Lame: “hidden” speakeasies with Yelp pages and reservations. Cool: tucked-away drinking spots that some people—but certainly not all—know how to find.
After touring Artechouse’s immersive digital exhibits, check out the gallery’s “augmented-reality bar” (1238 Maryland Ave., SW). Download the app, look at your cocktail through a smartphone, and watch it come alive with words and design.
If you’re willing to go through a light background check for a good Chablis, become a regular at the French Embassy (4101 Reservoir Rd., NW) by applying to the café and bar’s gratis program. For access to higher-end Le Petit Bouchon restaurant, simply e-mail a reservation request to email@example.com.
Tired of the packed, pricey waterfront bar scene? Cruise over to the Columbia Island Marina overlooking the Pentagon Lagoon—nicer than it sounds—for a chill boater’s bar serving burgers and $8 pitchers of beer. It’s tricky to find, but that’s half the charm (no address; accessible via southbound George Washington Pkwy. in Arlington near Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove).
A sports-and-wellness facility might not be your first thought for cocktails, but chef Spike Mendelsohn pours mezcal gimlets and rye-and-rum-spiked nitro brews alongside green juice at his place in the St. James complex (6805 Industrial Rd., Springfield).
This article appears in the April 2019 issue of Washingtonian.