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Mar 26, 2009 07:43 AM

Great pub near Old Post Office?

Friends from out of town were told that there's a great pub with good atmosphere and good food north of, but near to, the Old Post Office Building,

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  1. If by "Old PO Building" you mean the place on Penn near the Reagan center...I can't think of a great pub nearby. There's Elephant and Castle, which is a chain, weakly faking a pub. E&C has bad food, but is good for a cold beer when the patio is open and the weather is fine. I can't think of anyone who would call it a "great pub."

    Nearby on Penn are Fogo de Chao/Central/TenPenh/D'Aqua, which are nice restaurants but not pubs. Les Halles used to be close by, but it is closed.

    If, however, you mean the PO museum, which is near Union Station, then yes, Irish Times is close by.

    1. Maybe Harry's Bar in the Hotel Harrington on 12th. More like a dive than a pub. Agreeably seedy. Then there's always the Post Pub at 15th and L. A short cab ride from 12th and Penn.

      7 Replies
      1. re: flavrmeistr

        "Agreeably seedy" is just the perfect description for Harry's. I just don't think of it as a "pub," and can't imagine that a visitor would have singled out Harry's as "good food." But I confess to occasionally being convinced to go there!

        1. re: dcandohio

          I'd go with either "dive" or "watering hole" but never "pub" for Harry's. And if there's good food at Post Pub, I've never had it.

          Your best bet for decent food/decent atmosphere/marginally pub-ish/decent beer would be either District Chophouse or Gordon Biersch. Neither are outstanding but they're in the neighborhood and they're not a fake pub like Elephant and Castle.

          1. re: monkeyrotica

            I was mainly thinking about what was closest to the OPB. I have to admit the food at Harry's would have been considered "decent" in the pre-Watergate era. Maybe that's why like it. I've never been particularly disappointed with the food at the Post Pub. It is what it is for a downtown pub. Here's another one you probably wouldn't recommend; Stan's at Vermont and L. Another great dive not especially close to the OPB.

            1. re: flavrmeistr

              Oh, I'd definitely recommend Post Pub for cheap drinks. I just haven't had much luck with the food. And I would certainly recommend Stan's as a perfectly legitimate dive, with some decent mixed drinks and an oddball assortment of local characters. I would often hit Stans when the original Stoneys was too crowded.

              1. re: monkeyrotica

                Of those mentioned, Stan's probably has the best food. The fried oysters and the crab mac n' cheese are pretty good. Harry's is the dumpiest, has the worst food and the surliest, most ancient staff of any place downtown. There must be something the matter with me, but I kind of feel comfortable there.

                1. re: flavrmeistr

                  But Harry's has free popcorn!

                  The surly staff has the dual benefit of scaring away the tourists and keeping most of the hipsters away. Kinda reminds me of when Whitlows used to be in the neighborhood.

                  Stans is my go-to place to get hammered. Order a drink and they basically give you a full glass of liquor and some mixer. Easily the equivalent of three drinks you'd get at any other bar. Very much in the style of Fox & Hounds, or even Larry's Lounge. There's much to be said for strong drink in a laid back atmosphere.

                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                    I hear ya. Two of those puppies and you might as well take the early train home. My kinda place.

      2. the other old post office is by Union Station now partly a museum, but is one of the ones that accepts last minute tax returns until midnight. and there are couple of pubs behind it down the alley, West side and turn North.