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A big bar lined with black stools
Eat Brgz debuted a bright new bar across from Capital One Arena in May.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The 15 Hottest New Bars Around D.C., May 2022

New options for subterranean Champagne, swanky rooftop vibes, standing room-only spritzes, and more

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Eat Brgz debuted a bright new bar across from Capital One Arena in May.
| Rey Lopez/Eater DC

This weekend marks exactly one year since D.C. bars bounced back to full capacity and otherwise pre-pandemic norms. 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.

D.C.’s thriving cocktail scene will soon get a big boost with the arrival of Johnny Spero’s Basque-themed Bar Spero at Capitol Crossing, DC Vegan’s Botanical Bar in Dupont, and Maxwell Park’s new bubbles bar in Shaw.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Hip Flask Rooftop Bar

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7707 Woodmont Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 276-7707
Visit Website

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.

The dimly-lit interior at Hip Flask.
Marriott Bethesda Downtown

2. Italian Bar

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5008 Connecticut Ave NW #B
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.

3. Lucy Bar

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1350 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 299-0514
Visit Website

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.

Frozen drinks lined up in a row
Frozen drinks at Lucy.
Lucy

4. The Fountain Inn DC

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1659 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 290-1112
Visit Website

A polished Georgetown tasting room pouring 250 spirits like 25-year Pappy Van Winkle and other ultra-exclusive whiskeys popped in March. The Fountain Inn pays respects to the Georgetown landmark where Thomas Jefferson once drank by reviving forgotten cocktails from the late 18th century. Local spirits vet Morgan Kirchner, the former whiskey advisor at Jack Rose and wine director at Imperial, oversees the intimate, two-level space styled with soft leather seating, glossy reptilian walls, patriotic prints, and fire places filled with drippy candelabras.

The 20-seat upstairs space, shrouded from Wisconsin Avenue NW with velvet curtains, can double as a private events space.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

5. Alias on 14th

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1610 14th St NW
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.

The old Sotto space gets a surprise makeover as Alias, complete with masqueraded murals, florals, and cocktail tables.
Laura Chase de Formigny/Alias on 14th

6. El Cielo

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1280 4th St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 569-9855
Visit Website

The Michelin-rated tasting room from Colombian chef Juan Manuel Barrientos finally pressed play on its sleek bar at La Cosecha this spring. Situated in the leafy dining room, the eight-seat bar relies on lots Colombian fruits and Latin American spirits to build a gorgeous crop of colorful cocktails. Bar hours follow restaurant hours (Wednesday through Friday starting at 6 p.m.; Saturdays at noon; and Sundays at 7 p.m.). 

El Cielo’s eight-seat bar entered the fold this spring.
El Cielo

7. Little Chicken

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1100 15th St NW
Washington, DC 20005

Nestled in a hidden alleyway at D.C.’s shiny new Midtown Center, Little Chicken opens 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.

Large-format cocktails are all the rage at Little Chicken.
Rey Lopez for Little Chicken

8. Bottles Wine Garden

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2500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 652-1941
Visit Website

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.

The back patio offers a mix of lounge and high-top bar seating. 
Taylor Mickal Photography for Bottles Wine Garden

9. Potomac Tiki Club

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3100 K St NW
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.

A tiki bar traveling on the Potomac
D.C.’s new tiki bar traveling on the Potomac.
Courtesy of Potomac Tiki Club

10. eat brgz - Chinatown

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704 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 450-5074
Visit Website

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 DiveMaydan, 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.

To start the weekend early, a six-hour, $5 martini happy hour kicks off at noon every Friday.

11. B Live

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2854 Wilson Blvd
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.

B Live’s blinking bar is framed with a mural of music legends like Janis Joplin, Freddie Mercury, and Prince. 
Albert Ting/B Live

12. Buena Vida Gastrolounge

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2900 Wilson Blvd #103
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 888-1528
Visit Website

Restaurateur Ivan Iricanin switched his Clarendon restaurant TTT around, debuting Buena Vida Gastrolounge this spring with a new bottomless Mexican menu and a Tulum-themed remodel — including a redo of the restaurant’s popular rooftop with 360-degree views. Opt for sangria or a margarita in flavors like strawberry or mango, or get more adventurous with cocktails like a ginger-lemongrass mezcalita or a rhubarb caipirinha.

13. Brass Rabbit

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1210 N Garfield St
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 746-9977
Visit Website

Claredon’s former Bracket Room is now a rabbit-themed pub. Brass Rabbit Public House serves up fancier-than-usual pub fare like lobster lettuce wraps. Besides beer and wine, there’s a long list of martinis and cocktails like the “El Conejo” (Spanish for rabbit) with Casamigos Blanco, carrot juice, lime, ginger, and cilantro.

14. as you are. DC

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500 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 506-1440
Visit Website

Capitol Hill resident Pete Buttigieg swung by this new LGBTQ-owned Barracks Row bar during its first night of service, 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.

