Best game bar: Black Jack

1612 14th St.

If bowling and curling had a baby, you’d get bocce – a fun game with historic roots that you’ll probably disregard entirely when you are enjoying the game at Black Jack’s happy hour. Combine its indoor bocce court with reasonable drink prices and a friendly staff, and you’re sure to have a great night out.

Read up on the game beforehand too, if you want to impress your friends. Supposedly, Roman soldiers played it with small rocks during brief respites between the violent battles of their bloody conquests. That could be a useful fact for Tonic trivia night, but go here first.

It’s hard to ignore Black Jack’s elaborate decor: Ruby velvet curtains hang over the impressively stocked bar, with a vintage movie projected onto the brick wall behind it. In the back, a massive bull’s head looms overhead the court. The venue’s fancy interior could appear like an exclusive, members-­only club, but its great deals on drinks during happy hour – half­-off on all drafts, meaning one of its unique amber lagers would only cost $2.50 – ensure this bar is for anyone.

Make sure you try the Union Craft Snow Pants Oatmeal Stout with its deep and roasted flavors for only $4 during happy hour. It’s a heavy, gourmet treat for the price of a Yuengling.

Accompany your drink with pizza or a pound of fresh oysters, all half-price as part of the evening deal. Then order a crisp and citrusy Caboose Sidetrack Saison for $3 as a fruity way to top it all off. It’s brewed locally in Vienna, Va. too, though it’s indulgent enough to be imported from the real Vienna.

And while you’re enjoying all the cheap drinks and good food, don’t forget to treat yourself to what makes the place stand out the most: a round of bocce. Its indoor “stadium” is also complete with spectator seating, so if you’d rather not participate yourself, you can at least sip your drink while watching yuppie strangers play the ancient pastime.

Readers’ pick: Board Room

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