Tag Archives: Good for Small Groups

District of Pi

Silly me, I almost forgot all about another important holiday this past week – Pi Day!

For those of you with your mind in the gutter, this took precedent over Steak and BJ Day, which falls on the same day, haha.

After looking at a sparse list of events on Going Out Gurus, it was decided that District of Pi was the perfect place to play catch-up with a couple friends.

District of Pi

Arriving slightly after 6pm, the place was packed.  Clearly, we weren’t the only nerds in DC with the plan of celebrating here.  Big shocker, a city that’s been called Nerd Hollywood takes Pi Day seriously.  Entering District of Pi, you are greeted with a long bar to the left and a few small tables across from it.  If you walk through the bar area you will find a larger seating area and even further back there are stairs that lead up to a second bar area. Since the first bar was packed with no signs of anyone budging from their seats, we decided to head to the much smaller upstairs bar. This bar just so happened to be the location of the pi memorization contest.  Entrants ranged from 8 year olds to middle-aged men.  Yes, we were super pumped to watch this event!  I compared it to the excitement of the national spelling bee – the anticipation, the drama.  If you’re questioning just how nerdy I am right now, I don’t blame you, but in fairness, you were the one that kept reading after seeing ‘Pi Day’ haha.

What’s nerdier than entering a pi recitation contest?  Being fan girls of people entering the contest.  We quickly ordered up a happy hour cocktail ($6 – vodka, agave, lime, herbed fancy named drink).  These were quite tasty – refreshing, but with a definite kick.  They reminded me of something that you might find at a cocktail bar for a heavier price tag, but still just as potent.  District of Pi actually has other locations in St. Louis that I was lucky enough to attend in a visit there a couple years ago.  The St. Louis location placed a lot of pride in their mixologist’s talents; this seems to be a theme of the establishment.  Anyway, back to Pi Day!  As the competition started, the kids gave it a good try, but were quickly defeated by the adults.  My friend and I chatted up one entrant that we thought for sure would win when he said he had memorized 150 numbers….damn. I’d just like to reference how nerdy DC is again, but memorizing 150 numbers into pi was not enough to win.  Crazy.  Cognitive psychology tells us that the average working memory can only store 7 items, give or take 2 items, so clearly these people are ridiculous (don’t worry, I won’t present more psychology nerd knowledge on this even though I want to, haha).  I’m not sure how many numbers the winner was able to remember, but he was reciting numbers at a fast pace for what seemed like 10-15 minutes.  Either way, if you intend to enter next year folks, you should expect some stiff competition.   After viewing such a stunning display of sportsmanship, we ventured back downstairs to get some pi(e).  This was my second time attending District of Pi.  The first was for a girls’ night of ‘broing out.’  While my friends seem pretty pleased with the modest draft list, the cider selection was a little thin.  Opting for an Original Sin Cider ($6), I was still pleased because I do enjoy that one and the price was fair enough.  Because of the ridiculous crowd, we did have a long wait for seats at the bar and for the pizza.  A small pizza (Kirkwood- $18) was the perfect amount for two of us to split.   Luckily, some seats freed up just about when we got the pizza. Devouring our pizza over some lovely girl talk and beer/cider, this was a great second Bro Night.  Now the nitty-gritty, for those of you attached to authentic Chicago style deep dish this may not be the place for you.  I’m fairly naïve when it comes to deep-dish, but I this is of the St. Louis variety with a corn meal base – personally I love it.  One of my roommates from Chicagoland does not approve so much, haha.  If you want to stay in the bar areas, I would recommend keeping your group size at a maximum of 4.  Otherwise, it might be difficult to find seats together/non-awkward standing space.  There is always the option to dine-in at a larger table, but you definitely lose the bar atmosphere that way.  Overall, I definitely see this being in my regular repertoire of bars for the Gallery Place/Metro Center area.

Good news readers, I don’t want to get TOO ahead of myself, but with warmer weather approaching, that means I become more adventurous and stop hiding under my rock/in the gym, haha.  This *should* translate into more bar reviews and stories of my crazy shenanigans for you to read 🙂

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A Mini Capitol Hill Bar Crawl: Hawk ‘n’ Dove, Capitol Lounge, and Phase 1

Did this three-day weekend sneak up on anyone else?  By the time Friday rolled around for me, it was an instant relief when my boss came around reminding us of the holiday on Monday. Between the State of the Union/Mardi Gras celebrations on Tuesday, battling off a cold all week, and some work frustrations, I was ready to drink on Friday.  The original idea was to do a bar crawl around Capitol Hill, because why not?  Probably one of my most under reviewed neighborhoods, Cap Hill deserves some more lovin’.