People sitting in a cafe over laptops and coffee
As You Are is an all-day affair.
Zayn Thiam/As You Are Bar

15. Beauty by Society Fair

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576 23rd St S
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.

Beauty market in Crystal City
Beauty by Society Fair’s quaint new digs.
SV Images

1. Hip Flask Rooftop Bar

7707 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814
The dimly-lit interior at Hip Flask.
Marriott Bethesda Downtown

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.

7707 Woodmont Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814

2. Italian Bar

5008 Connecticut Ave NW #B, 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.

5008 Connecticut Ave NW #B
Washington, DC 20008

3. Lucy Bar

1350 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009
Frozen drinks lined up in a row
Frozen drinks at Lucy.
Lucy

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.

1350 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009

4. The Fountain Inn DC

1659 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
The 20-seat upstairs space, shrouded from Wisconsin Avenue NW with velvet curtains, can double as a private events space.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

A polished Georgetown tasting room pouring 250 spirits like 25-year Pappy Van Winkle and other ultra-exclusive whiskeys popped in March. The Fountain Inn pays respects to the Georgetown landmark where Thomas Jefferson once drank by reviving forgotten cocktails from the late 18th century. Local spirits vet Morgan Kirchner, the former whiskey advisor at Jack Rose and wine director at Imperial, oversees the intimate, two-level space styled with soft leather seating, glossy reptilian walls, patriotic prints, and fire places filled with drippy candelabras.

1659 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

5. Alias on 14th

1610 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
The old Sotto space gets a surprise makeover as Alias, complete with masqueraded murals, florals, and cocktail tables.
Laura Chase de Formigny/Alias on 14th

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.

1610 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

6. El Cielo

1280 4th St NE, Washington, DC 20002
El Cielo’s eight-seat bar entered the fold this spring.
El Cielo

The Michelin-rated tasting room from Colombian chef Juan Manuel Barrientos finally pressed play on its sleek bar at La Cosecha this spring. Situated in the leafy dining room, the eight-seat bar relies on lots Colombian fruits and Latin American spirits to build a gorgeous crop of colorful cocktails. Bar hours follow restaurant hours (Wednesday through Friday starting at 6 p.m.; Saturdays at noon; and Sundays at 7 p.m.). 

1280 4th St NE
Washington, DC 20002

7. Little Chicken

1100 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Large-format cocktails are all the rage at Little Chicken.
Rey Lopez for Little Chicken

Nestled in a hidden alleyway at D.C.’s shiny new Midtown Center, Little Chicken opens 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.

1100 15th St NW
Washington, DC 20005

8. Bottles Wine Garden

2500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
The back patio offers a mix of lounge and high-top bar seating. 
Taylor Mickal Photography for 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.

2500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20037

9. Potomac Tiki Club

3100 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007
A tiki bar traveling on the Potomac
D.C.’s new tiki bar traveling on the Potomac.
Courtesy of Potomac Tiki Club

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.

3100 K St NW
Washington, DC 20007

10. eat brgz - Chinatown

704 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
To start the weekend early, a six-hour, $5 martini happy hour kicks off at noon every Friday.

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 DiveMaydan, 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.

704 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

11. B Live

2854 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201
B Live’s blinking bar is framed with a mural of music legends like Janis Joplin, Freddie Mercury, and Prince. 
Albert Ting/B Live

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.

2854 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

12. Buena Vida Gastrolounge

2900 Wilson Blvd #103, Arlington, VA 22201

Restaurateur Ivan Iricanin switched his Clarendon restaurant TTT around, debuting Buena Vida Gastrolounge this spring with a new bottomless Mexican menu and a Tulum-themed remodel — including a redo of the restaurant’s popular rooftop with 360-degree views. Opt for sangria or a margarita in flavors like strawberry or mango, or get more adventurous with cocktails like a ginger-lemongrass mezcalita or a rhubarb caipirinha.

2900 Wilson Blvd #103
Arlington, VA 22201

13. Brass Rabbit

1210 N Garfield St, Arlington, VA 22201

Claredon’s former Bracket Room is now a rabbit-themed pub. Brass Rabbit Public House serves up fancier-than-usual pub fare like lobster lettuce wraps. Besides beer and wine, there’s a long list of martinis and cocktails like the “El Conejo” (Spanish for rabbit) with Casamigos Blanco, carrot juice, lime, ginger, and cilantro.

1210 N Garfield St
Arlington, VA 22201

14. as you are. DC

500 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
People sitting in a cafe over laptops and coffee
As You Are is an all-day affair.
Zayn Thiam/As You Are Bar

Capitol Hill resident Pete Buttigieg swung by this new LGBTQ-owned Barracks Row bar during its first night of service, 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.

500 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003

15. Beauty by Society Fair

576 23rd St S, Arlington, VA 22202
Beauty market in Crystal City
Beauty by Society Fair’s quaint new digs.
SV Images

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.

576 23rd St S
Arlington, VA 22202

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