Many upscale places have popped up on U Street recently, but Stetson's is still the laid-back neighborhood hangout it was in the early '80s. Its decor reflects the Tex-Mex craze of that decade, too: Pinatas dangle from the clay-tile ceiling and neon lights cast a reddish glow over the stuccoed walls. It's a good spot to fill up on a burger or bowl of chili, and it has a decent selection of draft beer ranging from local and regional microbrews to eclectic imports and the requisite Budweiser.
The music is limited to a decent selection on the juke box (from the Rolling Stones to Spin Doctors and Frank Sinatra). Upstairs there are two pool tables mixed among an eclectic poster collection of movies and British rock stars. The outdoor patio in back offers no view to speak of, but it's a good gathering spot when the Washington summer has set in.
Stetson's is like a comfortable hat: It might not be the best choice for a first date or to impress your parents, but it's just fine for knocking around in and keeping the rain off your head.
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