2335 18th St. N.W.
Getting in: Carded at the door
Dress code: Casual
Specials: Not on a Saturday night, but a sign on the wall promoted Thursday Happy Hour specials
Summer ended on Tuesday. If you don’t believe me, check your calendar – that’s how I found out. With the arrival of fall, the days grow shorter, the nights become cooler and I can finally show off my new wardrobe. To commemorate the end of yet another hot, humid summer in D.C., I spent Saturday night participating in one of my favorite summertime activities – drinking outside.
OK, there’s more to it than that. Location is crucial, which is why I was happy to have a seat at Tom Tom in Adams Morgan. I arrived early to find that my sidewalk table was a prime spot to observe the 18th Street crowd. It might have felt like Paris, but a pitcher of beer stood in for a carafe of wine, and the blasting Top 40 hits stood in for accordion music.
While a pitcher of Sierra Nevada costs $16, drafts and bottles start at $4, with mixed drinks priced somewhere in between. With only two people splitting the pitcher, where else in Adams Morgan can you get three glasses of beer for $8 at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night?
But enough about the drinks (did I just say that?). My visit to Tom Tom was all about observing affairs outside before heading inside. I realized it was a popular night for bachelorette parties as a group of women exited the “Luv Bus,” the bride’s veil dragging on the street. Other gaggles of chatty women from bachelorette parties later walked by the bar.
Drinking outside always allows for steady people-watching, always an entertaining pastime when it comes to the Adams Morgan pedestrian fashion faux pas. The crowd definitely was not sporting the height of fashion Saturday night. One man wore khakis with a racing stripe down the side, and there were too many pairs of Diesel jeans to count. However, it wouldn’t be the end of summer without bad tan lines, including a lovely example on a woman wearing a one-shoulder sateen top. My friends and I made spectacles of these style-challenged bar hoppers, but we may have made spectacles of ourselves also, as we only grew louder as the night progressed.
The crowd at Tom Tom also increased in volume as the night wore on. The bar is nothing special, but with no cover, an excellent location on 18th Street and plenty of room inside, you can easily spend the whole night there or just stop in for a drink.