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Check Out The Douchiest Bars In DC

You might not want to read this post if you hang out in Midtown or Georgetown. DC’s finest bars for bros, preps and the women that love them did not fare well.  Complex Magazine ranked the Top 25 Douchiest Bars in DC and those two areas were well represented on the list. I tried to provide visual representation of the crowd at the top three. Below is the Top 10, and McFaddens certainly earned the overall No. 1 ranking.

1) McFaddens

2) Rumors (Dudes in Affliction t-shirts, women showing off thongs. This Google search brought some weird pics.)

3) Smith Point

4) Lucky Bar 5) Grand Central 6) Town Hall 7) Madhatter 8) George 9) Recessions 10) Public Bar

Some of the other bars 11-25 truly suck, but I’ll also admit that I’ve been to almost every spot on the list. I’m not sure Lucky Bar deserves such a high ranking, it is a generally chill spot. It also seems the list makers only visited bars on busy weekend nights. Fridays and Saturday tend to be packed downtown, so the constant complaints of crowds seem a bit disingenuous.

Commenters on the Complex site took much issue with Black Cat’s Red Room bar making the list, and I tend to agree with them. Red Room is a great spot for a few beers before or after a show, and if you can’t deal with a few hipsters maybe you shouldn’t be at a small indie venue to begin with.

I’m very curious what people think of the full list, and feel free to make your own. Also interesting only one bar in the suburbs made the ranks, Tommy Joe’s in Bethesda. There is no Arlington or VA bar that deserved to be mocked?

Full disclosure: My Dad used to own and I used to work at No. 18 Sign of the Whale. It was sold in 2005 and I like to think the level of fratness has grown exponentially since our exit. But I might be biased on that one.



  1. JP Finlay

    August 2, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Also, I like Rocket Bar. Sue me.

  2. JGP

    August 2, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Is Carpool in Arlington still open? That place was TERRIBLE in the late-90’s when I was still in the area.

  3. Me

    August 2, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    List was unsurprising (save for Red Room and Smith Point not being #1). But I like some of those places as well.

    I would have liked to have seen one of those trendy speakeasies on the list. Nothing douchier (sp?) than a “mixologist” (again except for maybe Smith Point).

  4. Patrick

    August 2, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Totally agree on all points. Although I used to hang out at just about all of them at various points in the past, which I may or may not be ashamed of now.

    There are definitely some omissions in Arlington for sure having lived there for the better part of 10 years.

    But as for the Red Room your spot on, that place is always welcoming to anyone not just hipsters/artists/musicians, but obviously is heavy in that direction. Great place to just hang out or pre or post-game for a show.

    There is this one place in Adams Morgan that should have made the list where these total D-bag bartenders JP and Steve used to work. What a bunch of clowns those guys are.

  5. Donk Donkerson

    August 2, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    I was in Sign of the Whale last winter after being refused admission to Camelot (long story). It has a goddamn Phillies Flag hanging from the rafters. I love my hometown, but I have never seen a city with bars so blatantly decorated in opposing teams gear than DC. There’s even a Pittsburgh bar on Penn Ave 3 blocks from the Capitol Dome for crissakes!
    Do you think there is a bar in Downtown Philly with a Nats flag hanging in it? This shit makes me angry.

  6. JP Finlay

    August 2, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    @Donk: I know man. I recognize DC is transient but it is crazy the amount of bars for other teams. That said I have been to Skins bars in NYC, SF and LA and always had a great time chilling with other Skins fans.

    As for the Whale and the Iggles, none of that shit was hanging up when my fam was involved. It’s awful.

  7. Jules

    August 2, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Yes, Carpool is still there. Mister Days and Clarendon Grill could certainly represent Arlington well (or not well) on this list.

    I’m still surprised Third Edition didn’t make the cut.

  8. Walshmobile

    August 2, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    At the risk of sounding hipster, Rocket Bar was good until people found out about it. Then it totally embraced hipster shit by selling PBR cans for $4

  9. jon forrester

    August 2, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    My Brothers Place is next door to my work. It’s not douchey and similar to Hamiltons next door. Trustees and ugly mug are good bars too.

    You gotta put Whitlows, Mister Days, Third Edition, Baileys, Velocity Five, etc. on there.

  10. illformula

    August 2, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    agree with most of the list and with the comments on the omission of arlington bars (Days, Whitlows, Ballroom, Grille all deserving), but would love to see Rhino Bar at #1 only because it’s a Boston shit hole filled with green and pink hats.

  11. nate

    August 3, 2012 at 7:05 AM

    Whitlow’s is the f’ing worst!

  12. Ketel on Rocks

    August 3, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    Lucky Bar really shouldn’t be on this list. Neither should Sign of the Whale.

    Rumors is just sad and depressing.

    At 33 years old, hell would be going out to Rhino or McFadden’s. I’d rather drink sterno under the Key bridge.

  13. Hogs Haven

    August 3, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    My friend used to bar back at Smith Point 10 years ago…so I was on “the list.” It is hands down the douchiest bar I’ve been to NATIONALLY. Town Hall is a very close second.

  14. JGP

    August 3, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Holy shit, Third Edition. I forgot about that place. That deserves its own circle of hell.

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