The Pug

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1234 H Street Northeast, Washington, DC, USA

The Pug Washington Reviews

alexindc alexindc
41 reviews
No bells and whistles; just a damn good bar Apr 16, 2011
Sometimes visiting or living in DC can get very frustrating, especially when it comes to nightlife. The city is over saturated with high-end bistros, expensive craft beer houses, and crowds of over-educated, over-paid snobs who are more than willing to spend their disposable income on it. The Pug, however, is the complete opposite of any of that.

First things first, yes, it's a total dive bar; but that's completely deliberate. You see, The Pug aims to counter the trend in DC to keep driving nightlife options and their associated costs through the roof. It's a place where neighborhood locals can go to get a shot of whiskey and a can of beer when that's all they want. It's a place to get away from the pretension that comes along with most other bars in the city, a pretension that seems to be creeping into even the once wild H Street corridor.

Upon stepping into The Pug, one just feels like they've come home. The place is no-nonsense, it's for people who just want to relax and drink. There's usually a good selection of punk and ska playing over the loudspeakers, but not too loud. Then there are the rules, posted in several places: No idiots. No bombs. No shooters. No specials. No politics. Relax. Drink. Be cool. Behave.

The "no politics" rule in particular sold me on this place. In a city driven by politics, and shady, dishonest politicians and their never ending stream of lackeys, it's nice to know that there's another soul out there who hates politics, and that these people have a place to gather.

The alcohol selection is back to basics. Rail drinks, standard liquors (lots and lots of whiskey in particular), some decent draft beers; but the biggest sellers are the classic cans of National Bohemian (or, Natty Boh as locals call them), Strohs, Schlitz and High Life.

I'm told they have a basic food menu, including a rotating special, which is cooked up on one of the house Crock Pots. See, I told you it feels like home!

So, if you're looking to relax at a place that puts "the bar" back into the bar, and a place to get loaded for cheap in the big expensive city, this is your place.
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