There are “cool” bars in DC and then there are first date bars in DC. Now, the two often overlap, but they don’t always. So, sometimes we run into a dilemma: we want to pick a cool, interesting place for a first date…but, is it actually good for a first date? We’ve found that these bars are often suggested as first date bars…but, they don’t actually always make the best first date bars.
- Kramerbooks: Kramerbooks is your classic “cool bar” scenario. And, well, it is a pretty cool bar. We love Kramers because…who doesn’t love books and booze? But, there are some downsides. If this is a happy hour only bar (something we suggest for first dates), the bar is MINISCULE. I mean, less-than-15-seats small. Not to mention, their selection isn’t huge and it isn’t very cozy because you’re basically sitting on top of each other. And finding a good seat anytime after 6:15 can be a bit of a hassle. So, while we forever love Kramers…it isn’t the best first date spot.
- El Centro: El Centro has a legendary happy hour deal – $5 margs in a wide array of flavors. But, this place gets pretty rowdy and crowded with the after-work crowd. While it may start off casual, once the lights go down and the music turns on, conversation gets pretty difficult.
- Board Room: Board Room gets accolades – they have cheap drinks and board games. However, the most important thing to remember about a first date, especially a blind first date, is you never really know how it’s going to go. So, heading to a bar where you might pick up a never-ending game of Monopoly or get into an argument about what word counts in Scattergories might not be the best choice. But, it makes a great second date!
- American Ice Company: American Ice Company checks a lot of DC boxes – semi-outdoors, full of young professionals, and they serve drinks in mason jars. However, this seems more of like a “group” place. You’ll notice that the seating is all catered towards groups and shared long tables, making intimate conversation difficult as you’re trying to hear each other over the bros downing PBRs
- Bar Charley: Bar Charley is a favorite of ours (seriously, we went to brunch there over the winter and it was lovely) but just because it’s a cute favorite place, doesn’t mean it’s a great place to hang out 1:1 for the first time with someone. Like Kramer’s, Bar Charley has a teeny-tiny bar that fills up fast. And, you’re typically sitting on top of another person.
Read more of our Dating in the District Series: