Pros: Centrally located, inexpensive, pool room downstairs, dance floor upstairs
Cons: clientele is just plain frightening to the average person
The Bottom Line: Scary on the outside, comfy on the inside. Grab a beer and shoot some pool.
It's funny. I have been using a crowbar all day to putt moldings off of the wall in the house that my husband and I want to sell ASAP. SO, I decided that I would write a review on the crowbar that I was using. So, I did a search on "Crow Bar." No, the crowbar I'm using didn't pop up, but the biker bar I was too scared to go inside when I was in college sure did.
Yup, it's called The Crow Bar. You can find it on the corner of 20th and L Streets in Northwest Washington, DC. It's a brick building with a mural of a big crow smoking a cigar on the side. Oh, and there will be at least a dozen Harley Davidson motorcycles parked out front. Yes, this is the notorious biker bar of Foggy Bottom. And, for a young, innocent and attractive (if I do say so myself) college girl, it was as scary as Hell.
Due to the clientele, meaning the big, brawny bikers in leather and spikes, I envisioned a bar like one you would see in a movie such as RoadHouse. You know the kind: Seedy, hole-in-the-wall joint with a bar fight every minutes and the bartender keeps a shotgun behind the bar. Well, when I last visited Washington DC, I decided to venture into The Crow Bar. Fortunately, all of my fears proved wrong.
The downstairs is sparse, save for the bar. There are a couple of tables here and there, just to make sure people have a place to eat. There's also a place to shoot pool, and the tables are kept in good shape. There is usually a lot of people playing, though, so don't expect to get on a table immediately. All of the action happens downstairs, though.
When it gets overcrowded, people move upstairs. There is another bar upstairs with the same offerings downstairs, except for food. If you want food (which there really isn't much of), then you have to go downstairs and order. If you order upstairs, you will wait forever if they even let you place an order. Also upstairs is a dance floor with lights and decorations. It's not cheesey, though. Do you really think bikers would go to a bar where there is a cheesey dance area? I think not.
As I said earlier, there isn't much food offered. A few appetizers, sandwiches and burgers. People go there to drink. If you're hungry, there are several other restaurants in the area. (Especially Luigi's a hole-in-the-wall Italian joint that has the BEST Italian food outside of NY. It's straight up 20th Street, between Crow Bar and Odds.)
The bartenders and servers are surprisingly friendly, even though both the men and women look tough. Tip well and they'll really take care of you. They're friendly and totally down-to-Earth. While they might not be the fastest servers (the bartenders are pretty quick), what they lack they make up in attitude.
Don't get all prettied up or go in wearing yuppy clothes... You'll probably get kicked out or your butt kicked before you get inside. Jeans and a shirt are fine. Leather is better. Heck, you'll blend more.
If you used to go to The George Washington University, chances are you were scared to go in there during your college years. When you go back to visit, stop in at Crow Bar. Others, if this type of place isn't your scene, you've been aptly warned. There are plenty of other bars in the area.
Kid Friendliness: No Vegetarian Friendly: Yes Notes, Tips or Menu Recommendations It's not as scary on the inside as it is on the out... Give it a try, but as long as you're with friends! Best Suited For: Large Group