Pelican Pete's looks every bit the ideal of an Eastern Shore seafood restaurant, down to the large plastic sport fish hanging on wood-paneled walls. Keno plays on televisions above the bar alongside "SportsCenter," baseball games and poker tournaments, and waitresses deliver crab dishes to the high-backed booths.
Drink prices are just as un-Washington: The dirt-cheap happy hour means $1.50 domestic drafts and $2.50 bottles and mixed drinks from 4 to 7, plus discounted appetizers. On Sundays and Wednesdays, karaoke fills the air.
On weekends, though, Pelican Pete's looks more spring break than beach week, slammed with younger 20-somethings dancing, gossiping, practicing pickup lines and showing off their new Hollister polos and Abercrombie skirts. The bartenders are run ragged by crowds shouting for Miller Lite bottles, mini pitchers of Budweiser and shooters, and the long bar area is packed three deep. Why? Draft beers are $2.25 and mixed drinks are about a buck more.
The noise and energy (and the drink prices) remind me of my days bar-hopping in College Park. If you don't want to relive your college years -- or if you're older than, say, 27 -- you might want to skip this one or come during the week when the pace is slower. On the other hand, that's missing the point.
--Fritz Hahn (August 3, 2007)