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Got Plans?

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The Going Out Gurus
of the washingtonpost.com City Guide
Thursday, June 12, 2008; 1:00 PM

Every Thursday at 1 p.m. ET, washingtonpost.com's City Guide experts share their best bets for local flavor, great dates and family fun. Got plans? Great. Need plans? Just ask. We have the skinny on the bars and clubs, concerts, kitchens, theaters and special events that keep life interesting. We're going out gurus, and we're at your service.

Of course, we're happy to answer questions about local entertainment, but we need to hear from you, too. Introduce us to the coolest DJ or the fastest bartender you've encountered. Sound off on the week's best concert or the city's best burger. Tell us about the best place to amuse little kids or a big art fan. Together we can plan fun ways to spend weekdays, weekends, dates and holidays. The pleasure is ours, and yours.

Each week a different guru will act as host or hostess, but the entire staff is at your service. If you're looking for more ideas, see the City Guide or read transcripts of past Got Plans? discussions.

The transcript follows:

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washingtonpost.com: Hello, everyone, to [we hope] the post-heatwave edition of Got Plans. It's a busy weekend, between the end of Artomatic, the Pride festival and the tall ships on the Alexandria waterfront. What are you going to be up to, now that the heat index is under 100? I'm Fritz, along with Rhome, David, Anne, Jen and Janet. Julia is off "gettin' hitched." On with the show...

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washingtonpost.com: P.S.: Deutschland vor!

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Washington, D.C.: I was tasked with getting my mom's suede purse cleaned. All of the dry cleaners I have asked say they do suede garments, but not purses. Do you guys know of a place that can help me?

Janet: Ask the folks at Fortuna on Woodmont Ave. in Bethesda if they can handle cleaning a suede purse.

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Dark, Stormy: Regarding last weeks Dark n' Stormy discussion, I'm surprised noone brought it up but if you're a purist then you need to use Barritt's Ginger Beer (which is made in Bermuda) if you want the real deal. Using that as the standard, I find most other ginger beers I've tried to be too strong, too weak, or too sweet by comparison. Unfortunately, it can be pretty hard to find in stores around here, but I know the bar at Legal Seafoods in Crystal City used to use it for their Dark n' Stormy's.

Fritz: I'm going to come out and say I had NO IDEA you could get Barritt's around here. I never thought I'd say this, but ... man, I have to go to Legal Seafoods.

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Rockville, Md.: Happy Thursday, gurus! Hopefully this is specific/different enough from the tedious bachelorette questions to get an answer!

8-10 ladies, 25-35, bachelorette party. Have all of the evening planned but nailing down dancing spots because the bride is a groover to hip-hop/top-40-with-heavy-dance-beats. In our younger (hah, 5 years ago) days we went to VIP and sometimes Platinum. Current plans are Ultrabar and Avenue if we're in Chinatown (the base of operations) or Cafe Citron and MCCXXIII in Dupont area. What are your thoughts on these options for this kind of group, and given that it might rain and we want to not walk around like drowned rats all night? Anywhere else we shouldn't miss? Thanks!

Fritz: I'd stick with Ultrabar and Avenue. Ultrabar can be pretty smooth to get into if you have reservations/get on the list at Ultrabardc.com, and ladies are often free all night. Avenue would be a good idea if it's a Saturday and DJ Geometrix is ripping up the party jams.

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17th Street: Ticketmaster emailed me yesterday saying the Coldplay concert on July 2 had been rescheduled to Aug. 3. Any idea why?

David: "Production delays," whatever that means. Maybe it has something to do with their magic balls not being ready. Refunds are available to those that can't make the rescheduled date.

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Washington, D.C.: Hello Gurus,

First time writing....thanks for all your advice over the past few years. I need help decorating and furnishing my studio apartment! You had previously recommended Condo Cool but I have e-mailed the owner with no response and the phone number listed on the site is out of service. Do you have any other suggestions, preferably someone who can work with a small budget? Thanks.

