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Washington Gets Happy Seven Days a Week

You’re 21 years old, working a 40-hour week doing menial tasks — and you don’t have a dime to show for it. Such is the plight of the unpaid Congressional intern. While being strapped for cash is never fun, there’s no reason that should ruin your summer in D.C.

Believe it or not, plenty of bars in Washington offer specials that will rival the dive you love back in your college town. Here at Mug Shots we took the time to map out a week of eating and drinking on the cheap in D.C.


Bullfeathers (410 First St. SE), named for a word Teddy Roosevelt employed in place of a curse, offers a burger and fries for a mere $4 on Monday nights. The only catch is that customers have to order a beverage, but with $2.50 Bud Light bottles and $3.25 Miller Lite drafts, a drink won’t break the bank. Extra toppings such as cheese and mushrooms cost 50 cents each.


Capitol Lounge (231 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) is the place to be on Tuesdays. The bar discounts all beers, cocktails and glasses of wine by $1 during happy hour. But the real deal is the Tuesday food special, when the bar serves up 25-cent wings. Dinner can cost as little as $5 — depending on the size of your stomach.


Winos take note: Nage Bistro (1600 Rhode Island Ave. NW) has the best by-the-glass deal in town. The bar is cozy and charming and is one of the best-kept secrets in D.C. During happy hour Nage sells $1 plates of shoestring fries, $2 glasses of wine (perhaps the cheapest you’ll see anywhere in Washington), $3 beers, $4 Stoli vodka drinks and $5 cocktails. Happy hour runs from 5 to 7 p.m., and these deals are offered Monday through Friday.


Pour House (319 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) is a personal favorite from Mug Shots’ time as an intern. The bar is known for its dartboards, flat-screen TVs and copious numbers of interns looking to blow off some steam. On Thursdays, Miller Lite and Yuengling drafts go for $2.75, while rail drinks go for $4. Bud Light Towers — 9 pints of beer served in one giant container — are also available for $22.


The Bottom Line (1716 I St. NW) is the place to be if you’re looking to drink on the cheap on a Friday night. This divey basement bar provides no frills, only cheap beer and some of the friendliest bartenders in town. On Fridays, the bar has an all-night beat-the-clock special with bottles of Miller Lite starting at $1 from 4 to 7 p.m. The price increases to $2 from 7 to 9 p.m. and then to $2.50 from 9 p.m. to midnight. At midnight, the bottles drop back down to $1, and that price remains through closing.


While most bars offer great specials during the week, it can be hard to find a weekend place to drink on the cheap. But Union Pub (201 Massachusetts Ave. NE) serves the purpose. This Senate-side haunt provides several big-screen TVs and ample outdoor seating on a covered patio. Rail drinks cost $2.50, while $3 Michelob Shock Tops are available all night long. If you’re of the “go hard or go home” mentality, you may want to invest in the $20 all-you-can drink deal from 8 to 10 p.m.


Though it often gets overlooked, Hawk ‘n’ Dove (329 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) is a classic Hill bar. It’s been serving beer to staffers since opening in 1967. The bar is broken into several rooms, but cheap drinks are served in all of them. Swing by Hawk ‘n’ Dove if you’re looking to have a Sunday Funday. The bar sells $8 domestic pitchers during sports games, but the real deal is the $2.50 Yuengling drafts available from 1 to 9 p.m.

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