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Whatever your party affiliation, there’s no need to drink alone for Wednesday night’s first presidential debate. By Colin Daileda
Find drink specials during the debate at these local restaurants. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will face off in their first debate this Wednesday, October 3, at 9 PM. Whether you intend to chug every time anyone refers to “47 percent,” “Obamacare,” or “my opponent,” or whether you just need a beer or two to make all that rhetoric easier to swallow, there are bars aplenty offering specials during the debate.

Wednesday is presidential bingo night at Ventnor Sports Cafe, where everyone gets “Obama” and “Mitt!” bingo cards and hopefully some drinks to go along with them. The debate will be screened on high-def flat-screens, and everyone lucky enough to score bingo during the evening will win drink specials and other prizes to go along with the usual Wednesday night specials (cut-price tacos and $4 Tecate tallboys).

Pony glasses of all 31 draft beers will be $3 at Bullfeathers during the debates, which all happen during the bar’s Pony Express happy hour. The sound will be up throughout the restaurant, as befits an institution so beloved among Hill staffers.

Busboys & Poets will have the sound on for the debate at all four locations.

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Posted at 03:20 PM/ET, 10/02/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Dust off your lederhosen and celebrate all things German at these local spots. By Laura Wainman
Celebrate Oktoberfest at these spots around town. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Get your lederhosen (and your liver) ready—it’s Oktoberfest time! In case you weren’t lucky enough to have a friend in college who made you watch Beerfest 11 times, Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival held annually in Munich that celebrates German beer and food. So whether you’re looking for an excuse to indulge in a little al fresco day drinking or want to enjoy some fall family fun, here are the best spots around town to munch on a schnitzel and down a stein or two.

Snap up four-ounce beer samples from more than 50 breweries at Capital City Brewing Company’s Oktoberfest. Local vendors will dish up authentic German food and tunes. Tickets are $25 (includes a tasting glass and ten tickets) if you plan to sample the beers, but free if you just want to attend. Head to the Village of Shirlington on October 6 from noon to 7.

Join other Oktoberfest enthusiasts in the beer garden at the Old Stein Inn for a wurst platter or spaetzle spread. On Friday and Saturday you can sing along to your favorite German drinking songs with Sylvia on the accordion or Heidi und Heimat Echo with their alpenhorn. Mike and the Continentals will provide the background entertainment on Sunday for those enjoying the suckling pig roast. The party goes from 6 to 10 PM on Friday, 5 to 10 PM on Saturday, and 2 to 6 PM on Sunday through October 28.

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Posted at 04:45 PM/ET, 09/28/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Opening night of “The Language Archive” at Forum Theatre, a performance by T.I. at Love Nightclub, and Discover Engineering Family Day at the National Building Museum. By Samantha Miller

Rapper T.I. returns to Washington for the first time in three years this Saturday. Photograph courtesy of the artist’s website.

Thursday, February 16

THEATER: Forum Theatre’s staging of The Language Archive opens tonight. Written by Julia Cho, the comedy is about a talented linguist’s deteriorating personal life. Cho won the 2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, an award for women playwrights. Tickets ($25) can be purchased through the theater’s website. The show runs though March 10.

MUSIC: Violinist Benjamin Beilman and pianist Yekwon Sunyoo perform at the Kennedy Center. Beilman won first prize in the 2010 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. The concert will feature works by Mozart, Strauss, Prokofiev, and more. Tickets ($24) can be purchased through the KenCen’s website. 7:30 PM.

FUNDRAISER: Help raise money for Washington’s furry friends during Hudson’s Valentine’s Day Singles Afterparty and Date Auction. Guests can enjoy palm readings, music by DJ Eskay, complimentary appetizers from 7 to 8 PM, $5 cocktails, and a date auction featuring some of the city’s top bachelors and bachelorettes. Proceeds will benefit the Washington Humane Society. Donations ($10 minimum) can be made at the door. 7 to 10 PM.

DRINKS: Express Night Out’s monthly happy hour returns to Policy with several food and drink specials—including $3 Blue Moons and Miller Lights, $4 Bacardi Superior drinks, and half-price appetizers. Admission is free. 5 to 9 PM.

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Posted at 04:22 PM/ET, 02/15/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Comedian Jason Weems at DC Improv, Disney sensations Allstar Weekend at the Fillmore, and Bar Pilar’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Party. By Samantha Miller

Comedian Jason Weems. Photograph courtesy of Weems’s website.

Tuesday, February 14

See Also:

Washington Valentine's Day Guide

KID-FRIENDLY: Pop-rock band Allstar Weekend are dropping by the Fillmore. The group gained popularity after competing on Radio Disney’s Next Big Thing. You can listen to some of their songs here. Tickets ($18) can be purchased through Live Nation. 6:40 PM.

COMEDY: Funny man Jason Weems brings his standup act to DC Improv. The Baltimore native has appeared on Comedy Central’s Last Comic Standing and at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival. Tickets ($15) can be purchased through the club’s website. 8 PM.

DRINKS: During Bar Pilar’s second annual Anti-Valentine’s Day Party, sorrowful singles can devour $7 desserts and $10 bitter cocktails—like the cheekily named Tuff Love, Cheap Date, or Cupid’s Broken Arrow.

MUSIC: Morrissey tribute bands Speedway Operator and Spineless Swine perform at Jammin Java. Tickets can be purchased online for $10 or at the door for $13. 8 PM.

DANCE: Head to the Black Cat for bartender Chad America’s 13th annual Valentine’s Day Rock and Roll dance party. Free. Doors open at 8 PM.

Posted at 04:21 PM/ET, 02/13/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Capital Wine Festival, indie pop group Veronica Falls at the Black Cat, and Meklit Hadero at the Artisphere. By Samantha Miller

Singer-songwriter Meklit Hadero. Photograph by Rus Anson.

Wednesday, February 8

Singer-songwriter Meklit Hadero performs at the Artisphere tonight. “Hadero’s sound is a unique blend of jazz, Ethiopia, the San Francisco art scene, and visceral poetry; it paints pictures in your head as you listen,” says NPR. Tickets can be purchased online for $15 or at the door for $18. 8 PM.

MUSIC: Indie pop group Veronica Falls are dropping by the Black Cat. Their self-titled debut was released in September of last year; listen to some of their songs here. The London natives will be joined by Brilliant Colors. Tickets ($10) can be purchased online. Doors open at 8 PM.

WINE: The Capital Wine Festival returns to the Fairfax with a Heitz Wine Cellars dinner. The four-course spread includes pan-seared crabcake, wild mushroom risotto, mint-glazed lamb chops, and black cherry crème brûlée. Each course will be paired with a Heitz wine. Tickets ($125) can be purchased through the event’s website. 7 PM.

SHOPPING: The Crystal Couture Show and Sale returns with discounted offerings from more than 30 boutiques. In addition to savings up to 50 percent, shoppers can enjoy fashion shows, complimentary drinks, hair and makeup consultations, music by DJ Neekola, and more. The sale runs through February 11.

Posted at 03:12 PM/ET, 02/07/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
No matter which team you’re rooting for, the specials at these local bars will have you cheering this Sunday. By Mary Yarrison

The Bloody Mary at Cafe Saint-Ex. Photograph by Flickr user Jenn Larsen.

In this town, plenty of people have roots in either New York or Boston (or a seething hatred of at least one of those cities’ football teams). But even if you don’t belong to one of those camps, you’ll likely be watching the big game this Sunday. We’ve rounded up some great area bars offering special Super Bowl deals on drinks and food to ensure that no matter what the final score is, you (and your wallet) will come out a winner.

Did we forget your favorite spot? Let us know by leaving a comment.



Blue Banana will open two hours before kickoff and serve $12 Yuengling and Miller Lite pitchers and other $15 pitchers, in addition to specialty cocktail discounts. The regular food menu will be bolstered by the PORC Mobile food truck, offering sloppy joes, mac and cheese, and other barbecue and tailgating favorites. Leave the kids at home; this party is open only to those 21 and over.

Hudson Restaurant and Lounge will have food specials such as apricot spicy wings, bacon-crusted fish sticks, and lobster or short rib sliders for $5. To help you wash them down, during each quarter of the game the restaurant will offer a different one of its new specialty cocktails for $6, plus happy hour drink prices all day.

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Posted at 11:45 AM/ET, 02/03/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
The American Ballet Theatre at the Kennedy Center, a French wine tasting at Agora, and R&B singer Marc Broussard at the Birchmere. By Samantha Miller

The American Ballet Theatre performs a scene from Thirteen Diversions. Photograph by Rosalie O’Conner.

