Got Plans?: 30-Something Singles, Karaoke Bars, Dress Codes, Cocktail Happy Hours

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The Going Out Gurus
of The Washington Post's Going Out Guide
Thursday, August 27, 2009; 1:00 PM

On Thursday, Aug. 27, the Going Out Guide staff discussed destinations for 30-something singles, the area's best karaoke bars, restaurant dress codes and happy hour cocktails downtown.

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washingtonpost.com: Hey guys. It's that time again. Bosslady Anne is on vacation and Fritz is on some serious post-root canal medication, so things could get interesting around here today. Let's get to it...

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Free For All: Any idea how popular (crowded) this will be? The Shakespeare Web site says that you can pick up the tickets 2 hours before each performance, should I be sure to get there exactly 2 hours before or even earlier than that? Any guesses as to whether my better bet would be the noon show or evening show on Saturday, or should I let the buzz die down and wait a week or two? Thanks!

Stephanie: This weekend will be pretty crowded between opening weekend of the Free for All and the theater's family fun day on Saturday. If you want to avoid crowds, I'd probably wait a week.

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Washington, D.C.: I am sure tons of people are asking, but do you know anything about the Free Fest line up? It says doors at 11am, but what time will the show start? I don't want to miss Girl Talk or the National. Thanks!

David: The FreeFest lineup will be released tomorrow. Let's hope it goes a bit smoother than the extra tickets being put on sale. (Which just started, after a 3-hour delay, BTW. You can get them through ticketmaster.com and they are $10, with all money going to charity.)

I did an interview with Girl Talk yesterday and I can tell you that he'll be playing on the later side of the day.

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D.C.: Help! Two friends just broke up with their boyfriends of 5 and 8 years, are tired of their initial forays into online dating and looking for a place to mix and mingle with bachelors in their 30s. Somewhere semi-classy (no sign of the whale or rumors, please!) though no need to be swanky (not hunting for sugar daddies). Any suggestions where we can find a Friday or Saturday night refuge from wedding season?

Julia: I think the phrases "semi-classy" and "karaoke" are mutually exclusive. Haven't stumbled on too many of those classy karaoke joints around these parts.

That being said, Recessions is a blah bar but I have really enjoyed Friday karaoke nights there in the past. It's been a while since I've been, but as I recall, half of the people there were belting out amazing renditions of gospel and R&B songs. The other participants sang Hall & Oates and other throwback fun karaoke songs. It was a good supportive environment -- cheering and dancing.

I also love karaoke at Nick's, but you gotta be a little bit country.

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Skyline, Falls Church, Va.: Hi GOGs! Gotta tell you I love the blog & chats & all that you do! Though I know this is not a "going out" related question, I know I can trust you all to help me out. At my work we are going to be putting together a themed basket that we will auction off for charity. The theme is a Hot Air Balloon Ride & picnic. Obviously this will be no KFC picnic. My job is to help figure out what local businesses might a) Offer the types of products that one might expect to find in a nice picnic spread, and b) Be willing to donate their goods for charity. If you guys can help me out with this I will jump for joy and just in general be eternally grateful. :)

Julia: I'd talk with some local beloved businesses like Cheestique, Cowgirl Creamery, Grape + Bean, Griffin Market and maybe Cork Wine Bar (as the owners are about to open the new Cork Market). They'll have the gourmet-ish spread you're looking for.

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karaoke?: Where in her question did she ask for karaoke?

Julia: OMG, I accidentally answered the wrong question! My answer is for this one:

karaoke guy: Guru's, I need your help. I'm into karaoke, but was diasappointed by peyote cafe. I realize karaoke is in addition to drinking, but the crowd was boorish and did not compliment or clap for the singers. Is there a place with good drinks, possibly good grub and an appreciative karaoke crowd. Either in DC or the inner suburbs. Weekends especially nice, weekdays OK... I know I can't be the only one.

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Potomac, Md.: Do we know if the airplane/helicopter rides at the College Park Aviation Museum event are free with admission this Saturday?

Fritz: Sadly, they're not -- a plane ride will cost an extra $15 (on top of the $4 adult/$2 17-and-under admission), while helicopter rides are an extra $40.

