Tag Archives: Pool

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?

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

H Street Shenanigans – Atlas Arcade, Church & State, etc…

Compute Writer’s_Block=0.

If (Busy_Schedule=1) & (Work_Stress=1) & (Family_Craziness=1) & (Sleep=0) & (Traveling=1) Writer’s_Block=1.

Execute.

Uh oh!  My inner nerd is showing 😛  Anyway, apologies for being MIA for so long.  Hope you all enjoyed the end of summer and that my absence of postings didn’t leave you stranded for good advice/recommendations haha.  The following post is about H Street.  It encompasses two great trips there – the second official H Street bar crawl AND my birthday scavenger hunt.  For those of you that read the previous H Street bar crawl posting – I adapted the birthday scavenger hunt list, maybe if you’re lucky I’ll post that in its entirety.

Side comment – Fairly recently I had a friend post a link to the blog on the DC Subreddit.  Welcome to the new readers (if you exist, ha)!  While it probably would have been more appropriate to post a response to comments on there, I’d rather not have to create a throwaway account or worse, use my real one to respond #lazy.  #1: My use of the word gentrification was mocking.  I am quite aware that gentrification is not used in/applicable to DC exclusively.  I just find it hilarious that through my time in other cities I’ve never heard it referenced so much as I have here.  It’s like the word people say aloud to make themselves feel intelligent and informed on local issues.  #2 I’m a woman so yes, I took slight offense to the comments suggesting I watch my calorie intake.  Not that I have to defend myself, but I am quite active and a health-conscious individual.  One of the whole reasons I didn’t drink for so long was because of it.  It’s not that I have stopped exercising or given up on being healthy just because I drink, if anything it might be the complete opposite. Annyyyyywayyyyyy….on to the posting 🙂

 

As the summer was wrapping up, I finally had my second H Street bar crawl – disappointing I know for someone who set a summer goal of exploring H Street.  Despite the early rain showers, this particular Saturday weather was no deterrent from going out and having a good time.  Hopping out of the cab close to 10:30pm, we started the evening at the recently opened Atlas Arcade.  This establishment, from the exterior at least, looks just like a small mall arcade.  Upon entering, you are greeted by a fooseball table and about half a dozen arcade games lined down the wall on the right.  On the left side you will find the *cash only* bar and it the very back – a pool table. For all those coming to play the games, they do have a change machine so don’t worry about lugging around your prized collection of state quarters.  While I would never claim to be a gamer, I do host a fine appreciation for games.  After a childhood of watching my brothers play video games and them rarely letting me play, I’ve become quite accustom to the ‘watching’ role.  Some of the games my friends investigated included Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT), Donkey Kong, and a driving game of some sort.  I will say I was kind of disappointed that Atlas Arcade didn’t host my favorite classic – Pac Man.  At the bar, for those lucky enough to have one of the six or so stools, you can play Super Mario Brothers.

In terms of the actual bar, there is nothing to really rave about here.  I was quite surprised when I initially asked for a screwdriver and was told I couldn’t have it because they didn’t have any OJ. What bar doesn’t have OJ?!  To my relief, the bartender paused then for a minute and found some.  You too can have all this uncertainty for $6.  A little later a friend tried to get a whiskey sour to only be told that they didn’t have any whiskey downstairs and that she would have to go upstairs to Church & State.  Don’t get me wrong, the people here at this small bar were great.  It was a friendly atmosphere for people just looking to play games with a small group of friends.  Because Atlas Arcade is pretty small, I wouldn’t recommend going here with a large group of people.  And by the bar experience we had, it’s probably best you drink elsewhere first or after.  Silver lining – it is a good bar to go to relax and let off some steam with some games.

Our next stop didn’t even require walking outside.  We ventured upstairs to Church & State.  Fun fact – you can take drinks from downstairs up there (and I assume vice versa).  Church & State is a cocktail bar (you should all know how much I love these!) themed around the seven deadly sins.  Each sin has a represented specialty drink, as you can see in the featured picture.  Yes, it’s one of those menus where you probably will not recognize most of the ingredients in the drinks unless you are a liquor snob.  Still nursing my screwdriver from downstairs I sampled my friends’ drinks.  At $12 a pop, these drinks are quite strong.  One friend was not quite able to handle all that her bourbon drink had to offer and opted to pass this along.  Word to the wise when ordering from Church & State and cocktail bars alike, make sure you really enjoy the main alcohol in the drink.  If there’s something in the drink that you recognize you definitely do not like – don’t get it.  Talk to the bartender, they generally know what they are doing.

Church & State at the time was partially taken over for a birthday party.  Aside from the scattered birthday balloons, the interior of the bar looked like you were inside a dimly lit church (and no, not in a scary way).  From the window style, to the pews used as seating, to the confessional room used as a more private gathering space, my Catholic roots were reawakened, ha, just kidding. This is definitely a bar I’d like to come back to so I can try my own seven deadly sin of choosing.

That night like most nights on H Street, we ventured next to H Street Country Club to indulge my love of Giant Jenga and my nickname as “The Ringer.” I am quite the fierce competitor.  Nothing new to report on the country club -drunk people, mini golf, Norman the bulldog, etc.

