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Wow, D.C. weather has been killin’ it recently. I hear some of you guys complaining about it being way too hot already. I feel you; I’m sweating out here on the daily. No doubt there’s a whole lot of humidity, but come on, you know what to expect. You probably still think D.C. was built on a swamp. Still, with this extended reprieve from the torrential downpours of early May, it’s time to get to imbibing actively. Here are five spots to check out where you can get your game on with your shades on.


Located in the Mason & Rook Hotel, this brand-spankin’ new cocktail bar on 14th and Rhode Island bills itself as an establishment that “celebrates all that is classic and pretense-free.” I guess the jury’s still out on whether that admission makes it douchey or not, but an outdoor patio featuring shuffleboard, giant Connect Four, and checkers gives you plenty of options for some laissez-faire recreation and libation. The Octopus a la Plancha looks absolutely divine.

H Street Country Club

While these games aren’t technically outside, you can find some respite from the humidity and ramp up the competitive side of your happy hour. Take a walk down the H Street Corridor, and pop into HSCC for a quick round of mini-golf, skeeball, Jenga or other games that involve touching game pieces that have never been cleaned. Then walk back outside and grab some ramen at Toki. Outdoors, games, outdoors. Rinse and repeat.


Red Derby

Grab a board game from the wall downstairs and head up to the patio to get your usually-indoor gaming done in the sunshine. I’d recommend picking up Quelf if you’re into public humiliation. Last time I played it, I had to pantomime figure skating around the bar while squawking like a duck. Patrons remained largely unfazed. A great canned beer list, and I can’t remember what’s in a sidecar but it’s way too refreshing not to try. Cash only!


We’re all familiar with POV, but The W also offers another noteworthy restaurant/bar option on the ground floor. So if you’re looking to add a touch of class as you unwind downtown, check out Executive Chef Barry Koslow’s take on Italian and Mediterranean cuisines at Pinea. The Root Cellar Whiskey Bar in the basement of the restaurant features $6 cocktails, $3 beers, and $4 bites every day between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.. And you can head out to the patio and get your bocce on!

Pinea First Look-02-6539

Bardo Brewpub

Multiple cornhole sets and room to let your pups (human and canine) roam free give this beer garden way more charm than the dirt lot that contains it. The post-apocalyptic bottle cap skull is basically a D.C. drinking landmark, and the spot is perfect for the crazy weather we’ve been getting recently. Opens at 6 p.m. on Friday and all throughout the daylight drinking hours on the weekend.