Bars That Are Just Bars on NYE
BYT at large | Dec 28, 2016 | 12:00PM |

Have you consulted our NYE parties, restaurants and shows guide? Didn’t find anything up your alley? Would you rather ring in 2017 drinking a beer because you’re in a bar and not because you feel the need to celebrate? We understand.

If for some reason you haven’t been to one of these places, we’ve included positive words we’ve written about them in our Least Douchey, Best Bars Without TVs and Where To Watch The Super Bowl features.

A&D

From Best Bars Without TVs: If you want to hang out in Shaw and near our office, head to A&D. We included A&D in our Least Douchey Bars In D.C. 2013 edition because it’s relaxing, calm and fancy but not too fancy. It’s a good place to drink and act like a non-sports fan adult.

All Souls

From Best Bars Without TVs: All Souls bills itself as a ‘corner bar.’ Technically, that’s true. It’s on a corner and it is a bar. It is not a corner bar. It’s a dark cocktail bar ideal for conversations with one other person. If you’re looking for a pleasant Sunday evening date spot, this is for you.

American Ice Company

From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2012: American Ice Company can get fairly out of control and unmanageable on weekends when crowds rush inside, but what place on a weekend that’s worth it isn’t going to be loaded?

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Atlas Tap Room

From Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2016: The clean, no frills Atlas Tap Room is great for the beer aficionado, casual drinker and local business supporter. Atlas is our favorite brewery and the new tap room makes visits to pick up Rowdy a lot more attractive.

Bar Pilar

From Least Douchey Bars To Watch The Super Bowl: I watched the end of a Chicago Bears game at Bar Pilar. It felt like watching a Chicago Bears game in an overseas bar. A handful of fans scattered throughout the bar were paying attention and the rest of the people were enjoying their drinks. If you’re not betting on the game and are part of a couple, this 14th Street bar will make you feel informed and comfortable.

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Bedrock Billiards

From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2014: Bedrock Billiards in Adams Morgan sounds like it would be horrible. The location screams douche, the idea of a pool hall bar sounds douchey and, once again, Adams Morgan. But it’s not. Maybe it’s because it’s in a basement it doesn’t attract the kind of clientele that frequents most Adams Morgan rooftops. Maybe it’s the lack of windows and ample space. But Rocket has no windows and ample space and it’s a very douchey bar. Location matters. For some reason, this location works.

Brookland’s Finest

From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2015: Brookland is becoming hipper and hipper. There are new bars and restaurants popping up on 12th street all the time. Sometimes that’s a bad thing. Since this slow, but steady, gentrification has begun, the neighborhood has lost local establishments like Brookland Cafe (RIP), Little Rickey’s, and Optimism Bar. It has also gained a Busboys and Poets. The upside to all of this change is, of course, Brookland’s Finest. It is hands down one of the best places to get cocktails and food in the neighborhood. Their draft cocktail is always out of this world (so is their cocktail list, but seriously, go for what they have on draft). I would eat the blackened chicken club everyday for the rest of my life if it would not kill me. But, more than that, Brookland’s Finest has a very inviting atmosphere. During the day they’re filled with families and at night, it’s clear that the bar is packed with locals. I have ended many a drunken night (maybe even too many…) at Brookland’s Finest and I have not once regretted it. That’s true love right there.

Duke’s Counter

From Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2016: Duke’s Counter is not smelly or overpriced and not rude to new people. It looks clean and bright and serves the stuff that’s made Duke’s Grocery in Dupont a success. We recommend the specialty drinks, they’re massive in both size and punch. One of those and a sandwich should be enough for two.

Duke’s Grocery

From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2014: 17th street has always been a great place to hide from 18th (and now 14th street) and do some low key drinks. Now that Duke’s is here, there’s no reason to not make it one of your primary destinations too. The ground floor bar gets busy, but maintains a neighborhood-y vibe at all times. The sandwiches are some of the most intense in town. The bar snacks are good enough for a full meal. The staff is both nice and not overbearing. The beer list is good, the bottles of wine are half off on Mondays, and NO ONE is ever rushing you.

Ivy and Coney

From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2014: If you think Chicago and Detroit neighborhood bars are douchey, this is the douchiest bar in D.C. If you think no frills neighborhood bars with cheap beer (Old Style), medium priced beer (Goose Island) and hot dogs (Chicago and Coney style) are the opposite of douche, we agree.

