.  Starting at 8pm, my team is always pleased that Black Jack extends their happy hour deals until 9pm, which means ½ priced drafts.  These aren’t your normal shitty drafts though.  They go beyond the standard Miller Lite and Natty Boh deals.  Seeing as I’m still new to the beer drinkers club, I typically stick with a cider.  They offer both Jack’s hard cider ($6) and Strongbow ($9).  Beyond the mussels and oysters here, which are quite delicious, I have yet to be disappointed with the food.  From pizza to a Cuban sandwich ($11) to just a side of French fries with aioli dipping sauces, you do not need to eat before arriving at this bar.

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While I have yet to visit Pearl Dive or some of the other surrounding bars, this establishment has the potential to be part of great bar crawl in Logan Circle for those that are easily bored or need something different to hold their attention.  The only drawback to this Black Jack is that the volume can sometimes get on the loud side.  If you’re looking for a date atmosphere, it might be more of a struggle unless you manage to snag a more intimate booth or couch or go during an off time (if those exist here).  This would even be a decent place to drink solo at the bar because of the ongoing movies projected against the wall behind the bar.

Stay tuned for my next post!  Thomas Foolery opens this Wednesday and yours truly can be spotted on the menu 😉

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IntoxiKatie’s 2nd Drinkaversary!

Happy Drinkaversary, IntoxiKatie!

I know I didn’t really make a large public announcement this year or make a big deal about it. Another year older, another year wiser is what they say, right?? Well, another year older is definitely true…wiser is somewhat debatable, haha.

Celebrating a few Fridays ago, there was some poor foreshadowing at work when a Dove chocolate offered me the advice of ‘Have no limits today.’ Damn you, Dove. Similar to last year, I selected U Street as the neighborhood of choice for celebration. This year I wanted a new story to share though, rather than just a story of all my regular places.

First stop – Dodge City!

Dodge City was actually one of the first bars I went to in DC. I went there the first night I ever got drunk. Having been there a few more times since, I feel comfortable giving this bar a more complete review. We arrived around 11pm to a fairly crowded downstairs bar with people dancing to a solid DJ mixing R&B/rap music. With no alcohol, my guy buddies weren’t quite ready to cut a rug on the dance floor. (I’m always ready to dance, as awkward as it might be, haha). The alternative to dancing was heading upstairs to the much more subdued bar and patio. While there was also a DJ and a few musicians performing upstairs (more electronic/top 40/indie music), people didn’t have quite the same spirit….yeah, spirit is what I will call it. The general aesthetic of Dodge City is chill. It’s large enough to bring a group of friends, but the interior darkness still allows for the flexibility of a more intimate setting if you find yourself in a nook closer to either of the bars. Overall, I would suggest this bar for the middle or later in the evening rather than a first stop. Dodge City has also provided a relaxing drinking atmosphere for me post 9:30 Club shows on a few occasions

With easy access to the chill upstairs bar, I started with a Crispin cider ($7). Doing a lap around the place that included the upstairs and downstairs patio space, a few more buddies showed up and I went for round 2 (screwdriver – $6). Both the upstairs and downstairs patios aren’t very glamourous – mostly sparse with a few small tall tables to just rest your drink, but great for those looking for some fresh air or to just chat with friends instead of grinding up on them. Less than five minutes after ordering the screwdriver came a round of Jameson and a toast to getting ‘white girl drunk.’ For the record, I adamantly denied that such a thing would happen. Oy. Venturing back outside to the patio to chat, I wandered off (as I tend to do at bars with multiple floors) to get a shot (kamikaze – $6)…this was going to be an expensive night. Heading back outside to meet my buddies, somehowwwwww I ended up making a bet.

The bet/drinking challenge: That I could drink more than one of my guy buddies. Whoever drank water or ate first was the loser (assuming the number of drinks stayed the same). Seems like nothing could go wrong, right? To my disadvantage, other than height and weight, haha, I was already 4 drinks in when this bet was made while my competition only had 3 drinks. With 4 drinks worth of liquid courage/confidence, I was sure I could win though!

