As I read through the last few months of posts, it's come to my attention that while I've written many a post about what to do with kids while visiting DC, I've paid relatively little attention to the very real needs of those that might visit Washington without kids, or for those fortunate souls who have babysitters.
A such, my very good friend David has graciously agreed to provide a bit of a guide to one of the more exciting local nightspots. Sad to say, David at times imagines things that just didn't happen, but his observations are apt and H Street, Northeast really is a fun place to have a beer or ten.
I've heard it called many things- "Atlas District" or "SoFlo" (apparently that meant "South of Florida" during the height of the real-estate bubble), but we all call it just plain H Street. If
you're an out-of-towner, bear with me for just a couple paragraphs of local lore, before I dive into the mechanics of the perfect pub crawl on H Street.
In 1968, H Street was hit hard. It took forty years for the last burned-out-shells to be taken down, and even now there are a few empty lots and a couple pretty decrepit addresses. But thanks to a great deal of local effort on the part of folks who live, work, and own on H
Street, it's now a pretty damn fine pub crawl, replete with plenty of local color.
Which brings me to the start of the evening. The Argonaut is one of Saint Joe Englert's bars. Locals know him as "that guy who owns those bars." I imagine some half dozen of the places we'll visit (read: crawl to) are his. Argonaut is a great starting place, for a number of reasons. For instance, when your intrepid editor and I went on our first pub crawl, we chanced upon a woman (or she chanced upon us) who, after trying to convince us we were tourists, proceeded to expose a perfectly lovely pair of C-or-possibly-D cups.
They have beer and stuff, and the food is great, and did I mention she just pulled up her shirt and said, "What do you think of these?" I had no idea anyone in DC had that kind of creativity. Tim didn't even flinch, but my jaw definitely dropped, and I stared.
Okay, four paragraphs in, and I'm still on the first pub. Walk a block down, go into Sova. Go upstairs, have some wine, before you get totally plastered. Oh, and you probably should have eaten at The Argonaut while you were there, but if you didn't, not to worry, we're making our way down to Taylor later in the evening.
Leaving Sova, there's a whole strip of places to visit, in random order. If it's Tuesday, start with the Pug. Two bucks for domestic beer on Tuesday. If it's early in the week, it's also probably worth visiting Granville Moore's, but only if there's not a huge long wait, and only if you love frites and only if you're not already too drunk to enjoy a beer like Fantome, after which you will be too drunk to enjoy anything more at Granville Moore's for sure, so stumble on back out.
In this little strip, make sure to hit Palace of Wonders, The Red and the Black, and (if you must) grab some tater tots at Sticky Rice. It's worth mentioning that the shows at Palace of Wonders are awesome. Have you ever seen that show Carnivale on HBO? Like that without all the bad guys.
If you're still thirsty, or if you didn't get stuck in one of those places (all easy to get stuck in), you now face a choice. Chill out with a martini, and probably some karaoke at H Street Martini Lounge, or pop across the street to the H Street Country Club and play some mini golf while munching on Tex-Mex. I haven't been to the latter, but I've seen the pictures, and I bet it's going to be awesome. (Ed note: H Street Country Club is open since David sent me this post. He's right; it is awesome. You can drink beer and play 9 holes of mini-golf upstairs.)
Okay, at this point in the night (and believe me, it's later than you think), you're getting hungry. Taylor Gourmet to the rescue. Go eat a Philadelphia Land Fill. Seriously. Their website says they're only open 'til 9PM, but I've heard they're going to start being open way late at least on weeknights. If you're still not done, stumble down to Pap and Petey's and finish your night there listening to music. If you're still not done after that, knock back a couple eight balls and pass out somewhere. You probably won't
be the only one.
Now, a few logistics. How to get to Argonaut to start your night. You can take the metro to the Stadium/Armory stop and just walk, or take the bus from there. You can take the H Street Shuttle. You can't drive, because you are going there to drink, and parking isn't great, and your car will get stolen. But someone could drop you off. Last, but not least, if you're super adventurous, just hop on the X2 city
At the end of your night, you're pretty close to Union Station, and you can get in a cab there. You can also take that shuttle back if you're in no shape to walk. Hell, I've even heard there are cabs that will venture down H Street now. Who knew?