Wednesday, December 26, 2012

MNF Part I: I will bring you down, baby. I will bring you down to Chinatown.

Meet you downstairs in the bar and heard

Your rolled up sleeves in your skull tee-shirt.

You say, “What did you do with him today?”

And sniffed me out like I was Tanqueray

                First things first – blogging is very new to me, so I apologize that I’ve had many distractions on my tab as of late and have not posted as quickly as I had been hoping.  It has been holiday season in the DMV, meaning back-to-back Congressional receptions, K Street galas, and personal holiday Kikis, on top of the usual cocktail hour in the Capital, and I haven’t set enough time to formally write it all!  But, my mama always told me, don’t make excuses.  Learn, live, and change the course ahead, so I’mma make up for my absence from last week's postings.  Hope you enjoy! xoxox  

                 It’s (well, it WAS) Monday night in the District, and a friend of a friend is throwing a birthday celebration together over…you guessed it, happy hour.  The celebration location: Rocket Bar in Gallery Place/Chinatown, a location I frequent fairly often due to its convenient location in the middle of Capitol Hill and “Downtown” (downtown as the ubiquitous phrase for DC’s K Street – the lobbying world).  Rocket bar is another car in the train of one of the newer trends to hit the Capitol City – an adult Chuck E Cheese, meaning saloons that will serve you the sauce alongside skeeball + shuffleboard (and pool, darts, etc.).  There was first the cupcake craze, then fro-yo fever, and now it’s this - DC has undiagnosed ADD.  This fad appears in diverse forms across the District as well – there was the Cereal Bowl in Cleveland Park, which has since closed (I’ll give you 1 guess as to the heart of their business), and now we have Ted Bulletin’s on Barrack’s Row, famous for their creative homemade poptarts.  These bars are a forum for residents to break away from their city’s habit of taking itself too serious, through a taste of nostalgia…

                The night is early and while it’s also early in the week, there’s a sizeable crowd on hand.  This is not my first rodeo with Rocket Bar, and though the throng is smaller than it is later in the week, you’re bound to find a high percentage of the congregation populated by younger Administration staff (the Dept of Justice, the FBI, and the Dept of Labor all have offices nearby), young business and consulting staff (Living Social is doors down), DC City staff, and local and federal judicial staff.  On the other hand, there are few heavy-duty lobbyists, limited Hill staff, and even with a Georgetown basketball game playing that evening across the street at the Verizon Center, the inundating sports crowds pre-gaming the area are not packing the joint either. 

                The staff at Rocket Bar is accommodating-this place is everyone’s basement, where you can avoid the formalities of DC life, let your hair down, and kick back over games that remind you of your childhood while simultaneously catching professional athletics alongside Sportscenter, all of which are blasting on multiple big screen TVs.  This is a guy’s place-I’ve never had a girlfriend suggest Rocket Bar for the evening, and the drinking menu is a clear reflection of that.  The emphasis is placed on the brew, and while there are other options for those who prefer a drink that other than beer, Rocket Bar offers the basic minimums for wine and mixed drinks.  What to eat with all this beer?  Rocket Bar is also one in a chain of bars which don’t serve food but welcome patrons to bring their own food-BYOF.  With so many excellent bites to satisfy your time frame, taste, and billfold budget around the GP/Chinatown, this is not a loss for patrons.  However, for my group this evening, it’s an inconvenience to leave for nourishment and return, so we decide to bounce the bar and the neighborhood entirely in search of a location where we can get eat, drink, and be in football merriment... 

                My last call on Rocket Bar: uber laid-back, sausage-infested 20-somethings/young 30-somethings crowd, looking for an economical beer and cheap bar thrills. The patrons are typically well-vetted and this is an escape from business, so their confidential business will stay in the office or more formal, discrete locations; office fantasy football scenarios, however, will not.

MNF To Be Continued…


Jamie said...

I miss going out! It has been a long time since bar hopping was part of my weekend repertoire. I miss those days.

Liz - So Much to Smile About said...

I have so many fun memories from Rocket Bar! Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season!

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