Making our way down U Street, for some reason we felt the need to stop at our normal trivia bar, Touchdown. After getting distracted by a few texts, I arrived a minute or so after my friends to find that I was already losing the bet. Two drinks down. To combat this, I ordered a shot and a cider (what a winning combination). Drinking quite aggressively, I finished those within a couple minutes. Having evened the playing field, another friend encouraged me to go for two more to screw over my competition. Great idea, clearly. I ordered two more. Yes, that was 4 drinks in 10 minutes. This is the point of the night where details get a little fuzzy.

Facts: We went to Saint Ex next. I ran there. I went MIA for a little bit. I left. I ended up with a battle scar from the evening on my forehead. Some details may be excluded for self-preservation/pride. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, haha. This drinkaversary was a little rough…not as bad as last year, but bad enough for me to make the executive decision that I do not need to celebrate my 3rd drinkaversary next year, haha.

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Board Room

So this may come as a surprise to all of you, but I go to fair number of bars.  Shocking, I know!  ‘Girl with a bar blog frequents bars’ isn’t exactly a headline.  This does mean that it takes a little something extra to hold my attention.  The X factor can come in the form of games/activities, awesome happy hour deals, special events, kickass food, etc.  Located north of Dupont Circle, Board Room offers extra pizzazz through its gaming atmosphere.

As soon as you enter, you can see the stock of games locked up on the right just waiting for a happy home with a group of friends for the evening. On the left are a handful of tables and as you proceed straight back you notice a seemingly endless bar.  The other side of the bar offers a small area with a couple more tables, a jukebox, and an arcade table.  Because this first level clearly does not have enough table space to accommodate enough board games, there is an upstairs with more tables.  With a few TVs lining the wall upstairs and the carpet, people can make themselves cozy on the floor when chairs are all taken.  The first time I went to Board Room, I commented to my friends that it felt as if we were hanging out in someone’s living room or basement.  I had gone with a couple girlfriends and we watched an epic Nats game (yes, that horrible last game of the season) while playing Uno.  Rail drinks, if memory serves me correct, ran $5.50 each.  My most recent visit to Board Room once again had some great sports viewing of March Madness.  This time I kept to $6.50 cider.  They had Strongbow on tap so I was pretty pleased.

Most of us are well aware that offering games to bar patrons is not a novel concept, but few bars surround their entire theme around playing board and card games.  Board Room carries over 20 types of games.   Be warned that these games are not free.  For a nominal fee ranging from ($1 to $5), you can rent a game of your choosing.  Don’t worry folks, the fee is not based on length of rental, but rather popularity and complexity of game (in terms of game pieces).  Last weekend, I enjoyed some quality games of Jenga, Taboo, and a surprisingly difficult Trivial Pursuit.  Given the wide variety, you are likely to find the most popular games here, but patrons are also permitted to bring their own game if you fear they do not have what you’re looking to play.

Board Room is an awesome bar to come with a small or large group of friends.  If you come with a larger group, you may have to wait a little bit to find an available table, but it’s worth it.  Reasonable drink prices for Dupont with a laid-back atmosphere, Board Room is definitely recommended for watching sports too.  For those of us with ADD and only want the game on in the background, this is the perfect compromise.  Since my only experience here has been with Friday and Saturday evenings, I only know it to be a fairly crowded and popular gathering place.  I could easily imagine it to be more relaxed during the week for happy hour and a good environment to relax after a long day at work though.

Many of you have probably heard me rag on Dupont before, but this is certainly not a bar I would classify in the typical Dupont bar category.  I am glad to say this bar is nothing like Public or Sign of the Whale (gross). If you find yourself in this neighborhood and not wanting to run around pretending like you’re 20 years old, but still have a fun time, Board Room is a good option.  The jenga we played last Saturday even had dares on the pieces to up the stakes a bit.  Unfortunately, I did not live up to my end of the bargain of dancing on a table, haha.  Next time 😉

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Rock & Roll Hotel and Other H Street Adventures

I know I’m cutting it kind of close for my deadline, but I’ve been looking for inspiration for this review.  This may seem crazy to my readers, but sometimes when IntoxiKatie is busy…it’s not with bar-hopping….SHOCKER, haha.

