Tag Archives: Rooftop

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 🙂

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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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