The Birthday Edition:

Well it wasn’t a super eventful birthday.  Starting off at Sticky Rice for some late night food, our lineup followed with Little Miss Whiskey’s and my first trip to Rock and Roll Hotel.  While the food at Sticky Rice was quite delicious, we sat upstairs where my inebriated friends were not quite appreciated by the other customers, ha.  While we made some decent attempts at Little Miss Whiskey’s to cross off things on the scavenger hunt, we gave up on it fairly quickly.   Venturing then to Rock and Roll Hotel, I was excited to do some dancing.  The DJ was decent.  Avoiding typical top 40 music, the dancefloor was crowded, but not overly packed.  The upstairs bar, while I didn’t spend much time up there looked like it would be an interesting place to hang out with friends.  I definitely want to come back for the Drunken Spelling Bee and/or trivia night here.  Here’s too more adventures!

Enjoy readers!  Coming next: World of Beer and my new-found love of hard cider 🙂

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Capitol Lounge

Yes....they were courageous enough to give me permission to post this pic

You know those bars that you just keep going to, but can’t exactly explain why?  Capitol Lounge is one of them.  Located just between Capitol South and Eastern Market metro stations, it was the sponsor bar for one of my volleyball leagues this summer (because I’m all about over-committing and one league just wasn’t enough to fill my vball fix).  In all honesty, it probably would have taken me a while to discover this bar otherwise.  Capitol Lounge doesn’t make a big splash in the larger pond of DC bars, but not for lack of quality.  Maybe it’s my lack of bar experience/visitation in the Capitol Hill area or the people I associate with, but I rarely hear anyone mentioning the bars in that part of town.  It’s a real shame because I love the neighborhood bar feeling there.  Anyway, on to my review of the understated Capitol Lounge.  Having attended about half a dozen times now, I think I have a fair evaluation of this establishment…at least on Thursday evenings.

Capitol Lounge offers some prime sidewalk seating for perfect Hill people watching, two bars inside on the first floor, a bar downstairs, and a back outside patio.  The only place inside that I have avoided is the bar as you enter – it’s a long dark bar, little space, and seemingly full of dudes that just stare us down as we enter, ha. Towards the back of this space, there are a few prime tables.  The other bar on that floor is a bit more open and has a larger seating area – this is a better section to sit if you came with a couple friends and aren’t necessarily looking to mingle with others.  If you are coming here with a handful of people though, I’d recommend either sitting on the back patio or going downstairs.  I’ve been partial to the patio because we can avoid the potentially obnoxious Hill staffers (let’s be real honest here, there’s a Hill staffer stereotype for a reason – also, given that it was the summer, we were trying to avoid the interns), it tends to be quieter, and just overall has a chill atmosphere.  The basement has also been a decent place to hang out if only because it offers a shuffleboard and pool table in what would otherwise be a dark creepy basement, ha.

The service here has been really spotty.  While the servers tend to be really nice and personable, service in the right bar area and the back patio has been fairly poor – taking way too long to get our orders in, letting our drinks go dry, and getting food orders incorrect.  The table area in the left bar is actually where we’ve received the best service – no order errors and relatively little wait time.

In terms of prices, our social sport discount got some pretty decent ones for the area – $6 for my vodka tonic, $9 chicken tender plates, $4 select beers.  I’m uncertain as to what happy hour prices are in comparison with these.  Also to note, they have $2 sliders on Thursday nights before 8pm.  Overall, I’d recommend Capitol Lounge if you’re in the area and looking for a place to relax with a group of friends.  They have a jukebox and if you’re as adventurous as us, you can start a dance party in the middle of the bar.  If you’d prefer to hang back, you can also do this.  This may just be my personality showing through or the fact that we came here for several weeks in volleyball spandex, but this is my ‘I don’t give an f— bar’ ha.  It’s probably better to just order from the bar if you’re just getting drinks and you’ve been forewarned about the different service areas – choose wisely.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Atomic Billiards – My First and Favorite Dive Bar in DC

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

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

Dark, Crowded Interior on a Friday Night

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spider Kelly’s

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

Spider Kelly's

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

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

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

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Buffalo Billiards

Buffalo Billiards certainly uses the word buffalo correctly in that this place is a lot larger than the other billiards places in DC.  I’ve been here a handful of times and have never really been disappointed by it, but that’s probably due to my love of billiards and my inability to really hate anywhere offering a good game.  The actual aesthetic of this bar is different from many DC establishments.  It’s actually part of a chain (I’ve been to the one in Philly too and it was similar, except it felt slightly less commercial there).  Instead of the cozy feeling of other DC pool places, this does feel a lot less like a dive bar in a basement and not just due to the large size.  To enter the bar, like other DC billiards establishments, you must go down a set of stairs.  This leads you to a large basement billiards/sports bar with lots of open and dark space.  The large size does offer 18 pool tables, 7 dart boards, 9 shuffleboard tables, skeeball, private party rooms, a patio for outside seating.

Admittedly, it is expensive to play pool here ($16 an hour for 2 people during ‘prime time’), but that’s almost every place in DC (side note the cheapest place I’ve found to play pool is in Crystal City – Crystal City Sports Pub offers pool for $1 per game).  Buffalo Billiards charges by the number of people playing and time.  Food is decent (typical bar food) and I would definitely recommend the happy hour specials on food ($1 slider night after 7pm) as well as the rail drinks (only $3.50 during happy hour in Dupont?! Yes, it’s shocking).  Don’t worry there are three bars for you to get drinks from so you will not be left thirsty.

The first time I went here was on a date and we went with the sliders – a steal at $6 for 6.  Another time, I went with friends and ordered cheese fries ($10) that we weren’t able to finish due to the large portion – money well spent. Overall, I’d recommend Buffalo Billiards for smaller or larger groups of people and definitely for dates.

Summary Offerings:

–       18 Pool Tables

–       9 Shuffleboard Tables

–       Skeeball

–       Private Party Rooms

–       3 Bars

–       Patio

–       Good Happy Hour Deals

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