Tuesday, January 31

BALLET: The American Ballet Theatre brings La Bayadére to the Kennedy Center. Tonight’s mixed repertory program features scenes from Black Tuesday, Manon, Don Quixote, and Thirteen Diversons. Tickets ($25 to $99) can be purchased through the KenCen’s website. 7:30 PM. The show runs through February 5.

WINE: Agora is hosting a French wine tasting tonight. Guests can sample a variety of wines from the Southwest region, including Domaine Laplace’s “Autour du Fruit” Madiran 2009 and “Les Sarments Rouge” Madiran 2008. Each tasting will be paired with a selection of canapés by executive chef Ghassan Jarrouj. Reservations ($30) can be made by calling 202-332-6767. 6 to 7:30 PM.

BOOKS: Historian Douglas Brinkley signs copies of his new book, The Quiet World, at the Barnes and Noble in downtown DC. The renowned author is also a Vanity Fair contributing editor and a history commentator for CBS News. Free. 6:30 PM.

MUSIC: R&B singer Marc Broussard performs at the Birchmere tonight. “His music radiates soulful Louisiana blues, but his songs blend those influences with raucous rock ’n’ roll to create unique and infectious music,” says NPR. You can listen to some of his songs here. Tickets ($35) can be purchased through Ticketmaster. 7:30 PM.

Posted at 04:39 PM/ET, 01/30/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Opening night of “Next Fall” at Bethesda’s Round House Theatre, Bell’s Hopslam Ale at ChurchKey, and Beethoven and Strauss at the Kennedy Center. By Samantha Miller

Patrick Heusinger and Patrick Breen in the Broadway production of Next Fall. Photograph courtesy of the show’s website.

Monday, January 30

ART: The National Gallery of Art’s new exhibition, “Picasso’s Drawings, 1890–1921: Reinventing Tradition,” opened yesterday. The collection, which features some 55 works, explores Picasso’s artistic development over a 30-year period. “What’s fascinating is how distinctly the exhibition traces the evolution of a style, from inconspicuous early drawings to fully fledged experiments” says arts editor Sophie Gilbert. Read the full review here. The exhibit runs through May 6. Free.

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Posted at 05:00 PM/ET, 01/27/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Ladytron at U Street Music Hall, a free performance by Ballet Teatro Internacional at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, and a wine dinner at Red Rocks in Columbia Heights. By Samantha Miller

Synth-pop group Ladytron. Photograph courtesy of the group’s Facebook page.

MUSIC: Mike Flaherty’s Dixieland Direct Jazz Band are giving a free performance at the Kennedy Center. The group fuses traditional New Orleans Dixieland music with swing and blues. You can listen to some of their songs here. 6 PM.

Synth-pop band Ladytron are dropping by U Street Music Hall tonight. The European imports’ “shadowy sound has been compared to that of electroclash groups like Fischerspooner and to the darker work of New Order,” says NPR. Ladytron will be joined by deejays Reuben Wu, Shea Van Horn, and Cale. Tickets ($5; free for 21 and up) can be purchased at the door. 9 PM.

BALLET: Washington’s own Ballet Teatro Internacional presents a free lunchtime performance at the Shakespeare Theatre Company. The show will feature classic and contemporary ballet. Free. Noon.

WINE: Red Rocks in Columbia Heights is whipping up a five-course wine dinner. The spread includes passed appetizers, wild boar meatballs, antipasto, pizza, and poached pears. Each course will be paired with a wine from Siema Wines. Reservations ($50) can be made by calling 202-506-1402. 6:30 to 9:30 PM.

Posted at 03:21 PM/ET, 01/24/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
The 20th annual Film Neu festival at E Street Cinema, the release of Flying Dog’s Imperial Hefeweizen at Pizzeria Paradiso, and the return of the “9 Songwriters Series” at the Iota Club. By Samantha Miller

Fritz Karl and Clare-Hope Ashitey star in Black Brown White. Photograph courtesy of Allegro Film.

Tuesday, January 24

FILM: The 20th annual Film Neu festival, a showcase of German, Swiss, and Austrian films, returns to E Street Cinema. In today’s screening of Black Brown White, a truck driver aids a young Nigerian woman on the run. Complimentary Austrian treats will be served between screenings. With English subtitles. Tickets ($11) can be purchased at the box office. 7 and 9:15 PM.

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Posted at 06:07 PM/ET, 01/23/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()