Bravo Bar, which celebrates its third anniversary in January, is the veteran of the group, and I hope it's around for many more years. From 5 to 8 p.m. on weekdays, this no-frills neighborhood bar has one of the best happy hours around: buy-one, get-one-free draft beers and rail drinks and a $6 combo of a can of PBR, a shot of Jim Beam and a grilled hot dog. Outside of that, it's a beer-and-a-shot kind of place, though one with great burgers, craft beers, cheap cans and an eclectic soundtrack.
Tip: If you're going with friends, try to grab one of the round booths in the window. They come with their own overheard disco balls. 2917 Georgia Ave. NW.
The team behind A&D, Sundevich and Small Fry opened the cozy, two-level Union Drinkery in late September. The main bar on the first floor is decidedly intimate — it barely feels big enough for the counter, stools and table in the window. The upstairs, open Friday and Saturday, has its own bar and a foosball table. There's a patio out back with picnic tables, though its opening is weather dependent.
Three draft beers are available downstairs — including former Beer of the Week Foxy from Union Brewing — while the upstairs selection is limited to cans and bottles. There's a short wine list, and a mulled cider was available during a recent cold snap. The chalkboard cocktail menu includes a decent version of the New Orleans classic A La Louisiane, as well as the floral Whitney, which mixes Ford's Gin, Suze and Dolin Blanc. The best part about the cocktails might be that they're all $9.
Happy Hour runs from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, bringing $5 draft beers, wine and rail drinks, $7 cocktails and $7 beer-and-a-whiskey combos. If you're hungry, food from Small Fry is available, including fried chicken sandwiches and brisket platters. 3216 Georgia Ave. NW.
After six months as Alfie's, a pop-up restaurant specializing in Northern Thai cooking, chef Alex McCoy has repurposed the same space as Tchoup's Market, a casual, New Orleans-inspired kitchen. Think po' boys stuffed with Nashville hot chicken or banh mi-like ingredients. The tap list includes Abita as well as local offerings, while Miller High Life, Budweiser and Rolling Rock are among the bottles. (High Life is $1 between 5 and 7 p.m. on weeknights.)
Be warned, fans of Creole cooking: On Wednesday and Thursday nights, Tchoup's transforms into Khao Soi Nok Noi, with a menu of Thai noodle soups, including spicy sour pork noodle soup and a catfish curry. (A pop-up inside a pop-up? So meta.) The standout on my last visit was baa mee muu haeng, a bowl of “dry” noodles with roasted pork belly, pork meatballs, fried garlic and onion, peanuts, yuchoy and garlic oil, punched up to taste with the fish sauce, dry chili powder and chili sauce on the bar. When the weekend rolls around, it's back to watching football and eating burgers and gumbo. 3301 Georgia Ave. NW.
The Midlands, recently opened by three of the partners behind Kangaroo Boxing Club, is a simple place to hang out, eat and drink. Part garage-style beer hall and spacious beer garden, the bar uses picnic tables as its primary seating, though the interior has a large central bar. There are whimsical touches throughout: a trellis covered with soft white lights; shipping palettes stacked and lit like paper lanterns; a trippy mural depicting bees, a panda and other animals partying with PBR.
Denizens, Hellbender and other local beers are prominent on the draft list, while the sandwich selection includes Italian cold cuts: prosciutto and Brie on sourdough and a “picnic basket” sandwich with smoked ham, spiced copa and Brie on a warm baguette. Large projection screens show football and soccer games, but they're not the only attraction: The rear of the bar is home to two dart lanes, and the beer garden has corn hole sets.
It's the perfect place to end a bar crawl, because it's the last place you'll want to leave. 3333 Georgia Ave. NW.