Kentucky Derby Around DC: Outdoor Events, Takeout Juleps, and Food Specials

Sip a julep during the Kentucky Derby this weekend. Photograph courtesy of Jack Rose

The Kentucky Derby is taking place starting this Saturday, May 1 and there are several socially distanced, outdoor events and food/drink specials—to stay or go—for the fascinator and seersucker crowd. Here’s where you can go to grab juleps and hot browns to take home, or watch the races in-person.

Hook Hall
3400 Georgia Ave., NW
From 10 AM to midnight, the indoor/outdoor Park View bar and event space will provide drink specials like mint juleps and frozen old fashioneds, and give out gifts to those in festive Derby attire. For those watching the races live, there will be extra televisions throughout the cherry blossom pop-up garden and each private cabana will have a TV too. Outdoor reservations for tables and cabanas can be made here.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon
2007 18th St., NW 
The Adams Morgan whiskey mecca—which has strong Kentucky connections—will celebrate the Derby two ways: takeout party-at-home kits for virtual celebrations, and a socially distanced rooftop event. The takeout packages, available here, include nitro-muddled juleps, Southern snacks, and specialty bourbons ($2 to $64). Tickets for the rooftop party are $30 per person, include a round of juleps and snacks, and available here. 

Cafe Saint-Ex
1847 14th Street NW
The longtime Logan Circle haunt is hosting a “Down and Derby” party starting at 5 PM, featuring Derby cocktails on their newly decorated patio. Guests can also win “Best Dressed” prizes. If you want to get an early start on the day, brunch runs from noon to 4 PM with deals like $55 bottles of Veuve (or $65 for the rose version) and $25 bottomless mimosas. 

The Game Sports Pub
2411 18th St. NW
Throughout “Derby week,” the Filipino-American sports pub—which offers indoor and streetery seating—will host happy hours featuring Angel’s Envy bourbon. Drinks like Kentucky mules and mint juleps start at $12 when doors open at 3 PM. The pub will also feature special drinks on each of the Triple Crown race days, starting May 1st and ending May 29th.

613 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
If you’re looking for a hearty meal, this Southern bar and restaurant in Capitol Hill is offering a takeout Kentucky Hot Brown Box with roasted turkey breast, Pullman bread, mornay sauce, tomatoes, and bacon from 4 PM until close (to stay or go). Thirsty race watchers can also get drinks specials like frozen juleps (available indoors and on the patio, though there are only TVs inside). Reserve your table here

McClellan’s Retreat
2031 Florida Ave., NW
Even though this speakeasy-style bar doesn’t have any televisions, race fans can purchase Kentucky Derby drink kits to-go for a safe celebration at home. Options include a $40 pre-mixed Julep kit that serves five ($40) or a DIY version ($70) with a bottle of Bardstown Bourbon Fusion #4, one pint of mint simple syrup, mint, and some fun “surprises”. Kits must be pre-ordered by Thursday, April 29th and picked up the next day or on May 1.