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Kingfisher

From Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2016: Their beer menu is solid, they offer everyone free popcorn and they’re a basement bar. Basement bars can’t have much pretension, that’s for basement clubs.

Lost & Found

From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2015: Lost & Found is keeping things pretty real with a bar that is long (long bars help the non-douchiness factor in popular neighborhoods because they spread the human factor out), a solid 24-beers-on-tap-but-we’re-not-going-to-call-ourselves-a-craft-beer-bar energy, PLENTY of whiskey on tastefully fluorescently lit shelves and a three hour long happy hour. Go in, get lost.

Lyman’s Tavern

From Best Bars Without TVs: When compiling these lists the first thought is to include Red Derby. The no frills, low key bar does have a TV. Yelp says it does not. It does. It’s in the back room. Lyman’s, next door to Red Derby, does not have a television. It does have pinball machines and a great jukebox and free popcorn.

McClellan’s Retreat

From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2015: Nestled in the nook next to a drycleaners (and in the former Veritas location) McClellans is a dark (but friendly), cocktail driven (but not pretentious) operation that doesn’t try to do anything aside from simply be itself. And being itself is the #1 bar on this list we’d recommend you take a first date. The impression you’ll leave is: I am not douchey. This was an equal gender opportunity note, BTW.

Miracle on 7th

Yes, it’s a Christmas themed bar. So I guess that inherently makes it not a normal bar, but there isn’t going to be a weird DJ, the food and drinks alike are great, and who doesn’t want to be surrounded by Christmas spirit when 2016 ends? Unlike NYE, Christmas isn’t amateur night and it never will be.

The Pug

From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2013: The only dive bar on H Street that’s a real dive bar but not scary or super expensive. There’s a good view of H in one booth and that’s about it for perks. The bartenders are nice, the owners are nice and the clientele is nice. The Pug is nice.

The Raven Grill

From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2013: A dark, old, cash only space that’s able to feel unlike any other bar in DC, which is a very good thing. If you don’t like the person you’re with, you’re out of luck. Raven is one of those old timey bars that doesn’t feature a TV every 5 feet or loud music. At the Raven, you have to talk to the other people at The Raven. No specialty cocktails or an extensive beer list, just the basics and the company you keep.

Right Proper

From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2015: We’ve never had a bad time sitting at the bar, drinking whatever the bartender is recommending (we’ve had good luck with the French farmhouse and porter), eating fries and complaining that the Brussels sprouts are currently out of season.

Room 11

From Best Bars Without TVs: If you’re in the mood for red and white, go to 11th. The home of wine and drinking and fire and patios and adult conversation, Room 11 caters to people that like to converse instead of pound things.

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The Royal

From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2015: This summers 2015 addition to LeDroit Park is part coffee shop and breakfast spot and part bar and dinner destination. It’s the kind of place you want to go on a date, not hang out with douchebags. The area isn’t surrounded by douchebags so there’s no reason The Royal should be overrun with bad people anytime soon. Sit at the bar, enjoy a cocktail made from shaved ice and come back the next morning for an espresso.

The Saloon

From Best Bars Without TVs: If you need a classic bar, go to The Saloon. When we compiled our first Least Douchey Bars In D.C. feature The Saloon made the list. When I asked Facebook what bars I should in this roundup, The Saloon had the most votes. When I visited D.C. for the first time and I wanted a ‘real’ bar, I went to The Saloon. This U Street tavern features beer and wooden tables and that’s about it. It shouldn’t be there and thank god it is.c

Trusty’s

From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2015: There’s not enough love for SE, especially when it comes to good, no frills bars. Go for the greasy food (100% not making fun of this, it suits the place) and stay for the three beers on draft. Don’t like it? You don’t like no frills bars. There are a lot of frills nearly everyone else on the Hill.

Tune Inn

From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2012: If someone wrote a bio of The Tune Inn the words “quintessential” and “classic neighborhood” would be used. Even now, after the renovation and the lifetime achievement Rammy, it is still exactly what it set out to be when it first started: a quintessential, classic, neighborhood Capitol Hill bar. Plus, for real-the grilled cheese is among the best in town.