1221 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
You know you’re at a good bar when you run into a guy who’s staring, lonely and forlorn, into his drink at a bartender-less backroom bar when you’re searching for the ladies’ room. You know you’re at a great bar when you come out of the bathroom and the guy’s stone cold asleep, still clutching the glass. You know you’re at Lucky Bar when that all happens before the clock strikes eight.
Last week, we hit Lucky Bar’s happy hour for food, drink and rugby. Lucky Bar was the first D.C. drinking hole I hit after returning from winter break – my first trip back to my hometown since turning 21 – and it was hard not to compare the bar scenes.
When I was home, I took the obligatory now-I-can-drink tour to reintroduce myself to a town I’ve known for years – but this time, with alcohol. What I found there – what had been cruelly teased just out of my reach for so many years – amazed and delighted me.
The good thing about drinking in a town other than D.C. is that the beers are so cheap – at one bar, we picked up two armfuls of Coronas for five bucks – that you can smash them on the ground or spray them all over your friends when “Pour Some Sugar on Me” comes on. The bad thing about drinking in a town other than D.C. is that you get a lot of beer sprayed all over you and the really tall foreign guy standing in the line of foam-fire tries to fight your brother’s drunk friends. But the worst thing about drinking in a town other than D.C. is that we live in D.C. And we have to drink. So we must soldier on.
At Lucky Bar, we kept the fight alive with a pair of $10 Bud Light pitchers. The beer was fine, if a little warm and slow coming, and cheap – not cheap enough to spray all over each other, but cheap for District standards. And the British ex-pat feel of the place is comfortably quirky – from the soccer and rugby lighting up the big-screens that plaster the place, to the slightly strange chicken wings that my friend described as “like they were made by a British person who had chicken wings once ten years ago,” to the Australian accents seated behind us and the resident passed-out bloke upstairs. I also hear they have Salsa dancing on Mondays.
All in all, the place was a moderately fun – if not bottle-breakingly raucous – place to have a drink. While we went for happy hour, we ended up staying at the bar until the slightly-delirious-hour when we remembered that in order to execute our after-bar plans of watching the telly and sipping on 7 and 7’s, we’d have to skip the bar and separate the troops in order to hunt down a liquor store before closing time. Chalk up another great thing to drinking in places that aren’t D.C.: liquor stores stay open well past slightly-delirious hours and into the black-drunk night.