Janet: I just tried to get in touch with the design department at Vastu in the U Street Corridor. They do provide design services; I'm just not sure of what size budgets they work with. Still, worth a call.

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Arlington, Va.: Hi gurus! Love the chat, havent been able to read as much with my new job but...

please please please, I need your help. Where can I watch the Euro Cup 2008 Spain v Sweden game on Saturday with other Spain supporters? I'm looking for anywhere in Arlington or DC. Thanks so much!

Fritz: If it was a weekday, I might say Skye Lounge, given its location relative to the Spanish Embassy (and that I met some Spanish embassy workers there), but on a weekend, I'm drawing a blank, outside of offering the general crowds at Summers and Lucky Bar.

Any Spanish supporters know where to find Cesc and DavidVilla on Saturday? (Anywhere but the House of Sweden, I'll bet.)

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Washington, D.C.: Hey Gurus,

Had to complain to someone. A week ago Saturday evening we went to Poste for drinks on the patio -- back before it was 110 degrees -- and found that they had no table service. You should've seen people trying to totter out to their tables with their overpriced martinis slopping everywhere. At the same time, Poste managed to mobilize three staff members to regularly come out to tell people (easily a third of the patrons) who were smoking that they had to go off property.

Are hall monitors cheaper than wait staff these days?

Fritz: I was there last week and they weren't doing table service for most of the patio -- there was a satellite bar for wine and beer set up in the courtyard, but you can get a waitress if you set on the terraced part close to the doors. (I had to ask, too -- I do it so you don't have to.)

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Arlington, Va.: Okay, so this isn't obviously a "going out" question, but since you have advice on hair and shoes, how about watches? I have my grandfather's old Movado automatic watch, and it's not working well right now. I called one place that will send it out for service, but suggested that I was looking at around $500 to get it fixed. I mean, I like the watch and everything, but damn. Do any of you have experience in this field? Places to go that might not cost a week's pay? Thanks.

Janet: My first suggestion would be to take it to a Movado store -- there are ones in Pentagon City and in Tysons Corner. Then, if that doesn't work, Swiss Watch Works in Georgetown does very good work on older or antique watches.

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Capitol Hill: Hi Gurus! I was just wondering if you have attended Soul**** at the Black Cat? My friends and we have plans to go, just curious on what to expect... Crowded? Lots of people dancing? laid back? dress?

Thank you for your insight!

David: The Soul**** is a mighty fine time. Lots of good old soul and funk, even if it tends to be less obscure these days than it has been in the past. More Jackson 5, less Bill Moss. Yes, people actually dance and it's crowded but not uncomfortably so. It's always on the same night as Mousetrap upstairs so people can come down and switch things up if they are so inclined, since it's free. Yes, laid back and casual. Lots of girls in dresses recently. I guess it's summer.

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Red Neck, USA: I'm a Midwestern girl living in the big city and lately I've been missing my roots. My friends have promised to go with me if I can find a good country western bar in the area. Any suggestions? (preferably not terribly far out as transportation may be an issue)

Fritz: If Julia was here, she'd steer y'all to Nick's in Alexandria for linedancing and live country music Thu-Sat. Tell them there's no cover for women on Thursdays and you're taking them out.

When I want to hear some good western swing, I generally make for JV's in Falls Church. 60 years old, still the least pretentious roadhouse around.

Oh, and since we're talking country, I want to put in a plug for my favorite former D.C. alt-country band, Last Train Home, who're visiting Iota Fri-Sun. One of the finest shows of the weekend, regardless of genre.

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Washington, D.C.: Re: Sitting on Poste's terrace... That's where we were! Right by the really-hard-to-open-with-a-drink door! Maybe one needs to be a guru to get a little help.

Fritz: Actually, I was sitting down at the bottom, on one of those really nice chaise lounge-ish sectionals, without service. (Was only drinking the I-can't-believe-this-is-$7-a-bottle Oberon.) Found out about table service for martinis afterward, and besides, I was undercover...

