Find happy hours and drink specials anywhere you are

Washington, D.C.'s 10 Hottest Bars of 2012

by Lauren Sloat on Dec 24, 2012 in Roundups
Washington, D.C.'s 10 Hottest Bars of 2012

District skeptics need look no further than the past 12 months for affirmation of Washington’s thriving, forward-thinking and ever-diverse bar culture. From a “philanthropub” that donates its profits and a sand-drenched beach bar to watering holes inspired by Brazil, Germany, Mexico and England, this year’s bar openings proved that D.C. is a destination for drink lovers.

Range: Sneaking in just in time for 2012, this highly anticipated eatery in Chevy Chase Pavilion from chef Bryan Voltaggio is also home to an equally accomplished mixologist: Owen Thomson, previously Think Food Group’s beverage director and the mastermind behind the meticulously researched cocktail offerings at America Eats Tavern, is now head honcho behind this marble bar (5335 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-803-8020).

Satellite Room: You can’t go wrong with a place that serves “burgers, beer and adult milkshakes” late into the night. This 1960s-inspired diner behind the 930 Club is part of the Hilton Brothers’ U Street empire and whips up boozy shakes named after bygone T.V. characters — the “A.C. Slater,” for example, is a curious mix of avocado and Jose Cuervo (2047 9th St. NW).

Eddy Bar at Hank's on the Hill: “Mixtress” Gina Chersevani is the brains behind the beverage program at the latest outpost of Hank’s Oyster Bar, where you can get insanely delicious house-made sodas (we die for the blueberry) or any one of Chersevani’s eccentric cocktails. Case in point: The PT-109, named after JFK’s sunk “Patrol Torpedo” boat (633 Pennsylvania Ave. SE; 202-733-1971).

Society Fair: From the team behind Alexandria’s Restaurant Eve, the focal point of this gourmet shop-slash-wine bar is a demonstration kitchen around which patrons can watch how to prepare (and then eat) a three-course meal on most nights of the week. We also recommend stopping in at this self-proclaimed “lifestyle food market” for a sip at the bar — and then buying a bottle for later (277 S. Washington St., Alexandria; 703-683-3247).

Cause: This “Philanthropub” opened on 9th street in the fall and is truly changing the standard idea of charitable giving. With every beer you buy, you help beneficiaries such as Agora Partnerships, Common Good City Farm, Higher Achievement and Martha’s Table; 100% of the bar’s profits are donated to a handful of organizations selected by an established advisory board (1926 9th St. NW; 202-588-5220).

New York Avenue Beach Bar: Umbrellas, a tiki hut and real sand that you can sink your toes into make this newcomer a truly unique watering hole. It’s only open seasonally, but you can bet your next daiquiri that we’ll be there following the first signs of spring (645 New York Ave.; 202-656-9229).

The Brixton: An expansive roofdeck overlooking prime U Street real estate makes this a notable 2012 addition thanks to location alone. The plethora of outdoor fans is an added bonus that makes outdoor drinking almost bearable during even the most humid D.C. summer nights (901 U St. NW; 202-560-5045).

Tropicalia: A long time in the making, this bar and venue brings art and music together in a thumping, colorful ode to the 1960s Brazilian movement of the same name. Grab a Caipirinha and check the calendar for the latest lineup of live acts and featured DJs (2001 14th St. NW; 202-629-4535).

El Chucho: This casual, diner-style Mexican joint in Columbia Heights proffers nine different margaritas, including the $5 El Codo on tap that can be rimmed with chile-lime salt. On the other end of the price spectrum, the $25 Rico Suave — made with Don Julio 1942 — is an option for serious tequila drinkers (3313 11th St. NW; 202-290-3313).

Döner Bistro: Though most of the focus at this Adams Morgan eatery has been on its Berlin-inspired street food, the German beer selection is not to be overlooked. Boasting as many as 41 brews by the bottle, Döner is a great place to make new friends: You’ll find communal-style tables inside and out (1654 Columbia Rd. NW; 202-462-8355).

Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Using Peas to Make Gin Might Lead to More Environmentally Friendly Spirits, Studies Show

Using Peas to Make Gin Might Lead to More Environmentally Friendly Spirits, Studies Show

Scientists may have discovered a more environmentally friendly way to make one of the world's most popular spi...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 23, 2019
Drink a Classic Cocktail for a Good Cause During Negroni Week, June 24-30

Drink a Classic Cocktail for a Good Cause During Negroni Week, June 24-30

Negroni Week 2019 is June 24-30, so drink this classic cocktail for a good cause....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jun 19, 2019
What to Do if Your Uber, Lyft, or Cab Driver Ever Strays From Your Destination or Makes You Feel in Danger

What to Do if Your Uber, Lyft, or Cab Driver Ever Strays From Your Destination or Makes You Feel in Danger

If you're taking an Uber, Lyft, or cab and feel unsafe, there are steps you can take to protect yourself....read more ›

by Nina Starner Jun 19, 2019
SPONSORED
Find happy hours and drink specials anywhere you are
D.C.'s Best Wine Bars

D.C.'s Best Wine Bars

Whether you're a wino or a wine novice, DC is home to a number of wine bars perfect for casual sipping or for expanding your palate. ...read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen May 29, 2019
Behind the Bar: Kat Corbo of The Study & Winner of Speed Rack 2019

Behind the Bar: Kat Corbo of The Study & Winner of Speed Rack 2019

This time on Behind the Bar, we spoke to Kat Corbo of The Study, who recently won Speed Rack 2019....read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 15, 2019
Where to Drink Outside in D.C. During Summer 2019

Where to Drink Outside in D.C. During Summer 2019

Patio weather has arrived! Grab your friends, stake a spot at the bar and take advantage of these outdoor spots for drinking and dining. ...read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen May 14, 2019
Boston Beer & Dogfish Head Have Merged in a $300 Million Deal

Boston Beer & Dogfish Head Have Merged in a $300 Million Deal

In a huge move for the American craft beer community, Boston Beer and Dogfish Head have agreed to a merger valued at $300 million dollars. ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 10, 2019
Neighborhood Bar Crawl: Adams Morgan

Neighborhood Bar Crawl: Adams Morgan

Here are some of our top picks featuring awesome beverage choices in addition to serving up delicious eats - burgers, Korean, Japanese and more - all ...read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Apr 17, 2019
A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A new, high-end blend of Jack Daniel's whiskey, known as Jack Daniel's No. 27 Gold, which was previously only ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 15, 2019
Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon has debuted an entirely new label design, has expanded to more states...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 3, 2019
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close