10 Classic American Bars and Lounges

Experience classic American nightlife in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Pull up a stool at one of these bars and lounges, where the scene and the cocktails are crafted to please.

Bartender at Majestic Cafe, Alexandria, VA
ChurchKey, Washington, DC
POV rooftop lounge, Washington, DC
Firestone's Culinary Tavern, Frederick, MD
Commonwealth in Charlottesville, VA
Prime Rib lounge at Maryland Live! Casino
Capital Ale House, Richmond, VA
Bar PX, Alexandria, VA
Madam's Organ, Washington, DC
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Majestic Cafe, Alexandria, Virginia

Choose from classic or signature cocktails at The Majestic, an Old Town landmark since 1932. Classics include Martinis and Sidecars, and Signatures have names like Mighty Joe and Riveting Rosie. All are shaken and served to guests in this restored art deco-style café. Beer and wine are also available.

Photo credit: R. Kennedy for Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association

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ChurchKey, Washington, DC

With a collection of 555 brews hand-picked by its Beer Director (yes, you read that right), the award-winning ChurchKey craft-beer bar in DC's Logan Circle neighbourhood is a must-stop for beer lovers.

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POV Lounge, Washington, DC

Pair your drinks with monumental views of the White House and memorials from the rooftop POV Lounge at the W Hotel. Different seating options are available, from tables to banquettes to a bar overlooking the Mall. After 7 p.m., all guests must be 21 to enter.

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Firestone's Culinary Tavern, Frederick, Maryland

The bar and lounge at Firestone's Culinary Tavern in historic downtown Frederick puts an American twist on the British gastropub. Dishes range from burgers to foie gras, and the ambiance is warm and inviting.

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Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar, Charlottesville, Virginia

Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar is one of many bars along the downtown pedestrian mall of Charlottesville. Get a taste of the region's unique flavours in the dining room, have a drink at the Library Bar, or go up to the Skybar for stargazing.

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The Prime Rib, Hanover, Maryland

Celebrate your winnings in style at the bar of The Prime Rib, a classic lounge at Maryland Live! Casino. Master mixologists serve seasonal cocktails like the blackberry mojito, or choose from the carefully curated wine list. The Prime Rib is also the Baltimore area's Zagat-rated #1 steakhouse.

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Capital Ale House, Richmond, Virginia

Downtown Richmond's Capital Ale House is "Virginia’s beer authority," offering one of the largest selections of craft and imported brews along with a knowledgeable staff to guide you through the vast menu. The list is broken up by characteristics, with sections like Malty & Sweet and Bold & Roasty.

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Proof, Washington, DC

Enjoy weekday happy-hour specials and more than 40 wines by the glass at Proof in the Penn Quarter neighbourhood of DC. Get whites or reds by the glass from an eye-catching wine-dispensing machine, and watch images from the neighbouring National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum rotate on monitors behind the bar.

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PX, Alexandria, Virginia

PX in Alexandria models itself after a 1920s-style speakeasy, focusing on high-end glamour and innovative cocktails. The lounge's size makes it feel intimate, and PX requests that guests dress the part for the full Prohibition Era experience (men must wear jackets). 

Photo credit: Eat Good Food Group

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Madam's Organ, Washington, DC

The Adams Morgan neighbourhood of DC is a nightlife hot spot with a mix of cool bars, music venues and lounges, including blues bar Madam’s Organ. Live music is available every night, redheads' drinks are always half-price, and choose from four different levels, each with its own vibe.

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