It makes sense Valentine’s Day falls in one of the chilliest months of the year: For those of us who once again find ourselves alone on February 14, it can feel like we’re quite literally being left out in the cold. But don’t let a Hallmark holiday get you down—plenty of bars and restaurants around town are embracing their cynical sides and offering up specials to make your night more fun (or at least help you numb the pain). Specials are offered Saturday, February 14, unless otherwise indicated.
Drown your sorrows with $15 cocktails at the Gibson, which offers live blues music by the Johnny Grave Trio on Thursday at 8. Tickets are $5 in advance or $10 at the door.
This Thursday, the W Washington DC renames itself the Heartbreak Hotel, inviting the anti-Valentine’s crowd for a show by local acts Furniteur, Pleasure Curses, and Outputmessage and $10 specialty cocktails beginning at 7:30. There’s no cover, but guests are asked to RSVP online.
Napoleon Bistro in Adams Morgan appeals to the old souls with a Love Hurts party on Friday starting at 6. Specialty cocktails such as the Smoother Operator (gin, ginger syrup, and Champagne) are on the menu, and old-school vinyl is on the soundtrack with odes to broken hearts by Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, and more. The bar will also screen a classic movie. Tickets are $10 online.
Takoma Park’s Republic offers live music during dinner and the chance to get out some unlucky-in-love frustration afterward with a performance by punk band Booze Riot. Bar manager Brett Robison mixes up themed cocktails such as one named for the evening’s headliner with rye, Amaro Averna, and sherry, and beer-and-shot combos are available for $5.
Carmine’s in Penn Quarter offers two packages geared toward the sadly single. First up is the “My Heart Will Not Go On,” featuring a bottle of Prosecco and the restaurant’s mammoth Titanic sundae ($65 for a group of six). Then there’s the breathmint-necessitating Girls Gone Garlic, which adds a meal of salad and pasta to the above ($125 for a group of six or more).
Think love is awful? Bar Pilar feels your pain, and is serving up a special offal menu to prove it. Try exotic dishes such as smoked head cheese with lemongrass-barbecue glaze and fried chicken skins or rabbit offal with whipped potatoes and mushroom-mustard sauce, paired with depressingly named yet delicious-sounding drinks such as the No One Will Ever Love You, with rye, prickly pear, Cocchi Americano, and lemon.
Anti-Valentine’s Day at the Daily Dish begins with an Unhappy Hour from 4:30 to 6:30, offering thematically appropriate drinks such as Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch and Snake Dog beer for $4 and a Suffering Bastard cocktail for $5. From 5:30 to 9:30 you can order off a special menu that includes dishes such as a Consciously Uncoupled vegan lentil patty topped with beef short rib, or the Lipstick on a Pig, with pork belly, charred beets, and blood orange gastrique.
For the second year, Town Tavern hosts a Cupid Is Stupid party starting at 8. RSVP for $10 online and get an open bar until 10, plus $3 domestic bottled beer, $4 rail drinks, and $5 Bacardi shooters until midnight.
Feeling a bit more hopeful about your romantic prospects? Head to Washingtonian’s Singles Soiree at Penn Social, featuring games, live music, drink specials, and the Singled Out DC gameshow. Tickets are $10 online or $15 at the door.