New bars continue to open and invigorate the District’s drinking scene with snazzy rooftop views, new happy hours, and light bites. This map includes 15 bars that have opened in the past few months. For a list of essential bars, go here.Read More
The 15 Hottest New Bars in D.C., November 2022
Fresh destinations for bottle service, Italian wines, karaoke, and more
A trippy, two-story party straight out of Alice in Wonderland just arrived at D.C.’s nightlife nexus of 14th and U Streets NW. Alice offers fast-casual pho bowls and Asian street foods upon entry, a video game corridor framed with fluorescent murals of mushrooms, and a DJ-driven nightclub with Vegas-style bottle service up top. D.C. bar vet Sonny Tran is the brains behind the two-story sensory overload of a project next to his hip-hop standby Cloak & Dagger. Tran, who happens to be a professional breakdancer and martial artist, hired his Vietnamese mom Ngo Mai Oanh as head chef.
South Beach’s stylish taco-and-tequila haven Hoja Taqueria checked in to D.C.’s hip hostel Generator in October. The candle-lit cantina splashed with murals comes from Bar Lab, the hospitality team behind the acclaimed Broken Shaker bar brand situated in sibling Freehand hotels from NYC to LA. A glowing bar sends out a Mexican riff on an Old Fashioned, agave flights, and a spicy michelada made with Monopolio lager.
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Vagabond Kitchen and Bar
The owners of Shaw Tavern, 801, and Prost DC expand to Dupont Circle with the debut of a tropical bar that taps into the team’s shared love for surfing, sandy travel destinations around the world, and late actor Patrick Swayze. Restaurateur Eric Heidenberger completely transformed the old Rebellion space into a two-part venture that starts with a bright white bar serving mezcal, tequila, and rum cocktails. A surprise downstairs speakeasy called Swayze’s — officially opening Friday, October 21 — serves the same Utica Club beer its namesake star drinks in Dirty Dancing.
Bo & Ivy Distillers
Ivy City’s latest distillery attraction unveiled a classy new cocktail room in October. Bo & Ivy took over the old Jos. A. Magnus facility a few years ago and got to work on churning out small-batch corn whiskey, vodka, and gin. The renovated, 28-seat bar retains the layout of the Murray Hill Club, with windows looking out at the stills and production floor. A rotating menu of 10 cocktails features a few classics on call. Three local brands contribute to recipes: Cane Collective (fresh mixers and syrups), Artemisia Farm & Vineyard (aromatized wines) and Gordy’s Pickle Jar (pickles and brine). The team just tapped mixologist master and People’s Drug alum Jon Schott (pictured) to man the bar program.
Selina Union Market & Cowork
Selina is where the cool kids stay in Tulum and Oaxaca, and now the hip hostel and co-working chain has a D.C. location to call its own. Its leafy, indoor-outdoor rooftop bar offers industrial city views of trains whizzing by the Rhode Island Avenue Metro stop. Try a “pancake” Old Fashioned (bourbon, maple syrup, and chocolate bitters) or a spiced peach daiquiri. Bites include pork belly bao, patacones, and shrimp ceviche. The graffiti-soaked building houses another bar past a bohemian-styled lobby.
Marcellino Pane & Vino
Stellina Pizzeria’s Italian-born restaurateurs Antonio Matarazzo and Matteo Venini pivot past the popular neo-Neapolitan pies their Northeast flagship is known for with the addition of a stylish wine and antipasti bar nearby. Situated on the glassy ground floor of the Gantry apartment complex, the soaring space with a 24-seat patio out front sends out seafood crudo, Italian cheeses and cured meats, bruschetta, cannoli, and flourless chocolate almond cake. A 50-bottle wine list with 15 by-the-glass options showcases lots of red, white, and sparkling Italian varietals. A curved bar wrapped in slick orange tiles and 12 stools also serves digestifs like amaro, grappa, and limoncello, Negronis, spritzes, and Menabrea lagers.
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Howl at the Moon Washington, D.C.
This high-energy live music venue with room for 450 revelers went live in Penn Quarter this week.
With bars in 15 U.S. cities and an at-sea program with Norwegian Cruise Lines, Howl at the Moon is known for its dueling piano show, where two musicians take turns fielding song requests from the crowd (live cover bands take to the stage, too). Technicolor, oversized cocktails are the starring menu attraction at Howl locations. Highlighter-hued “Party Drinks” like rum-fueled Hurricanes come in 12-ounce glasses (and also 32- and 86-ounce buckets for $24 and $36, respectively).
