Tag Archives: Multiple Floors

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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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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Drink-aversary! – The Gibson, Desperados, Lost Society, El Centro, Policy

Thank you to all who came out for my Drinkaversary!  A little rain didn’t stop us from parading around U Street…some in more coherent states than others.  While the timing was not what I had anticipated, I still managed to make the rounds to 5 different bars – The Gibson, Desperados, Lost Society, El Centro, and Policy.  Starting at approximately 7:30pm, The Gibson was quite welcoming.  Yes, I’ve previously reviewed The Gibson and opinions have not changed of the awesomeness that this establishment has to offer.  I met a former coworker and classmate here and do believe that their introduction to the place was quite positive.  Sitting at the bar, the bartender was quite engaging and willing to show off his mastery by offering to make off-the-menu cocktails.  For the first drink I stuck to the menu and ordered a drink something along the lines of ‘Women, Wine and Hookah.’  The second drink though, I decided to challenge the bartender.  With a simple statement of “I like vodka,” he quickly got to work and offered up a tasty citrusy drink.  I was quite pleased.  Prior to the third drink after specifying my tree nut allergy, I was met with the question, “Would you mind champagne?”  “Of course not.,” being my response and my treat was quickly placed before me.  Having no reservation proved to be no problem.  This is probably due to the early arrival.  By the time we exited at about 9:30pm, the downstairs bar was filled and people were waiting to enter.  I may have entered dry, but certainly left The Gibson filled with three tasty drinks.

Next stop – Desperados.  I was long overdue for some food at this point.  Intoxikatied has been training for a half marathon and decided to go for an 11-miler just prior to going out for the night…probably not the wisest decision.  I’ve been to Desperados about 4 times prior to Saturday – mostly in small groups of people, but last Tuesday I even decided to fly solo for happy hour prior to a concert.  This really is a great place.  It’s relaxed, has reasonable prices, and an engaging staff.  The happy hour prices are particularly impressive for the quality ($4 rails and $5.50 BBQ or buffalo chicken quesadillas).  One time, I came here with a group of friends and we ordered (almost) all the happy hour special appetizers – split between 4.5 people plus drinks, it was the perfect amount ($20).  They have a small outdoor seating area right in front of the bar too, if that’s your preference.  Desperados may not be as flashy (yuppie or hipster) as other bars on U Street, but it is certainly not lacking in quality. It’s a no BS bar and sometimes, you just need that available in your back pocket.

After finishing our round of drinks and food at Desperados, we made our way to Lost Society.  Conveniently located across the street from Desperados and in the central intersection of 14th and U Street, Lost Society offers great views overtop this juncture.  You enter Lost Society on the ground floor and then proceeding up the stairs you find two additional floors with different atmospheres.  For the purpose of Saturday night, my group of friends kept to the initial floor, but I did wander upstairs to explore a bit…typical Intoxikatie ;-).  The top floor offers a DJ and another bar.  While it was raining that night and the area was covered, I believe this opens up to be rooftop space on nice nights.  The floor that we spent the majority of time did have a lot to offer: a fairly large rectangular bar, large TVs for sports viewing, purple velvet couches, and some normal tables for dining.  Be prepared though, these couches and tables are not first come-first served.  The staff will promptly ask you for your reservation if you attempt otherwise.  So what, we tried to steal a table?  My friends and I were in a good state by this point, so it seemed like harmless fun.  Don’t worry, the stick wasn’t too far up the waitress’s butt that she asked us to leave.  Now this bar was quite crowded, so after I bought a round of drinks (2 miller lites – $6 each, 1 bourbon and coke – $9, and a screwdriver – $8), we tried to settle into a different nook as we waited for a few more friends to join us. 

Naturally, we made our way over to the two purple velvet couches.  Yes, the small tables in front of said couches were marked with a reserved sign…but as they say ‘the early bird catches the worm.’  Don’t worry, we were eventually kicked off them…and moved onto our next bar.  Overall, Lost Society seemed like a pretty cool bar to mingle with people.  It would have been better with a small group and a reservation.  I definitely would not mind coming back for a girls’ night on the rooftop or to start an outing.

The next stop was El Centro, down a few blocks on 14th Street.  El Centro has a few offerings.  Not only is it a restaurant, there’s a downstairs dancing/DJ area and a rooftop bar.  Unfortunately, I can only speak to the rooftop – which remains open during the winter with some fairly strong heat lamps.  I have been here a handful of times and will say it offers some great margaritas and mojitos…as any reputable Mexican restaurant should.  If you time it right, they do offer $5 classic margaritas and mojitos (probably certain happy hours, but the last time I cashed in on this offer was on New Years).  As you can see from the pictures, there were a fair number of people present when we arrived between 11 and 11:30pm.  This place can definitely hold a fair amount of people, so it’s good for groups.  This isn’t the type of place I would go if I were looking to mingle with new people though.  After ‘sipping’ down my mojito and posing for a few pictures with friends, we decided it was time for our final stop.

Venturing out into the rain, we ran across the street to Policy. Yes, it really was a quick jaunt across the street because upon arrival I realized that we left about half of our group at El Centro.  Don’t worry, they are a smart bunch and caught up :-). This was my first time attending Policy.  As a group, we decided that our night was distinctly lacking some good ole fashioned dancing…and by this I obviously mean club music and dancing in a crowded room of strangers, haha.  As negative as that comment sounds, I actually really enjoyed our time there.  It did have multiple floors, but we only investigated the dancing area.  The DJ was okay, not the best, but workable and there was quite the crowd there at about 12am so I will not complain about there being a lack of interest.  Overall, I will hold off from making any major evaluations of Policy though at this point.  It looks like it may be on the itinerary again this weekend and hopefully I can give it a more justified review.  By this time of the night, the alcohol had caught up with me and I unfortunately lost my trusty 4 year-old pink umbrella somewhere on the dance floor (as only the classiest girls do).

Leaving the bar at about 1:30am, this night quickly turned into an embarrassment and I would like to send another apology someone’s way for dealing with that (if you even read this, haha).  Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll add that to my humorous collection of self-deprecating stories that I tell in a few months.  Overall, I’d like to send a big thank you to all my friends who made it out last Saturday despite the rain.  It has been quite the year – many stories have come of it and I’m sure many more will too.  *Corny moment of the blog post warning* Those of you who choose to be part of all these stories are what really make them memorable experiences…and of course my sometimes mischievous antics :-).  Here’s to another year of stories.

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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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