Residents in a transplant city like Washington, D.C. often wish to click their heels together to land someplace else. When a Dupont Circle drink just cannot cut those faraway feelings, some bars fly a flag representing a different type of experience. Want to sail the high seas, meet Alice in Wonderland and the March Hare for tea, or take a European vacation? This Eater Map of District Theme Bars transports drinkers, with something for just about everyone—even the theme bar skeptic.Read More
Embrace the Theme: Grab a Cocktail at These DC Theme Bars
Argh, mateys, here are local pirate bars, medieval taverns and more. Some themes are subtle; others are cheesy.
John Strongbow's Tavern
Lords and ladies head back in time to the merry Middle Ages with suits of armor and coats of arms in this Old Town Alexandria wood-paneled tavern. Bar wenches hoist heavy platters of meat fit for royalty with cold tankards of ale. Cocktail Tip: Try the Bee Sting, or Strongbow’s Cider mixed with Carroll’s mead and served in a stone tankard.
Hey matey, set sail in Silver Spring at this sword swinging bar, where patched-eyed pirates push grog by the barrel. Leaving without the alcoholic rum balls for dessert would be like walking the plank. Cocktail Tip: Try top shelf grog, including Bacardi, Myers and Captain Morgan with lime, cloves, ginger & almond.
This bar has all the comfort of your parents’ living room without being as boring. Familiar stars of board games line the walls and top the tables, with happy hour cocktails fueling friendly competition among groups of friends. Cocktail Tip: Indulge your inner-child with an Adult Cherry Cola, made from house crafted old-fashioned cola, Stolichnaya Wild Cherry and a wedge of lime.
The Queen Vic
This British pub is perfect for a pint of rotating English ale while admiring vintage Pimm’s advertisements and Union Jacks high and proud. Cocktail Tip: The Black Velvet, prosecco mixed with Guinness, goes down smooth.
When Alice went through the rabbit hole, she was probably looking for this watering hole in Dupont Circle. The memorabilia on the walls is nice, but the after-work crowd mostly goes mad for the happy hour specials. Cocktail Tip: Groups love the Hatter’s rum punch served in a top hat, while the Hatter’s Cup of Pimm’s in a shaker suits those flying solo.
Church & State
Head past church pews and stained glass windows, where candlelight illuminates the Deadly Sin cocktail list. Then walk past hanging clergy robes straight to the confessional, where sins are forgiven until next time. Cocktail Tip: Any rotating cocktail like Wrath, made from Crop Organic Tomato Vodka, Leopold’s Orange, Sriracha and house-made basil syrup. See you in hell.