Originally, this review was intended to discuss Rock & Roll Hotel and the drunken spelling bee they host every Friday at 8pm…but my friends arrived just a few minutes too late for us to participate.  One day I will successfully compete in this (successfully competing does not mean I will win, because after listening to a few rounds of words I realized how truly dependent on spell check I am).  Arriving just about 7:30pm, I had 30 minutes to kill by myself at the bar…classy, I know.  I got settled in with a can of Jack’s cider ($4 still on happy hour special, $5 otherwise).  One of the reasons I enjoy H Street so much is that it lacks the level of pretentious patrons that many other neighborhoods in DC possess.  For this reason or maybe just because the establishments are nicer here, the drinks tend to be cheaper (even if they make you pay with cash #DealWithIt).  What happens when you take away the typical pretentious people that frequent DC bars?  You are left primarily with hipsters.  I don’t mind the hipster population.  Perhaps this is because I have been accused of being one myself due to my music preferences.  Anyway, sitting at the second floor bar on a decidedly quiet Friday evening was an enjoyable experience.  There were a handful of other patrons gearing up for the spelling bee, but other than that it didn’t seem too strange being a female sitting alone there (trust me, a rarity).  If I hadn’t just stuffed my face at Taylor Gourmet (I have a soft spot for the Philly-associated names), I would have tried some of the food offerings at Rock & Roll.  Who knew they had food?!  Previously, I had just known Rock & Roll Hotel for its awesome sweaty dance parties and sometimes obscure musical offerings.  It was nice seeing the alternative side to this bar.  Excuse me while I day dream of venturing back here in the spring/summer for their rooftop bar.  Yes, I’ve briefly discussed Rock & Roll Hotel before and this review now still does not do it justice.  Just know that this establishment is awesome and has many offerings.  A rooftop that is great for chilling with friends, a second floor DJ on weekends or a cool happy hour spot during the week, and a first floor performance space that I still haven’t ventured to…but word on the street is that K.Flay is coming at the beginning of March so I may have to come back for that.

Anyway, my friends arrived shortly after 8pm.  We sat at the bar, listening to the entertaining spelling bee for a bit before deciding to play some games of our own.  Yea yea, we ventured to H Street Country Club.  You all should know by now that I like that establishment…since I keep going back there for some tom foolery.  My friends had never been there so we did a tour of the games…mini golf, giant jenga, and shuffleboard.  Like usual, the game playing was not without making random friends with other patrons – including one drunken guy who generously bought us shots after losing the game and his Australian mate.

My friends, in an adorable attempt to play matchmaker for me, invited the Aussie to play shuffleboard with us and then to Dangerously Delicious Pies.  Warning, the pies there are quite delicious and could ruin all your hard work at the gym.  Selling both sweet and savory pies, I actually opted for a crab and cheese quiche…worth it.  If only more niche establishments were open until the wee hours of the morning for the hungry drunk crowd.  Following the Aussie to meet up with his friends at The Pug…we did not stay long.  You’ve heard me say it before, I love dive bars…but something about The Pug just really rubbed me the wrong way.  It was small, packed, and the hippie hipster crowd was too much even for me.  Perhaps I will give it another shot, but for now, I’m okay going to other H Street establishments.

And for those of you concerned about our Aussie friend…he did get my number, but it was a fairly lackluster date (ending at Lucky Bar with me kicking his butt at pool?? Yes, that happened, haha).  At least I can cross going on a date with an Aussie off my bucket list!

Hmm…I think a Capitol Hill bar crawl might need to be next on my ‘to do’ list – Beuchert’s Saloon, Hawk & Dove, and *drum roll* Harold Black… Who’s joining?

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Satellite Room

Someone gave me a cold…not pointing fingers, but I’m going to suspect it was Friday night in Dupont, because really, Sign of the Whale is kind of disgusting/people use the dance floor as a bedroom/people seem to be unaware of personal boundaries there.  Shame on me for venturing there again, haha.  Anyway, good thing IntoxiKatie is resilient and already feeling better.  Just my own PSA with the menacing flu season upon us: let’s all be a bit more considerate when we are at overcrowded bars and practice good personal hygiene.  Now, moving on to my real review…

 

“Katie, are you sure you know where you’re going?”

Despite initial fears that I was leading my friend to a back alley to kill her, last Saturday night we found our way past the throng of Delta Rae fans to Satellite Room.  Located conveniently behind 9:30 Club, this bar is especially perfect for those looking for a place to kill time before or after a show.  Arriving just after 8pm, we managed to grab a couple stools at the bar.  The wait for a table was estimated at 30 minutes.  It was pretty much decided upon entering that I loved this establishment.  Luckily, my expectations that I manifested purely from the aesthetic and feel of the bar proved themselves over the course of the evening (self-fulfilling prophecy? probably).

