What's on Tap? Fun and Games.

By Fritz Hahn
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, February 15, 2008

Sitting in a bar shooting the breeze is a great way to spend a night, but sometimes you want to do something while you sip your beer.

How about bowling on a big screen, playing Jenga or proving that you know more about bad '80s hair metal than your drinking buddies?

Ready, Set, Wii

Pool, darts. Ho hum.

Instead, how about virtual tennis or golf to spice up a night at the bar?

It might not seem like a natural fit for a night on the town, but a growing number of bars are finding that the Nintendo Wii draws crowds to more than living rooms.

At Bedrock Billiards, the Wii (and the accompanying 60-inch flat-screen TV) completes the subterranean pool hall's transformation into Adams Morgan's unofficial neighborhood rec center; patrons can choose from pool, darts, shuffleboard and such classic board games as Battleship or Connect Four.

Nicole Reigle, a server at neighboring Cashion's Eat Place, stops in with co-workers after their shifts for a few games of bowling. She doesn't have a Wii at home, but some of Bedrock's customers do. A few even bring their own controllers, much like pool sharks who carry around their custom cues.

There's no waiting for the game in the Great Room at the Doubletree Hotel Bethesda, where a Wii sits in a nook near the wine bar. You can play as much as you want as long as you're 21 and buying drinks. Just take heed of the signs reminding you to use the controller's wrist strap when playing, lest it fly out of your hand and hit the TV.

Wii games merit their own projection screen at Laced, a monthly "video party" at Cue Bar that features VJs cutting up golden-age hip-hop and R&B videos (Run-D.M.C., Prince, Eric B. and Rakim) while the crowd dances, shoots pool and plays table tennis. The next edition is Thursday.

BEDROCK BILLIARDS 1841 Columbia Rd. NW. 202-667-7665. Wii costs $12 a couple, $16 for four or more players Sunday-Wednesday; $14 per couple, $20 for four or more Thursday-Saturday.

THE GREAT ROOM 8120 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda (inside the Doubletree Hotel Bethesda). 301-652-2000. Wii is free, but players must be patrons of the bar.

CUE BAR 1115 U St. NW. 202-332-7665.

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