The Bar Belle: Dr. Dremo’s Taphouse

Dr. Dremo’s Taphouse
2001 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22201

Walk out of the Courthouse metro, past the blocks of cookie-cutter condos and into this totem pole-marked bar tucked behind the Taco Bell, and you’ll see why the streets look so dead on a Saturday night: everyone’s in here. Dr. Dremo’s Taphouse – a funky bar with two crowded stories and an underworld feel stranded in the heart of square, suburban Virginia – is a veritable mecca of all things alternative, absurd and alcoholic.

In general, the crowd was more friendly and less pretty than one you might find in a hip Adams Morgan haunt – so if you’re hunting for slags (and who isn’t?) cut your chances of rejection by heading to Courthouse, pounding a few and wading into the crowd of nerd glasses and PBR.

Dremo’s is crowded with more than just pretty-when-you’re-drunk-and-everything’s-a-little-bit-fuzzy bodies, though – the place is packed with piles of threadbare couches, a cozy sheet-metal nook called “the sin bin,” and tons of games. The Dr.’s schedule is full as well, with a calendar boasting free entertainment nearly every night. Mondays are reserved, inexplicably, for a 24-watching party, while Tuesdays bring screenings by something called The Washington Psychotronic Film Society, Wednesdays host local standup, and Thursdays let you – or your bad amateur band – voice off at an Open Mic.

Like everything else at Dr. Dremo’s, even the bar is crowded, with 30-plus beers on tap lining the entirety of the back wall. If you’re looking for anything harder, you’ll have to make do with a can of Sparks or something called Dremo’s Sneaky Pete’s Barlywine – I haven’t tried it, but it sounds like it was made in a bathtub, and I want a jug of it. The beer, though, isn’t bad, and better yet, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg like at those aforementioned Adams Morgan spots. Every beer’s got a pitcher special; come at happy hour for an even better deal. We tried two of Dremo’s own – their Redneck Ale and their James Brown Ale, both a deal for 12 bucks a pitcher – along with a $10 pitcher of Pabst thrown in for good measure at last call.

So if you’re looking for beer, B-movies, James Brown and Jack Bauer – or just a rare safe haven from the corporate institutions that threaten to destroy us all – take a left after the Taco Bell and head in to Dr. Dremo’s. But hurry up – an impending sale of Dremo’s property means the bar’s days may be numbered. To replace it? A cookie-cutter condo, naturally.

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