Steps away from bustling Lima and DC Coast, the intrepid newcomer lounge Tattoo Bar is gradually carving out its own niche. With a sweeping leather booth stretching the length of the dimly lit bar, chainlink walls, and posters of body art draped everywhere, the place radiates biker chic—whatever that may mean. And it’s as a worthy addition to the burgeoning scene of upscale lounges revitalizing nightlife on formerly stodgy K Street.
If you get there right after work, there’s a first-come, first-served lounge in the back that’s perfect for large groups. During happy hour, beer and wine sells for $5 and Belvedere cocktails for $7. The selection is small and unpredictable, however. When we were there, our options were limited to Syrah, Riesling, Heineken, and Amstel Light, with no beer on draft. There are plans to expand the selection in the coming months.
Let’s hope expansion is also under way in the kitchen, where the one-man team had some difficulty churning out dozens of $5 burgers and chicken-wing plates—which were quite good once they arrived.
If and when the growing pains abate, Tattoo could develop an identity as a friendly and unpretentious—yet still sleek and upscale—watering hole.
Tattoo Bar, 1413 K St., NW; 202-408-9444; tattoobardc.com. Happy hour Wednesday through Friday 5:30 to 9.