Anyone remember old DC, a virtual cornucopia of grungy watering holes with cheap beers and chatty, down to earth folks? Thanks to gentrification these places have slowly disappeared, giving way to swanky lounges with $12 specialty shots. Most dives in this town have gone the way of the Fenty, er, Dodo.
Situated next door to Fruit Bat and Granville Moore’s (mmm, frites), The Pug has a bit of this old DC vibe — a cheap place to go to where you can avoid uppity yuppies in peace. Refreshingly, one of the bar rules is “no politics” so you won’t hear anything about appropriations or parliamentary inquiries in here.
The Pug was one of the first pioneers of the recent renaissance here on H and has been around for a few years now. For what it is, it delivers — just a low-key, grimy neighborhood dive with a boxing theme. The bartenders are pretty cool except when it gets busy, and then the service can head downhill. It can take ten minutes for the overwhelmed bartenders to fetch you a <insert popular cheap canned beer here>. If you have a minute, check out their website and click on Specialty Cocktails. Tuk tuk tuk.
As far as DC dives go, I personally prefer places like the Raven or the Red Derby. But The Pug is simple, down to earth, and it’s a place to go for a reprieve from suits and frat boys. Ultimately it’s not much of a destination on H — it’s just a place to relax and kick back a few Natty Bohs.
Written by guest columnist Joel Church. Find out more about Joel here.