Bar Belle: R.F.D.

A few years ago I did the whole “nightmare on M Street” bar crawl scene, so this year I wanted to try my hand at a different Halloween celebration. It is always a sticky situation when your employers invite you to a social event involving alcohol, so when the company I intern for asked me to come to their Halloween bash in Chinatown, I was cautious for several reasons.

First of all, everyone knows that Halloween equates to scantily clad and inappropriate outfits for girls, so pushing the costume envelope around older co-workers seemed risky. Second, I’m new to the company so I wouldn’t recognize that many people ordinarily, let alone in costume, meaning there would be a good possibility I could spend the night awkwardly alone. Third, I seem to have a problem drinking in moderation and the thought of being in a drunken stupor around my boss scared me. However, after weighing my options and coming to the realization that I needed a new bar to review for this issue, I grew some balls and begged two friends to join me. Luckily they obliged (you guys are the best) and we set out for R.F.D (Regional Food and Drink) located at Seventh and H streets in Chinatown.

It is hard to get a good handle on a bar during an intense holiday like Halloween because of the sensory overload. It’s only after looking at all the creepy (some intentional and some not) costumes and wacky decorations that you can begin to take in the bar’s atmosphere. From what I gathered in the crowded and dark interior is that the multi-tiered floor plan and high ceilings gave a sense of openness and depth. We wandered to the back of the bar where we found a patio and a separate party room that had opened for the evening’s events. A second after I made it into the party room, a man posing as Borat – green Speedo slingshot bathing suit and all – started to get a little too “wah wah wee wah” for me, so I made a bealine for the regular bar.

Back inside, R.F.D. also hosted a rather large stage for two local bands to perform on and, oh my god . there on stage, microphone in hand, my boss was banging out the lyrics to “Crazy Bitch” by Buckcherry. I guess I didn’t need to worry about being in a drunken stupor around him anymore. My friends and I quickly decided it was a good move to come to the company party because a) my boss’ glorious performance and b) we found out that employees and their guests had a separate VIP area stocked with free beer. Now this is where that whole problem about drinking in moderation comes into play. Seriously, if you are going to offer free beer to a couple of broke college kids who are out of their element, then there is a good chance they will pounce on it. Plus the beer wasn’t just a keg of Natty or Bud. It was one of the several classy brews that R.F.D is known for.

After doing a little research, I found out that the same people who opened up Brickskeller, just outside of Foggy Bottom, own this Chinatown bar. With an obvious love of beer, owner Dave Alexander created R.F.D. as a more upscale bar and restaurant with greater focus on the food. Carrying 40 different brews on tap and more than 300 bottled beers, this bar is sure to have a little something for everyone. The kitchen was obviously closed at this point, but apparently the menu for R.F.D. boasts several dishes that are marinated, grilled or battered in beer. So you can have your beer and eat it too – perfection.

I know it’s hard mustering up the motivation to leave our little Foggy Bottom bubble, but I seriously recommend the metro trip to R.F.D. You may not run into the characters that I happened to see during the Halloween party, but the wait staff seemed friendly, the beer was amazing and the bar definitely had a worthy ambiance. You can even hit up Fado Irish Pub (which I previously reviewed) before or after, as it is two doors away from R.F.D.

For a great night and the bar’s all-around appeal I give this one three howls.

Three of four bells

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