Warm Up: 8 D.C. Bars with Fireplaces
The weather outside may be getting frightful, but a drink by the fire is so delightful. A little booze always does a cold body good, but add a crackling fire into the mix and you’ll even start to warm up to your compatriots across the aisle. From H Street to Georgetown, here’s where to map out your cold weather drinking strategy before the next Snowpocalypse hits.
Tabard Inn: A ship-like masthead above the fireplace at this N Street tavern tells only part of its rich history as the private home of a shipping magnate and senator before becoming a dormitory for female WWII volunteers and later an inn and restaurant. Today, the quaint and homey bar serves stiff drinks to a regular crowd of intellectuals and journalist types. Go on a Sunday night for live jazz from 7:30–10 PM (1739 N St. NW; 202-331-8528).
Vapiano: Plentiful lounge seating around the glass-encased fireplace – not to mention personalized “chip cards” that eliminate the headache of group checks – are what make Vapiano an ideal happy hour spot for your after work crew on chilly nights. Warm up from the inside out with the house wine, Peroni or Pilsner on draft; all just $3.95 during the generous happy hour, which runs from 3:30–8 PM, Monday–Saturday and noon–9 PM on Sunday (1800 M St. NW; 202-640-1868).
Eighteenth Street Lounge: Eric Hilton may rule the U Street bar scene these days, but his foray into nightlife began sixteen years ago at this Victorian mansion, which boasts its own music label and three original fireplaces spread across two floors. Grab a glass of wine, take a seat on one of the vintage couches and thaw out to the tune of world-class DJs and live bands (1212 18th St. NW; 202-446-3922).
The Lobby Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown: Tucked away on a quiet Georgetown side street, this hotel and its lobby lounge are a favorite celeb hideaway. It’s no wonder: in the colder months, you can enjoy classic cocktails and complimentary, butler-passed s’mores next to the grand wood-burning fireplace every evening from 6:30–7 PM. Arrive early for $8 select wines by the glass, $4 beers and half-priced cocktails and appetizers at Degrees Bistro from 4:30–6:30 PM (3100 South Street NW; 202-912-4100).
Irish Whiskey Public House: If the upstairs fireplace doesn’t warm you up at this traditional pub, then the selection of more than 50 whiskey brands surely will. Add in the warm, homey vibe (think plaid and plenty of dark wood) and not even the joint’s fancy ice (“perfectly” formed from a machine straight from the motherland) can chill you down (1207 19th St. NW; 202-463-3010).
Sign of the Whale: For those times you’re in the mood for a no-frills fireplace, this Dupont dive has you covered. A stone centerpiece of the long and narrow space, this one will keep you cozy through the bar’s insane happy hour (Monday through Friday, 4 PM–7 PM), when all beer, wine and liquor is half price (1825 M St. NW; 202-785-1110).
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