Bar Belle: Black Cat

Where: 1811 14th St. NW
Getting in: carded at the door, “x’d” if under 21
Prices: Concerts $5 to $15, the red room acess is free
Dress: Indie rocker
Belle rating: 3 bells

It’s been said that the word hipster has replaced yuppie as the past decade’s most overused pop culture idiom. That being said, I assure you I will not be using the dreaded H-word in this column.

While the Black Cat is primarily a music club, the venue often holds dance nights and smaller shows in the concert hall and backstage area of the club. While it does have its wilder moments, usually during a sold-out concert, it is actually one of the best places in the city to just hang out. The Red Room has a great jukebox, pool table and pinball machines. Because there isn’t a cover, coupled with Black Cat’s nightly concerts, the bar always has a decent crowd.

On the weekends it is sometimes difficult to find a seat, but the bar has plenty of standing room. Unfortunately, the ambiance often looks like a casting call for an Urban Outfitter’s catalog photo shoot. I never knew so many retro fashion lovers could exist in 25 square feet of space.

Beer is the drink of choice at the Black Cat. Bottles and drafts range from $3.25 to $7, depending on the brew and availability. While the selection cannot be compared to that of the Brickskeller, for a small bar, what’s offered is impressive, including Belgian beers and a variety of microbrews.

With the Red Room open until 2 a.m. Sunday to Thursday, and until 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday, it is a suitable place to stop before heading up 14th Street to Cafe Saint-Ex or taking the Adams Morgan shuttle bus to the bars on 18th Street.

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