Originally Published 10/29/99
Bar: Dan’s Caf?
Where: 2315 18th St., N.W.
Getting In: IDs checked at the door
Prices: the norm
Food: the Bar Belle didn’t see any
Dancing: you couldn’t sway if you tried
Pick-ups: always possible
Pluses: fun bar scene, bottles of Jack Daniels for mixing your own drinks
Minuses: hot, crowded and kind of scummy
Imagine a sauna with 50 people crammed into a closet-like place, drinking lots of alcohol and smoking cigarettes – that’s pretty much Dan’s Place. The night the Bar Belle made her appearance, people were so crammed you couldn’t move, let alone find a seat anywhere. Finally the Bar Belle and her compadres nestled into open seats at the table oddly placed directly in the center of the bar. Booths are to one side and the bar to the other. The Bar Belle had people bumping into her and passing things over her head. She wasn’t too happy.
The Bar Belle, the eternal optimist that she is, cannot completely dis the bar. For $10, you get a small bottle of alcohol, a can of soda and a bucket of ice. Who hasn’t wanted to play bartender for the evening? If you’re lucky enough to snag a booth, the atmosphere would be much better. You’d have your own space and probably would be able to carry on some form of conversation. You’d still be shouting to be heard over the classic rock and loud bar voices that provide more than enough background noise.
Usually the Bar Belle’s largest complaint about a bar like Dan’s Place is that she can’t show off her dancing skills. However, at Dan’s Place, her largest complaint was that she couldn’t walk. Oh, and the fact that her elbows stuck to the table thanks to some unknown gooey substance that smelled like Play-Doh.
If you’re looking for an intimate atmosphere in a place with lots of people, head to Dan’s Place. But heed the Bar Belle’s advice – drink plenty before arriving because you’ll have trouble getting a drink at the crowded bar. And if your vision is already blurred, things might not look so bad.