A Tip of the Hat to Stetson's
Stetson's Famous Bar & Grill has always been a bit of an anomaly on U Street. On a stretch filled with jazz clubs and lounges with dress codes, this is a simple Tex-Mex-flavored dive with a solid, classics-heavy jukebox, a decent Tuesday-night pub quiz and cheap beer ($2.50 Miller drafts and rail drinks until 8 during the week and all day on Sunday). A twentysomething crowd flocks to play pinball and shoot pool at the coin-op table upstairs and to chill on the "secret" backyard patio during the summer. It gets crowded, but that's part of the charm.
Washington is forever obsessed with whether certain watering holes on the Hill cater to Republican or Democratic staffers, but the unpretentious atmosphere at Stetson's has made it a favorite of both Clinton staffers and the Bush twins, who were spotted drinking underage and helping another patron perform "magic tricks" a few years ago.
The come-as-you-are-and-drink-cheaply vibe is probably why Stetson's has lasted a quarter of a century.
On Sunday night, the bar is marking its 25th birthday with an all-night happy hour of $2.50 drafts and rails, which means you'll have some money left in your budget to tip your bartenders. You'll want to give generously, for everything you leave is earmarked for Children's Hospital.
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