What to drink: There are 10 draft beers and 10 wines by the glass, with a mix of locals (Atlas, 3 Stars) and familiar national brewers (Southern Tier, Dogfish Head). The cocktail program, led by former Himitsu bartender Ben Alt, takes a choose-your-own-adventure approach: Pick a spirit, then give the bartender a category like Buck (citrus, ginger and soda) or Negroni (vermouth, bitter liqueur) and they'll combine the two to your liking.
What to eat: The menu, created in collaboration with cult Texan pop-up Republic Kolache, is heavy on the filled Czech pastries, including a local take: the “half smoke,” stuffed with sausage, cheese and jalapeños. There are also nachos and chips and queso for snacking.
Happy hour: $5 rail drinks, beer and wine, weekdays from 5 to 7 p.m.
The Truxton Inn, 251 Florida Ave. NW.
The backstory: Matt Weiss, the owner of McClellan's Retreat, Barrel and Lounge 201, and partners bring a refined cocktail bar to the border of Truxton Circle and LeDroit Park.
The vibe: The swank room feels like a well-aged hotel bar, with vintage leather love seats and arm chairs, glass shelves lined with curios, and comfortable stools around a green marble bartop. It's perfect for a date: Indie rock or '80s pop music keeps things lively, and the bar doesn't take itself too seriously: Checks, for example, are delivered in vintage books. (Mine came in the delightfully pulpy “The Grass is Always Greener.")
What to drink: Brian Nixon, who's done an excellent job behind the stick at McClellan's Retreat, has created a two-part cocktail menu. Six of the choices are familiar classics, and the other six are “new spins” on the same drink. Choose a well-made daiquiri, or jazz it up with the tropical JFK on Vacay, made with pineapple rum, funky rhum agricole, passion fruit and lime. Drinks are in the $11 to $13 range.
What to eat: Kolaches from Republic Kolache are available until late: 1:30 a.m. during the week and 2:30 a.m. on weekends.
Happy hour: $3 Miller High Life, $5 red and white wines and $6 Old Fashioneds, weekdays from 4 to 7 p.m.
The Good Silver, 3410 11th St. NW.
The backstory: After shuttering Columbia Heights' Kangaroo Boxing Club, the team behind Ivy and Coney and longtime KBC bartender Carrie Dzwil have opened a new neighborhood bar in the same space, this time with a theme of “getting the best out of life without having to pay an arm and a leg for it.”
The vibe: It's like Kangaroo Boxing Club, only better, with a large central bar (18 bar stools!), and tables around the edge of the room. The walls are decorated with old family photos and a large mural of The Knights Who Say “Ni” toasting with PBRs. The patio has another 16 seats.
What to drink: The menu has an interesting (if short) selection of cocktails made with shrubs, or vinegary blends of fruit and sugar. The tart Griffon's Lament ($12), which adds a cherry shrub to a smoky Del Bac Dorado Manhattan, is the place to start. Try the aptly named Perfect Negroni ($10), with barrel-aged Checkerbark Gin from District Distilling, or just go for the $8 combo of a stubby bottle of Coors Banquet Beer and a shot of Old Overholt Rye.
What to eat: Charcuterie, pickle plates (including a collard kimchi), chips with pimento cheese, or small BLTs or fried chicken sandwiches.
Happy hour: $5 D.C. beers and rail drinks made with local spirits, and $4 hush puppies, chicken nuggets and chips and dip, from 5 to 7 p.m. nightly, beginning June 6.
Anxo Tasting Room, 711 Kennedy St. NW.
The backstory: D.C.'s first cider-focused bar expands beyond Florida Avenue NW with a production facility and tasting room in Brightwood Park.
The vibe: With space for 30 customers in the brick-walled tasting room and another 10 seats outside, Anxo is cozy, but the array of ciders is worth it braving the crowds, even if you don't get a seat right away.
What to drink: Ciders, craft beers, wine and cocktails flow from 24 taps, but if you've made the trip to Brightwood Park, you need to try Anxo's house ciders, made in collaboration with well-known craft cideries Millstone, Shacksbury and Eden, using heirloom apple varieties. They're a world away from such mass-produced brands as Woodchuck or Angry Orchard.
What to eat: The menu leans heavily on Spanish-style snacks: meat and cheese boards, mixed olives, anchovies and almonds, with a short selection of paninis. (It's hard to say “no” to the mix of serrano ham and manchego.)
Happy hour: All drinks are half-price from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.