Perry's is opening its twinkly rooftop bar tonight. Photograph courtesy of Perry's via Facebook.
With the high nearing 70 degrees today, we have one thought on our minds: Where can we get a drink outside? Unfortunately, plenty of patios and roof decks are still locked tight for winter, while newbies like Irish Whiskey, William Jeffrey’s Tavern, and Sixth Engine are still working on their outdoor areas. Fear not: We have the intel on three recently opened al fresco spots for a sneak peak of where to sip this spring, plus 11 more of our favorites that are embracing the unseasonably warm weather with outdoor specials.
Rock and Roll Hotel’s rooftop
This H Street concert venue/watering hole quietly opened its roof deck in the November offseason, with heat lamps for the colder nights and warming drinks like rum-spiked spiced cider and mulled wine. Save the latter for true February temps, and make like it’s May on the open-air deck with a draft brew or bottle of Mickey’s Fine Malt Liquor. Perk: Trivia starts at 8, so you can head inside for a bit of booze-fueled nerdery just as the temperatures drop.
Hank’s Oyster Bar and Lounge front patio
Typically the open-air patio at Hank’s is reserved for dinner only, but during the current bout of freakishly warm weather, half the seats will be devoted to the lounge menu, meaning drinkers can snag a table. Select wines and beers are $4 from 5 to 7, as are tasty bar snacks like house-made chips with blue cheese dip, soft pretzels for dunking in beer cheese, and $1 oysters. If you have a group, get festive with a punch bowl.
The deck at Town Hall
Town Hall, an old-time favorite Glover Park restaurant-bar, just received loads of outdoor room with its move into the former Blue Ridge space a month ago. Unfortunately the back patio is still in the works, but you can head upstairs to the cozy second-floor deck, where 12 Adirondack chairs and low tables make for a perfect spot to relax with your date or friends. Happy hour runs from 5 to 7, with $3 local brews such as Starr Hill and DC Brau and $4 glasses of wine.
American Ice Co.
The spacious patio in front of this hip U Street–area watering hole is a perennial favorite—the crowds and heat lamps keep it toasty through the winter—but you should still think about heading over and basking in the sun with a pitcher of DC Brau while you can.
There are heat lamps and throw blankets for when it gets cooler outside at this hip Dupont hotel lounge, but if you get there early enough to snag a seat, you won’t need them. Try a summery specialty cocktail on the happy hour menu (4 to 6). The Alan’s Love features pear vodka, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and muddled cucumber.
The Big Hunt
Just a month ago, this popular Dupont place enclosed its rooftop deck with a sheer plastic cover, so now you can keep sipping in chilly times. There are no heaters, so blow off work on the early side to hit the 4 to 7 happy hour, where you’ll find $1 off all 30 beer on draft, $3 rail drinks, and $2.50 Bud Light and other select brews.
Serious “bier” drinkers can head to the outdoor beer garden on H Street for $5 half liters of Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse between 4 and 7. Sure, the patio is open year-round, but today you won’t be shivering into your schnapps.
Those in the know head to this divey rooftop deck from Thursday to Saturday; it boasts the same taxidermy-heavy, laid-back vibe as the two floors below. Long wooden tables are prime for groups taking advantage of two-for-one happy hour specials from 5 to 8, and you can always head downstairs for live music once it gets chilly.
If you’re in the Bethesda environs, you can camp out on Nest’s sunny deck and sip a cocktail or a $3 glass of wine from 5 to 6 alongside small plates like bruschetta or crab dip.
The open-air rooftop terrace at Perry’s—a hotspot in warmer climes—is often closed during winter, but it’s open tonight from 5:30 until temperatures drop. Get there early and pretend you’re basking in summer rays with specials such as $4 Kirin Light and fresh lemonade, as well as similarly priced sushi rolls, or $5 caipirinhas and other cocktails from 5:30 to 7:30.
Tiny Room 11 shrinks to almost a third of its size when the outdoor patio is closed for inclement weather, making it tough to snag one of the coveted indoor spots. This evening, about half the patio will open up at 5—roughly 20 seats—so your chances are better. Happy hour specials are TBD. There’s a fire pit to snuggle up by if you get cold later on.
You can grab a table at the enclosed garden patio for lunch, and tables will be open throughout the evening. There’s no outdoor service post-lunch, but mixologist Chantal Tseng’s daily concoctions are worth the short walk from bar to table.
Trusty’s Full-Serve Bar
Though the enclosed deck at this Capitol Hill truck-stop-themed bar is winterized from November through mid-March, the spot will be rolling up the canopies today to allow the warm air in. Happy hour from 4 to 7 includes $1 off all drafts—served in handy Mason jars—and rail drinks.
Whitlow’s on Wilson
Unfortunately, Whitlow’s popular new rooftop is still in winter mode, but the just-opened side patio has 14 tables for taking advantage of global warming (kidding, kind of). Bring friends so you can also take advantage of three-for-three drafts from 4 to 7, and “mug night” until midnight (a $5 mug is refilled for only $2 until midnight).