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Sign of the Whale
Sign of the Whale

Eleven Bars That Actual Adults Should Probably Avoid

They're fun for college kids and 20-somethings — but don't be "the old one" at the bar.

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Sign of the Whale

The older we get, the worse the hangovers get. And yes, those neighborhoods that tend to produce these hangovers are still Adams Morgan and Dupont.

Despite all the talk about how much Adams Morgan's 18th Street has changed, there are still plenty of places that draw the college (and slightly older) crowd. Some of these have since left (so long Tom Tom's; RIP McFadden's). Others have given way to more upscale establishments — the infamous Reef became Roofer's Union. And in Dupont, there's a cluster of watering holes uniting barely-of-age Georgetown, GW, American and Howard students as if they actually all live in the same city.

Sometimes a night of revelry and nostalgia is necessary. It can be fun to hit up a bar where the crowd is young, and the possibilities seem limitless. But for those who can't even remember what year they graduated, here are eleven bars probably worth avoiding.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Sign of the Whale

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1825 M St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 785-1110
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The alcohol may be cheap, but the next morning's hangover is the real cost. The most redeeming quality about Sign of the Whale is its burger. At least it'll soak up a few rounds of strong drinks. But go for the burger early and get out before the college crowd arrives.

2. The Big Hunt

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1345 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 785-2333
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This pick is admittedly controversial. Yes, the beer selection is awesome. It's very, very awesome. So it's definitely best to roll into this bar early, enjoy a few rounds of great beer, and then head out before the college crowd stumbles in.

3. Eighteenth Street Lounge

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1212 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 667-7960
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Eighteenth Street Lounge was started by Eric Hilton who — along with his brother Ian — developed a network of bars along U Street. It's safe to say the more mature clientele should check out his other offerings, including American Ice Company, Satellite Room or El Rey.

4. The Park at 14th

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920 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 737-7275
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The nightclub and lounge attracts its fair share of mature revelers. But unfortunately this spot is a beacon for the college and post-college crowds who are hoping to have a classy night but just end up spoiling the vibe.

5. Peyote Café

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2319 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 462-8330
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This place is named for a hallucinatory drug. Enough said.

6. Brass Monkey

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2317 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 667-7800
As the Adams Morgan neighborhood changes, some places stay the same. The Brass Monkey is one of these spots. A collection of several bars along 18th Street, the bar always has something happening. But as a general rule, it's probably a safe bet to avoid any bars with the word "monkey" in its name.

7. Nellie's Sports Bar

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900 U St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 332-6355
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This gay sports bar attracts men and women in droves. But the demographic here definitely skews young (and loud). The more seasoned crowd of gay men and women tend to frequent JR's, Dupont Italian Kitchen (aka DIK bar) or Larry's Lounge. At those bars, at least conversations aren't interrupted by youngsters squealing about how amazing kickball practice was.

8. Chinese Disco

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3251 Prospect Street NW
Washington, D.C.
Sure, the place serves food, but that's not the main focus of Chinese Disco. Not by a long shot. Its Facebook page is full of fresh-faced college students and recent college grads who are in ridiculous costumes and making equally ridiculous poses. For those looking for a quiet place to spend quality time with friends, this is not that kind of place.

9. Café Citron

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1343 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 530-8844
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The salsa lessons are as awesome as is its happy hour, or "Hora Feliz" as Cafe Citron calls it. What's not awesome is the swarms of youngsters who flock to Citron and ruin the fun for everyone else.

10. Policy Restaurant & Lounge

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1904 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 387-7654
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On weekend nights, the lines are long with women in high heels and guys rocking blazers and blue striped, button-down shirts. It's also incredibly loud with partiers thinking everyone else wants to hear their conversations while waiting to enter. There are plenty of other spots on 14th Street where folks can have a good time and still hear themselves speak.

11. Rumors

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1900 M St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 466-7378
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Rumor has it that everyone here should probably be elsewhere because anyone spending an evening at Rumors will regret it the next morning.

1. Sign of the Whale

1825 M St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036
The alcohol may be cheap, but the next morning's hangover is the real cost. The most redeeming quality about Sign of the Whale is its burger. At least it'll soak up a few rounds of strong drinks. But go for the burger early and get out before the college crowd arrives.
1825 M St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

2. The Big Hunt

1345 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20036
This pick is admittedly controversial. Yes, the beer selection is awesome. It's very, very awesome. So it's definitely best to roll into this bar early, enjoy a few rounds of great beer, and then head out before the college crowd stumbles in.
1345 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

3. Eighteenth Street Lounge

1212 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036
Eighteenth Street Lounge was started by Eric Hilton who — along with his brother Ian — developed a network of bars along U Street. It's safe to say the more mature clientele should check out his other offerings, including American Ice Company, Satellite Room or El Rey.
1212 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

4. The Park at 14th

920 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005
The nightclub and lounge attracts its fair share of mature revelers. But unfortunately this spot is a beacon for the college and post-college crowds who are hoping to have a classy night but just end up spoiling the vibe.
920 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

5. Peyote Café

2319 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
This place is named for a hallucinatory drug. Enough said.
2319 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

6. Brass Monkey

2317 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
As the Adams Morgan neighborhood changes, some places stay the same. The Brass Monkey is one of these spots. A collection of several bars along 18th Street, the bar always has something happening. But as a general rule, it's probably a safe bet to avoid any bars with the word "monkey" in its name.
2317 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

7. Nellie's Sports Bar

900 U St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
This gay sports bar attracts men and women in droves. But the demographic here definitely skews young (and loud). The more seasoned crowd of gay men and women tend to frequent JR's, Dupont Italian Kitchen (aka DIK bar) or Larry's Lounge. At those bars, at least conversations aren't interrupted by youngsters squealing about how amazing kickball practice was.
900 U St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

8. Chinese Disco

3251 Prospect Street NW, Washington, D.C.
Sure, the place serves food, but that's not the main focus of Chinese Disco. Not by a long shot. Its Facebook page is full of fresh-faced college students and recent college grads who are in ridiculous costumes and making equally ridiculous poses. For those looking for a quiet place to spend quality time with friends, this is not that kind of place.
3251 Prospect Street NW
Washington, D.C.

9. Café Citron

1343 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20036
The salsa lessons are as awesome as is its happy hour, or "Hora Feliz" as Cafe Citron calls it. What's not awesome is the swarms of youngsters who flock to Citron and ruin the fun for everyone else.
1343 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

10. Policy Restaurant & Lounge

1904 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
On weekend nights, the lines are long with women in high heels and guys rocking blazers and blue striped, button-down shirts. It's also incredibly loud with partiers thinking everyone else wants to hear their conversations while waiting to enter. There are plenty of other spots on 14th Street where folks can have a good time and still hear themselves speak.
1904 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

11. Rumors

1900 M St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036
Rumor has it that everyone here should probably be elsewhere because anyone spending an evening at Rumors will regret it the next morning.
1900 M St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

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