The first thing you see walking in is the large light-up sign above the bar, ‘Satellite.’  The inside bar accommodates about 15 people; just the right size.  While there are a handful of tables inside, there is a much larger outside patio/bar area for those just looking to drink and mingle.  We only stepped outside for a moment to investigate.  It was still kind of chilly that night and the outside atmosphere was different from inside.  While the volume level inside was just right for our group of three to engage in good conversation, outside required more effort to hear one another.  Wow, as I finished writing that sentence I saw myself age 30 years, haha.  Volume aside, the outside area did still leave a fun and jovial impression that would be good if coming here with a larger group of friends.  If you have a smaller group, my preference would definitely be inside.

Arriving early was a good choice, because it quickly got crowded.  Luckily, it didn’t take too long to get in our orders for food and drink.  So for those of you that are not aware, Satellite Room’s specialty drinks are milkshakes.  While you can virginize them, who doesn’t love a good boozy milkshake?!  Starting with the Vincent Vega (vanilla shake with bourbon) and progressing to the Sammy and Kim (black & white with vodka) these milkshakes are on the pricey side ($10), but worth it.  The Frank Costello (chocolate mint with whiskey) and Lucy Ricardo (chocolate with johnny walker) were hints with my friends.  Yes, all the milkshakes has great names like these.  Food here was also quite tasty and fairly priced ($11 tacos and $8 burger dinners).

Mmm, Vincent Vega

Having only attended Satellite Room once, I’m not sure how much the clientele here is dependent on the type of concert at 930 that night.  Either way, I will definitely be back to booze it up with some milkshakes.  Great for a small group, this could also be a fun date spot or a good place to start or end the night.

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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.

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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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Little Miss Whiskey’s, Red Palace, H Street Country Club – H Street Bar Crawl 1

So as I may or may not have discussed in writing, exploring H Street is one of my goals for the summer.  Why H Street?  Yes, people seem to get a little nervous when the street address stops ending in NW.  Yes, it’s one of those “gentrifying” neighborhoods (ashamed of myself for using this DC-centric word).  Yes, it may be a “hipster” hangout.  Despite these attributes, I remain intrigued with H Street – what makes this neighborhood tick and exactly what it is that draws me so strongly to explore here.

Starting the night at a friends’ apartment near Union Station, we made the REASONABLE walk (I’m tired of people complaining that it’s a long walk) over the main stretch of bars on H Street.  Our first stop was Little Miss Whiskey’s.  Not knowing what it looked like, we walked completely by this place initially.  From the outside, as you can see from the picture above, this place looks fairly sketchy.  The bouncer gave all of our IDs a discerning inspection and my initial thought was, ‘What did we get ourselves into here?’  Proceeding up the short staircase to the ground floor, once we entered that thought didn’t waiver just yet.  As one person put it, “It’s quite ornate.”  It may not be the most welcoming entry bar, but we toured around a bit and found some amazing features.  Walking through this floor, Little Miss Whiskey’s offers a back patio space.  This space is dark, only aglow with light overflowing from inside and some garden lights.  There was a staircase outside, but unfortunately this led to a dead end.  The top level was blocked off – it appeared as if there was some sort of structural damage up there.  Venturing back inside, we made our way up to the second floor where we quickly realized THIS is the reason people rave about this place.  On the second floor there was an awesome DJ (honestly one of the most coherent general bar sets I’ve heard in a while), a modest dance floor (with a mini stage for people to dance on), and of course another bar.  Despite being fairly early, just after 10pm, there was already a decent crowd here mingling and dancing.  To be clear though, it was not stuffy or overcrowded.  The drinks here were cheap – $5 vodka tonic than came equipped with a glow-in-the-dark straw!  Really, the only drawback that I could think of here was that it’s a cash-only bar.  They do have an ATM, but still, I was lucky that a friend had a few dollars to lend me in this credit card/debit card dominated city. Another important aspect of Little Miss Whiskeys – the clientele.  The people here definitely added more energy.  We ran into a birthday scavenger hunt and a few bachelorette parties.  I felt very privileged to assist in the scavenger hunt – because really when do I not feel comfortable making a silly fool of myself? Overall, my Little Miss Whiskey’s experience was extremely positive and I will definitely be coming back with cash in hand.

