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As if it wasn’t hard enough to get a table at Rose’s Luxury, Bon Appetit named it the best new restaurant in America last week. Which likely means the waits aren’t subsiding anytime soon. Fortunately, the neighborhood has plenty places to drink while you count down the minutes until your smoked brisket platter. Depending on the situation, here’s where you should bide your time.
Situation: You’re planning to go all out at Rose’s and want to throw back a few drinks cheaply. Where to go: Banana Cafe, 500 8th St. SE What to get: A beer bucket—only $15 for domestics and $20 for imports. Or go for a Coronita in a 21-ounce margarita for $10.
Situation: You don’t want to stray far, so you can hop over the second your table is ready. Where to go: Molly Malone’s, 713 8th St. SE What to get: Beer is your best bet, with 50 varieties on tap plus beer flights. Happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., includes $1 off beers, $3 off wines, and $4 well drinks.
Situation: You’re trying to impress a date and still want to keep things classy. Where to go: Sona Creamery, 660 Pennsylvania Ave. SE What to get: Boutique wines by the glass are $2 off during happy hour from 4 to 8 p.m. daily. Need something to nibble on? A pairing with three wines and cheeses goes for $25.
Situation: You’re fed up and want to get drunk. You need something strong. Where to go: Barrel, 613 Pennsylvania Ave. SE What to get: One of the more than 100 varieties of bourbon and whiskey. Barrel-aged cocktails—like a Cuba Libre or Sazerac—will also do the trick.
Situation: You’re starving but don’t want to spoil your appetite. And you want to drink well. Where to go: Hank’s Oyster Bar, 633 Pennsylvania Ave. SE What to get: A dozen of the seasonally rotating oysters, which are only $1 at the bar from 5 to 7 p.m. on weekdays. (After that, they’re $2.25) Pair your bivalves with an expertly made cocktail from mixologist Gina Chersevani.
Situation: Your wait is really, really long, you need a snack, and oysters aren’t going to cut it. Where to go: Cava Mezze, 527 8th St. SE What to get: Small bites (mini gyros, spicy lamb sliders) and dips (hummus, harissa) are $3 to $4 each at the bar from 5 to 7 p.m. daily. Grab a glass of Greek wine for only $4 during happy hour.
Photographs by Darrow Montgomery