Intending to start the night off early, volleyball ran a little long and the metro decided to hate me.  Don’t you just love getting offloaded ONE STOP away?!  Can’t say I ever got off at Federal Center SW before and despite my impeccable directional abilities (I’m modest about everything else, I swear haha), it took a little bit to walk to Cap South.  Arriving 90 minutes late for meeting my buddies, I finally reached the first destination…Hawk ‘n’ Dove!  Unfortunately, I do not have the personal experience of this bar prior to the renovations.  True story:  I was in the neighborhood the night of its closing, but my dumb friends thought the Pour House was a better idea?!  Yea, I don’t hang out with them anymore haha.

Closing my umbrella just under the awning, I was greeted by a jovial group.  Encountering friendly strangers before even entering the establishment…definitely a vote in this bar’s favor. Being in such a rush to find my friends, I almost overlooked the initial aesthetic appeal Hawk ‘n’ Dove provides.  It definitely does not have the ‘dive’ feel that friends had mentioned prior to the renovations.  On the far left and up a few steps is long bar that can probably seat about 30 or more.  This was where I found my friends and where I immediately ordered a screwdriver to try to catch up with them ($7).  While it seemed fairly quiet on Friday, this establishment has a large capacity.  There is also an upstairs with a smaller, cozier bar and probably close to a dozen tables.  Downstairs there are also quite a few tables for those just looking to dine in or gather with a smaller group of friends.  Overall, Hawk ‘n’ Dove left an impression of an upscale pub…think Brixton, but less uptight, no fireplace.  It was great for our group of six to chill at the downstairs bar.  While the other clientele seemed a little older (read late 20s/early 30s), they weren’t afraid to engage with our group.  I would not necessarily say that the bar is designed for a lot of mingling outside of your own group though.  This was definitely a good place to start off the night and I look forward to returning.

Continuing on this abridged Capitol Hill bar crawl, our next stop was Capitol Lounge for some games.  Yes, yes, I’ve already reviewed Capitol Lounge.  It was surprisingly/disturbingly quiet for a Friday night.  Seriously, DC, you disappoint me so much sometimes when you let a little ‘weather’ interfere with going out for some fun.  There was an advantage to the quiet night though…no wait for shuffleboard, pool, or drinks.  After downing some shots of ‘Wet Pussy’ (DON’T JUDGE, they were delicious at $5.50 a pop), the games got started.  For someone who used to live in Cleveland Park and frequent Atomic Billiards every week for shuffleboard and pool, by gamesmanship has significantly decreased.  Still fun, but I’m willing to acknowledge, I kind of suck now, haha.  Upon finishing our games, it was time to make a decision on the next stop.  Naturally, I was not going to stop the night at just being able to review one new place.  Knowing my audience, I appealed to my three guy buddies by casually mentioning the lesbian bar around the corner, haha.  My apologies, men, sometimes you are just too easy.

Confession time: I’ve never been to a gay/lesbian bar before.  This may be shocking for someone who went to a women’s college, but I am the self-proclaimed straightest girl around. *Shout out to Bryn Mawr and hope other alums celebrated Friday in such a joyous manner 😉 *    Given this, it seemed only fitting that we go to the oldest operating lesbian bar in the country, Phase 1.  After paying the $5 cover, we entered the small establishment.  There was a small bar and off to the side a few tables, followed by a modest dance floor a few more seats and a pool table.  To respect the privacy of those in attendance, I didn’t want to take any photos inside the bar.  Despite arriving late in the night, the dance floor was relatively quiet and most women opted to gather around the pool table or just chat up front.  And yes, for those guys scheming to come in here to just watch the female clientele, you will probably stick out like a sore thumb.  Bringing my three buddies in there instantly doubled the number of males.  Hell, I joked with my friends that even I stood out in the crowd as obviously not a lesbian.  The clientele wasn’t exactly wearing a short skirt and tights like me, haha.  Even though we didn’t completely blend into Phase 1, it was still a great time.  The music was a good mix of Top 40 and classic pop hits – favorite moment was everyone singing along to Fresh Prince of Bel Air and getting tripped up when it wasn’t the TV version.  The dance floor did get more ‘hoppin’ after I shamelessly danced with the burlesque dancer already up there, haha.  I quite enjoyed the opportunity to dance without the presence of creepy guys stalking around and not having to fend off unwanted advances.  If I were interested in women, I could see this being a regular place for me.  Dancing the night away, I made a couple lady friends.  Sorry to dash everyone’s hopes, I was about as ‘successful’ as my male friends, haha.  Although one buddy had one lady all over him and we teased him mercilessly about it, I had more dancing partners, so I’m declaring myself the winner (by default)!  I wouldn’t suggest bringing a large group here just because of the mere restriction of size.  Overall, Phase 1 was definitely enjoyable and I could see myself coming back with a small group of friends.

