My ongoing search for live music and good booze in the District took me this week to one of my favorite bars in the city, Staccato. But as much as I love Staccato, its one downfall is its not-so-cheap drinks.
I was tipped off about the bar right across the street: The Common Share, also located at the base of the dreaded 18th Street hill in Adams Morgan. The Common Share has more drink specials than I could count. No happy hour here – but trust me, you don’t need it. It has by far the cheapest drinks I have ever come across in this city, which means it should be a true haven for college students.
After walking in it was clear that a large cross-section of Howard University students had already discovered this place to be a cheap-drink college refuge. Having said that, I think my flannel-wearing hippie friends felt only slightly out of place.
We stared at the blackboard above the bar and could hardly believe our eyes. The Common Share’s most expensive drink comes in at $5. For that, you’ll get top shelf – anything. For $1, it’s soda or water. For $2, help yourself to pints of Bud, Bud Light, PBR, MGD, Miller Light or Yuengling. Spend four more quarters and you’ll get a pint of Guinness, Bass, Magic Hat #9, Red Stripe or a bottle of Corona (complete with a lime). Also in the $3 category are rail drinks and margaritas. Finally, for $4, you’ll get your choice of shooters, wine, red bull, martinis and pints of pilsner or Sierra Nevada. As if those deals weren’t sweet enough, you can split a pitcher with friends. They range from $7 to $12.
After saddling up to the bar and ordering a Magic Hat #9, we opted not to stay at the loud very overcrowded downstairs bar. We headed up the steep steps found in every D.C. bar, and as the house music from downstairs faded with every step, it was as though we had entered a space time-warp because the upstairs scene was completely different.
Complete with a pool table and a fairly complete jukebox, the upstairs hosted a much more diverse crowd, including a few people obviously on dates – but unless you’re ridiculously strapped for cash and trying to get your date trashed, this isn’t the most ideal romantic destination. Almost all of the chairs were ripped up, everything in the bar needed a new paint coat and it was hard to find a seat. On the other hand, in thedown. I wasn’t pleased enough to stay long.
We headed back across the street to finish the night back at Staccato, but were very pleased to have some cheaper drinks in our system before listening to yet another band I’d never heard of.
Bar Belle Rating
This article appeared in the November 17, 2005 issue of the Hatchet.