Happy Hour with Fritz Hahn

Aug 17, 2017

Every other Thursday, Washington Post Weekend and Food reporter Fritz Hahn discusses happy hours, new cocktail destinations, local beers, date ideas and the late-night scene. Of course, he's also happy to talk about staples of the old Got Plans chats, such as weekend getaways, brunch spots, new exhibits and other ways to have fun in the Washington D.C. area.

Hi everyone. Very busy time of the year, despite being the dog days of summer. (And I'm not late this week!) A few things you might want to take a look at:

Five bars where you can still get beers for $1 at happy hour

My preview of DC Beer Week events

A guide to watching the solar eclipse, from hanging out at NASA to drinking themed cocktails at rooftop bars.

10 things to do this weekend, including tributes to Chuck Brown and Cool "Disco" Dan.

Let's go.

Hey, you never said on twitter where you got those amazing looking crab cakes. Can you share?

Oh, sorry - I just realized that I updated my status on Instagram but not Twitter. 

That awesome crab cake came from LP Steamers in Baltimore's Locust Point neighborhood, which we included in last summer's big "where to eat steamed crabs" feature.

I'll admit I usually get steamed crabs at LP Steamers, but last night was crab cakes and Boh night: $1 tallboys and $5 off crab cakes. Not many places where you can get a no-filler crab cake with curly fries, cole slaw and a beer for $14.

LP Steamers 

My husband and I were so disappointed to see RFD have to close its doors; it always had a quality beer list, friendly service, and with its multiple screens, was a great place to watch sports. Can we hope for any future plans from this group, or can you recommend a new place for watching U of M football this fall? Thanks!

I hope we'll see another new project from the Alexanders, the family behind RFD and, before that, the Brickskeller, but I haven't heard anything concrete.

For Michigan football, you can try Fado, the Irish pub next door to RFD, which will be an official UM bar this fall. (Personally, I like the divey Ivy and Coney, which shows all Tigers, Lions and Wolverines games while serving Coney dogs and Bell's beers.)

From the Post story yesterday. Do you know what liquor stores carry this?

I didn't see the story, but I'm betting you're talking about Surrender Dorothy, the piney and spicy rye IPA from 7 Locks in Rockville. The best place to get it is the brewery itself, a cool little tasting room off Rockville Pike. 

If anyone knows a good MoCo liquor store that stocks the cans, please do chime in. 

Hey Fritz! I'm taking myself out to dinner next Friday and I was hoping to take advantage of a fancier happy hour at a place where I normally wouldn't want to spend the dollars for a full meal. Any suggestions? I'm open to any place within the District. Thanks!

If you're a fan of seafood, one of my go-to "fancy" happy hours is at Joe's, around the corner from the White House. Half-price ($6) cocktails, including Old Fashioned and palomas, $3.50 craft beers, discounted king crab rolls and blackened fish sliders ($4-$5), and other snacks. 

If you've written about the Brookeville Beer Farm, I've missed it (and sorry for that, if I have!), but I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

I have to admit I haven't been. My colleague John Taylor, who helps taste beers for the column, is a fan, though, and included it in our package of summer date ideas. Thanks for reminding me to get it on my calendar ...

They have it at the Capital on Norfolk Ave in Bethesda, but totally agree that visiting the brewery is much better. PS - the article was John Kelly's column.

I should have guessed it would be Mr. Kelly. Here's John's column

Hi Fritz, turning the big 5-0 on Saturday. Don't get out much anymore between work and kids and was looking to do a "personal bar crawl" in DC to check out some cool places and enjoy drinks and hors d'oeuvres during the day. Open to anything but would like to stay somewhat in the same area(s). Ideas?? Thanks

Great idea. On a Saturday afternoon, I might steer you to H Street NE, where there's a wide variety of spaces, depending on your mood (and the weather): Cocktails in the courtyard of the very cool Hill Prince, snacks at the Swiss-inspired Stable, pints and soccer viewing at the Queen Vic ...

You might also consider heading to Barracks Row, where I could easily make an afternoon snacking on Balkan food and drinking wine at Ambar, sampling one of more than two dozen gin and tonics at the rooftop Betsy bar, downing dumplings at the new Chiko, and sitting in the sun with a liter of German beer at the Brig...

Not MOCO, but Old Line Fine in PG has it.

Old Line, located in Beltsville, is seriously great. I love the PG tradition of liquor stores with bars. Not too many of them left these days.

I don't know for sure if they currently have it, but I would call Gilly's Craft Beer & Fine Wine in Rockville and check. They stock a lot of local Maryland beers.

Apparently it's also the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death this week. Surely some place is remembering/honoring that?

Most of the Elvis-related activities I know, like the brilliantly ridiculous Fight Club, take place in January. Even JV's, which I would assume would have an Elvis party, isn't doing anything. 

My ticket is valid at 11:00 AM and I'm not sure if you can re-enter, so it seems like I probably only have one choice for lunch.

You're in luck: Sweet Home Cafe is generally acknowledged as the best of the restaurants on the Mall. Tom Sietsema gave it a pretty good review last fall.

I'm incredulous (and excited) about the sheer amount of bars, restaurants, music venues, etc. coming to The Wharf this October. How will all of them sustain business, and just as importantly, staff all those spots? Are there any you're particularly looking forward to?

Was talking to some industry folks about this the other night. Between the three hotels, the concert venues, the restaurants and bars, I think the city is talking about 6,000 or so jobs coming to that neighborhood, which is insane.

I'm curious to see how the Anthem, Pearl Street Warehouse (from the Cantina Marina folks) and Union Stage (from the owners of Jammin' Java) play off each other. The latter two are 350-seat and 450-seat venues, respectively, which means they're competing with Rock and Roll Hotel, U Street Music Hall and Black Cat, not the Anthem or 9:30 Club. 

Of everything I've heard about so far, I'm most looking forward to Todd Thrasher's rum distillery and rooftop tiki bar, and Kirwan's Irish Pub, from Guinness vet Mark Kirwan, because we can always use a new Irish pub. 

Hello. My sister and brother-in-law are stumped. He's not outdoorsy, she doesn't like historical places/museums, and neither drink so wineries, etc. are out. Where can they go and what could they do? Thank you for your help.

So no wine, no outdoors, nothing historical, no museums. Jeez, what's left? Shopping? I'm feeling stumped.

How great does this sound: https://instagram.com/p/BX1D_FdlWbT/

This is in reference to the just-announced East Coast Covenant Beer Festival taking place at Richmond's Triple Crossing brewery on Nov. 11, with some stellar breweries from up and down the east coast, including Burial, RAR, Ocelot, Kent Falls and Union. Richmond is seriously one of the best places to drink beer on the eastern seaboard right now, thanks to the Veil, Triple Crossing, the Answer, Stone, Hardywood, and so on, and this is just another great excuse to go down.  

Okay, that's going to do it for today. 

(One plug before I go: For some reason, I volunteered to be the guest host of the Heurich House's History and Hops program tonight at the Dupont Circle museum, where we'll be tasting beers from the Eastern Shore with owners of Evolution Brewing and RAR. There apparently will also be beach games on the back lawn. More information here.)

See you back here in two weeks. 

Post Points code is HH2006.

How about county/state fairs - lots of people watching, some shopping, some music, & fair food! Too outdoorsy? The Country Life Festival is happening this weekend in St. Mary's county. 

Ah, yes. That could work. And you reminded me that I wanted to get in a plug for the Arlington County Fair, which closes Sunday. Where else can you see racing pigs and goats, a '90s grunge cover band and chainsaw artists for free?

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Fritz Hahn
Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes.
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