The stress of finding the perfect date spot for Valentine’s Day is even more onerous for the almost 23 percent of District residents with disabilities. They must consider how accessible a restaurant or bar is, and that includes factors like whether doorways are wide enough for mobility devices or if the venue is spread across multiple floors without an elevator. The following five options deliver in both accessibility and ambiance.
Dos Mamis819 Upshur St. NW
This woman-owned bar is the brain-child of Carlie Steiner (who also owns Pom Pom) and Anna Bran-Leis (owner of Taqueria del Barrio). Dos Mamis offers Latin-inspired small bites and charcuterie.
Why it’s good for a date: Attentive bar staff and delicious cocktails—ranging from hot to frozen to zero proof—in a Miami-hued, LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood bar. Dos Mamis also features a heated patio, where you can play a game of Sapo or just stare at your date.
Accessibility: This cocktail bar has a range of plentiful seating, two large wheelchair accessible gender neutral bathrooms, as well as a ramp leading to the patio area. The inside bar plays great music, but if you need a break from the noise and chatter, the patio usually has a quieter, laid back ambiance.
Allegory at the Eaton Hotel1201 K St. NW
On the other side of an inconspicuous, unmarked door inside Eaton’s Radical Library awaits a speakeasy-like cocktail bar headed by Alexandra Bookless.
Why it’s good for a date: This beautifully designed, intimate bar is the place to go to impress your date. Enter and you’ll spot a mural of Ruby Bridges as Alice in Wonderland by D.C.-based artist Erik Thor-Sandberg. Try a creative cocktail like the Kings & Elders made with Scotch, honey, ginger, makrut lime leaf, and sparkling water or ask your bartender to make you a custom drink.
Accessibility: Located on the ground level of the Eaton Hotel, Allegory is a short walk past the main entrance and reception. The space is intimate, but never too crowded, with dim, ambient lighting throughout. Seating is ample, with plush couches and sturdy armless chairs, making it a stress-free and comfortable space.
Ellē 3221 Mount Pleasant St. NW
Why it’s good for a date: Coffee date? Brunch date? Happy hour or dinner date? Ellē offers all four options. Opening at 7 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. on weekends, this Mount Pleasant charmer is versatile. Ellē serves a rotating menu of pastries and sandwiches during the day, and a full dinner menu at night from Chef Brad Deboy.
Accessibility: Ellē pays attention to details, as it is one of the few restaurants in D.C. that clearly discloses its accessibility information on its website. They have a ramp that is accessible from the sidewalk leading into the building and two ADA restrooms located on the dining room floor. If the dining room is closed at the time of your visit, just ask an employee and they will give you access to those restrooms. They also have gender neutral restrooms with baby changing tables.
Columbia Room124 Blagden Alley NW
With multiple accolades under its belt, Columbia Room in Blagden Alley is an upscale yet cozy place to imbibe your beverage of choice. A “no-proof” drink menu is also available.
Why it’s good for a date: Columbia Room is a bar with three distinct experiences. There’s a Tasting Room with ticketed, multi-course menus; a lounge-like Spirits Library, where you can order drinks a la carte and without a reservation; and the outdoor Punch Garden, which has the most casual feel.
Accessibility: Columbia Room has ramps, as well as an elevator to lead customers up to the three spaces. Feel free to let the staff know in advance before you visit, or just let the host know of any accessibility needs. They are also accommodating when it comes to dietary restrictions and allergies on their Tasting Room and Punch Garden menu, so long as you give them 48 hours notice.
Streetcar 82 Brewing Company4824 Rhode Island Ave., Hyattsville
Gallaudet University graduates Jon Cetrano, Mark Burke, and Sam Costner founded this brewery, located in a former auto repair garage in Hyattsville, Maryland. Streetcar 82 is a place where all are welcome to come together and enjoy beer while building a strong sense of community.
Why it’s good for a date: Streetcar 82, with its strong community focus and its kid friendly stance, is the ideal pick if you forgot to call the babysitter. You can bring in your own food and non-alcoholic beverages, making it even more flexible. Their tap list is updated every Wednesday. If available, try the Azacca sour IPA they describe as “liquid sweet tarts” or the Capitol Transit Amber Ale with malt, citrus, and pine notes. You can also take your brew to-go in crowlers and growlers.
Accessibility: Streetcar 82 employs all deaf and hard-of-hearing servers and supports other deaf-owned businesses and artists who are deaf. They recently commissioned a mural by Daniel Katz Hernandez, which highlights the old streetcar line of the same name that ran through the area from 1888 to 1958. Streetcar 82 frequently host ASL classes and ASL-friendly game days.