I still have a laundry list of bars to visit in Capitol Hill, but this was a step in the right direction.  Until next time, kiddies…promise I’ll try to stay out of trouble 😉

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El Ranchero

Before you all lose faith in my drinking abilities, I assure you I’ve just been lazy about writing reviews (yes, I have 2-3 other reviews currently in my back pocket for a rainy day).  This week, I ventured to El Ranchero with coworkers.  We attended for a Thursday happy hour, which was a nice change of pace from the extended Friday Happy Hour.  Arriving a little after 5:30pm, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and sat outside. They have a small part of the sidewalk in front of the restaurant dedicated for about six tables.  After we were quickly set up outside, our quirky waiter introduced us to the wonderful deals the establishment offered and took our order.  The deals we most certainly took advantage were $4 margaritas and $1 tacos.  These margaritas were quite tasty and our table got the full array (regular, strawberry and peach).  Personally, I spent the night sipping down peach margaritas, but sampled the others and can assure you of the overall quality.

After getting our initial round of drinks, our taco medley started to arrive.  These may not be gourmet tacos, but for $1 apiece, it’s really hard to complain.  The beef tacos were definitely better than the chicken or bean tacos…or maybe that was just the anticipation because we had a slightly longer wait for them.  To our misfortune, the beautiful weather faded, the clouds rolled in and so did the rain.  We were forced to continue inside.  The interior of the restaurant/bar was quaint.  El Ranchero has a distinct bar area and table area.  What started as us (a slightly loud/rambunctious group) entering a relatively quiet dining area, with time and more patrons, the area transformed to something more homogenous with our group’s attitude – drink and eat cheap tacos.  Now for the nitty-gritty, while I did enjoy this happy hour, the service was not the best.  El Ranchero let some things slip through the cracks – simple things like frequency of the waiter checking on potential refills, forgetting to bring us napkins, the assumption with the rain we would be leaving rather than moving inside, and then being slow with bringing the check.  Don’t get me wrong; I did like the laid-back atmosphere here.  However, if you or your friends are in a hurry (are impatient at all), you might want to reserve El Ranchero for another night.  Given El Ranchero’s proximity to my work, the nice outdoor seating and delicious (yet reasonably priced) margaritas, I would most certainly come back.

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Russia House & Bourbon

I know, I know! I’m running about a week and a half behind on my reviews/catching everyone up on my seemingly exciting (not really) life, haha.  Last Saturday, I was invited out with some friends to Russia House.  Prior to this time, I had only been there once and that was for an after party to a friend’s company party.  Me and my gentleman guest showed up to the gathering slightly late to find my friend gathered on the third floor (the piano bar floor).  To review the general aesthetic and floor plans of Russia House, you proceed up an outside staircase at this north Dupont location and enter a very dimly lit foyer.  Upon a quick inspection of the place, you can see that there are many nooks and crannies to gather with friends or get a bit cozier.  There are four floors in Russia House, each offering a slightly different feeling (although I’m not quite certain I feel comfortable speaking as to all the levels).  My time at Russia House has been spent predominantly on the third floor.  This floor is the piano bar level. It has a more open feeling and seems more about mingling than the other levels.  The other levels contain more table space and appear to be more about seated gatherings. Approaching the bar, I had to order a vodka drink.  Going for my typical vodka tonic, it did taste much smoother than other locations (caveat – I have no clue what type of vodka they used nor the corresponding price thanks to the gentleman accompanying me).  I would assume that a location called Russia House though would limit the types of crappy vodka it carries, haha.