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Carlsburg on tap?: Gurus- I know this is a long shot as its hard enough to find Carlsburg in bottles in DC-- but is there anywhere in the region that has it on tap? Thanks!

Fritz: I'll start with Bedrock Billiards and raise you the Big Hunt.

Chatters?

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Hey Fritz, D.C.:: It looks like Germany learned to play defense from DC United!

Fritz: More like Italy.

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U St. Corridor, Washington, D.C.: You can find Barritt's Ginger Beer at Ace Beverages, too. I picked up a six-pack last Saturday afternoon... so I suppose I could say my home bar offers it as well.

Fritz: Is there any mixer Ace doesn't carry? I'll have to pick some up this weekend.

Thanks, U Street.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey, where can I go around here for some gourmet RAW eats? So far I've found one place in Takoma and that's it! -Raw Foodist

Anne: Java Green has some raw foods on the menu. I think Chop't has a lot of options, and you can find it a lot of places. Who can offer up some other ideas? And tell us, where do you go in Takoma?

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Arlington: Any word on when Nando's is opening over by the Verizon Center? A friend of mine who worked in London for six months won't stop talking about their chicken.

Fritz: I am dying for this as well. (I have Nando's peri-peri sauces in my kitchen at home.)

The South African-based Portuguese-style chicken restaurant (trust me, it works) will be open in early July, hopefully the first week.

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Washington, D.C.: I remember a previous chat where it was mentioned you could get Carlsberg on tap at the Elephant and Castle, correct?

Fritz: Ah, yes. Haven't been there in a minute, though, but I think you're right.

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Silver Spring, Md.: I saw Carlsburg on tap at Quarry House a couple of days ago.

Fritz: And another idea...

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Pick me! Pick me!: Hello gurus, I could really use your help. My husband and I will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary later this month. We'd like to do a small weekend get-away in a few weeks; somewhere local. My thoughts are either wineries-and-hiking trails in Shenandoah, or small Eastern Shore towns. Can you suggest anything for a great, inexpensive getaway?

One more thing. I would love to get my hard-working husband a gift certificate for a massage, but I'm not sure where. I would love a place that is not too intimidating for a guy who's never been anywhere...umm...spa-like before. Thanks so much!

Jen: I think Shenandoah would be ideal. You might even be able to rent a cute little cabin for the weekend, assuming they're not all booked. Do some searching for Shenandoah rentals and see what you find.

If you're willing to travel a little farther, Charlottesville or Williamsburg might be nice options, too.

Re: the spa, I'll let Janet field that one.

Janet: A couple of options when it comes to men's massages. The Serenity Spa in Tenleytown offers them, as does the Aveda in Georgetown. Both have their share of male customers, so it shouldn't be too intimidating. Another choice would be the Grooming Lounge.

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Bocce - Washington, D.C.: Gurus,

I was looking at one of your chats back on May 22nd and Fritz mentioned trying to sign up for the DC Bocce League and it being full. I'm one of the organizers of the league and we'd love to have you all play if you're still interested. Feel free to email us at mail@dcbocce.com. Our summer season actually opens for registration this coming Monday.

John

DC Bocce League

Fritz: My summer bocce schedule is taken care of, but I'll post this for anyone else who's interested in joining.

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Wheaton, Md.: Every year I eagerly await the Post's Weekend pull out music section. Did I miss it this year? I was at the beach on May 30. I did see a similar section in today's Montgomery Extra - is this replacing the usual Weekend insert? I'm putting all of the performances into a database, so I can search by type of music or venue, so I don't miss anything I want to see. Free outdoor concerts and movies - aren't they the best?

David: Yup, you missed it while you were at the beach. Everything in there is in our Summer Concert Guide. Weekend did things a little differently this year, there isn't the usual long list of free shows and whatnot, it instead focuses on the best shows in each different genre. Here's a list of (mostly) free, outdoor summer shows in the area, a list that we are updating constantly.

