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Feb 25, 2009 10:30 AM

Speakeasy / Hidden Bars?

I'll be in DC for a weekend soon and am wondering if there are any speakeasies or hidden bars where I can go for some great cocktails. I'm not looking for a meat market place to meet a girl or a place that's romantic, since I'll be there hanging out with my brother. Just a cool upscale but casual place to chill out. I'm from NYC and they're getting more popular here. Think Hotel Delmano or PDT or Little Branch. We'll be staying near DuPont Circle and would like to not have to drive to get there.

Thanks for any help!

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  1. PX... worth going to old town for. There is another one in DC now though and I forget the name as I haven't been yet. I think it is new just opened, I will search my normal food reads for the name. But really PX is where you want to go. If you haven't had a Todd Thrasher cocktail you need to.

    If you want to stay in DC, Gina Chersevani at PS7 is our second best bartender in the city, but lately the bar there has been slammed and you can't get special requests or really craft cocktails...

    But really you are looking for PX.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ktmoomau

      The other one is Gibson, just north of Marvin (a very cool restaurant, BTW) on 14th street at U. I don't know if you need reservations there, or not. Easily accessible on the Green Line Metro (Exit: U Street). I also like both Poste (in the Hotel Monaco) and Zola for cocktails, though these are not speakeasys. The tiny bar at Tabard Inn near Dupont is also fabulous - or you can order your yummy cocktail for the cozy parlor.

      1. re: dcandohio

        We went to Gibson this weekend. It's an unmarked building where you walk in the door to what looks like a rowhouse and knock on the door immediately to the left once you get inside the guilding. You're greeted by the host who will take your name and cell phone # down. Once they have a table availabile for you and your party, they call you, and you have exactly 10 minutes to get there, or they will offer your table to the next party on their list. They do take reservations but when I asked for a card I was told they don't have them and you just have to look them up in the NY Times or Washington Post. (See here:
        )Anways, at 8:15 on a Saturday night we ended up waiting about 20 minutes...passed that time in the bar area of Marvin. I would think later in the evening the wait must've been much longer.
        Just stayed for one cocktail since we had a party to get to, but my husband enjoyed his First Snow and I really liked my Salad Days Sour (similar to a pisco sour, if you've ever had one). Wish we could've stayed longer to try more, but hope to return soon...

    2. There used to be a small bar off the lobby of the Mayflower, better known to NYers as the beginning of the end of Gov. Spitzer. It was small and discreet; can't vouch for cocktails, however. The bar and barkeep at the Willard Hotel has always gotten good reviews for mixology.

      1. I'm a big fan of Jimmy Valentine's Lonely Heart's Club. You're not going to get the high quality mixology that you would find at PX and it's not really Metro accessible, but it's worth the trip. The place is completely unmarked except for the funky looking metalwork sun thing above the door, it's located at 1103 Bladensburg Rd. NE. I would advise taking a cab if you're not familiar with the area.

        1. I wanted to thank everyone here for the help. I ended up going to The Gibson and had a great time. I'll write up a quick review on my blog at the end of the week if you're interested. ... well... even if you're not, I'm doing it anyway.

          1 Reply
          1. The Topaz bar, which is in dupont.

            1733 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

          2. I made it over to Gibson as well after doing some research and it really was a great experience. We do not have anything of that caliber in Miami, let alone price and concept, and we enjoyed it thoroughly. I really wanted to go to P/X, but will have to save that for another trip.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Icantread

              Hey, well, I hope I helped a little in that decision. Gibson was certainly one of the best places for a drink in DC that I found, and I think rivals many of the NYC ones.