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U Street: Despite reading every online review/description I can find, I cannot figure out what the heck the format of the Washington Improv Theater's "Neutrino" Video Project show is.

I know it involves filmed footage (I assume projected onto a screen in the performance space?) and live improv along with that footage? Do the actors go out and film during the show and get the footage live streamed into the show while other actors act? Is it filmed prior and then the actors use it in their improv?

I am trying to figure out what the format is to see if friends (who may not have seen much live improv before) would like it, or if it would be better to go to a more standard improv offering for their first time. And if it would be a good option for them I need to understand the format a bit better so I can pitch it to them. All the descriptions I have read seem so vague.

Thanks gurus!

Stephanie: It's definitely a little hard to explain, but basically the Neutrino Video Project consists of 3 teams who run out into the street and film scenes (based on audience suggestions). After each (around) two-minute scene is filmed, runners bring a steady stream of video clips back to the theater where they are edited together in front of the audience. I haven't caught the show yet, but WIT always puts on a great performance, so I'm sure it will be good.

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Rosslyn: Gurus, I'm thinking of checking out the Skyline Hotel's pool party on Sunday. I'm excited to try a Spike burger and also catch the 8:15 showing of Old School. What time would you suggest I show up if I want to do both? Do I come for lunch and turn into a prune swimming all day, or do I come later to catch the movie?

Fritz: Fresh-off-the-grill Spike Burgers are served (and included in the $10 cover charge) from noon to 4. I'd say show up maybe 2:30-3ish, chill out for a while, then catch the movie. (You could, of course, leave and come back once you've got your Spike Sundays wristband, but come on -- you'll be lying by a pool. Bring a book and relax.)

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D.C.: Help! Two friends just broke up with their boyfriends of 5 and 8 years, are tired of their initial forays into online dating and looking for a place to mix and mingle with bachelors in their 30s. Somewhere semi-classy (no sign of the whale or rumors, please!) though no need to be swanky (not hunting for sugar daddies). Any suggestions where we can find a Friday or Saturday night refuge from wedding season?

Julia: So, since I botched this one before... let me take it again.

Public Bar seemed to have a nice mixed-aged crowd when I was there recently, but it may be a little less swanky than you're looking for. I'd try the lounge route -- ESL comes to mind. Chatters any other ideas?

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Karaoke Fans: I'd also suggest Playbill on 14th Street for their Karaoke on Mondays and Thursdays. Always wonderful people who are supportive of each other and more than the same old songs over and over and over again.

Also, unlike Peyote, you don't have to tip $20 just to sing your song.

Julia: Awesomeness -- thanks!

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Clifton, Va.: Hot Air Balloon Ride and picnic basket for charity auction

For variety and a good chance they will do it contact Wegman's in Fairfax. Their fried chicken and cookies by the pound are worth committing treason for!

Julia: Another idea!

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Friday Night Happy Hour: Hi Gurus, I'm meeting my boyfriend downtown on Friday night for our long awaited restaurant week date. We'll be near Metro Center and we're looking for somewhere to have a cocktail before dinner. Any suggestions for great happy hour locations nearby?

Thanks!!!

Fritz: I prefer the discounted cocktails at Ceiba and Acadiana -- both have great cocktails (South American and New Orleans, respectively) for $5 until 6:30.

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Clarendon: Re: for the girl looking for "semi-classy" places to take her recently single friends to meet guys in their 30s:

Local 16, Marvin, Gibson, Cork, ESL, Eventide, Zaytinya are few that come to mind.

Julia: Excellent choices all. Zaytinya's bar doesn't strike me as the best place to mingle. And it's kind of hard to strike up conversations with strangers at Cork or the Gibson, but they're definitely classy spots.

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Washington, D.C.: Howdy, Gurus! La-love the chats! On to business: the SO and I are celebrating an anniversary in late October. I've searched the GOG site for romantic weekend getaways and there are great suggestions, but here's the thing: I don't hike. I don't antique, I don't love wineries, etc. All I really want is a lux room, a private hot tub, and a killer restaurant (or one close by). Other romantic cliches would be fun ("massages side by side in your room! rose petals!") but not necessary. Are there hotels (or even B&Bs? historic houses?) that fit the bill? Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks, gurus!