The length of time we spent at Russia House was limited.  High drinks prices discouraged my friends.  We left after one drinking and some socializing.  I was slightly surprised that there weren’t more people there given it was a Saturday night, even if it was slightly early (11pm).  Russia House is definitely a classy location.  It can accommodate large groups of people – actually would be my preference for attending.  All references I have heard to Russia House is typically in a swanky connotation and would tend to agree, but not overtly snobby.  If I haven’t made it clear, I love locations with multiple floors and places to get lost/explore.  Russia House does fit that mold very well.  You could think of it almost as a more sophisticated (read expensive) and low-key Local 16.

After Russia House, we trekked over to Adams Morgan to attend Bourbon.  The heels might have been a poor decision, haha.  I had never been to this location of Bourbon before.  Almost a year ago I went on a date at the location in Glover Park.  At the time (seemingly eons before starting this blog), the food was delicious and my custom cocktail was a little bit too adventurous (super herby….like drinking a garden – very fresh).  I now am more acquainted with my personal preferences.  This most recent visitation of Bourbon was quite the different experience.  We entered the Adams Morgan location to find a wait to get upstairs for dancing.  In the meantime, decided to grab a drink on the first level.  Sorry, that gentleman insisted on buying this drink too so I am uncertain of the price, but I would guess average price for this neighborhood (not more than $8 for the vodka tonic with rail liquor).

Yes, Bourbon may be located in Adams Morgan, but this is not the stereotypical AdMo bar.  The upstairs and first floor had very different atmospheres. The first level was relaxed, but still upbeat – definitely a good balance.  After a short wait and some amusing banter with the bouncer to get upstairs, we were finally able to get our dance on ;-).  Upstairs was crowded, but not obnoxious.  I was definitely much appreciative that they did take such care in counting people upstairs.  There was also a bar upstairs, but it was definitely much easier to get served downstairs.  The DJ mixed top 40s while IFC was projected onto the wall…at the time it was somewhere between soft and hard-core porn showing #notcomplaining.  Overall, Bourbon was a pretty awesome place that I definitely look forward to coming back to because of the amazing balance of space (chill and dancing in one venue).  It worked well for my small-medium group of friends, but could also see this being an interesting place to meet people.

Things to look forward to readers:  This weekend marks my one year drink anniversary.  Oh look at all we can learn about ourselves in just a year.  Thank you for your votes on my poll; it looks like I’ll be strolling around U Street on Saturday :-).  Still uncertain of the exact lineup of bars, but I’m hoping to start early (around dinner time) and working my way around the neighborhood – making sure to hit some standard/favorite locations of mine, but also trying some new along the way.  Promise to do my best to keep coherent memories and take pictures for the post-celebration review!

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Boundary Road

One of my goals for the spring and summer is to explore H Street more.  Admittedly, I have only been out on H Street a handful of times.  This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to venture to the neighborhood with a gentleman.  We walked into this quaint restaurant/bar and he was greeted by name.  Despite not having a reservation, we were able to steal a table right in the middle of the place.  In this small place you can either sit at the brief bar space or a table, either way it all has a very open feeling (aided by the high ceiling and view directly into the kitchen).  Initially, I will say I was quite impressed with said gentleman because he was a local at this charming establishment and seemingly knew the entire staff almost as if they were family.  Don’t worry though for those of you concerned, that positive impression of the guy faded as quickly as the awesome qualities of Boundary Road jumped out at me.  After initial conversation died down, we ordered some drinks.  I had to go with the aptly named drink “I’m thinking about getting a Vespa” and the “gentleman” ordered a five & dime.  My drink was quite summery/refreshing and his tasted like an adult root beer – absolutely delicious.  I would definitely get the five & dime at my next visit.  Everything appetizer/plate we ordered was mouth-watering…the meats, the cheese, and the steak finale – yum!