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Where To Go Solo (But Not Leave that Way): I'm new in town and am finding that D.C. social circles run pretty tight. It's been hard to wedge myself into office happy hours and other people's weekend plans. Even when you see someone alone, they're usually glued to their Blackberry.

I'm a 30+ year old woman who enjoys art, music and theater. Where can I go that I can meet new people and start forming new friendships?

If it helps, I'm living in Arlington, working in downtown DC.

- The New Girl

Rhome: There's no substitution for speaking up and the only types of activities specifically geared to connecting folks are singles/matchmaking/speed dating type events, and that doesn't seem to be what you're looking for. Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there to get results. This is a frequent question that we try to spin fresh responses for but one chatter wrote in once with a simple recipe:

1. Go out and do stuff
2. Identify someone interesting
3. Talk to them

Your interests are some of the best ones for ice breaking because you've already got something in common just by being at a play, show or gallery. And creative things make for good conversation starters.

Have you been to Artomatic yet?

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Foggy Bottom: Hey GOGs! I was visiting Paris this past winter, and I fell in love with it. Is there anywhere in DC where I can relive some of the French culture, the people, and the cuisine.. somewhere I can feel like I'm back in Paris? I know about Bistro Francais and all the other Americanized French restaurants in DC, but I'm looking for a great place where I can get a classic croque monsieur and maybe chat with a few ex-pats. Thanks GOG's!

Fritz: Couple suggestions for you: I've met more French people in D.C. hanging out at the bar at Bistrot du Coin than anywhere else -- and read more copies of L'Equipe, too. There are a lot of Americans and tourists at the zinc during the dinner rush Thu-Sat, but if you go later, or at happy hour during the week, you'll be able to practice your French.

You should also check out the events at the Alliance Francaise, which throws happy hours, wine tastings, concerts and other events. They're co-sponsoring a party at Tabaq this weekend with DJ Herve, who spins French house and gets a really solid international crowd.

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Arlington, Va.: Are you allowed to watch the fireworks from the Air Force memorial? If not, then where in the South Arlington area would you recommend for viewing? Thanks in advance for your help!

Anne: Yep, you sure can watch from the Air Force Memorial, a great viewing spot. The hillside will all be open, and the Air Force Band plays at 8 p.m., as they do every Wednesday and Friday during the summer. You could Metro to Pentagon City and walk (it's about half a mile) or park at the mall or the Navy annex lot across the street. Just expect a few thousand of your neighbors to join you.

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Watch repair: I have used both these, and they are both good, but I prefer Dietzel. Call because both have odd hours.

Dietzel Watch & Clock Repair

622 N Washington St

Alexandria, VA

Phone: 703-549-4499

Vintage Time

110 N St Asaph St

Alexandria, VA

Phone: 703-549-8045

Janet: More suggestions for the owner of his grandfather's watch, which needs repair.

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Fresh Carib: Carib is the kind of beer I want on these hot days.

I've bought it at total and whole foods and both were skunky, like bong water mixed with skunk squirt.

Is there a place that might have some that is a bit fresher?

And Presidente is hard to find in this area too. Grr.

Fritz: Dunno about Carib, but I see Presidente a LOT of places in D.C., from my corner store to larger beer-centric liquor stores. (YES, THANK YOU, LUKAS PODOLSKI)

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To the chatter looking for an anniversary weekend get-away: Definitely go to Berkeley Springs, WV. It's only 2.5 hours drive from D.C., and it is a spa town, can get a fantastic massage. Also good restaurants and cutesy shopping, if you are into that. Very relaxing!

Jen: Good suggestion, thanks!

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washingtonpost.com: And please, to the perv who keeps sending me all of those strange messages every week. Please stop it. You're not funny and you're freaking me out. I know you're not supposed to feed trolls on the internet but I had to address the very small possibility that this person might assume we find it amusing. It's not cool.

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Shirlington: Gurus,

I'm organizing a group of friends to take part in a charity walk next weekend along the Tidal Basin, and afterwards on Saturday, I want to go out for a happy hour of sorts. Are there any suitable bars even remotely close by (20 min walk or so) that you'd recommend?

