The D.C. area’s best trusty old watering holes

July 26, 2013

When it comes to bars, aging often improves them, like a good bourbon. Most buzz is about the newest and hottest watering holes, but there's something comforting about walking into a place that has been in business for 50 years or longer.

• Five restaurants that time (almost forgot) | Washington's culinary survivors

Martin's Tavern
William "Billy" Martin opened a tavern in the heart of Georgetown the day after Prohibition ended in 1933, and three generations of Martins have been welcoming guests -- including presidents-to-be John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson -- ever since.

The Quarry House Tavern
This basement hangout in Silver Spring has been luring customers down 13 steps since at least 1937, and possibly earlier.

(Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)
(Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)

The Tune Inn
Capitol Hill's favorite dive opened in 1947 and has been in the Nardelli family since 1955. It has survived a serious fire and changing times, and still serves beer with breakfast.

JV's Restaurant
"Ageless charm without yuppie bastardization" is the motto at JV's, which opened in 1947. Classic rock and country music are featured throughout the week, along with chili and cold beer.

Hank Dietle's Tavern
This building, erected in 1916, served as a general store and then Offutt's Tavern before Hank Dietle took over the homey, no-frills roadhouse in 1960. (Dietle died in 1985, but the name lives on.)

Fritz Hahn has written about 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. A product of Prince George's County public schools, Fritz majored in journalism at the University of Maryland and lives in the District.
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Michael O'Sullivan | July 26, 2013