clock menu more-arrow no yes
An eccentric 9-hole “Waterwheel Course” welcomes Swingers guests downstairs.
Rey Lopez for Swingers

Filed under:

Inside Dupont’s New Swingers, a Crazy Golf Course Slinging a Steady Stream of Cocktails

The wacky London import makes its D.C. debut on Friday, June 18

A London brand of adults-only mini-golf courses called Swingers unveils its first U.S. location on Friday, June 18, bringing Dupont Circle a wild, color-soaked spot for high-end street food, dozens of craft cocktails, and overall post-pandemic revelry.

Cocktails designed to loosen up 21-and-up golfers and guests include its signature gin and tonic that naturally stars England’s Tanqueray, an elevated espresso martini made with Café Borghetti, and a frozen “Happy Gilmore” with Crown Royal and Coca-Cola, along with spins on classics like an Old Fashioned that loops in peanut butter and caramel and a “Skyline Boulevardier” built with mezcal. The full cocktail list will come to life in September with a whopping 35 options served at its four bars.

“Ferris Sour” (Jim Beam, Wild Turkey American Honey, Barrows Intense Ginger, Monin pure cane, lemon).
Rey Lopez for Swingers
A frozen Dark & Stormy (Goslings Black Seal Rum, Gosling’s ginger beer, Barrow’s Intense Ginger, Monin Pure Cane).
Rey Lopez for Swingers

The gigantic two-level space that formerly housed outdated bars Buffalo Billiards and the Front Page is unrecognizable, completely transformed into an elaborate 1920s-era English golf clubhouse that doesn’t take itself too seriously (1330 19th Street NW). “There’s no dress code, ban on phones or penalties for going out of turn. Unless you’re at the bar,” notes its site.

Celebrities like Cardi B and Ariana Grande photoshopped as avid golfers line the walls. Drinking is not only allowed on each of its two 9-hole golf courses — it’s encouraged. Bar “caddies” roam around with staff offering golf tips while taking and delivering cocktail orders.

A bolted down golf cart invites players to hop on and snap a pic.
Rey Lopez for Swingers

A 9th hole prize wheel rewards players with free shots, pizza, cheesecake, and other edibles from its four-stall food hall. Score cards are an afterthought, with a 3-D photo booth that invites golfers to contest their placement on a gold, silver, and bronze podium. Challenging putt-putt elements include corkscrews and a ticking 25-foot clocktower capped off with a circular LED display visible from the top bar.

The upstairs “Clocktower Bar” is lined with vintage trophies and books sourced from London flea markets as a nod to clubhouses from yesteryear.
Rey Lopez for Swingers

It costs $19 to $24 to play one round, but non-golfers are also invited to eat and drink inside the sprawling 500-seat setup that includes an outdoor terrace.

A four-stall food hall at the base of the 20,000-square-foot complex marks D.C. restaurant group Knead Hospitality + Design’s first foray into fast-casual. Options include a pared-down take on Ed Lee’s Succotash (Lil’ Succotash); Mexican street food from Mi Vida chef Roberto Santibañez (Tu Taco); pastries and soft serve from NYC-based partner bakery Mah-Ze-Dahr; and Knead’s first shot at pizza (Kneadza Pizza).

Grand Mana Margarita (Teremana Reposado, Grand Marnier, Barrows Intense Ginger Liqueur, Mango Reàl, grapefruit, lime juice).
Rey Lopez for Swingers
“Lime in the Coconut Collins” (Captain Morgan Original Spiced, Don Q Cristal, Coco Reàl, Disaronno Originale, lime juice, pineapple, Red Bull).
Rey Lopez for Swingers
“Easy Does It Spritz” (Hendrick’s Gin, Ketel One Botanical Cucumber & Mint, Chase Elderflower, lemon juice, Monin Pure Cane, La Marca Prosecco).
Rey Lopez for Swingers
“Ole Skrewball Old Fashioned” (Makers Mark 46 Bourbon, Skrewball peanut butter whiskey, Ole Smokey salted caramel whiskey, Hella Orange bitters).
Rey Lopez for Swingers

The downstairs “Clubhouse Bar” can be booked for large groups and social gatherings.

The underground “Clubhouse Bar” features swiveling ordering screens so that bartenders never have to turn their back to guests.
Rey Lopez for Swingers
A mini-golf hole at the Swingers complex in Dupont
Golfers can place their cocktails on a table at each hole before aiming for gold, silver, or bronze-level shots.
Rey Lopez for Swingers
Rey Lopez for Swingers

Swingers started out as a five-month pop-up in a London warehouse in 2014 and has since grown into two permanent Swingers venues in London. The U.S. expansion, fueled by a $20 million fundraising round from Cain International, will include an additional location in NYC’s Flatiron District Virgin Hotel in early 2022.

DC Restaurant Closings

Jaleo by José Andrés Is Closing in Crystal City as Arlington Prepares for a Boom

Wendy’s Wants to Get Paid for Surrendering ‘Dave Thomas Circle,’ So It Hired a Trump Lawyer

Coming Attractions

Maydan Is Branching Out With a Casual New Arab Restaurant Fit for Food Halls

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater DC newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world