Thanks!

Fritz: Walk down Maine Avenue to the Washington Channel and dock at Cantina Marina, a lovely little bar that's right over the water.

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re: Raw in Takoma: Senbeb Cafe is about 3/4 miles from the Metro. It's small and as close to a raw "dive" as you can get. There's few menu options, but they change every day depending on what the chef has to work with... but it's affordable, tasty, and most importantly still has enzymes.

Anne: Enzymes. Good to know. (So much to learn about raw food.) I'll have to check it out.

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For Pick Me, Pick Me: You might want to try Five Gables Inn & Spa (St. Michael's Island). We spent our 11th anniversary there three years ago. My husband (construction worker, totally non spa kind of guy) loved the massage he got there.

Jen: Oh, I have always been intrigued by that place. Looks very nice. Not sure if it fits under the heading "inexpensive," but certainly worth a look.

Thanks for the recommendation.

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Summery Beer: Fritz, what's your favorite beer for the summer that I can find at my local grocery store or at Total Wine?

Fritz: Well, since this is a GOING OUT chat, I'll suggest Gaffel Kolsch, which I had on Breadsoda's patio recently, the citrusy Bell's Oberson, which can can be found on the Reef's rooftop, Galaxy Hut's awesome little alley/patio and in the courtyard at Poste, and whatever hefeweizen is available on the patio of Cafe Berlin.

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Ben Folds: When, where, HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

David: Um, a few weeks ago at Wolf Trap? Sorry. Maybe you can find an online broadcast of his set on Saturday at Bonnaroo.

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Designated Driver Woes: I am designated drive a lot and thus don't drink when we go out. What is the deal with bars charging me for club soda? I now have to ask before I order if they charge for club soda.

If I'm out for several hours, I can put away some water. I don't want to run up a tab for water. Thats rediculous.

I've been to some bars where the bar tender thanks me for being the driver and offers me any non alcoholic drink I want and free refills.

Hotel Washington charged me six bucks once for a club soda. Glad they are gone.

Fritz: Note to all bars and restaurants: Charging a designated driver for a glass of club soda, tonic and lime, whatever, is stupid. Okay, I can understand Coke. People are used to paying for soda at McDonald's. But for fizzy water? For someone's who's doing a good deed by being the designated driver and allowing people to drink MORE at your establishment?

That's just wrong.

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Soccer question: Fritz (or anyone else who might know!) any idea where I can watch Euro games with other Portgual fans? There don't seem to be many of us around these parts, but I'm hoping I'm wrong since I'm pretty new to the area. Thanks!

Fritz: Last World Cup, I went out to Espresso in Manassas, which is a hotbed of Portuguese support. Waving flags, cheering, the works. I'd give them a call.

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Gtown: Thievery Corporation at Merriweather on the 28th. Woo hoo. Oh wait, that's not a question...

David: Not just Thievery, but Thievery with Seu Jorge. And opening acts TV on the Radio, Ladytron, Turntables on the Hudson and Federico Aubele. Should be a very good one, but Mission of Burma at the Black Cat on the same night will get my patronage.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey GoGs! I know some people try to sneak events into this chat rather than just ask questions, and I swear I'm not trying to do that. I really was looking for how to submit an event to Fritz' Nightlife Agenda column. But I couldn't find a link or email address anywhere! The event at issue is called RIPPLE: Art Affecting Oceans, which is on for Friday, June 20 (International Surfing Day!) at Art Whino Gallery, National Harbor. It's a pre-viewing of Erik Abel and friends' ocean-themed art (before the public opening on Sat June 21) and is a benefit for the DC Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. I'll spare you the details, but we are really excited about it.

Fritz: If you have events you want to share for Nightlife Agenda -- and this sounds rad -- the easiest way to get them to us is nightlife [at] washingtonpost [dot] com.