Stephanie: How much are you willing to spend? If you're looking for something pretty luxe, then I'd say head to Nemacolin Resort in Pennsylvania. The rooms are amazing, they have every kind of spa treatment imaginable and the food is delish. And if you or your SO is into golf, then it's a great destination for that as well.

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D.C. follow-up : Hi GoGs -

I'm super excited that you took my question and hate to be ungrateful...but I really dislike Karaoke. Any suggestions for a quieter venue for mingling with other singles? I was thinking more along the lines of a Local 16, but we're looking to branch out.

Julia: Sorry -- I screwed up! I answered you above!

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13th St. S.E.: Going to Bombay Club for RR tomorrow, do you know if they require coats for gentlemen?? Thanks.

Fritz: Well, a true gentleman -- you know, a member of the landed gentry, or a man of independent means who doesn't have to work for a living (cf. Merriam-Webster) -- always dresses for dinner.

I've been to Bombay Club a couple of times, and always dress for it -- maybe not a jacket every time, but at least nice shirt and slacks. No jeans or khakis.

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Arlington, Va.: This might be a question better suited for Tom, but thought I would get your opinion. My in-laws are visiting us this weekend and we are looking for a nice place for brunch on Sunday in the Arlington/Falls Church/Tyson's Area. Any suggestions or personal favorites? Thanks!

Julia: What about Tallula?

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Hotel Helix: I've got a friend coming to town and staying at Hotel Helix. What's the bar scene like there? Worth meeting her there for a drink or should I direct her to somewhere in Logan or Dupont Circle?

Fritz: Helix was the quintessential "We wish we were on 'Sex in the City'" bar when it opened, and it still draws a crowd of women who like sweet flavored martinis, a good share of men from the neighborhood, and people who love the very cool patio. The mod, mainly-white bar attracts a mix of gay and straight customers, especially around happy hour and on Friday nights.

I'd say it's worth a pitstop for one drink, especially if the weather's fine and you can sit and sip outside. Then you could move up 14th Street towards Cork or Bar Pilar.

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Karaoke: How about Flying Fish? Or Rock It Grille? Both fun and not skeezy.

Julia: Never been to either -- thanks for the tip!

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Falls Church, Va.: I just finished a really busy time at work. This weekend I want to stay near home and relax. Do you know of any fun games or other ideas that I could do with my roommate? I wanted to grill but the weather doesn't look great so indoor activities are preferred. Thanks!

David: Um ... Paper football? Hungry Hungry Hippos? Christopher Walken impression contest? Spin the bottle?

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Picnic basket!: I just got some lover-ly burrata at La Fromagerie on King Street in Alexandria. They have great stuff and are really nice people. There are also a couple wine and coffee stores in Old Town, one on S Royal I think (blanking on name) that has wonderful wine, coffees, cheeses, breads, and then Brabo's store on upper King.

Julia: The S. Royal place is Grape + Bean -- so cute! Brabo's market is definitely a great idea.

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Washington, D.C.: I'm planning a happy hour for co-workers next Thursday with limited funds from the company. Where can I go in the Farragut/Dupont area to get the most bang for our buck?

Fritz: I just wrote about Midtown Loft, and let's run through the specials again: Free beer -- seriously, free beer -- from 5 to 6, discounted drinks until 8, plus free pool, free shuffleboard, free foosball, free Megatouch screens with adult photohunt and poker games. (You might not want to play those in front of the boss.) The buckets of five beers for $20 won't break the company budget, will they?

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RE: Washingtond D.C. anniversary: I suggest the Hotel Monaco Alexandria (Loft Suite) and dinner at Restaurant Eve, Vermilion, or the Majestic for his anniversary romantic date.

Fritz: Oooh, the Monaco/Eve Tasting Room combination would win me over, especially if there were after-dinner drinks at PX.

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Columbia Heights Day: I love Chatday too!

I am planning on checking out Columbia Heights Day and the all day happy hour at Wonderland (the best bar in the city in my opinion) but I have never been there for HH before so I don't know what the specials are! Can you fill me in...

Thanks! Will any of you gurus also be at CHD??

