Jump-start your week at the newest outpost of the Dogfish Head Alehouse, now offering excellent beers on tap in Virginia’s Seven Corners area. Try one of its signature India Browns, like the 90 Minute IPA, or the creamy and chocolatey Chicory Stout. On weekdays, the 4-to-7-pm happy hour cuts the price of all drafts by $1.50. Seven Corners Center, Falls Church; 703-534-3342. Wine lovers might prefer starting the week with a guided winetasting at Vidalia. From 5:30 to 6:30 pm each weekday, sip and soak up tips from the sommelier. The pours can be small, but hey, they’re also free. 1990 M St. NW; 202-659-1990.
The quirky Palace of Wonders—an H Street, Northeast, club, vaudeville stage, and oddball museum—features a monthly female arm-wrestling championship. The battles of strength start at around 10:30 pm and can earn the winner a free bar tab. 1210 H St., NE; 202-398-7469. Not in a wrasslin’ mood? Grab some friends and head to the spacious lounge at Famoso, where all bottles of wine are half off every Monday and Tuesday evening from 5 pm. 5471 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase; 301-986-8785.
Step inside McGinty’s Public House in Silver Spring and you’ll think you’ve been spirited away to a country pub in Ireland. Authentic decor, friendly bartenders, and chatty patrons have earned McGinty’s a loyal following since it opened last year. For quiet conversation, gather around the fireplace; for a livelier evening, head upstairs where there’s dancing, a 75-foot bar, several plasma TVs, and live music on occasion. 911 Ellsworth Dr., Silver Spring; 301-587-1270.
Salsa lovers head to Cecilia’s in Arlington on Thursday nights. One of the best Latin clubs in the area, it offers three levels of salsa lessons every Thursday (7:30 for beginners, 8:30 intermediate, 9:30 advanced) before salsa band Rudy y Su Lokura lets loose and everybody hits the dance floor. $10. 2619 Columbia Pike, Arlington; 703-685-0790. Thursdays also find crowds—and great drink specials—at Tapatinis on Capitol Hill. Starting at 5 pm, top-shelf martinis are just $5. After 10, a sponsored drink is on the house. The bar receives free samples of liquors each week and gives away drinks made from them until the bottles run out. 711 Eighth St., SE; 202-546-8272.
On Friday nights, the Arlington Cinema ’n’ Drafthouse, which sells food and drink during screenings of films that have had their runs in the big theaters, also features a winetasting before its feature film. Experts from the Washington Wine Academy set up and lead the tasting, which begins at 6 to 6:30. The winetasting is $1; the film is $5.50. 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington; 703 486-2345.
The 25-cent beer special at Asylum in Adams Morgan is legendary. It’s exactly as advertised—at 5 pm, drafts of Miller High Life cost just a quarter and go up 50 cents every hour. The divey atmosphere of the biker bar adds to the early-Saturday-evening fun. 2471 18th St., NW; 202-319-9353.