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D.C. Spas: Looking for a zen-like spa experience to renew this new mom's muscles. I've done the red door thing, and that's fine, and while the spa at the Mandarin Oriental looks like what I'm looking for, it's just too expensive. Can be anywhere in the area, and am not opposed to spending the day somewhere calm (like Landsdowne, but have no idea if that's worth it). Ideas?

Janet: The spa at Landsdowne has a good reputation, and spending the day there can't help but be relaxing. Sounds as if you may need need a break from your routine.

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Post Artomatic cocktails ??: Any suggestions for a place to stop in after checking out Artomatic this weekend? We have a group of mixed aged folks (30s - 60s) and would like somewhere not too too croweded or crazy loud.

Fritz: There's really nothing right around Artomatic. I'd hop on the Metro and go down one stop to Union Station, where you can choose from Capitol City Brewing Company, the patio at Cafe Berlin, Union Pub, the swank bar at Bistro Bis, etc. Union'll be the loudest of all those, but I like the outdoor seating.

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Carib: If you're willing to drink your Carib in a restaurant, the Islander has some on U. As well as an amazing goat curry (don't knock it until you try it).

Fritz: I love the goat curry at Islander. Stopped in there the other night for a dark and stormy and was regretting my decision to have eaten earlier.

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Suspicious, D.C.:: What is the Guru's take on restaurants submitting fake reviews under the guise of ordinary patrons on the WaPo website and other local blog sites in order to propogate favorable hype for their business?

There seems to be rampant speculation about a certain unnamed Penn Quarter chocolate lounge's overly favorable reviews appearing on some of your posts and elsewhere on the web.

Is this commonplace?

Rhome: The internets are pretty anarchic. Fake reviews happen. The longer you're in this game the better you get at spotting them.

How is it any different from the hidden identity slander that goes on in the comments sections of any blog with a reasonably active readership? Or messageboards? And do you read the comments of articles on news sites (especially this one)? Madness.

Wherever folks can be shady with little consequence, they definitely will be shady.

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Washington, D.C.: For the moderator: 2-1 Croatia. Final. Lots of yellow cards and a red (on Germany #7) in the final minutes.

Fritz: [no comment]

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Mister Days - Clarendon: Hey GoG -

I'm hosting a happy hour in Clarendon tonight to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through Team in Training. It's at Mister Days 5pm-9pm.

Silent Auction - bid on a Gary Williams signed basketball! Gift certificates to restaurants, Pair of running shoes from Pacers too!

$5 suggested donation at the door.

Thanks!

Fritz: Posting this for fellow Terps who like to help good causes...

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To new girl: Instead of waiting for office gang to invite you to join their happy hour, why not invite them? Say "since I'm new to town I thought I'd check ITBAR tonight; anyone want to come with me?"

Rhome: Sometimes it really is just that simple.

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Office on I Street: Um, Gurus? Am I insane or did you really leave out Fort Reno in the free summer music guide? It's back on you know.

David: Once they actually give us some dates and bands that are playing it will be in there, don't you worry. We'll probably do a blog update on it as well. Usually we're able to piece together some lineups before the official announcement based on MySpace research but that hasn't proven too fruitful this year.

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Arlington: Hi Gurus! Love the chat, but this is my first time with a question. I have Friday off work, but have to be back at work early on Saturday morning. Boyfriend and I were thinking of going to the Science Museum in Baltimore, for lack of a better plan. So...do you have any better ideas? I want to optimize my one fun day off. Thanks!

Anne: Congrats on the day off! Are you set on a Baltimore road trip? If so, I would want to go to American Visionary Art Museum and then go up to Hampden pre-Hon Fest and have lunch at Dogwood Deli. But it sounds like you are looking for a day of simple childhood pleasures and wonder. So then I think, berry picking? Waterpark?

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Virginia: Can you help? Bunch of 30 - 40 something moms looking for a bar to hang out in - drink and talk (maybe be loud). .but we're not looking for a place filled with 23-year-olds - not that there's anything wrong with 20-somethings. . in the Fairfax area is preferable . . thoughts?

