Wisdom Bar Definitely Worth Checking Out

by Prince Of Petworth January 31, 2010 at 10:15 pm 20 Comments


I finally had the opportunity to visit the great bar Wisdom located at 1432 Pennsylvania Ave. SE on Friday night. I was happily surprised to see that the place had a very chill atmosphere and most importantly the drinks were terrific. I feared that it was going to be a bit pretentious but fortunately I couldn’t have been more wrong. It just feels like a regular neighborhood bar along the lines of a slightly upper scale Red Derby. For those who want to check them out they’re having an absinthe tasting on Tuesday.

I’m also told that the nearby Trustys is a terrific bar. Anybody ever check either of these spots out before?


  • Trusty’s is a great bar. Very cool neighborhood spot to watch a game or just hang out with friends. My only complaint is that the grill is behind the bar and you always go home smelling like grilled food.

    Wisdom is a place that I want to like more than I do. I don’t think I’ll ever get the taste of a disgustingly, cloyingly sweet drink that I had there the first time I was in – shortly after they opened – out of my head. The thing is, the service was awesome and they totally got me something else (on them) and the times I’ve been in since I’ve ordered better and had great experiences, but I really don’t like their specialty cocktail menu. They do so many things right; I’d like to see them dial back the sugary cocktails and the gimmicky absinthe thing.

  • Trusty’s might be my favorite bar in DC. It is our de-facto post-softball hangout all summer long. Sometimes the staff isn’t the kindest to its customers, but that grill is damned good (burgers are GREAT), and smelling like it really doesn’t matter if you’re sweaty and dirty to begin with.

  • Trusty’s is one of my favorite bars in DC as well. The burgers are great (taste just like Mom’s). Staff is cool, and a lot of the local shop owners hang out there as well. I had A LOT of beer and Patron there the last night we were in the neighborhood.

    We were such frequenters that one of the staff members helped us retrieve our lost camera from a Zipcar…since he recognized us. :)

    Playing board games there while inebriated is a MUST. Nothing like some augmented reality Connect Four.

    Highly recommend Trusty’s. Great dive bar.

    • stacey

      that was a lot of patron.

  • Bryan

    After some rather extensive searching, I’ve only found about 3 bars in town that are relatively devoid of hipsters, people wearing ties, and “club” people (those of the Jersey Shore hair looking for dance music). Trusty’s is certainly on that list. It’s like Solly’s but for the Hill crowd. Awesome place!

    • Petworth Newbie

      And what are the other two hipster/lobbyist/Jersey free places?

  • Rukasu

    Trusty’s is pretty cool (who doesn’t like drinking from mason jars?). But to sound like a broken record, coming home and having your entire body and clothes, and anything you sit on smell like it’s been dipped in a deep fryer is kind of a bummer. Only go when you have absolutely nowhere to go afterwards, or sit outside.

    It is owned by the Pour House/18th Amendment folks though, so it isn’t Hill-dbag free

    • Yes, it’s part of the Englert Empire, so you can add H Street Hipsters to that list too, if you’re going to judge who frequents one place by who frequents other places with the same investors.

  • Ryu

    Sorry, maybe I missed something. What’s so terrible about “hipsters?”

  • Lise

    I love Wisdom. The key to choosing a drink is to pay attention to the ratings system on the menu… takes the guessing out of knowing how sweet/dry etc. a drink you are ordering.

  • GiantSquid

    PoP: We must have been like ships passing in the night, for I, too, was at Wisdom on Friday night.

    I broke away from my standby Dirty Martinis, took a chance and tried The Messenger, the artini winner whose name escapes me right now, and finished with The Wealthy Missionary (the one named after J.D. Salinger reference). LOVED the Messenger. Apple brandy needs to be used more. The artini winner was good but should have listened to the bartender’s smokey warning, not my favorite flavor. And the missionary was good as always.

    Besides the unique atmosphere, I enjoy that I can either metro over or walk, depending on the weather/my sobriety. My only critique would be the food selection. I’d love for them to offer a plate with bread, cheese, and some slices of meat. The Haut Dogs and I don’t get along.

    I’ve been meaning to try Trusty’s, it will need to be with my theatre friends. Mr. Squid’s a little scared of it, but I’ve heard great things about it.

    • It’s a slippery slope. Once Trustys starts offering a charcuterie platter, then comes the $5 cupcakes followed by the cruelty-free freerange tofu burgers. And when that happens, the living will envy the dead.

      • GiantSquid

        @monkeyrotica True. However, this dining suggestion was for Wisdom not Trusty’s.

      • Victoria

        Bread, cheese & meat is a ploughman’s lunch! Sounds like Monkey has gone frenchie on us.

  • Greenae

    Trustys is great! Awesome burgers and is one of those rare bars that are actually fun rather than just a dirty hole for beer drinkers. Have to echo the smell–sticks in your hair–but it’s not too bad if you sit in the back.

  • nathaniel

    trusty is fabulous, and yes you do smell like grilled food, but at least you no longer smell like cigarettes as well like you did in pre smoking ban days.

  • liz

    FYI – As one who shares an alleyway with them Im happy to say Trustys is in the process of adding an open-air bar upstairs! It was supposed to open this month but has been delayed a bit; Adam [a bartender there] estimates a couple of months [though who really minds as long as its open in time for warm weather!] Any place that has jenga & bug buck hunter is worth the trip for me, even if it wasnt right around the corner!

  • DC Unite

    Did the owner and staff of trusty’s just take over this topic?

    • Uh, no. Can’t people just generally like a place? I know it’s a little out of the ordinary around here for the overwhelming consensus to be positive, but it IS possible.

      In this case, it is possible b/c Trusty’s is awesome.

  • 15 Year Hill Vet

    Trusty’s is a great bar. Yes, everything you wear in will need to be burned or cleaned a la Karen Silkwood’s post-radiation exposure shower, but it’s comfortable. The beer is cold, the food is good and the bill ain’t so bad.

    And if you’re a hipster now and not sure why people are put off by them, wait a few years until the new regime takes over, and then you’ll get it. Doesn’t bother me any, I’m there for the beer!


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