Hyde @ Harvest Tide Steakhouse
A swanky speakeasy overflowing with dessert cocktails, bottle service, candle-lit tables, and surf-and-turf bites quietly sauntered into town this month above Eastern Market’s year-old Harvest Tide. Hyde implements a no-photography rule and entry via password that’s sent out to subscribers the day before. The bar program specializes in “Rimmers” (glasses of wine with chocolate or caramel-dipped rims) and riff on classics like a sweet-and-salty martini called “Fig & Blu.” Open Friday and Saturday nights to start.
Underground @ Clarendon Ballroom
A black light-lit bar came to life in the depths of Clarendon Ballroom this month. The sprawling, neon-soaked setup dubbed “Underground” is outfitted with a state-of-the-art sound system, full bar, and video wall behind a dual DJ station. Access the subterranean club inside Clarendon Ballroom and down the basement stairs. Underground was such a hit during its pop-up appearance on Halloween, it’s now here to stay. Club-goers can pair its new Disco Pizza menu with bottle service and slushy Red Bull watermelon vodkas. Underground, open 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. from Thursday through Saturday, comes from party starters Mike and Christal Bramson (Alias on 14th, B Live, The Lot).
Pirouette Café & Wine Shop
Ballston got a dreamy wine bar and bottle shop with the opening of Pirouette this fall. A wine list 200 labels deep showcases international, domestic, and local vineyards. Husband-wife duo Jackie and Philippe Loustaunau, who live in the neighborhood, tapped Fiola and St. Anselm alum Adam Hoffa to lead a menu full of mac and cheese croquettes, scallop-stuffed branzino, and pork chop Milanese.
Ginza Karaoke Spot
Restaurateur Chris Zhu (Han Palace and China Garden) brought a lively karaoke bar to Barracks Row in November. Named for Tokyo’s buzzy entertainment district, Ginza starts with second-floor karaoke bar for 50. Two mic-enabled rooms can fit 15 crooners apiece, and five smaller rooms feature 10-person capacities. Go up another floor to discover Ginza BBQ lounge. The third-story space with a rooftop patio serves Japanese barbecue staples, starters, desserts, and cocktails. Zhu will expand his D.C. karaoke collection with the opening of Live K at the Wharf next month.
Hill East Burger
This anticipated smoked burger saloon from Joe Neuman (Sloppy Mama, Chris Svetlik (Republic Cantina), and D.C. bartending vet Ben Alt opened in October. A no-frills selection of local beers and 250-ml. canned wines at the bar are joined by a list of sipping spirits that’ll grow to 40 bottles. Rare selections handpicked from Mexico include mushroom-infused charanda (Mexican rum).
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Show of Hands @ The Roost
Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s hotly anticipated, low-ABV bar inside Capitol Hill’s the Roost started pouring its first drinks in late October. The 12,500-square-foot culinary clubhouse’s cocktail-driven centerfold opens with a strong showing of herbal liqueurs and brown spirits to go along with 20 cocktails split across three categories: “refreshing and low-ABV”; “full proof and playful”; and “spritzy cocktails for late fall.” NRG spirits director Nick Farrell spearheads the homemade spirits haven.
Silver Diner’s debut D.C. location, situated directly across from Nationals Park, unveiled a shiny new rooftop bar in late October. The 21-and-up space, dubbed Silver Social, serves bar bites like half-smoke sliders, flatbreads, and Buffalo chicken tacos from the Maryland-based chain’s chef Ype Von Hengst. The 121-seat perch with a heated terrace loops local spirits and fresh juices in its cocktails to go along with a list of beers and wines. Silver Social stays open until as late as 2 a.m. on weekends, with a build-you-own mimosa brunch until 4 p.m.
The new Alamo Drafthouse in Arlington has an aviation-themed drinking perch that pays homage to its proximity to DCA. An oval-shaped bar resembling an old airport gate lounge is surrounded with polished metals, vintage movie posters of flight-themed movies, terrazzo flooring, and curved dining nooks that feel like a fuselage. The bar shuts down 30 minutes after the last movie’s start time. Happy hour (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) includes $4 pints, $5 wines, and $6 apps.