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Where D.C.'s Politicos Go to Unwind After Hours

By Tim Ebner | November 1, 2018 | Food & Drink

Politics inevitably spills into Washington's after-work life, especially at these popular watering holes.


Known for its political-themed coasters, Off the Record just released new caricatures of Robert Mueller and Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Ask for a Trumpy Sour and get a whiskey sour made with Filibuster’s Boondoggler Whiskey. Meanwhile, The Lobbyist is the cocktail of choice at Round Robin Bar adjacent to The Willard, where the term “lobbyist” was first coined. Bar seating can be equally political; just ask John Valanos at Capitol Hill’s The Monocle. “My maitre d’ has the toughest job in DC—giving everyone their space,” he says. That includes regulars like Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and Senator Lisa Murkowski. At Georgetown’s Martin’s Tavern, Republicans request booth No. 2, where President Nixon once dined, and Democrats flock to No. 3, where Jackie Kennedy took steps toward saying “I do.” Looking to spot a current admin official? At Cafe Milano you might spot Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner in a secluded corner or Kellyanne Conway holding court. Presidential history buffs will appreciate Quill’s resident historian, Georgetown professor Susan Sullivan Lagon, who can talk at length about America’s original political rivalry: Thomas Jefferson versus Alexander Hamilton—Quill serves drinks in honor of both men. During his Senate confirmation hearings, Justice Neil Gorsuch waited for word at Teddy and The Bully Bar, named for his favorite president, Theodore Roosevelt. Speak softly and carry a big Old-Fashioned, indeed.