Esquire Magazine Names Kelly’s Irish Times to Best Bars in America

Photo by PoPville flickr user zoeicaimages

From an email:

“For the ninth year, Esquire’s favorite drinking partner and the world’s foremost cocktail historian, David Wondrich, names the nation’s best places to have a drink.”


“This is the kind of place where a president will take his annual Saint Paddy’s Day sip o’ Guinness. If D. C. had an official designated dive, this would be it. The depth to which they pour their Irish whiskey makes up for any coolness from the bartenders.”

You can see the complete list of bars across the US here.

36 Comment

  • Seems like the writers didn’t bother to venture too far from where they arrived at Union Station.

  • Dear GQ, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on the Internet is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  • “This is the kind of place where a president will take his annual Saint Paddy’s Day sip o’ Guinness.”

    Ummm…except for the time a sitting President actually grabbed a “Saint Paddy’s Day sip o’ Guinness” at the Irish bar next door.

    • Yeah, are they confused, did they mean The Dubliner? That’s where Obama goes on St Paddy’s. I’ve always wondered about those Irish bars by Union Station, sounds like I’m not missing out on much

  • I have probably been to the Irish Times more than 200 times. I have been there rarely since actually being over 21. It is a dive bar and if you are reasonably older and mature and not in town for the annual police convention, not really a very good bar. It was awesome when I could drink there for next to nothing and knew all of the bartenders, however. Those days have long since passed.

  • Dear Pop,

    Have you compiled a list of D.C.’s best/favorite dive bars from either your or readers perspective?
    If not, you/we should, since it seems like some of them are fading away. That being said I went to Tune Inn recently and was very impressed.


    • anonymouse_dianne

      Tune Inn was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. That’s where you’ll find lists of dive bars.
      BTW, The Dubliner is actually a nice place to go on a Sunday for the Celtic music, good fish and chips, and half-and-half. They even have a non-alcoholic variety of Guiness.

      • I hate that they were on Diners, Drive-In, and Dives, but other than putting some stupid stuff on the menu and a picture of the obnoxious host on the wall, Tune Inn is still pretty legit.

        • Guy Fieri is a lil much but he does go to some very interesting places. The best was a place that had a thanksgiving waffle.

      • yeah I could google dive bars, but I’d like to see what Pop and the Popvillians (possibly an awesome band name) would choose and rate.

  • Did they go in the dungeon…I mean basement? At least the Dubliner has some charms. Kelly’s is pretty gross and not even top 25 in DC. I never read the magazine, but do enjoy some of the programming on the Esquire Network. Kind of making me question my taste now.

  • No happy hour in DC and disgusting draught beer lines. This place isn’t even top 30 in DC, let alone the nation.

  • jim_ed

    I always thought this was a cop bar? Anyhow, if I was in the market to get obscenely drunk in abject filth in this part of town, I would’ve headed to My Brother’s Place first.

  • I guess not everyone agrees, but I love working there. It is an amazing group of staff and regulars. So I guess what I want to say is “SHUT UP” it IS an awesome bar.

  • Pretty gross bar. I understand the divey thing, but this place is grime.

  • Is Pete Papageorge still there?

  • All hail the IT ,( Irish times) one of the last great old bars in DC, if you don’t get the times and it’s history then you are either new to DC or missed out,,,,

  • The Irish Times is a legendary bar and the stories you hear about what happened there are almost 100% true. From Ted Kennedy’s party being told they couldn’t run a tab to Robert Packwood’s story on 60 minutes! From me finding George Clooney’s wallet on the floor to the Sully and Congressman Sonny Bono story, the George Britt story, the John Denver.story ext ect. But the best and most unbelievable stories are those involving great employees and regulars. Next time you go there stand on.the corner of Mass and North Capitol and take in the view of the IT among all the new construction. The Irish Times is STILL going strong after decades of great times!

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