Fritz: Hmmm. I know what you mean. How about Dogwood Tavern in Falls Church? Large, attractive outdoor area, nice bar, pretty casual.

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Downtown: Any idea where/if I can find the Brooklyn/Schneider Hopfenweisse? I had it in a bottle at Bilbo Baggins a few weeks ago and it was stellar - wondering if anyone else has it, preferably on tap, but bottle will do. Thanks!

Fritz: It's been on tap at both Rustico and Birreria Paradiso, but no idea if it's coming back on.

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Re: designated driver: I thought it was mandatory to give free nonalcoholic drinks to anyone who said they were the designated driver. I think that's ridiculous of the wait staff/bars/restaurants to charge them.

Rhome: Not trying to pile on, but I've gotten beat for fizzy water at bars for YEARS. Sometimes the bartenders are downright hostile if I'm not ordering alcohol.

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Eating alone?: Hello! I have two hours to waste by myself between work and a performance at the Kennedy Center. I wanted to treat myself to a yummy cocktail (something summery) and light meal somewhere a little nicer than where I would go with friends (recent college grads). Preferably a place where I wouldn't feel awkward sitting by myself at the bar and that won't be totally overrun during happy hour. Anywhere between Metro Center and Foggy Bottom would be great- I just don't want to have to backtrack on the Metro, thanks!

Fritz: My dates and I have always been very happy with small plates and glasses of wine at the very small back bar of Notti Bianchi -- affordable if you order appetizers -- or the busier, but still comfortable hotel bar at Circle Bistro, where happy hour includes reasonably priced cocktails and small bites from the kitchen.

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Arlington, Va.: Also, if you have a new person in your office - extend and invitation - "Hey - a bunch of us are going to the Old Ebbitt for drinks after to work - would you like to join us?" It can be hard to be the new person and take the initiative to break the ice.

Fritz: Very important to remember.

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Fizzy Water: If people remembered to tip the bartender for their free fizzy water and coke, they'd probably be more accomodating. I get the feeling few do.

I always tip at least a dollar anytime a bartender hands me a drink, even if the drink was free.

Fritz: Oh, I knew I forgot something. Yes, yes, yes. If the bartender gives you a glass of tonic or juice or something, PLEASE slip 'em a buck. Keeps them happy, keeps you happy.

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McLean, Va. and Dad's in town: My dad is coming into town this weekend and it looks like a chance of stormy weather on Saturday. Can you suggest indoor activities to keep my 2-year-old nephew and my 65-year-old dad happy?! Thanks!

Anne: Definitely, Become a Pilot Day at Udvar Hazy. I know, I'm being stereotypical thinking dads and boys are into machinery and planes, but this is your one time per year to sit in the cockpit of some major aircraft -- imagine your own flight of the Concord. And even though lots of people will be there, (especially right at the entrance) this "museum" is a giant giant airplane hanger. So despite crowds, there will eventually be room down on the floor for the 2-year-old to run around. If it's not stormy: Father's Day at the Friendship Firehouse in Alexandria.

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Designated Driver Woes contd. : On a side note, I was driving a bunch of drunks home form a retirement party. I got to the bar (in clarendon) a few hours after them, and knew it was going to be a long night with them. We stayed for about 6 more hours.

The bar was hot and I was thirsty. In order not to inconvience the waitress, I asked if she could just fill up a pitcher with club sodas so she wouldn't have to refill me all night.

She laughed at me and ended up bringing me several cups throughout the night.

I was charged for those refills btw.

Fritz: Wow. That's ... wow.

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Anonymous: The South African-based Portuguese-style chicken restaurant (trust me, it works) will be open in early July, hopefully the first week.

The best meal I ever had was chicken at a Portuguese restaurant in Tanzania. Seriously, best ever. And cheap!

Fritz: Soon, the rest of D.C. will understand -- if it's as good (and quick) as it is in London.

