The Scene: Reopened with a brighter, fresher look after a devastating August 2005 fire, Capitol Lounge is one of the Hill's hottest happy hour hangouts. There are two large barrooms covered with political memorabilia (posters range from "Nixon's the One" to "Marion Barry: Making A Great City Even Greater"), televisions and plenty of seating. Downstairs, a clubby lounge is decorated like a post-modern Shriners meeting hall, complete with leather armchairs and its own bar. It adjoins a bare-bones billiards room with a couple of tables.
In Your Glass: There's no Miller Lite, thanks to a dispute between the managers and the local distributor. Instead, you can grab a cheap pint of the house beer, Capitol Amber, which is brewed by Old Dominion and costs $2.50 at happy hour.
Need to Know: If you can't stand khaki-clad staffers talking politics and showing off their laminated passes, you might want to move on down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Nice to Know: Check out the growing collection of foreign soccer scarves behind the bar. This is a good place to come when you want to watch the sport the rest of the world calls football.
Price Points: Justifiably famous for cut-price food, the Lounge offers nightly specials like 10-cent wings (Tuesdays) or half-price pizza (Monday), in addition to the $2.50 beer and $3.50 rail drinks at happy hour.
-- Fritz Hahn (August 2006)