Jimmy Valentine’s Lonely Hearts Club honored by Playboy

July 18, 2011

Bartender Tom Meagher behind the dimly lit, densely decorated bar at Jimmy Valentine’s Lonely Hearts Club. (Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post)

The club’s lack of a sign — look for a pink halo over a nondescript door on Bladensburg Road NE — makes you feel like you’ve entered a fraternity of folks who are cool enough to know that the Lonely Hearts Club exists. The funky paintings, the low red lights and flocked wallpaper, and the comfortable couches create a perfectly louche atmosphere that matches the attitude of the hardened barcrawlers, off-duty bartenders, tattoo artists, goths and hipsters who gather there. DJs set the soundtrack with everything from electro to hip-hop.

Your last drink (or drinks) of the night come from a surprisingly diverse beer selection that ranges from grenades of Mickey’s Malt Liquor to 22-ounce bottles of Stone’s Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale and Bear Republic’s Big Black Bear Stout, but you can also just get a highly boozy slushee or a shot of “Mr. Lethal,” the secret house concoction that “helps make bad decisions.” (It’s affordable, too: On Friday nights, PBR tallboys are $1 from 8 to 9, with the price going up $1 every hour until midnight.)

It can get a little raucous, but that’s part of the charm. Congrats to the folks at Jimmy Valentine’s.

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.
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