Bar Belle: Drinks, fun and games on Capitol Hill

Trusty’s

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.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.