Food  |  Things to Do

Celebrate New Year’s Eve Around DC at These No-Cover Bars

Ring in 2020 without breaking the bank.

Hang out and play Jenga at Calico, the indoor/outdoor bar at Shaw's Blagden Alley. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Start early on your new year’s resolution to save money and instead of spending $100-plus on an open bar, head to a no-cover spot for New Year’s Eve. There are plenty of great options around DC, whether you’re in the mood for a brewpub, neighborhood happy hour, or cocktail haunt.

American Ice Company
917 V St., NW
The downtown bar will hold its annual New Year’s Eve party, including a midnight round of bubbly and great eats like their dry rub smoked wings and veggie swachos.

The Boardwalk
507 7th St., NW
Play the night away at Penn Quarter’s beachy bar, the Boardwalk, which has tons of classic arcade games, from Pac Man to Skee-Ball. There will also be drink specials and Champagne to toast the new year.

Boundary Stone
116 Rhode Island Ave., NW
Bloomingdale’s neighborhood pub is reviving its Best Damn No Cover NYE party with happy hour from 4 to 10 PM (deals include $5 wines and beers) plus live entertainment starting at 9 PM.

Brew Republic Bierwerks
15201 Potomac Town Pl., Woodbridge
Head to Brew Year’s Eve at the tap room and sample some of their house beers along with wine, bubbly, and plenty of snacks. There will also be a DJ.

Calico
50 Blagden Alley, NW
Ring in the new year with a classic pizza and beer combo. The indoor/outdoor bar is serving up a tasty menu of pies  alongside Champagne-sized beers from Miller High Life. There will also be karaoke and board games.

DC Reynolds
3628 Georgia Ave., NW
This Petworth bar is a great low-key spot to end your year. The usual menu will be available as well buy-one-get-one-free cocktails from 5 to 9 PM.

The Green Zone in Adams Morgan. Photograph by Jeff Elkins

The Green Zone
2226 18th St., NW
Celebrate with falafel, hummus, and tasty cocktails at this Middle Eastern bar in Adams Morgan. Sip creations like the Janissary Corps–gin, pistachios, lemon, and “silky magic”–while a DJ upstairs spins a selection of Arabic tunes.

Jack Rose
2007 18th St., NW
The Adams Morgan whiskey mecca is hosting two New Year’s Eve parties. In the saloon, there’s a “no cover, no minimum, no pressure” gathering, which is exactly as advertised—plus happy hour from 5 to 8 PM and specials through 1 AM like $40 bottomless Moet bubbles.

La Jambe
1550 7th St., NW
Have a very French New Year’s Eve at Shaw’s La Jambe. The wine bar will screen the New Year’s countdown in Paris at 6 PM, and then ring 2020 six hours later with glasses of Crémant. There will also be plenty of French food.

McClellan’s Retreat
2031 Florida Ave., NW
The Dupont Circle bar will serve this month’s themed holiday cocktail list like a hot toddy with Slane Irish whiskey and the Elf-inspired “I Like to Whisper Too!” made with local Civic vodka, cranberry honey shrub, Prosecco, and cinnamon syrup. The annual Miller High Life midnight toast is also on the docket.

Punch Bowl Social. Photograph courtesy of Punch Bowl Social

Punch Bowl Social
4238 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
While you’re ringing in 2020, why not take a trip to 3199? Ballston Quarter’s game and bowling bar is hosting a free party with a futuristic theme and they’ll have a DJ, a special punch, and a midnight balloon drop.

Red Derby
3718 14th St., NW
Before heading into a brand new decade, why not revisit a couple others? Red Derby is hosting two throwback parties celebrating the ’70s and the ’90s. For the former, disco attire is encouraged, or for the latter, break out the flannel and Doc Martens. There’s also a midnight Champagne toast on the house.

The Royal
501 Florida Ave., NW
Happy New Year, indeed: this LeDroit Park bar is hosting not one but two happy hours. From 3 to 7 PM drop by for $3 Miller High Life, $6 beer-and-shot combos, $7 classic cocktails like their Negroni Sbagliato, and discount food items. Then from 10 PM to 2 AM, revelers can sip more $7 classics and $5 rail shots.

Know of more no-cover bars? Email ndiller@washingtonian.com.

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Nathan Diller
Editorial Fellow

Nathan is an editorial fellow at Washingtonian. Originally from Nashville, he graduated from Columbia Journalism School with a master’s degree in 2019. His work has also appeared in SPIN, NYLON, and Nashville Lifestyles.