D.C. bars bounced back to full capacity and otherwise pre-pandemic norms a year ago. Throughout the public health crisis, new bars have continued to open, invigorating the District’s drinking scene with rooftop spaces, sidewalk patios, and exciting new options for happy hour and light bites. This map includes 15 bars that have opened in the past six months. For a list of essential bars, go here.Read More
The 15 Hottest New Bars Around D.C., June 2022
New options for subterranean Champagne, rooftop frose, standing room-only spritzes, and more
1. Hip Flask Rooftop Bar
Want to get a bird’s-eye view of Bethesda? There’s a rooftop bar atop the new 12-story Marriott Bethesda Downtown at Marriott HQ, and it bills itself as the first and only high-rise bar in the neighborhood. Boasting retractable floor-to-ceiling windows and a terrace to soak up that view, Hip Flask whips up hummus tapenade and speakeasy-style cocktails — including a deep blue French 75 that matches Hip Flask’s blue interiors.
Popular NYC taqueria Tacombi landed in the DMV last fall with the opening of an outpost in Arlington, right near Amazon HQ2. Now there’s a new tequila-fueled location in Bethesda, too. Tacombi is known for beer-battered Alaskan cod tacos, wrapped in homemade corn and flour tortillas. Other popular dishes include quesadillas with thinly-sliced Mexico City-style al pastor roasted pork; sweet potato, kale, and poblano pepper burritos; and corn esquites. Tacombi’s second area restaurant spans 4,500 square feet and includes an open kitchen where diners can watch the team’s taqueros at work.
3. Italian Bar
Washington, DC 20008
The owners of mod Italian-American restaurant I’m Eddie Cano just debuted a seat-free, European-style bar next door where customers can down a quick digestif and Lavazza coffee. Italian Bar models itself after Roman businesses where people congregate and chat over cappuccinos, light pastries, gelato, and Italian snacks. Draft cocktails include an Aperol spritz and “Negroni Sbagliato” (made with sparkling wine instead of gin), along with Italian beers, wines, Italian finger sandwiches, and stuffed focaccia breads. The slim setup sports a small patio out front.
4. Lucy Bar
Pizza and piña coladas are a big draw at Lucy, a relaxed new bar from hospitality group Tin Shop off of U Street. Lucy shares a kitchen with Tin Shop’s new pizza shop Slice & Pie, so pizzas topped with mushroom and truffle are at the ready. Room 11 alum Gavin Pierce is responsible for the drink list, which offers frozen patio sippers, Aperol spritz on draft, and glasses or bottles of natural wine.
5. Alias on 14th
Washington, DC 20009
Logan Circle got an Eyes Wide Shut edge in April with the debut of Alias on 14th, a flashy drinking den from Clarendon party starters B Social Hospitality. Located in the depths of Mediterranean restaurant Dolce Vita, Alias’ drinks menu showcases bubbles, fire, and billowing smoke, all set to an equally theatrical backdrop. The 100-seat space that formerly housed jazz club Sotto also offers a dizzying count of Champagne options, out-of-the-box bottle service, and a one-page meze menu from Dolce Vita chef Elier Rodriguez upstairs.
6. Botanical Bar
Washington, DC 20036
A year after DC Vegan launched its Dupont deli, the meatless restaurant sprouted a surprise cocktail counterpart one level below in May. The lush, subterranean setup also serves local beer, wines, zero-proof options, and popular snacks from the upstairs deli. Bar manager Starla Newman creates cocktails and mocktails using only plant-based ingredients, placing a heavy emphasis on herbs and flowers. The drinks are available at the indoor bar space, as well as the dog-friendly parklet outside.
7. Little Chicken
Washington, DC 20005
Nestled in a hidden alleyway at D.C.’s shiny new Midtown Center, Little Chicken opened Friday, May 20, with lip-smacking fried poultry, homemade hard seltzers, minty Old Fashioneds, beers by the bucket, and bonafide shuffleboard. The boozy new poultry project comes from Grazie Grazie sub shop owner Casey Patten, Bammy’s chefs Gerald Addison and Chris Morgan, and vet D.C. bartender Said Haddad. Drinking here is a communal affair, with fresh-squeezed orange crushes by the glass or jug and build-your-own sangritas and micheladas for four. There’s also margaritas, palomas, and frozen pineapple mint daiquiris.