Julia: It's usually $2 off drafts and $4 rail drinks -- pretty sure that's what they're doing Saturday. I will most definitely be stopping by CHD. I'm a neighbor.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi Gurus, love the chats! I don't have a "going out" question per se, but am hoping that you (or the readers!) can help me all the same. I'm looking to take kick-boxing classes, more for exercise than butt-kicking. I'd prefer NOT to join a healthclub to do it. DC preferred, though could travel to a close-in burb, and, if I can be picky, I'd love a "girls rule!" type of atmosphere. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!

Stephanie: Well I know Julia and I would advocate for Washington Sports Club (since we like to compare the cheesy videos we've seen on the club's music channel), but if you're totally averse to that, then check out martial arts studios. I know there are a couple in Dupont and a couple along 14th street, but haven't personally been to any. Chatter, any recommendations?

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Follow up on Neutrino improv show: So is there any improv acting or is it just the video stuff??

Stephanie: The video clips are the actors outside Source doing improv. As far as I know, they just get one take for each scene.

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For Washington, DC who wants a romantic getaway: Definitely check out the Hotel Hershey in (duh!) Hershey, Pa. Fantastic spa, awesome restaurant on site, romantic setting. For gosh sakes you can have a chocolate fondue wrap in the spa!!

Stephanie: Thanks for the suggestion!

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For the single 30 something girls: Tallula (I think that's how it is spelled) in Arlington

roof of Clarendon Ballroom - while I was desperately searching for the gurus at their happy hour (never found you guys - you must have been inside) I spied a lot of cute guys that looked like they had their ---- together!

Bourbon in Adams Morgan

St. Ex and Bar Pilar on U

This may sound random - but go to Stoney's on P street. Lots of guys there - its very casual. If you sit at the bar with a friend you can usually find someone to strike up a convo with. This would probably also work at other chill type sports places but on a slow night, not when its packed (Bar Louie in Chinatown, Buffalo Billiards, etc.)

Julia: Hmm. As much as love Bourbon, I think Adams Morgan is a rough place to find guys who have their act together. St. Ex can also suffer from a bombardment of youngins on weekends. Love the Eat Bar (bar at Tallula) suggestion though. I was just there last night. Nice chill vibe.

Also, we were up on roof during happy hour! Rhome and David must been some of those cute guys you saw:)

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Leesburg, Va.: Where can one go swing dancing in a place that serves alcoholic beverages?

Fritz: Well, since swing dancers don't drink, the point is moot, right?

I kid -- sort of. Swing dancers get a bad rap because they're more worried about dancing than having a few cocktails, especially since that throws off your balance. So the bar doesn't make money on swing dancing nights, and then they're over. It's been that way for years and years.

You can try McGinty's in Silver Spring on Sunday nights, where there's a DJ from 8-10 (and no cover). Nick's in Alexandria on Tuesdays. Clarendon Ballroom on Tuesdays, though that's on hiatus until after Labor Day.

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H Street: A friend mentioned something about a new bar on H with great outdoor space. Little Whiskey's, maybe? I live a few blocks away and haven't seen it. Where is it exactly? What's it like?

Rhome: The outdoor porch at Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar is pretty ill, as in awesome. It's like a Victorian goth zen garden designed by Tim Burton. They put a ton of thought and effort into the entire decor. Management asks that you keep the volume down because they've made peace with their neighbors to allow them to keep the patio. The rest of the space shows the same attention to detail. The first floor being a standard bar and the upstairs being a dance club, all designed to look like Vincent Price chilling at a biker bar with Appolonia performing.

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Procrastinator in D.C.: Hi GOGS -- have some friends getting married next weekend that both enjoy cooking. They reside in Silver Spring. Can you recommend a cooking school that sells gift certificates? Thanks!

Julia: I believe L'Academie de Cuisine and CulinAerie both sell gift certificates.

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Burke, Va.: In your opinion, is H Street Country Club a good place to take a 9 year old , or is it really for Big kids

Fritz: If you go on family-friendly Tuesday nights, or on Saturdays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., the kids generally outnumber adults.