I will say our bill was on the hefty side…the “gentleman” thought it was quite important to brag about his significant increase in salary and how well-off he was, but come time for the check he was very eager to split the bill. Yes, yes I’m a feminist, but my general rule of thumb is a first date should be about treating the lady (assuming the lady was not the one handing out the invitation). Another public service announcement for the men out there reading this and in need of dating advice…arrogance trumps all in terms of the lasting impression.  Little chivalrous acts like walking someone to the metro is not excusable for being generally full of oneself. 🙂

All in all, we ordered a full plate of pierogis ($16), two meats & one cheese ($15), and the grilled hanger steak ($22).  Unfortunately, my receipt is not itemized and I am uncertain as to the exact prices of both of the drinks (probably around $7-8).  I can say that our total bill was $71 including tax.  This was definitely more than I would plan on dropping normally on a Thursday, but at least I got to try some place new and had some…interesting…company, haha.  Overall, I would definitely recommend Boundary Road for its relaxed atmosphere and delicious albeit slightly expensive menu.  Because this place is tiny I would not recommend it for groups larger than four, but is a good date location (despite my failings, haha).

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Third Edition

*PSA*

Just because a song lyric instructs you to do so, does not mean you should carry this out on the dance floor and/or use it as a pickup line.  For example, if a song tells a male to grab a certain piece of his anatomy with one hand and a explicative describing a female with the other…do not grab a girl dancing and expect her to dance up on you with the explanation “I’m just doing what the song told me to do.”  Stay classy, DC, haha.  Now on to the real reason you’re here, the review of Third Edition.


I will warn, I decided to take the night off from drinking last night so this review might be slightly different from others (perhaps more detailed oriented, haha).  Last night was an acquaintance’s birthday party and it was decided the after party would take us to Georgetown for some dancing.  Arriving around or just after midnight, this establishment was filled, but definitely not packed like the last time I came there mid-summer. There was no line to get in, but there was a $5 cover and some slight door drama when a drunken floozy tried to skip the cover.  The first floor was fairly lit and had a DJ spinning top 40 hits.  There was some dancing, but a little too light downstairs and not enough people really dancing to feel very comfortable. The upstairs dance floor had a more technically skilled DJ (read: played more than just top 40, with some hits and misses) if that is of importance to you.  Overall the downstairs area seemed more like a regular bar containing some booths, a long bar, and open space in between for people to intermingle. In terms of music, my personal preference would have been downstairs, but we ventured upstairs.  Upstairs definitely has more of a typical club feeling.  It’s dark, but not in a terribly creepy sense.  The first area is more relaxed.  There were few people dancing there and there is a relatively calm bar.  Following this staging area comes in this order: a dance floor, another room to chill/mingle, and then the outside tiki bar.  Each of these areas has it’s own bar to make drink accessibility very high.  When I first attended back in the summer, we probably waited 15 minutes to get served at a packed downstairs bar.  Upon learning that there are a total of 5 bars at Third Edition, it seems quite silly to not find one with a quicker turn around.

Last night was spent mostly on the dance floor, but I did enjoy scoping out the other areas.  I was slightly disappointed that they were restricting people from entering the tiki bar by 1 AM, but still enjoyed people watching throughout this place (#notacreeper).

As I was not drinking last night I can’t comment specifically on drink prices.  I did notice a sign indicating a $20 drink tab minimum and it is Georgetown, so expect drinks to be on the expensive side.  Last time I was here with a date and I believe he mentioned drinks (my vodka tonics anyway) being about $10.

The clientele here is …interesting.  It’s definitely not my normal crowd of people (Georgetown, if you couldn’t tell is not my normal stomping grounds).  Third Edition is really a pretty decent place if you come here with a group of friends (either for mingling, dancing, or some combination of the two).  For females, this is not the type of place I’d recommend for legitimately trying to meet someone (I think you know what I mean by that, haha).  For males, you might have better luck with the females given the typical number of girls in short dresses in Georgetown, haha.

As I say about many bars/clubs, Third Edition definitely has a purpose.  It is fairly good for handling large groups of people; has dancing, but also places to chill; and contains plenty of bars inside.  Overall, I enjoyed Third Edition for its diversity in atmosphere amongst the different spaces and being able to bust a move on the dance floor with my friends.

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McGinty’s

Oh what a night…I debated on whether I should write a review for last night’s destination due to my level of sobriety.  While my details may not be extremely crisp, I’ll do my best.  I thought it was important to get some more diversity in my reviews and step outside of my normal DC/NoVa bubble.