The next stop on the mini bar crawl was Red Palace.  This place is quirky.  I honestly can’t think of any other way to describe the decorations.  The entering point/bar to Red Palace is quite ordinary- small, cozy, dim, but as you make your way through this establishment, you find its more unique qualities.  There is a back patio, which is quite lit and we found tables of people eating food (which, by the way, smelled delicious).  Then there is another long bar with more lighting and interesting decorations – definitely conversation pieces.  Prices here are also pretty cheap – $5 vodka tonic and $7 for Jack Daniels.  We didn’t stay here very long.  It was fairly crowded and had limited seating for our group of six.  Please do take note of the picture though and the great happy hour prices!  Also important to note, that Red Palace from my understanding used to be called the Palace of Wonders, which would explain the decorations.  Now, they offer concerts and burlesque shows in their upstairs space for a cover fee – something that’s on my to-do list.

Our next and final stop of the evening was H Street Country Club.  Within 5 minutes of entering, we were at the bar to do tequila shots. Sign of a great night?  I think so.  If you’re not familiar with this place, it is a great activity spot.  If you can’t find something to entertain you here, you are a severely dull person.  The upstairs indoor mini golf course is what most people know H Street Country Club for – $7 per person.  The course itself is quite entertaining and something that every young DC resident should check out at least once.  Also on this level, there is a bar so patrons do not have to worry about running dry while playing their game.  Downstairs offers skeeball, shuffleboard, and GIANT jenga.  Prior to last week, I had never played giant jenga, but I am now convinced that it could be a second calling for me, ha.  Teaming up with a friend, we took on our first match and were victorious with minimal effort.  Our next match proved to be an epic battle of sorts.  It was quite fun, but at my level of sobriety (or lack there of) my competitive streak was flaming, definitely said ‘Come at me, bro’ a few too many times, ended up losing the match for my team, and had to buy two drinks for the douchey FBI guys we were playing ($5 vodka drinks – the shot earlier was $6).  H Street Country Club can be quite the outing and is great if you want to come with a decent size group or to meet people.  Overall it was a great (albeit quite drunken) night on H Street.  People seemed a bit friendlier/easier to engage with (on average), prices were cheaper, and the various offerings can match whatever you are looking for in a bar/night out.

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The Melting Pot

It’s a twister, a twister!!  A little tornado warning certainly didn’t stop last Friday’s happy hour.  We were going to venture outside of the Ballston bubble (to Clarendon – not far I know, ha), but given the weather we decided instead to just make a quick run across the street to The Melting Pot.  Arriving right around 5pm, it was empty in the first bar (didn’t venture around the restaurant too much, but the hostess mentioned a second bar).  We grabbed the largest table and started to weigh our options for drinks and food.  Being very adult, one of my coworkers ordered a bottle of white wine for the table (that amazingly filled 6 glasses).  It was tasty and priced at $28.  Don’t worry; there were cheaper wine prices.

The next challenge- picking fondue.  Opting for the cheddar cheese and jalapeño selections, our group was very pleased.  With no real rail drink happy hour special, I opted to splurge on a martini for my last drink…but not just any martini, a s’mores martini!  I don’t normally go for these specialty drinks, but this was a wise selection.  Certainly didn’t need any chocolate fondue with a drink like this.  The oreo-covered marshmallows were a perfect topping.  As our happy hour group grew to a total of 9 people, we decided to get two more selections of fondue – the spinach-artichoke mixture and the season special.  During happy hour, the fondue is half-priced.  Now normally all of this still would have been fairly expensive, but luckily one friend had a Groupon that she was generous enough to share :-).  It also probably didn’t hurt that we were fairly engaging with our waitress.  All together we each tossed in about $10.

Does Melting Pot have a great bar scene for mixing with strangers? No, haha.  It was a great place to come with a group of friends though.  While I assume the normal demeanor is fairly reserved, our group was a little on the rambunctious side and lived up the establishment.  I wouldn’t come here all the time for happy hour due to the prices, but I will definitely be back to indulge in some comfort food and quality drink :-).

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