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Dupont Circle: Just wanted to throw a thanks your way. I submitted a question a few weeks back about a good vegetarian spot for my one-year anniversary and per your suggestion went to Restaurant Nora. It was absolutely delicious and well worth the money. Also, a couple of months ago got the idea to take my husband to Shenendoah Brewing from your chat and we went this weekend. Great time and great recommendation. Thanks, Gurus!

Anne: Hey, glad to hear it! I love Nora for making you feel special.

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Capitol Hill, D.C. : I just started work on Capital Hill, do you know of any good happy hour spots/deals around this area?

Fritz: Congrats on the new job. Let me introduce you to The Interns' Guide, which has all the details you need to know about happy hours, cheap food, etc.

P.S.: Capitol Hill. With an "o."

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Just curious: Do you guys know how many people are reading your chat? Just wondering how many of my cubemates are doing the same thing. Or is that info you don't usually give out (for some reason)?

Jen: Oh, I can tell how many of your cubemates are doing the same thing: All of them.

Well, except for that one dude who sits closest to the fax machine no one uses anymore. He's busy watching the red-band trailer for "The Pineapple Express." And frankly, I don't blame him.

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Washington, D.C.: Where do you dance in this city on a Friday night (not a full-on club) if you're a 29-year-old woman that would like to see some men above the age of 24???

Rhome: Lots of places.

ESL, Habana Village, Rock & Roll Hotel, Blue Gin...

The list could keep going but it would be better to narrow it dowm if you let us know what kind of music are you looking for.

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To the DD: I've found if your drinking friends add your non-boozy drink to their order, bartenders don't generally charge. If you're sidled up at the bar and appear to be alone, you get charged.

Not sure why. Just my experience.

Rhome: Makes sense.

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Columbia Heights, D.C.: Hi, gurus - I was hoping to ride my bike down to Hains Point on Saturday to swim in the pool. I was just wondering how the pool there rates. Also, as an adult who wants to lounge around and read a book while occasionally swimming, will I be overwhelmed by a million kids?

Is there a better pool in DC for an adult?

Fritz: If you want to swim, Haines Point -- technically East Potomac Pool -- is one of the best in the city, especially during the day. Fewer kids, so you can get some laps in. For socializing, bronzing and flirting with other 20-something adults, you can't beat Volta.

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Washington, D.C.: Kind of beside the point, but WHY aren't the drinkers paying for the designated drivers' drinks???

Fritz: Dunno. They should be.

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Cubicle, dc, re: Carib: I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Grenada, so can identify with a hankering for Carib beer. The Brickskeller's got it...

Rhome: Speaking of light lagers from the caribbean, has anyone seen Kalik around these parts?

I got a sixer once and can't remember where I bought it.

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Van Ness: Hi GOGs,

I have a friend in town and we want to have dinner and drinks and catch up. We don't want to spend a ton of money. I feel like I haven't branched out reccently. Of the newer restaurants on the scene, where would you suggest? Location doesn't matter. We would prefer to metro, but would drive to somewhere awesome.

Thanks!

Fritz: For a scene? Sticky Rice, followed by a beer at the Pug or a glass of wine or two at Sova.

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Meeting people: The 30+ woman looking to meet people not on BlackBerries should take a look at meetup.com and check out the activity groups on there.

Rhome: An effective strategy.

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Wingwoman Hades: Hi gurus,

Halp! I'm married (and haven't gone out in awhile), playing wingwoman at happy hour tomorrow for a gorgeous friend who any guy would be lucky to land. Where in D.C. or Arlington would you recommend for a social but not meatmarket atmosphere, early-30s age group? Is there a place where we might talk to some men, but not get looked up and down every time we move?

Fritz: Liberty Tavern, though it can be kind of the-group-you-came-with. Honestly, let's just say Clarendon Ballroom's roofdeck and be done with it. I saw people on both sides of 30 (and 25, and 35) when I was there two weeks ago.

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washingtonpost.com: Okay, gotta get back to work -- and root for Austria to draw with Poland. Enjoy the weather, have a good time this weekend. See you back here next Thursday.

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Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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