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I know there's already a thread on dive bars, but not all neighborhood bars are dives. I often hear that DC doesn't have many neighborhood bars, but I disagree. Some neighborhoods will never have their own bar/pub based on zoning, but you don't have to go too far in the district to find one. Based upon years of arduous research, here's a list of DC neighborhood bars that pop to mind (in no particular order)

Palisades - DC Boat House (although I have high hopes for the Kendle Tavern when it opens)
Foxhall/Spring Valley - Chef Geoff's (it has a great long wooden bar)
Friendship Heights - Chadwick's
Chevy Chase - Chevy Chase Lounge
Tenleytown - Dancing Crab/Malt Shop (although I preferred the old location)
Cathedral Heights - Cafe Deluxe
Glover Park - Bourbon
Georgetown - Martin's Tavern
Cleveland Park - Cleveland Park Tavern
Woodley Park - Woodley Grill
Dupont - Childe Harold
Dupont East - Townhouse Tavern
Foggy Bottom/West End - Red Lion or 51st State Tavern
Golden Triangle - Bottom Line
Logan Circle - Stoney's
U Street - Saloon or Polly's
Mt. Pleasant - Raven
Adams Morgan - Toledo Lounge or the Reef (except on weekends)
Columbia Heights - Wonderland
Petworth - Temperance Hall (not technically in Petworth, I know, but right across the street)
Takoma - Takoma Tavern
Brightwood/Manor Park - Jackie Lees (a cool and historic place but with eratic days/hours)
Brookland - Colonel Brooks
Woodridge - Saints Bourbon Street
Union Station - Irish Times or Dubliner
Penn Quarter/Downton - Matchbox, Harry's or Irish Channel
Shaw - Dominion Brew House
Capitol Hill (Senate side) - Union Pub
Captiol Hill (House side) - Tune Inn
Eastern Market - Tunnicliff's
Potomac Ave/Hill East - Trusty's
Trinidad - Argonaut (again, not technically in Trinidad, but esentially across the street)
Congress Heights - Georgina's aka the Player's Lounge

Neighborhoods sorely lacking neighborhood bars:
Shepherd Park
Brentwood
Van Ness (I miss Passport; it was a dive, but a likeable dive)
Southwest (Cantina Marina doesn't really fit my idea of a neighborhood bar)
Eckington (hopefully EC-12, if it ever comes to fruition, will change that)
Navy Yard/Ball Park district (this should change with the opening of the stadium and all the new residences under construction)
Anacostia and most other neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River

---

Hawk 'n' Dove (Pat)

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Hank Dietle's. There was an minorly contentious conversation about Hank's a while back.

Oops. Right. Hank. Where did I get Bo from? Not like I don't go by it twenty times a week. Years ago, I actually stopped in from time to time. It was everything that North Bethesda wasn't, which is a good thing. The antidote for Sutton Place Gourmet (yes, I do know it is now Balducci's). When you got sick of barristas and venti grande BS. Which is pretty much every time I walk into a Starbucks and say in my most derisive, contrarian voice, "Gimme a cupajoe."

Happy Friday, all!

Ellen

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I thought I was going to build a neighborhood-y brewpub in Bloomingdale, around this time last year, but I didn't. Probably end up doing it in Denver where I understand the regulatory rigamarole a little better....

But I'll throw out the address, because somebody should do something in the space. Neighborhood bar seems exactly right (a little too small for a brewpub).

1822 1st St. NW, or corner of Seaton Pl. and 1st St. Block south of Rhode Island. I'll bet the space is still empty.

Close enough, but not too close, to the Fire Station thingy--is that EC-12?

And I'll sure second Stoney's in Logan Circle. In fact this is what somebody ought to put in the space I mentioned.

Oh and drive by critic got Bo Dietl from the Imus show, yeah, you just outed yourself....(me too!)

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One of the most unfortunate poxes on suburban Virginia - due to several draconian zoning restrictions neighborhood bars simply don't exist for most areas. While I mostly love NOVA this is my #1 pet peeve about living here.

couldn't have said it better myself. Until a few years ago I was lucky to have the Honolulu in my 'hood. One of the best dive bars around. David's Mai Tai's were sorely missed this summer.

