Mug Shots: Happy Hour on the Hill

Bargains That Won’t Break Your Budget

Posted January 11, 2008 at 5:04pm

January can be a tricky month. Money is thin after December’s rush of parties and gift giving. But there’s ample time and temptation to drink away the post-holiday boredom at happy hour.

[IMGCAP(1)]There’s good news for those staffers who give in to the desire to drown their bank balance blues: A number of happy hour specials on Capitol Hill are easy on the wallet.

Mug Shots has found a spot to grab a cocktail and mingle every night of the week without breaking the bank.


Capitol Lounge (229 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) is the perfect place to beat a case of the Mondays. The bar, which twice has fallen victim to fire, features $3 Budweiser and Bud Light bottles, Capitol Amber drafts and Yuenglings in addition to $4 well drinks from 4 to 7 p.m. (these specials run Monday through Friday). Visitors to the Lounge won’t leave hungry since the bar also offers half-price pizza and toppings during happy hour on Mondays.


Union Pub (201 Massachusetts Ave. NE), known affectionately as UP to many a staffer, offers an especially good deal for ladies at its Tuesday night happy hour. In addition to its daily special of $3.50 rail drinks from 4 to 9 p.m., the bar offers free rail drinks and house drafts for women from 4 to 5 p.m. These drinks are available for $1 from 5 to 7 p.m. So men, take note, if you’re looking to meet a new lady, this is the place to go. Plus, you won’t break the bank buying her drinks. The UP also offers half-priced Buffalo wings and $10 house pitchers.


Tapatinis (711 Eighth St. SE) on Barracks Row is inevitably filled with women sipping colorful cocktails out of martini glasses on Wednesday evenings. With $1 glasses of wine and $4 cosmos offered for women, who can blame them? While men must pay full price, the odds of getting a date are certainly in their favor. Patrons can munch on apple walnut salads and calamari frittas, both at a cost of $8, while catching up with friends and making new ones. Specials run till 9 p.m., making this a good deal even for those who have to stay at work a little late.

If fruity cocktails aren’t your style or you happen to be a man looking for a deal and not a new lady friend, try Finn macCool’s (713 Eighth St. SE) located a few doors down. The pub’s daily happy hour specials include $3 domestic pints and rail liquor, $4.50 premium pints and $5 selected appetizers. Wine lovers take note: from 7 to11 p.m. on Wednesdays, the bar offers half-priced bottles.


An old favorite of Mug Shots’, the Pour House (319 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) offers cheap beer and a lively crowd every Thursday. In the basement bar, also known as Scheisse Haus, Budweisers and Bud Lights are practically given away at a price of $1 per bottle from 5 to 8 p.m. Bottle prices go up to $2 from 8 p.m. to midnight, and then to $3 for those still there from midnight till close.

The bar, a popular spot for interns and staffers who are on the lower end of the pay scale, features a pool table, comfy couches and several televisions tuned to the night’s various sporting events. As you may remember from your college days, cheap beer draws a crowd so it’s often better to wait until 8 p.m. when the crowd begins to thin and the cheapskates head home or pass out in the corner.


If you’re in the mood to venture more than a few blocks from the Dome, grab a cab and head over to The Red and the Black (1212 H St. NE). This New Orleans-style bar offers $2.25 Bud and Miller Lite and $3.25 rail drinks from 6 to 8 p.m. Visitors can munch on cajun-spiced nuts for a buck or red beans and rice for $5. Stick around after 8 and enjoy live music on the bar’s second floor. Upcoming acts include The Prisoner’s Dilemma on Jan. 18 and Lauris Vidal on Jan. 25.