At Liberty, You're Free To Be a Grown-Up
Happy hour at the pubs and bars along Wilson Boulevard has an overwhelming sameness to it: cheap beers, loud music, ESPN News on televisions, young guys in baseball caps. One place stands out, though: Liberty Tavern (3195 Wilson Blvd.; 703-465-9360). It could be the old-fashioned look of the place -- dark wood, Arts and Crafts-style fixtures and a long communal table parallel to the bar -- but Liberty Tavern feels like a respite for grown-ups.
From 4 to 7 on weekdays, it offers one of the best deals in Arlington: Every draft -- including Brooklyn Lager, Bell's Brown Ale, Dogfish Head's 60 Minute IPA and Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen -- is $3 a pint. Wines by the glass are half-price, so you won't spend more than $4 or $5 for a Matua sauvignon blanc from New Zealand, a Laurent Miquel Chardonnay from Languedoc, France, or Graham Beck's Gamekeeper's Reserve cabernet sauvignon from South Africa.
The Industrial margarita, large and tart, is just $5, but I prefer the Masonic. An updated whiskey smash, a mix of Bulleit Bourbon and lemon juice, muddled with a generous handful of mint leaves, evokes a cross between a julep and a whiskey sour. Even at its regular price of $8, it's a great way to say goodbye to another workday.
-- Fritz Hahn