42 Comment

  • At first I thought that said RED and got all excited thinking they had made a comeback!

  • great beer selection.
    great prices.

    horrible food.
    horrible acoustics
    horrible atmosphere.
    horrible seating arrangement

    • austindc

      Agreed. I love the beer selection, but it’s not a great place to hang out with friends. I feel like it’s hard to hear people and to find a seat. If you sit at the tables in the middle of the floor, people are always squeezing past trying to get by. That being said, I know a lot of people like the loud, crowded places. It can definitely be lively!

      Their staff are very nice though and are usually well-informed about the beers. I drop in from time to time, but not my first go-to when I am feeling beer snobby.

    • +1
      horrible staff too
      the selection of beer is the only reason to go

    • Very very uncomfortable chairs I would add.

      Your review pretty much sums up the place in the most minimum of words. Including the part about the staff.

      I haven’t been in a couple of years but I remember there used to be a pretty hot bartender there. The sexiest thing about her was when she started spewing her knowledge about all the different beers. HAHA

    • With you on great beer but horrible food.

      I usually have pretty good service there though!

    • Agreed. Been a few times and I always remember it being incredibly loud.

  • +1. Love it for a quick beer before or after a movie. I will not order their food and can’t stand to be there more than 45 mins.

    • +1. Beer list is superb, good place to grab a good beer or two and some nachos or wings on a weekend afternoon. I don’t think the food is terrible ala Brickskeller’s, rather it’s just run-of-the-mill pub grub Too noisy during happy hour and weekends for my tastes.

  • I think it’s pretty lame. I was working at the Brick when the owners were opening up this place and they way they were talking, this place was going to be practically fine dining. The idea of a smaller Brickskeller with better ambiance, staff, and food is a great one, but there are half a dozen restaurants in DC who have done it so much better. Instead of mining the potential, the owners basically carried over their half-assed way of doing stuff into a new place and it shows.

    • Totally agree. Once their lease runs out they’ll be forced out to operators who know what they’re doing… like staying sober if you’re the owner…

  • I’ll only go if I want a beer around Chinatown/PQ, do not want food, and Iron Horse is closed. If they had better food, like Meridian Pint, I’d probably visit at least once a week.

  • You can get a beer selection as good (and served better, by better staff) in a bunch of places. You can get better food any and everywhere.

    • Any suggestions on the locales with comparable beer selections?

      • Meridian Pint, Churchkey, Pizzeria Paradiso, Rustico in Virginia, etc etc

        • Wrong. This place has up to ~300 beers. Other than Churchkey, you don’t have nearly the same selection.

          • Yes, thank God you can get a stale bottle of Castle at RFD. Really need to have that as an option when I’m out for the night.

          • austindc

            Yeah, but who really needs 300 beers? I mean, I love going to these places to try weird stuff I can’t find anywhere else, but I also like the places that carefully choose their beer menu and offer a solid 30-50 choices.

          • So what? Iron Horse might not have 300 beers but it always has 10+ good beers on tap. Good enough for me.

        • Not as big, but nicely assembled draft list at Iron Horse Tap Room. Best place for a quick, good beer in Penn Quarter/Chinablock.

        • as much hate as it receives, Black Squirrel also has a nice beer selection… DRAFT, not bottle.

      • austindc

        Agree with oldschool. I also think Bourbon usually has a good (though not as lengthy) selection with reasonably priced and tasty food.

      • austindc

        Oh yeah, I have also been pretty happy with the service at Bier Baron since it opened. They have a good selection. I wouldn’t go there for dinner though.

  • Coulda said the same thing about the old Brick as well…

  • There are enough places in DC now where I can get a good beer selection and decent food in a good atmosphere that I don’t feel the need to go to RFD anymore.

  • Definitely just a bar that serves food. No more happy hour food specials and most of the time they are out of the beer specials. Cask ales are decent if they have them.

  • Only one word for this bar: soulless

  • claire

    I agree with most of the above comments: the beer is great and everything else is meh to bad. But I definitely still go there on a semi-regularly basis because it’s also very conveniently located for me.

  • Their beer selection is great, but the staff keeps me away… I only go if they’re having a special or featuring a beer I REALLY want to try. I’ve been a solid 20+ times and I’ve never had a “great” experience, it’s always negatively affected by long waits, slow service, awful servers, unfriendly bartenders and TERRIBLE AWFUL HORRIBLE food.

    • Absolutely ditto everything DCBrewer said.

    • You hit the nail on the head, buddy. It’s the kind of place I really want to like, but other than their great beer selection, everything else is a turnoff.

      How do the stay in business? Tourists who go once and will never go back?

  • I love this place. The energy during a Capitals Game is great! They have one of the best beer selections in town and has a sports bar feel. If you are a regular, the door man will remember your and so will the bartenders! Brett, Meg, and Kevin and awesome and will take care of out.

    Remember if you are nice to the staff they will take care of you.

    The food isnt anything special but it is solid food. The 1/2 burgers deal on monday’s is great the sliders are great. the nachos are great!

    • Nah – I find the staff to be consistently rude. There are so many other places to get a great beer selection these days, why bother? RFD will always keep busy, though. That area is such a tourist trap.

    • Meh, so if I buddy up with the employee’s it’s a decent place is what it sounds like you’re saying. I’ll agree with those who say there are better places in DC.

      I walked in last Friday with friends for the first time ever. We walked to the back patio, looked at one another and politely excused ourselves. Something about the ambiance reminded me of a strip mall bar in Springfield…not that there is anything wrong with that, just not my scene.

  • I’m usually there every Thursday for the free comedy show in the back room. We don’t seem to run into the issues mentioned in this thread. I didn’t realize how bad the service was in the front area. The next time I’m there, I’ll inform the management about this link.

  • I used to go there. It’s for the most part a competent bar, but I don’t go there anymore for a few reasons:

    1) I only go to Chinatown for the movie theater.
    2) RFD has the most disgusting bathrooms ever.

    The former is simply a sign of my own fit into other areas of DC. The latter is simply a matter of not being able to tolerate the poor sanitation. The kitchen is directly across from that human waste pit. I’m honestly cringing just thinking about it. Some highlights from my experiences there:

    1) Wading through inches of human waste on the floor.
    2) Watching a person throw-up in the trash can.
    3) Watching the same person urinate into the trash can afterwards.
    4) Shit in a urinal.
    5) Vomit in a urinal.
    6) Vomit covered shit in the sink.

    It’s fucking awful.

  • I go here sometimes before/after skeeball at Iron Horse on Mondays (Iron Horse does not have a kitchen). The staff, for the most part, is bad. Slow service and order screw-ups that are too frequent to overlook.

    Some one mentioned the energy before a Caps game. If by energy, you mean having to fight your way through 300 suburbanites that have invaded wearing their caps gear and are still drinking shitty beer, then yes, there is an “energy.”

    The rumors are true, it is generic, the service will probably be bad, and the food in no way matches a great beer selection. But if you HAVE to be in Chinatown, it beats the hell out of some of the other options (Rocket Bar, Bar Louie)

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