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W Washington Rooftop Bar

t
tony_brisbane Oct 4, 2010 10:07 PM

Hi
Travellingto DC with my family from Australia in late Decembe. Had hoped to book for drinks and tapas at the rooftop bar for the view. I am concerned that in te US my kids not being 21 (they are 20,17 and 14) might not be permitted into the bar. Can anyone please advise - and suggest alternative for food and view in Washington.

Many thanks

  1. hill food Oct 5, 2010 12:14 AM

    should be ok (unless you're ordering the kids drinks!) if it is, the tower in the Old Post Office is dry, but free, no line and almost as good a view as the Washington Monument.

    seriously when the W was open-air, there were kids present. from what I understand it's just pricier and choosier now (hope they're nicer because they were complete jerks back then under the old management) locals don't like to be treated like tourists after all or tourists either for that matter. it is a cool view and at least worth a coupla rounds. bonus point questions - what did FDR add that's still there and what did Carter add, Reagan take away and Bush II restore (I think he or Laura did anyway)?

    1. j
      Jeserf Oct 5, 2010 04:40 AM

      you can eat lunch/brunch there. When I went there to check out the space for our wedding, there were tourists there in shorts and flip flops.

      1. f
        foodtrip Oct 5, 2010 04:57 AM

        Late December? Bundle up! It's an outdoor venue, and even though in the colder months they lower heavy plastic sheeting around the outside and have heaters running and blankets available, it can still be quite chilly up there. Also, IMO, the plastic 'windows' definitely interfere with the view -- not quite like looking at it through clear glass.

        1. r
          Raids Oct 5, 2010 04:58 AM

          It's not really a child-appropriate crowd from happy hour onward, but as mentioned, it's utterly appropriate to show up with kids for brunch/lunch. It was still tourists in shorts and sneaks at 3pm on a Saturday when we took my father-in-law over there.

          1. t
            tony_brisbane Oct 7, 2010 12:09 AM

            Many thanks for all this advice - regards from "downunder"

            1. hill food Oct 7, 2010 01:05 AM

              seriously, most places that serve food don't make an issue of the age thing. and frankly I think there's some weird aspect of DC law that requires bars have at least the ability to serve food. I've seen too many unused grills in dives to think otherwise (and occasionally convinced them to fire them up with surprisingly happy results)

              6 Replies
              1. re: hill food
                j
                Jeserf Oct 7, 2010 04:33 AM

                with all due respect, that's not true. Maybe if you're with parents. However, I once did not bring my ID to a bar/restaurant and the bounce "had fun" with my now fiance that left my fiance with a huge welt on his head along with humiliation simply because we wanted to eat at a place that served alcohol.
                While that's obviously not the norm, I would not recommend going places expecting to be served food when there is no ID/underage.

                1. re: Jeserf
                  s
                  sweth Oct 7, 2010 07:27 AM

                  I'd concur that many places do take a hard line w/ IDs; DC does periodic crackdowns sending out underage testers w/o ID, and after getting a few large fines or suspensions, places tend to get strict.

                  With that said, unless your fiancé was getting physically belligerent, anything the bouncer did that left a mark should have been reported to a manager immediately.

                  1. re: sweth
                    j
                    Jeserf Oct 7, 2010 08:55 AM

                    My fiance is never belligerent (a peacenick Marine...go figure). But it was reported and supposedly the gentleman was fired but we haven't been back to confirm and last I checked, he was still on their web site. Which is a shame b/c we liked their food, I just hate that as a responsible adult - Clearly over 21 - if I decide to let my guy treat and travel without a bag/wallet, this is something that could happen?

                    1. re: Jeserf
                      s
                      sweth Oct 10, 2010 06:28 AM

                      Not if you hand your license to your guy before leaving the house. :)

                      Note that in many jurisdictions, the individual employees involved in serving someone underage are also liable (and hit proportionally much harder by fines/suspensions than the restaurant), and that the testers that get sent out during compliance stings are usually also people who to all appearances are "clearly" over 21. It's rarely going to be worth it to the people checking ID to take a chance and accidentally serve alcohol to a tester, no matter how "obvious" the age of the customer.

                      1. re: sweth
                        j
                        Jeserf Oct 11, 2010 08:25 AM

                        I totally understand and respect that aspect of it, but we do not drink. If I were planning on having a beer, I definitely would have had my ID. I wasn't, though. Needing to prove you're 21 to eat is, to me, somewhat ridiculous on a slow week night.

                        But now, my FH makes sure I always take my ID and we've never been back there. We also still do not drink (well, he never does and 99.9% of the time I don't).

                        1. re: Jeserf
                          hill food Oct 11, 2010 11:03 PM

                          well I find that odd, if you're not ordering alcohol (and it's not some notorious "hey let's get ripped!" college hangout) just odd, very odd. but I guess given the numbers in the DC area, a proprietor may have to be extra careful. still odd if your staff is well trained.

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