soviet-style drinking options

posted by tom / June 18, 2006 /

Some things everyone can agree on: an evening that begins at Russia House and ends at Recessions has been badly misconceived in at least one way. Fortunately, it was still pretty fun.

We were celebrating Kriston's emancipation from the working world, as he quits his glamorous cancer-research-editing lifestyle in favor of freelance writing. I know just how arduous it is to pursue a career from your couch and in pajamas, so I was ready to buy the guy a few condolence drinks.

Russia House was the plan — I'd been bugging folks to go for a while. Not because I enjoy being packed into a tiny, expensive space filled with preppies, tourists and aspiring Eurotrash. it's just that every guy wants to feel like James Bond. Or, failing that, he'd at least like to be treated like shit by a hot Russian girl (even if it's just the waitress). Russia House doesn't disappoint on either of these counts.

But we'd barely gotten through the vile infused vodka sampler before our numbers grew too large and we had to move. Brickskellar? Nah. In keeping with the places-we-don't-usually-go theme, we decided to head to Science Club. But it was mostly reserved for private parties, and its remaining corners were packed. Where to?

If you don't work around 19th and L you might not be familiar with Recessions. Let me get you up to speed: it's terrible. Located in the basement of an anonymous hotel, it's a drop-ceilinged, fake-stone abomination that may actually only exist in a 70s-themed parallel dimension. The prices are low and the staff is friendly, but as you sip your enormous Bud Light it's tough to escape the feeling that you're just there as cover for the guy who's cooking up a bucket full of heroin in back. Also, the internet jukebox seems to be connected to a different and considerably crappier internet than the one you and I are familiar with.

For a while and for reasons I can't explain Recessions was serving as EchoDitto's preferred happy hour destination. So it was nearby, I knew it, and Catherine wanted to see what all the complaining was about. So we descended into and onto Recessions.

I'm afraid that's pretty much it. We had a good time; Catherine took some photos. One word of warning to future patrons, though: when Catherine and I left, a little after midnight (we had to drive to the airport in about 4 hours), the bartender had to unlock the front door to let us out. I think you can count on the beer being cheap, but escape is far from guaranteed.


this may be the first case of a DC drinking crew paying both as much and as little as you can pay for drinks in a single night. good call on russia house's bond-like allure -- must be why it's so attractive. (although being an aspiring european helps too)

Posted by: silbatron on June 19, 2006 12:26 AM

Yeah, but wasn't it so crappy that it almost came full circle again and became the most awesome bar ever? Or was that just me? There's something almost satisfying in being forced to put Foreigner and Styx on the jukebox because really there just aren't better options.

Posted by: genevieve on June 20, 2006 06:08 PM

that's my take, genevieve. recessions: so bad it's good. but seriously, seats, free pool tables, no wait for cheap beer - not bad for a night. maybe not EVERY night. but still, i had a pretty good time.

Posted by: catherine on June 20, 2006 08:45 PM

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