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Striking up conversations at Cork and elsewhere: Usually when people arrive at these spots they are in a small group especially the food spots. So there's not necessarily an opening for conversation. Still as someone who frequents Cork, I've gotten into conversations with strangers every time I've been there some of which have lead to really good friendships. This gets back to a previous controversial chat about relative friendliness. Just this past weekend, at Cork no less, a person I'd just met complained that it's hard to strike up conversations with women in D.C. And I certainly saw him get shot down during a perfectly polite and innocuous attempt to start a conversation. Nevertheless, his friend started a conversation with me and he and I started a conversation with a few others. So, my take was that if you're open to it conversations are possible. And if people blow you off for no apparent reason, it's not worth worrying about.

Julia: Thanks for this. Love it when conversations with strangers turn out on a happy note around here! Being open and friendly is a big part of the equation.

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Fort Dupont, D.C.: Is it worth trying to get to Fort Dupont this weekend for their activities? Could I walk there from the Benning Road metro station?

Fritz: It's about a mile from the station to the park, so it's definitely walkable. The U6 bus runs from Benning Road to Fort Dupont Park. (Cabs are, in my experience, pretty much non-existent.)

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Washington, D.C.: Just came back from Philly. It was a deep house/hip hop thing, I even ran in ?uestlove, the Roots frontman/Jimmy Fallon house band of late. Q: In D.C., is there a spot that would be for read hip-hop heads: read, no go-go (sorry)? I'm thinking more undergroundish or something like last weeks "Jump and Funk" at Liv nightclub, the thing with Rich Medina--even a one-time event this week at a club/lounge? Please help me get my fix locally. Thanks

Rhome: We Love Michael on Saturday, Black Light Special tomorrow, '95 Live tonight with Geometrix and every Thursday at Steve's Bar Room. And keep an eye out for the return of Uncle Q's Living Room on the 17th.

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Thank you!: Hi GOGs, I want thank Julia for a wonderful brunch suggestion from a few weeks ago. I went with some friends to Vermilion and we loved it!!! We all ordered different things and we were all pleased with our choices. I wouldn't have thought to go there, thanks for the great idea!

Julia: Hey there -- usually don't put ones like this through, but I wanted to say thank YOU for making my day!

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Midtown: I went to Midtown for happy hour last night. Cheap drinks and they let you bring food in! I enjoyed playing foosball and shuffle board for free. There wasn't much of a crowd there and the music was too loud at times. But I had a good time and would recommend it.

Fritz: I was in Midtown briefly last night, too. Good times, and very easy on the wallet.

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Washington, D.C.: Dear GOGs,

My wife and I just moved to dc from Philly. We live in the Dupont area and so far Dupont is a dud. Hopefully thing will pick up after labor day. We are looking for great people watching, small indy music venues, good but less traveled restaurants and great drinks. Any suggestions?

Patrick

Stephanie: Welcome to town. I personally love Dupont because I feel like there is always good people-watching, especially around the fountain in the summertime. But I also hear your need to find entertainment in a neighborhood without so many chains. The places around 14th and U are certainly growing in popularity, but you can still find good indy venues. For music, you could check out DC9 or the Black Cat. For an even less traveled destination, catch the bus to H Street NE. Head to the Red and the Black or Rock and Roll Hotel and explore the many great restaurants and bars in the neighborhood.

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Drinks in Dupont?: Going early next week to get drinks with an old friend and looking for somewhere sorta quiet where we can talk, but isn't cookie-cutter or expensive. Suggestions? Thank you!

Fritz: Science Club, the Tabard Inn's bar, Vidalia's happy hour (free wine!) and the bar at the Topaz Hotel would all be high on my list.

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Washington, D.C.: Hello GOGS, I apologize for being a bit clueless here but I have a question about dress codes in certain restaurants. What is the proper dress code for a place like Spezie or Obelisk or Tosca normally? I want to try some of these places out, but in August I'm a bit reluctant to put on a suit or a tie and jacket to eat out. Would a nice button down or polo shirt with docker pants and shoes be underdressed for these places? Thanks!

Fritz: If you're wearing a polo and khakis, you might feel out of place in all three of those restaurants. I'd say nice shirt and jacket, minimum.

