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Posted at 1:50 PM ET, 09/22/2006

Where the (Older) Boys Are

By Fritz Hahn

We get hundreds of questions in our weekly Got Plans? discussion -- far more than we can answer in the hour or so allotted. On Fridays, we like to provide a response for one of the queries we didn't have time to get to.

Hello Gurus,
You seem to know a lot of the "hot" places for happy hour in D.C. Unfortunately the crowd at these places are quite young. Can you recommend a good happy hour bar for older chicks? My friend and I are 37 and want to go out for drinks on Friday. Where DO the men our age(or a little older)hang out...and please don't say sports bars. That is not our scene. Thanks...
An Older Chick

Longtime Got Plans? readers know that we're not huge fans of the "Where are all the single [blank] hiding" questions, but this time, we'll make an exception.

It is possible to go out and enjoy the nightlife scene without turning into college (or fresh out of college) crowds everywhere you go -- even though, as Erin and I were just discussing, you're sure to find men in their 30s and 40s mixed in among the crowd at places as diverse as Eighteenth Street Lounge, the Hawk and Dove or the Bottom Line.

A great way to get your feet wet is to put yourself in the hands of a skillful bartender. Mo Taheri at 701 makes fantastic martinis, but he's also gifted at getting the clientele at "Mo's Bar" chatting with each other. Ditto for Sam Lek at the Town & County Lounge at the Mayflower, whose large following of patrons over 30 includes those who love his inventive cocktails and those happy to be entertained by Sam's magic tricks and the buzzy social environment. Sometimes the chatter at the bar is louder than the piano.

For something fresher and hipper, the Degrees bar at the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown has a long list of martinis and the occasional visiting celebrity. Bardeo, the wine bar attached to Ardeo in Cleveland Park, seems like a date spot, but is a favorite of solo (and maybe single) diners. On the Hill, Charlie Palmer Steak offers 10,000 bottles of wine -- though far fewer by the glass -- to patrons. While the long bar is often crowded after work, it's easier to find someone over 30 than a legislative assistant. (The downside: You may have to listen to a lot of political chatter while you're waiting for Mr. Right.)

Of course, there are the standbys: Cafe Milano, Nathans, Capital Grille. All famous for lively social scenes, all potential pick-up joints. And if none of those options work, it might not hurt to scope out a sportier spot. For many hard-working professionals of all ages, game time is a rare opportunity to actually make it out to a bar with the guys.


By Fritz Hahn  | September 22, 2006; 1:50 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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Kinkead's!!! Great bartenders there and nice crowd of people not looking for a paaaahh-taaaay.

Posted by: DC | September 22, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Men over 30 or 40 are married. They're at home with their wives.

Posted by: Alexandria | September 22, 2006 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Before I was married, I'd hang at Chaos above Chief Ikes, or The Reef, or Bedrock Billiards. You will not find me or other decent men over thirty at Brass Monkey, Felix or any meat-market crap like that.

Posted by: Tim | September 22, 2006 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Re: Alexandria's comment. Get back to us in three to five years.

Posted by: Courtney | September 22, 2006 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I am a 38 year old single woman, and I don't feel significantly more "mature" than the crowd at Harry's Tap Room...I also think "Le Bar" at Sofitel has a pretty age-diverse crowd. I also try not to sweat the whole age thing too much. You really are only as old as you feel (or at least that is what I keep telling myself), so just go out to places that make you feel comfortable and enjoy being single. Not every married person is blissfully happy, in case you hadn't noticed :) (And no, I am not knocking marriage, just highlighting the fact that there are advantages and disadvantages to both states of life, and you should definitely enjoy the state of being single while you are there!)

Posted by: Downtown DC | September 23, 2006 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm 38 and my friends and I tend to frequent small bars that are in restaurants, rather than large bars that are obvious meat markets or clubs. Places that might have a TV in the corner and a bartender that will change the channel if you ask, and you're more likely to actually hear your friends when they speak to you, not to mention a man who strikes up a friendly conversation.

But isn't it telling that this item got only SIX responses?

Posted by: Dee | September 24, 2006 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Downtown DC- I agree- I think there are VERY different types of love and marriage. It is very hard to meet GOOD guys after you are 35 (as I am) but I am still hopeful. This article does help...what about in the Reston area? Any ideas? Just moved to that area....

Posted by: CB | September 26, 2006 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm a 39 yo single guy.

I agree that the corner type bar where you can get a good burger and beer is a better option.

It's all a numbers game, so try talking to as many men as you can. From the grocery store or the gym, even if nothing comes of it, it will give you more confidence. Now I need to listen to my own advice.

Posted by: jeff | September 26, 2006 1:39 PM | Report abuse

This may seem a bit uptight and I love to save money but I would suggest you go to bars without advertised drink specials. Any place with 3 dollar bud/miller lites stay away from. Hotel bars are great and the bar/resturant next door to the Spy museum. There's only so much conversation you can have with a 25 year old. Just get out of the house.

Posted by: Eric | September 27, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm at the National Cathedral every wednesday, and I eat dinner in the neighborhood. The bar at Cafe Deluxe (South of Macomb on Wisc Ave) seems to have a small, older singles crowd whenever I'm there.

Posted by: Woodley Park | September 28, 2006 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Johnny's half shell! At least there were plenty of middle aged barflies at the old location. the restaurant is now near Union station.

Posted by: a | September 29, 2006 5:50 PM | Report abuse

The Bottom Line has been trending a lot younger in recent years.

Posted by: rob | September 30, 2006 11:47 PM | Report abuse

I am 36 year old men and I am looking for
a bar or club in DC area where I can meet women of my age for casual relationship . Please advise

Posted by: Maurice | October 13, 2006 9:38 PM | Report abuse

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