The Raven Continues Their Self Improvement Projects in Mt. Pleasant

The Raven, located at 3125 Mt Pleasant St, NW, is consistently voted one of if not the best “dive bar” in DC. But over the years there have slowly been some upgrades. In June 2009 booths from an old restaurant and some retro light fixtures were added inside. The exterior was given a facelift in Oct. 2010 and about a month ago they fixed up the back.

I kinda get a late 80s/early 90s vibe from it.

For fans of the Raven – do you like the extra space?

Is it still your favorite “dive bar” in DC?

34 Comment

  • Good for them, makes a lot of sense.

  • yeah saw it this weekend for the first time. bit of a shock honestly. not sure how i feel about it. a little too loungey for the place’s vibe. maybe if they were playing Less Than Zero on a continuous loop instead of the fake fireplace, it’d be a little more palatable.

  • So they’ve opened up the area to the right of the bathrooms, where the kitchen once was, correct?

  • When they start serving tapas I’m gone.

  • TV? Horrible idea.

  • I get it, they need more space. The slick lighting kind of conflicts with the diveyness of the place but it’s still got its ‘real dive’ appeal, not like some of these fake dive hipster places that have populated the city in the past few years (ahem red derby)

    • Humor me, what makes the Derby a “fake” dive? Clean bathrooms?

      • i adore the red derby, but i think it may be a valid point that it takes a certain pedigree and longevity to qualify as a true dive bar. also lots of puke and a cast of regulars like from the bar scene in Star Wars…

      • I think a dive bar is one that is no frills, maybe run, down, definitely old and exists knowing customers go there to drink, not for ‘the experience’. Newer places that actively try to get that atmosphere miss the point – it’s exactly not trying to achieve any atmosphere that gives dives their diveyness.

        • Yep, and this has a class vector as well. As in, if you’re surrounded by people of the same socio-economic class, it’s probably not a dive. It may be filthy and disgusting and full of punks and hipsters, but in that case it’s just a shithole. At any rate, both shitholes and dives must be CHEAP. Otherwise, they’re just lame.

    • Yes, but who says the Red Derby is claiming to be a dive bar–real, fake, or otherwise? It is what it is. The only claim I’ve heard them make is as a ‘neighborhood bar.’

      • It’s more a comment on the people who go there and claim to like going to dive bars ‘like the red derby’. I actually have nothing against the place, other than the image some people like to give themselves upon hanging out there (or other similar places – it was only one example)

        • Gotcha, I see. Thanks.

          When I’m there, I try for the image of old beer-drinking guy. I’m quite good at it.

          • saf

            Damn. I thought going there might make me look a bit younger. No?

            Oh well, I like being an old beer-drinking woman most of the time.

  • saf

    Wow. I need to get over there – it has been too long.

    But I’m not sure I recognize the place any more. I wonder if any of the old regulars are still there, or are even still with us.

    • I haven’t been since mid-90s. I’m sure I wouldn’t recognize it even if it were exactly the same, ha!

      • saf

        I tended bar there in the late 80s, into the early 90s. I can still see that place in my mind, along with all its people. Quite the cast we had there – so many gone now.

        • MtP was a different world then, even though it really wasn’t that long ago. But there are still some old-timers who you can find at the bar or the table in front pretty regularly.

  • It took awhile to get used to. I used to live in MtP years ago and it was my go to place for a drink (mainly because I was a poor grad student and the beer was cheap and cold). I understand why they did what they did but I just don’t like that they got rid of the amazing graffiti in the bathrooms. I found it so inspiring and comforting after being a six-er deep in [insert cheap beer here].

    • They re-did the bathrooms? I’m so sad.

    • The graffiti in the bathrooms was awesome. A tag, then a counter tag…. ahh good times.

      “if you had to take a cab to get here, you don’t belong here”
      “if you think you get to say who belongs here, you don’t belong here”

      “i remember the riots! Down with MPD!”
      “i remember the pupusas! Down with empanadas!”

      When I saw they redid the rooms, the Raven died for me a little bit.

      When the Crow bar closed, Raven became my go to. Places gotta change (hello old asylum), but sometimes, I still have to booooooo them.

  • Ditch the TV please! Or at least get a teeny tiny fuzzy one so I don’t have to bask in its obnoxious glow.

  • Super weak drinks and now they have some kind of weirdo ultralounge in the back? This town can’t pull off a good dive.

  • The Pug!! Best dive bar – excellent, albeit occasionally surly service, generous pours – and always a welcoming atmosphere. Great vibe – no BS

  • Love the Derby but i never really thought of it as a dive bar just more a of a funky local.No frills just cheap and laid back.

  • I hope they’re not thinking about getting rid of the dank…

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