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Arlington, Va.: OK, need ideas for an impending parental visit this weekend:

My boyfriend's parents are coming Labor Day weekend, and mine are coming THIS weekend (I know two parental visits a week apart!) and he has already planned events for his parents including a boat cruise and a day trip to Annapolis--and is constantly rubbing it in how he has planned the most fun weekend and I have done nothing to plan for my parents visit (except make great dinner reservations). I can't think of anything to do with them on Saturday! They have been to DC a few times, and I feel like we have exhausted the museum scene. They like sports, but DC United and the Nats are not in town. I need something GREAT that will trump my BF's supposedly "awesome" weekend for his parents. Thanks for your help!

Julia: The good news for you is that this weekend is AWESOME. Sure, they've done the museums, but have they done the Corcoran, which usually charges for admission? It's free for everyone on Saturday. There's also Poetry in the Park on Friday and Columbia Heights day and Shakespeare. Check out our top picks for weekend events here. You could also try a trip to parent-friendly Eastern Market or a picnic in Rock Creek Park.

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Alexandria, Va.: I'm looking for a good cover band in the Va./D.C. area that plays a mix of songs (old and new). It's fun to hang out at a bar, listen to live music, AND know the songs! Are there any out there? Any suggestions?

Fritz: Keep your eyes on the schedules at Clarendon Grill, Clarendon Ballroom, Tortoise and Hare or Ned Devine's, all of which are heavy on the cover bands. Kristen and the Noise, Burnt Sienna, Gonzo's Nose, Road Soda and Flip Like Wilson are among the better bands on the circuit.

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washingtonpost.com: To the person who returned from Philly and looking for a hip-hop head/Jump N Funk vibe, I forgot to throw The Main Ingredient in there. It stays crunk Monday after Monday, even through the steamy heat torture of August.

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Couple in Dupont: Check out Floriana's at 17th and Q for good restaurant, and if you're lucky Flo will be there herself...She's a Marlboro-chain smoking, F-bomb droping Italian who cried when her pitt bull died. Great entertainment with good food and drink. Some of the bar regulars can dominate the conversation, but still a good time.

Stephanie: Definitely more entertaining than sitting by the fountain...

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Washington, D.C.: I wanna ride a mechanical bull with 25 friends on a Saturday night at a club that doesn't play hip-hop.

Rhome: Don't know if they have a full hip-hop ban, but the Cadillac Ranch down on the National Harbor has the only mechanical bull 'round these parts.

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Sterling, Va.: hi Gurus! Have a friend visiting from out of town who is under 21. It's her last weekend here and for a last hurrah I'd love to take her out for some D.C. nightlife. What do you recommend given her age? thanks!

Fritz: The Michael Jackson birth dance party on Friday -- with a midnight recreation of the "Thriller" video -- should be a blast, and it's 18-and-over.

If she's into fashion, Panda Head Magazine's Friday night party has some of D.C.'s best local bands and DJs, and you could have dinner at Comet first.

And the Brightest Young Things Pool Party on Saturday is just all-around fun, with good crowds, poolside tanning, live music, DJs and a general crazy scene.

Chatters? More ideas?

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Re: Philly expats: I did that move, oh wow I'm old, 14 years ago. Philly is a huge city, around 3 times the size of DC with sprawling suburbs, so a direct comparison won't be fair. Still what I miss from Philly, like First Fridays where you have dozens of galleries in walking distance and hundreds (yup, hundreds) of people from every spectrum of society wandering in and out of the galleries, is made up for by a more international flair, much more beautiful and varied green space and accessible and relatively safe neighborhoods. From Dupont you can walk to U street where there are some pretty good music venues and a rebuilt night scene. Coming from Philly in the 90s I loved U street due to Polly's and State of the Union and although not on U, the Black Cat which is similar to the old Trocadero in Philly. So my suggestion is, walk around, cab it over to H street and you'll find stuff here that will take away some of the pain of leaving one of the great food cities in the U.S.

Stephanie: And some more advice for the new D.C. residents.

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Dress Codes: Quibble about the decline in dress sense if you will... but I think that about 99% of places in the area (even very expensive and highly regarded restaurants) are fine with slacks and a button down shirts nowadays. And I don't think any place (other than a stuffy steakhouse or 1789) would expect guys to walk in wearing a suit or sport coat in August.

Just a thought - though as a rule, I never think people are over dressed.