Michelin-starred chef Nicholas Stefanelli doubled down on Midtown Center in June with the addition of a sleek Greek wine bar called Kaimaki. The casual, next-door counterpart to his prix-fixe showpiece Philotimo is devoted to a selection of Greek wines, street foods, and experimental cocktails built with Mediterranean spirits. Named after the micro-bubbled top layer of Greek coffee, walk-in-only Kaimaki seats 12 at the bar and another 25 at high-top tables facing floor-to-ceiling windows. Hours are Tuesday to Thursday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight.
9. Bottles Wine Garden
Curiously tucked within a West End hotel along the bustling Pennsylvania Avenue NW corridor, Bottles Wine Garden sauntered into town in May with a tight but thoughtful opening list of six by-the-glass options and devotion to women-owned wineries. The 120-seat city oasis with an enchanting private patio out back sits past a mirrored set of doors in the lobby.
10. Potomac Tiki Club
Washington, DC 20007
Sea Suite Cruises came up with the genius idea to set a tiki bar afloat on the Potomac River cruising past D.C.’s monuments. Potomac Tiki Club sails out of Georgetown Harbor, with room for 18 passengers and amenities like a semi-circular bar with seating and a bathroom on board.
11. eat brgz - Chinatown
Capitol Hill’s fast-casual counter for experimental mix-in burgers expanded to Chinatown in May with a huge focus on booze. Eat Brgz’s new bar manager Devlin Barry-Hoke (Pearl Dive, Maydan, Momofuku) sends out a rotating list of draft cocktails ($12) like an Old Fashioned, rum punch, and elderflower spritz. Weekday deals at the 25-foot bar include $6 frozen margaritas on Wednesdays and $5 martinis on Fridays from noon to 6 p.m.
12. B Live
Arlington, VA 22201
An energetic music venue for Clarendon invites guests to jam out and toast to a wall of rock greats with a customized bloody mary or cereal milk shooter. B Live, the latest nightlife attraction from the owners of nearby Clarendon Pop-Up Bar, breathes fresh life into the front half of Whitlow’s On Wilson. Come summer, a tropical rooftop bar called Coco B’s will fill out the balance of the iconic watering hole that closed last summer after a 25-year run.
13. as you are. DC
Capitol Hill resident Pete Buttigieg swung by this LGBTQ-owned Barracks Row bar during its first night of service in late March, so don’t be surprised to catch a sighting of the high-profile regular and his husband here. As You Are offers everything from workday espressos to rice noodle bowls for dinner, with a DJ-fueled dance floor and a plan for events like monthly “Drag King” shows. Find pours from D.C.’s women-owned Republic Restoratives at the bar, along with local brews from DC Brau, Atlas, Right Proper, and Anxo.
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14. Takoda Navy Yard
Washington, DC 20003
Six years after debuting in Shaw, Takoda Restaurant & Beer Garden unveiled a sophomore D.C. location across from Nationals Park in June. The 7,000-square-foot millennial magnet, nearly twice the size as the original, features a second-floor space and third-story rooftop that fast-growing Better Hospitality Group (BHG) calls the biggest in the neighborhood. Takoda brings over its popular tots, boneless chicken wings, sliders, bottomless brunch, frose, and cocktails on draft, plus new drops like build-your-own burgers and taco salads. Starters like truffle fries and fish and chips are also part of a late-night weekend menu, with a new takeout window dedicated to orders (11 p.m. to 1 a.m.).
15. Beauty by Society Fair
Arlington, VA 22202
Crystal City neighbors have a new market and wine bar with the opening of Beauty by Society Fair, from Zena Polin and Meshelle Armstrong (of a similar, dearly departed market and eatery in Alexandria called Society Fair). Either shop for wine and bubbly bottles to take home, or take a seat on the bar side for a glass of wine or the “Bizzarro Love Triangle” with Bizzarro Aperitivo, prosecco, and raspberry simple syrup.