Bar Belle: New York, New England and New Orleans spell ‘New Liver’

Having the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras and Super Tuesday falling on the same weekend, I knew it was going to be a rough couple of nights. With nothing to do but put my drinking heels on, I hit the town and colored the capital green, purple and gold as I headed to Adams Morgan to find another hidden treasure.

Friday night I checked out Left Bank (2424 18th St. N.W.) on the strip to party with two GW sororities that were hosting an event there. I’m not sure where the name Left Bank came from, but that place definitely took more of my money than the real bank gets. After grabbing a drink and catching up with friends I realized that I had actually eyed this restaurant-turned-nightclub previously during the daytime. The windowed front and mod orange furniture made this exotic venue seem pretentious yet curiously inviting, so I was excited to find that the restaurant was open enough to let the college kids crowd inside.

After a Jack and Ginger (my new and sophisticated drink of choice) I was feeling a bit buzzed and left the bar for a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, that is where it ended, and the above findings are all you are going to get because the inside hit capacity and the bouncer wouldn’t let me back in. (Side note to The Hatchet: maybe we should work on an all-access pass so this doesn’t happen again. I mean I’m kind of a big deal, bars should know me.)

Out of cash and unable to remember my ATM PIN, I dialed several people asking for theirs until my sister reminded me – at three in the morning – that other people’s PINs don’t work on my card. Right. I somehow convinced a cab to drive me back free of charge and made a promise to myself that the next night would be much more productive.

With my PIN number and a minor headache embedded in my head I returned to Adams Morgan Saturday to meet a friend at 18th and Red (2436 18th St N.W.). The two-story bar has an open first floor that was an ideal spot for chatting it up, watching the flat screen televisions, or even flaunting a move to the music. The service was surprisingly fast, although I’ve got to say my Jack and Ginger had far more Ginger than Jack (maybe that bartender saw me fighting with the ATM the previous night). If you aren’t into whiskey, 18th and Red has daily drink specials consisting of $3 domestic drafts and bottles, $4 rail drinks, and a cheap wine selection.

Nothing in particular stood out about 18th and Red, but it was far less crowded than most of the other 18th Street bars, which was refreshing. Girls, I can’t report on my favorite spot in all bars (the bathroom) because some chick locked the door and passed out inside of the stall. Boys, the bathroom there was gross, but something tells me you guys don’t care nearly as much as we do.

All in all, these two bars were great to see for the first time, but I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to check them out. They seem to lack the character and wow factor that has allowed other bars to reach the four-bell grade. My wallet and I had more fun hitting up the Super Bowl house parties that happened around town this weekend.

Bar Belle Ratings: 2 out of 4 Belles

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