The Columbia Room returned with a menu of seasonal cocktails and more ways to enjoy the work of mixologists Derek Brown and J.P. Fetherston. (Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post)

It seemed like a new bar opened every other week in 2016, but these were the most memorable.


The tiki bar makes a trip to U Street feel like a vacation. In addition to serving the District’s best Mai Tai and on-point piña coladas, Archipelago is home to the city’s only public shrine to Tom Selleck. 1201 U St. NW.

The Columbia Room

The expanded Columbia Room offers a gorgeous sanctuary for savoring some of the country’s most sophisticated cocktails, but this Blagden Alley hot spot is more than just a pretty prix-fixe menu. The Spirits Library is a comfortable lounge with a rotating menu, and the Punch Garden is a welcome place to sit outside with a cool drink. 124 Blagden Alley NW.


One of the least fussy bars to open in D.C. this year, Kingfisher is in a basement under Sav-On Liquors at 14th and P streets NW. The beers (around 16), ciders and wines all come in cans, and the menu lists a variety of beer-and-a-shot combos, from basic to gourmand. The televisions screen old Kung-Fu flicks and B-movies, while bartenders hand out free baskets of fresh popcorn. Simple, yet awesome. 1414 14th St. NW.

Anxo serves a variety of ciders, including some made in-house and others sourced from around the world. (Deb Lindsey /For The Washington Post)


Washington’s first cider-focused bar offers traditional ciders made in-house with foraged apples and a selection of tasty, funky ciders from around the globe. Coming in 2017: a much bigger production facility in Brightwood Park. 300 Florida Ave. NW.

Left Door

Before the Passenger made its big return in August, owner Tom Brown and his team unveiled a cozy, classy one-room bar just off the heart of the 14th Street strip. The vintage armchairs and window tables are perfect for dates, and the cocktails — a blend of age-old classics and inventive twists — are the reason to drop in, even on a Wednesday. 1345 S St. NW.

Mason & Rook Hotel

The Hotel Helix renovation brought two new drinking options to Logan Circle. Radiator, the hotel’s main bar, offers a laid-back place for tropical, tiki-ish cocktails with a Hawaiian influence, and the summer-only rooftop pours poolside Orange Crushes and margaritas with a stellar view. 1430 Rhode Island Ave. NW.

The Passenger reopened in late summer after moving a few blocks north of its previous location. (Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)

The Passenger

After being closed for almost 20 months, the beloved Passenger reopened in late summer, just a few blocks north of its old Seventh Street digs. It’s still the place to go for a chalkboard menu of rotating cocktails, shots of rye whiskey and a Sunday hangover brunch. 1539 Seventh St. NW.

The Sovereign

From the team behind ChurchKey and Bluejacket, the Sovereign is a Belgian-inspired beer bar with 50 taps and hundreds of bottles. It’s the perfect place to explore hoppy blonde ales, funky saisons and traditional sour lambics from both sides of the Atlantic. 1206 Wisconsin Ave. NW.

Read more:

- The most exciting restaurant and bar openings planned for 2017

- These are our 15 favorite dishes of 2016

- The restaurants Tom Sietsema loved the most in 2016