Last week a friend moved to Silver Spring and so naturally, this week he had a housewarming party.  Hopefully, it was a lovely welcoming. 🙂 After drinking up at the party, we made our way to McGinty’s. We entered to find that there was a cover (I think there was a band playing when we arrived? Haha).  I rarely have cash on me so luckily a nice gentleman spotted me and I bought him a drink in exchange.  The bartenders were very engaging and friendly, definitely tolerant of my drunkenness and the large group of people that arrived at the same time.  They definitely knew how to handle the crowds.  Ordering two rail drinks (vodka tonic for me, a rum and coke for the gentleman) and a Makers Mark for some other random person – I’m fairly generous when that drunk, haha).  I will say the prices were excellent; the rail drinks were $3.21 a piece and the Makers Mark was $5.73 (thank you receipt for aiding my ‘memory’).

The general layout of the bar was nice.  The bar was long with plenty of seats with plenty of standing and table area too.  While my friends commented that the clientele was a bit older here, I did not seem to notice and found making friends with other patrons very easy.  Honestly, what’s more welcoming than making friends with a table full of people over some SportsCenter?  That was another advantage to this place, while I did not observe dancing, I was able to watch some sports (#drunkenpastime).  Admittedly, this was my first time in Silver Spring and getting off the metro here I was slightly skeptical.  There is definitely a different feeling here than in DC or NoVa.  It’s more of a neighborhood/suburban bar than a downtown bar, which may or may not be appealing to some.  I would offer up a picture of my friends here, but Drunk Katie accidentally deleted it last night instead of saving it.  Overall, I would definitely come back to McGinty’s if I found myself in Silver Spring again.  Prices were cheap, people were friendly, and it was good for a large group (would have been just a good for a smaller group).  If I were in the area, I might even see myself feeling comfortable coming here alone.

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Post Pub

Apologies for my absence!  You all must have been deeply concerned, but don’t fret Intoxikatied is back and ready to start reviewing once again.

Last night, I hopped into a car with a friend with no particular destination in mind other than somewhere in DC.  After struggling through Chinatown traffic (~7pm and there was a Wizards game) and a detour through Shaw, we ended up just north of McPherson Square.  The initial idea was to head to Churchkey, but apparently a little drizzle makes DC metro drivers even more intolerable to handle in Logan Circle.  We basically drove to parking and used our buddy Yelp to pick a place.  Post Pub is located at 1422 L St. NW.  I won’t lie, this bar does not look that appealing or inviting from the outside.  For all those in search of decent dive bars though, I’d advise you not to overlook this place.

Walking into Post Pub, it almost feels as if you are transported out of DC.  Offering an escape from the K Street madness just a block away, this establishment has cozy booths, limited bar seating, and a handful of standalone tables.  It is dimly lit and offers a classy music atmosphere of nostalgic 80s, 90s, and maybe a few early 2000s songs.

Since it was a slightly later happy hour venture for me and my friend, we went easy and ordered just a couple drinks.  A vodka tonic for me ($5.45) and two beers for him ($4 for some typical domestic and $5 for a hipster IPA).  I decided food was probably a wise decision, despite some slight hesitation regarding the potential quality (yes, we judged this place based on its looks, so sue me).  For dinner, I ordered the Diplomat Burger (Bacon cheddar cheeseburger with LT and onion rings) for $9.  This burger was as delicious as it was messy – very much so.  My friend made fun of me as I struggled to fit the whole burger in my mouth (I succeeded!) and made a mess in the process. He ordered the London broil special and was fairly pleased….My meal was definitely better, ha.

The staff here was friendly and very engaging. Upon ordering, instantly felt at home here with the ease of discussion with the bartender.  The clientele here (last night at least) definitely reflected the homey/local bar feeling.  There was an active banter back and forth between the customers and the bartenders, which was kind of refreshing to see.  Going here with a large group might be difficult considering the limited seating, but it would be good for small groups.  I could also see it as a welcoming place to grab a drink solo.  Don’t get me wrong, this is definitely a dive bar, but it’s not as sleazy as it appears.  Prices are a bit more expensive than I would hope for a dive bar though (maybe I’m just biased at the lack of happy hour special on rail drinks).  If I were in this area more and looking for a very relaxed place without all the BS, I’d definitely come back.

The bar

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