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801’s rooftop bar brings the beach vibes to Florida Avenue Northwest

The rooftop bar at 801 officially opened on July 21. (Photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)
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A rooftop bar on U Street or Florida Avenue Northwest used to be novel. Now, it's just another amenity. From the roof deck of the newly opened 801, you can see the "beer garden" on Takoda's roof a few doors down. Swivel your head 180 degrees, and you can see the crowds partying atop Nellie's Sports Bar and the Brixton one block west.

So how does a rooftop stand out? At 801, it's all about the beachy vibes.

This restaurant and bar – formerly known as Dunya – has six sister bars in Washington, including Shaw's Tavern and the Front Page, and several more at Delaware resorts, including the Starboard in Dewey Beach and Mango's in Bethany Beach. 801's whitewashed wood walls and columns wrapped in rope lend a seashore atmosphere to the space, even if the Shay's modern architecture across the street signals you're in the new D.C.

The best way to pretend you're on vacation is with a drink born on the Eastern Shore. The Orange Crush at 801 is as simple and traditional as it gets: Stoli Orange vodka, half an orange juiced in front of your eyes, a splash of triple sec and Sprite. It's juicy, sweet and goes down very easily.

Beyond the Crush – here's hoping 801 imports the popular Grapefruit and Mango crushes from its siblings on the beach – the menu includes local beers on tap, rosé by the glass and the 801 Mega Mule, which is a supersized Moscow Mule in a comically large copper mug. It costs $40, and the bartender said it contains enough booze for three or four people.

801 had its grand opening Thursday, and while happy hour isn't offered right now, the bar announced plans to launch a happy hour specials menu by the end of the month.

801, 801 Florida Ave. NW.

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