Bar Belle: The trek to Toledo Lounge

Toledo Lounge
2435 18th St. NW
Adams Morgan

Price: no cover
Carded: at the table
Dress code: casual
Specials: $2 drafts during Happy Hour from 6-9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, plus food specials.
On the walls: Dorm room meets garage sale.

“Are we there yet?” grumbled one of my friends as we made our way up 18th Street. Having given her a (hopefully) satisfactory answer of just a few more minutes to go, I wondered how anyone could not enjoy the walk to one of my favorite happy hour spots, the Toledo Lounge.

I’ll admit it – the Toledo Lounge is a dive bar. The actual bar is small; duct tape covers the holes on the bench seating and the bathroom door barely locks. Even the $2 drafts during happy hour don’t really set it apart from other places. But as a cash-strapped intern during the summer, the Wednesday night half-priced appetizers and $2 beers were the perfect way to spend 10 bucks after sitting at a desk all day. On top of this, the 18th Street location is far enough away from Capitol Hill that federal ID badges, wrinkled suits and stocking clothed feet are a rare sight. The only time the politicos did come out to play was during a Howard Dean meet-up party in July.

My most recent visit, however, was a simple, casual affair – the celebration of a new school year. Although classes have yet to start, my roommates and I decided that we needed a break, luckily, Toledo Lounge answered our call.

It was a beautiful evening, and we enjoyed our table looking out onto scenic 18th Street. The draft selection satisfied everyone’s tastes and the half-priced appetizers were welcomed after the 30-minute walk. I guess it could be said that Toledo Lounge gives off a very “simple” feel, in contrast to its cheap bingo hall chairs and gas station d?cor. Picture collages of frequent patrons (including a guy mooning the camera) and doodles hang on the walls.

As the same friend who complained about the walk said, it reminded her of bars in the Midwest, whatever that means.

Thanks to the beer and a shortcut down Florida Avenue, the walk back to Foggy Bottom was quicker than expected. As fall sets in, I doubt I will be making anymore Happy Hour trips to Toledo Lounge. But if you want a break from the Froggy Bottom Pub, or you are tired of the plastic silverware at Lindy’s, suck it up and journey to Toledo Lounge.

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