Shhhhh… well, it’s not exactly a “best kept secret” – but Washington DC’s Off the Record bar, is also off the charts when it comes to historic-cool.
Located inside the luxurious Hay-Adams hotel in Washington DC, and sitting just across from the the White House, the hotel bar has been serving drinks to Washington’s movers and shakers since the 1920’s.
Off the Record (800 16th St NW, Washington DC) is tucked away in the lower lever of the Hay-Adams hotel. It’s small and luxurious, with plush leather seats, dark wood floors, glass chandeliers and ornate panel molding on the ceiling. There are red velvet booths for quiet confabulation, and a U-shaped bar.
Caricatures of well-known politicians (some who have been regulars at the bar) are displayed on the wall. The music is low-key, either jazz or instrumental.
You may run into high profile political folks (both Democrat and Republican) and journalists here. Make sure you wear appropriate attire – the crowd here is business-y, classy and classic (to match the after-work atmosphere of the bar).
Order a martini or a stiff drink (or if you prefer something sweeter, the “David’s Washingtonian”), and if you get a chance, strike up a conversation with the bartender, John Boswell, who has worked at the bar for 15 years and is a four-time winner of the Washingtonian magazine’s “Best Bartender Award.”
It does tend to get quite busy, especially in the early evening during the work-week (but that’s also the best time to run into the high-powered, political types). And you may want to take your time sipping your drink, as your choice of libation will easily set you back $15 a glass. They also serve tasty pub fare and desserts!
HOURS: Sunday – Thursday, 11:30am-12:00am. Friday & Saturday, 11:30am-12:30am
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