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Posted at 3:33 PM ET, 04/23/2007

Warm Weather On Deck

By Fritz Hahn

When the weather is warm and the sun is shining, I want to be outside. I don't need much from bars -- just food, drinks, some shade, music and people-watching, and maybe a TV if the Nats are on.

The Deck, located next to the Savoy Suites in Glover Park, is exactly what it sounds like: A large wooden patio with a slatted floor, tiki-style bar, potted plants and plenty of tables and chairs, some of which are shaded by awnings. A pair of TVs behind the bar show the sporting event of the moment.

I've been a few times over the past couple of years, but I never felt like the place was living up to its potential. Now under new management and offering a long list of drink specials, the Deck seems ready to be a major player this summer.

Last weekend, it was packed with the Georgetown crowd that usually heads for Washington Harbour -- guys in pastel polos and Reef sandals, women in sundresses or Lilly Pulitzer and patrons of both sexes popping collars. The music wasn't too loud as to be obtrusive and the crowd seemed good-natured (and on a first-name basis with every other batch of new arrivals).

At the bar, beers are in the mid-range, from Miller Lite and Corona to Guinness, but there are a few surprises, like Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat, which I hadn't tried in a while. (It's a little sweet, with some candyish banana flavors.) The menu focuses on the basics -- mini-burgers, crab cakes, quesadillas -- and the food is good, not great, which is what I was expecting to come out of the hotel's kitchen.

While I'll be more inclined to kill a lazy afternoon at the bar -- Saturday and Sunday deals include $3 domestic beers and half-price wine -- there's plenty going on during the week, too. Tuesday is country music night, with $2 Buds and half-price whiskey, while Wednesday means '80s rock on the stereo and half-price food and drink from 5 to close. On Friday and Saturday nights, the music is primed for dancing, though there's not a lot of room. (Ladies, be careful you don't stumble after catching your pointy heels in the spaces between the floor slats. I've seen it happen.) I don't think that will be much of a concern, though; Based on my early visits, the Deck seems more like a happy hour or pre-gaming spot than a place to stick around until the wee hours.

There are gripes: The bartenders were occasionally overwhelmed, and while the servers were helpful, they went missing for long periods of time; I saw customers bussing their own tables. Hopefully that will change once the owners get into the flow of the season. Also, no draft beers are found outside, and to use the bathroom, you have to wander inside the hotel, past the front desk (and teams of pilots and flight attendants checking out) and down a hall.

However, those grumbles won't keep me away. A group of friends, summer sun and $3 beers will win out every time.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | April 23, 2007; 3:33 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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wow. popped collars and lily pulitzer. sounds fantabulous!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

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