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couldn't have said it better myself. Until a few years ago I was lucky to have the Honolulu in my 'hood. One of the best dive bars around. David's Mai Tai's were sorely missed this summer.

We lived within walking distance to Honolulu. It makes me sad everytime I drive by where it once stood and remember with great fondness the food, the atmosphere and walking outside on a summers night after a few drinks and thinking, "dear lord, its too light out here to be this drunk!"

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For a rather long time, my complaint about my home town is that, despite many years of bar going, I do not have a local bar. I didn't think it was me, I just thought that I'd never found a suitable place. But the issue came to a head on a recent trip to New York, when I went to a friend's local for brunch and found amazing food, good drinks, and an owner who treated us like family (Swig on the upper east side). On the way home from New York, I lamented to another friend now living in DC that I've never found a place like that here in all my years. A week later, he knew everyone at this bar near his house and we were treated like celebrities. He rose to the challenge and found his local in a matter of days. And I like it, but the food sucks. So, I think that's my problem -- I'm kinda picky. Anywhere that is a fun place to hang out and has good food gets overrun because there are so few places like it (my local example would be Liberty Tavern). So, I think it's an impossibility here until we reach a saturation point. I'm not sure we'll ever reach that point. Any place that's good gets too crowded (or punts, like Thirsty Birnie's, which sucked when I last went). And any place in a "developing" neighborhood is too far away to be a "neighborhood" place.

Am I wrong? I'd like to be.

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couldn't have said it better myself. Until a few years ago I was lucky to have the Honolulu in my 'hood. One of the best dive bars around. David's Mai Tai's were sorely missed this summer.

Unfortunately I moved to the Telegraph/Franconia area just weeks after Honolulu folded. Everyone around here talks about it like it's this lost mythical place - a combination of Camelot, Atlantis, and Shangi-La, but with umbrella drinks.

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For a rather long time, my complaint about my home town is that, despite many years of bar going, I do not have a local bar. I didn't think it was me, I just thought that I'd never found a suitable place. But the issue came to a head on a recent trip to New York, when I went to a friend's local for brunch and found amazing food, good drinks, and an owner who treated us like family (Swig on the upper east side). On the way home from New York, I lamented to another friend now living in DC that I've never found a place like that here in all my years. A week later, he knew everyone at this bar near his house and we were treated like celebrities. He rose to the challenge and found his local in a matter of days. And I like it, but the food sucks. So, I think that's my problem -- I'm kinda picky. Anywhere that is a fun place to hang out and has good food gets overrun because there are so few places like it (my local example would be Liberty Tavern). So, I think it's an impossibility here until we reach a saturation point. I'm not sure we'll ever reach that point. Any place that's good gets too crowded (or punts, like Thirsty Birnie's, which sucked when I last went). And any place in a "developing" neighborhood is too far away to be a "neighborhood" place.

Am I wrong? I'd like to be.

As it appears that you are in the same neighbourhood as us, I would agree re Liberty Tavern (also Lyon Hall) being good candidates that are currently over-run. I am finding myself drawn more and more to the upstairs bar at Northside Social (although I'll admit it is part neighbourhood bar / part college hall at times). Food is limited but the Carcuterie and cheese is excellent.

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This makes no sense. Why is he changing one of the best bars around? Those little booths are part of why H&D was a great bar. It's just depressing.

I happened to run into him yesterday (after posting that link) and pled with him--rather pointlessly, as he’s set on his course--not to get rid of the warren of rooms. That layout is part of the character of the place. He said that it is too “dark and dank” inside. Rarely do I go in there any more (the “dark and dank” part is true though has an appeal for many people), but I’m sad to see such a complete transformation. With a change in the exterior as well, I’m not actually sure what the point is in keeping the name.

He also said that he was planning to have Box Car (the wine bar across from Eastern Market) open by the end of December.

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As it appears that you are in the same neighbourhood as us, I would agree re Liberty Tavern (also Lyon Hall) being good candidates that are currently over-run. I am finding myself drawn more and more to the upstairs bar at Northside Social (although I'll admit it is part neighbourhood bar / part college hall at times). Food is limited but the Carcuterie and cheese is excellent.

Liberty and Lyon Hall are calm early in the week or weekend afternoons and we patronize them then, any other time you need a back-up plan (Faccia Luna is a good choice, for beer anyways). Eatbar pasta dishes have been good recently, and if food is less of an issue Galaxy Hut and Jays are great neighborhood joints. Hoping Green Pig Bistro will fit in this neighborhood bar niche as well.