Fritz: I agree with you. I generally don't wear suits out to dinner, and think that a button-down, slacks and nice shoes will get you in almost anywhere, but at some places, like Bombay Club, 99 percent of the men in there are wearing suits, unless they're tourists. And you don't want to be that guy.

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Finding "good guys"/Re: guys dont have their act together in Adams Morgan: Repying to Julia's thought that Bourbon wouldnt have guys with their act together being that Bourbon is part of the Adams Morgan strip and all of its craziness.

Let me get something off my chest. I think you can meet cool people anywhere - and to write off a certain area b/c of what its known for (Adams Morgan = too crazy therefore its a bad place to meet guys with their act together) is just wrong! And also to obsess about where to go to meet guys is sort of silly too. Think about it - you may not consider yourself to be a crazy partier but you have gone to some of those Adams Morgan bars before. So inevitabley there are guys who are there who shouldnt be defined soley by the fact that they are there and may be really awesome and well rounded.

What us ladies need to do is hone our scoping skills so we can pick out the good ones anywhere. Go wherever you are gonna go be it Adams Morgan, U Street, a hotel bar, anywhere. Look for guys that are cute, are having fun but not acting like fools. Maybe they are just talking with their other guy friends up at the bar for example. Here is the most important step - be willing to take the initiative - if you see a guy or a group of guys who seem interesting just go up to them and break the ice with a hello. (If they are lame, then you move on - and repeat and repeat until you meet someone quality!) THAT is how you meet guys - and that approach matters more than finding the "right" places to go!!!!

Rhome: I've preached variations of these sentiments in this space for years. Socials skills seem to be getting worse and worse. And it's the 21st century ladies. You can chat up a dude.

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Petworth: Why are people so quick to judge and compare? Look Dupont dude, you said you JUST moved here. Give it time. It grows on you!

Wander. Sit. Talk to people. Shop at Second Story, then read the book in circle. Is Paradiso's new space open yet? That will be cool. Walk in the park. This list could go on quite a while, but I guess my point is - take some time and check out the place remembering that DC is like no other place. So look for what makes DC DC, not for what makes it cool like wherever you're comparing it to.

Fritz: Paradiso's new location on P Street opens Saturday. You heard it here first, or something.

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Roots fan: Ugh, it pains me that ?uestlove is being referred to as the frontman to Jimmy Fallon's house band.

Rhome: I'm sure he doesn't mind getting those regular checks while being able to tour on the group's own terms and do those amazing weekly jam sessions. And after Grammies and 15 years of being on the road, he was still often unrecognized as a star/celebrity/whatever you want to call it.

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Arlington, Va.: Hi GOGs,

What is the most interesting thing going on tonight? It is my turn to find something to do and I am tired of happy hours. Thx.

Fritz: Shakespeare Free for All at the Shakespeare Theatre, if you go get in line for tickets soon. DJ Geometrix spinning an all-'90s set at Steve's Bar Room. The local indie-rock doubleheader of True Womanhood and Deleted Scenes on the Black Cat's back stage.

I'd take any of those.

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AFI Silver area: Never been to the AFI Silver theater, but husband and I are going to trek up there tomorrow night. Do we need to get there very early (I've heard it's small)? Also, anything good to eat nearby? Thanks!

Julia: Yeah, definitely get there early and/or buy tickets in advance. Ceviche and Ray's the Classics could work. I've heard great things about the Across the Street Cafe, but have yet to eat there.

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Washington, D.C.: I know you've answered this before, but do you have a list of restaurants that offer private dining rooms? I am thinking about 30 or so people in D.C. for our holiday party. Thanks!!

Julia: Start here. Then go here. Then go to this MASSIVE list. Good luck!

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D.C.: I know it's the end of the chat, but please answer my question. I have a really strong craving for pupusas! Where can I find the best ones in DC? Thanks!

Julia: I love the ones at Sergio's in Wheaton. So delish.

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washingtonpost.com: Well that about does it. Enjoy your weekend checking out Columbia Heights Day, exploring new neighborhoods and/or playing spin the bottle. We'll see you here next week.

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The Going Out Gurus write about restaurants, bars, movies, the arts, special events and visitor attractions, and they're out every night to keep you on top of the D.C. entertainment scene. Check in with them throughout the week on the GOG Blog or join their live Q&A every Thursday at 1 p.m.

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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