Despite what the pool table, boxing gloves, and soccer scarves might lead you to believe, the Pug is not a sports bar. “We’re a neighborhood bar,” says bartender Paul Sargent. “We’re not trying to ‘be’ anything.”
Whatever it is, the Pug, which opened in February, is one of the new kids on the block. A bit on the small side, the bar occupies the first floor of 1234 H Street and offers only two formal tables: one in window nook up front and one near the pool table in back. But because the pub doesn’t serve food, tables aren’t the point, and patrons can comfortably sip drinks at any of the barstools, couches, or movie-theater chairs that line the counter and walls.
The Pug is, as the owners admit, not a “bells and whistles” place. The beer list—which includes Bud, Michelob, and Yuengling—isn’t particularly memorable. But with Boddingtons and Sam Smith making the cut, the selection has at least some depth. Buyer beware: The Pug hasn’t yet installed taps, so if the art of the pour means a lot to you, this might not be your best happy-hour choice.
Speaking of happy hour, the Pug doesn’t have one. No drink specials, no martini nights, no pink or frilly drinks, just beer and booze—including the house favorite, Jameson Irish Whiskey.
The Pug is probably best described as a no-rules place with rules. The bar opens nightly at 6 and stays open until 2 or 3 depending on the crowd. The atmosphere is relaxed, the service friendly, and the beer cold. All the Pug asks in return is “No idiots. No politics. No bombs.” So be sure to leave your wonking at home.