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DC9 is a great little bar (and music venue) and the food is great. One of the best burgers in the city, delicious fries and more of the usual suspects. Nothing pretentious.

Disclaimer: the chef and co-owner is a former co-worker of mine (3 plus years at Palena...so get a freakin' burger already!)

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Navy Yard/Ball Park district (this should change with the opening of the stadium and all the new residences under construction)

Anacostia and most other neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River

I'd like to nominate Justin's as the Navy Yard/Near Northeast neighborhood bar. Though crowds there certainly ramp up before Nats games, the place has a really nice local vibe at other times. Though the interior is a little one the cold side, in a new apartment building, it's nice to see a lot of the neighborhood newcomers make good use of the place. Food is OK, draft list is very well selected and happy hour is a bargain ($3 Racer 5's til 6pm? Fantastic). I think it will stay a good local option when the Nats hordes flock to Bluejacket and Gordon Biersch this season.

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I thought I was going to build a neighborhood-y brewpub in Bloomingdale, around this time last year, but I didn't. Probably end up doing it in Denver where I understand the regulatory rigamarole a little better....

But I'll throw out the address, because somebody should do something in the space. Neighborhood bar seems exactly right (a little too small for a brewpub).

1822 1st St. NW, or corner of Seaton Pl. and 1st St. Block south of Rhode Island. I'll bet the space is still empty.

Excellent to see this thread revived, if only for this prescient 5-year-old quote. That space will become Red Hen in the near future.

Boundary Stone has since cemented itself as Bloomingdale's neighborhood bar.

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I'd like to nominate Justin's as the Navy Yard/Near Northeast neighborhood bar. Though crowds there certainly ramp up before Nats games, the place has a really nice local vibe at other times. Though the interior is a little one the cold side, in a new apartment building, it's nice to see a lot of the neighborhood newcomers make good use of the place. Food is OK, draft list is very well selected and happy hour is a bargain ($3 Racer 5's til 6pm? Fantastic). I think it will stay a good local option when the Nats hordes flock to Bluejacket and Gordon Biersch this season.

Yes, I've been to Justin's since I first started this topic, and it's not bad. I am really looking forward to Bluejacket though.

As for East of the River, it's seen Ray's and Uniontown Bar and Grill both come and go, but there will always be Players Lounge and Now Big Chair, which seems to have morphed into more of a bar than a coffee shop.

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I grew up in Arlington and as a youngin' I used to hit up McKeever's since they never carded back in the day, the early 80's. I used to sneak into the back alley of Whiteys, before the expansion, and sneak into the kicthen and into the bar. The one I truly miss, Crow Bar.

Completely with you on Crow Bar, Josh. I was heading out there one night for drinks with the boys when my girlfriend (at the time) demanded that I bring her with us. (Back story: she was an over-privileged daughter of a congressman. Definitely NOT a dive bar kinda girl.) I told her what kind of a place the Crow Bar was and she insisted she would enjoy it and she could "hang" with us.

Within one minute of walking into the Crow Bar, we saddle up to the bar and witness a crew of guys next to us knock down shots of rail tequila, spit tobacco juice into their shot glasses, have the bartender add more tequila to the tobacco spit and then yep...they drank that.

She never, ever came back to the Crow Bar with us again. I don't miss her, but I miss that bar. Best jukebox ever!

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I don't know quite where to put this, but I hear that Lance Cook will be returning as a guest bartender at Union Pub on June 20th from 5PM on as part of their 10th anniversary celebration.  Lance has worked at a number of places on the Hill but now owns a restaurant up in the Baltimorish area (sorry I don't know better details), so FYI for anyone who would like to catch up with him.

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Millie and Al's a true dive bar in Adams Morgan is now celebrating 50 years!!!   50 years.  Quite a feat of staying power:

"Love and Jell-O Shots: Millie & Al's Turns 50" by Mike Riggs on washingtoncitypaper.com

I do recall Millie and Als serves beer and a lot of it.  I can't say I recall the food.  ;)

Adams Morgan dive bar mainstay for sale, likely to close, by Michael Neibauer in the Washington Business Journal

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