Location: 1737 Connecticut Ave.
Readers’ pick: Board Room
The bright space, hearty cheers from sports fans and a stocked shelf of nostalgia-inducing board games cement Board Room as The Hatchet’s pick for the best laid-back bar in Northwest D.C.
After a long week of classes, jobs and internships, sometimes you need your weekends as a time to relax, so instead of the chaos of loud, high-energy bars and clubs, spend an easygoing night sitting back in a casual environment with a beer and deck of cards. Board Room’s casual dress code and affordable drinks create the ideal setting for a low-key night with friends, where hard-fought Scrabble matchups and primetime sporting events foster a jovial and lively atmosphere.
The bar is located only a couple blocks away from the Dupont Circle Metro station, and with only a small sign above the door, it might be easy to miss at first glance. But after entering the front of the building, you’ll find yourself in a crowded-yet-chill environment with a quiet hum of chatter and clinking glasses filling the air.
Even if you don’t feel like drinking, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t still have a delightful night out. Board Room’s main draw is its wide selection of classic and uncommon board games stacked tall on a series of shelves by the front of the space, available to rent out for $2.
For an intellectual undertaking, break out a game of Trivial Pursuit with some glasses of scotch and a competitive mindset. For a more chaotic evening of laughter with large groups of friends, down a few cocktails and test your luck at Cards Against Humanity. Or for when you don’t want to think and would rather get drunk and yell defiantly at your opponents, a personal favorite is an invigorating game of Hungry Hungry Hippos.
If for some reason you can’t find a game that you like, you’re also welcome to bring in your own. Just make sure to jump on the first available table to play as the bar fills up quickly during weeknight happy hours and late weekend nights.
As you walk into the slim entryway and deeper into the slender bar space, the animated crowd and buzzing noise envelop you in an aura of good vibes. Chat up the old man downing Bud Light at the bar or chill out with the wasted college students trying to figure out the rules to Monopoly. The space itself offers a large bar with stools along one side of the venue, which takes up about half of the deep interior. About half a dozen high-top tables sit across from the bar for parties to gather in a more sequestered group. Check out the small upstairs area, which provides a pleasant space to enjoy drinks with friends in a more private setting that overlooks the liveliness of the bar below.
Board Room doesn’t serve food, but patrons are welcome to bring their own or order takeout. Grab some grub from nearby, late-night eateries like Mission or Krispy Kreme as satiation while you rack up your tabletop victories. Board Room serves a selection of 21 beers on draft, with classic options like Shiner Bock ($6) and Guinness Stout ($7.50) or for a more one-of-a-kind option, the Board Room Deuces Wild Double IPA ($6.50). This imperial IPA-style beer is filled with tropical and orchard fruit flavors and is made in Board Room’s Arlington brewery.
The bar also supplies a long list of wine options and signature cocktails like the “Strawberry Basil Lemonade” ($13), which contains a house-made strawberry basil simple syrup, Absolut Citron and fresh lemonade. Try “The All Nighter” ($12) made of Kahlúa and Van Gogh Espresso Vodka that’s combined with a shot of house-made espresso and espresso bean garnish.
For all those nights when you want to get a drink without getting dressed up, Board Room is the best laid-back spot to hang out, have a drink and yes, play some board games.
This article appeared in the April 10, 2023 issue of the Hatchet.