Maddy’s Taproom was slammed from just after 5 p.m. until around 7:30 p.m. last night. Not bad for a bar on its second day of business, and evidence of how badly the offices in the area northeast of McPherson Square are looking to a happy hour spot.
Owned by the same team that runs Maddy’s Bar and Grille in Dupont Circle, Maddy’s is a handsome, high-ceilinged place covered in planks of blonde wood. Chalkboards listing the 40 tap beers alternate with flatscreen TVs behind the bar. The booth-filled dining room is pleasant, but takes up much of the building, leaving less for the standing-room bar crowds. The bar areas are more like narrow bar aisles; when the crowd gets to be three to four people deep, no one can move, let alone get a drink. Thankfully, the staff was good about passing out menus and even coming into the crowd to take orders.
With 40 beers on tap, Maddy’s is trying to set itself apart from the usual downtown happy hour joints, and it largely succeeds. Prices aren’t bad, either, ranging from Miller Lite ($5) to Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA (high, at $9) and Flying Dog’s rare Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout ($9). There’s nothing too eye-catching: Firestone Walker IPA and Sierra Nevada Torpedo sit next to Blue Moon and Yuengling; the Oktoberfests come from Sam Adams and Harpoon. Most beers are solidly in the $6 to $7 range. Take $2 off every draft from 4 to 7 p.m. during weeknight happy hours.
It’s not just beer lovers who save: Rail drinks and glasses of house wine cost $4 each. Pair any of those drinks with a special menu of $3 tacos and tostadas, including the Tierra taco (shortribs, tomatillo chutney and caramelized shallots) and the Gonzalez (chorizo and queso fresco).
Obviously the place will need time to settle in and learn to pace the crowds. But with a great happy hour and a captive audience, it’s looking promising for the south-of-Thomas-Circle newcomer.