1823 L St NW # 1
Washington D.C., DC 20036
Metro: Farragut West Station
I was determined to find cheap beer in the Downtown DC-area, and after doing an “extensive” search, I stumbled across the website for a place called Recessions Lounge. According to the owners of the place, “you get TOO much for your money at Recessions!” Is that so…well then…that almost sounds like a challenge to me. If nothing else, their website references the 28 ounce “King Kong” draft beer for $4 at happy hour, that sounds almost too good to be true. I’m off!
First Impressions: For those that know DC, it’s located one block off of “K” Street and just a few blocks from DuPont Circle. For those that don’t know DC, you’re more likely to find nerds in bow ties in this part of town then you are to find a dive bar. I walked in the front door and was immediately carded by one of the most intimidating doormen, ever. Is this dude a vampire?? Once in the door you have to go down a flight of stairs that lead you to a long hallway with what appears to be offices for a travel agency. So far this is NOT what I expected.
The Bar: Wow…that’s a bad smell. Think of a beer-soaked rug the Sunday after a Friday night “kegger” in college. It’s kind of like that. The bar itself can easily seat 30-40 people and there are tables all around (some with while linen tablecloths) that can seat another 70 give or take. From the looks of the ceiling, it appears like this place was once some kind of Moroccan-style restaurant. Odd. They have eight decent beers on tap, and a well-stocked bar. I can’t get past the fact that something just seems a bit shady in here…
The Crowd: Actual real, everyday people and not your typical DC douche bag crowd. The place was really hoppin’ for a Thursday night with everything from guys shooting pool drinking beer to a guy drinking brandy from a snifter (is that a word) while shooting pool. The night I was there the women clearly outnumbered the men in the joint, and get this, most of them were not bad looking. **Single horny dudes add this place to your list of where to strike out next.**
Service: Quick. I was in my seat for less than 30 seconds and I had a “King Kong” beer coming my way. And, for the entire time I was there, as fast as I could pound my over-sized drink, the people behind the bar had another one on the way. That is when they weren’t changing kegs because this place seems to blow through a ton of them on a nightly basis…they swapped out at least four in the time I was there. For the wine drinkers in the group, be warned, they will fill your glass all the way to the top. I guess that’s a warning of the good variety, right?
Price: Now we’re talking! Happy hour goes from 5-8 Monday through Friday and has $2 Miller Light bottles, $3 Rail Drinks, and the aforementioned $4 "King Kong" 28oz drafts. There are not many places in this part of town that could touch these prices.
Food: They had a limited menu but decent food. And, at happy hour, they offer $4 appetizers that include Onion Rings, Mini Crab Cakes, French Fries, Stuffed Potato Skins, Chicken Tenders, Mozzarella Sticks, Buffalo Wings, Fried Calamari, Nacho Platter, Chicken Quesadilla. I had the wings (as usual) and thought they weren’t half bad…especially for the price.
Entertainment: There are two pool tables that were busy all night. A HUGE Buck Hunter game stashed in a corner and some great music blasting out from some pretty big speakers. They have Karaoke every Friday Night from 9pm until 12 midnight (ugh) and enough TVs that you can come here and watch a game or two.
Restrooms: Those King Kong beers must have smacked me pretty hard, because for only the second time, I failed to get a picture of restrooms. And actually, I don’t really remember much about them other than I was in them once or twice. I don’t recall finding them disgusting, but I that’s about all I can say.
Bartender Chat: These are not the “chatty” bartender types, which is fine by me because I ended up sitting next to comedian Al Gussom (aka The Hossman) and laughing my ass off all night. At one point, The Hossman and I were trying to instruct some guys in their early 20’s on how to meet a few of the women at the bar. Our expert advise fell on deaf ears which made Al state that “we couldn’t even teach those dudes how to dodge tumbleweds”.
How Far Did My $20 Go: For a mere twenty bucks (in Downtown DC no less) you can get yourself 112 ounces of beer (seven pints) and an order of wings. I defy any bar in DC to beat those prices.
Final Impressions: Apparently you get used to the smell…because I ended up really liking this place. Of course the CHEAP happy hour prices helped, but this place draws in a good mix of people, is run by people who know what their customers want, and is located in a very convenient part of the city. Did I get “TOO much” for my money? In this part of the world, I would almost say that I did. Way to go Recessions Lounge! HIT THIS DIVE!