Bar Belle: Drinks, fun and games on Capitol Hill


Where: 1420 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Cover: No
Carded: Yes
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday, 4 to 7 p.m., $1 off all drafts and rail drinks
Bar Bells:

Our Bar Belle roams around D.C. reviewing bars as she sees fit – if she can see straight after visiting them.

In a political town where happy hours are crowded with suits, it can be hard to find a bar serving drinks out of a mason jar and offering patrons a chance to play.

Trusty’s – one of the more comfortable bars I have visited during my four years in the District – is worth the trip to the Capitol Hill area for the quaint, neighborhood feel.

Francis Rivera | Assistant Photo Editor
Trusty’s offers a three-hour weekday happy hour, discounting the large selection of both mainstream and craft beers.

Stay on the lower level to grab a few beers and play Sorry!, Jenga or any of the bar’s variety of board games. Head upstairs to take a peak at the yellow school-bus-turned-bar, as there is something oddly hilarious about ordering libations out of a vehicle that dominated your childhood.

On my first Saturday evening visit, three friends and I found ourselves cautiously reaching to pull Jenga blocks from a stack – a task that became more daunting with each drink. Our affable bartender offered three eclectic beers – Mama’s Little Yella Pils ($6), Moo Thunder Stout ($5.50) and Dale’s Pale Ale ($6) – when we asked for suggestions, following up soon after to hear what we thought.

But beware that on weeknights, you’ll find a sleepy neighborhood bar with just a few locals.

I went back to Trusty’s last Thursday and found that playing Connect 4 is a little awkward when you are one of a select few patrons. As lights flicked off, my group felt pressured out the door slightly before closing time. It’s clearly not a thirsty Thursday destination.

Despite the weekday lull, the charming bar gets high marks for its innovative atmosphere and welcoming service. Though it’s a bit far for your average night out, Trusty’s is worth the trek if you are looking for something unconventional.

The atmosphere is relaxed, with TVs scattered throughout and an open-air patio that seats more than 30 people. Game day specials include $10 Miller Lite pitchers at the bar devoted to the Detroit Lions, D.C. United and the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Bottles of Bud Lite, Magners Irish Cider and Corona range from $4 to $5, and prices on the extensive menu of canned beers range from $2.50 to $6.

My only regrets? Not trying the reasonably priced bar food, losing Jenga and not checking if Trusty’s collection of games included Trivial Pursuit.

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