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“The Heights Happy Hour is no longer happy”

by Prince Of Petworth January 15, 2016 at 2:05 pm 41 Comments

3115 14th Street, NW

“Dear PoPville,

The Heights used to have a great happy hour – 3-7 every day with rail drinks $4.00. But they just raised the happy hour prices to $6.00! Worse than that, I was told it was still actually a good deal because non-happy-hour rail drinks are now $9.00! Seriously? Guess it’s time to abandon my favorite pub and walk a few blocks to one of the many other bars in the neighborhood.”

  • Jeff

    That is not competitive with other happy hours in the area. So, they’ll lose customers, go out of business, and be replaced by a better bar. Circle of life, man.

    • Ryan

      I’ve been waiting for that to happen for years.

      • TJ

        I thought it had already closed

  • Shaw

    A favorite local bar I used to go to did something similar a few years ago. It only lasted a couple months. The patrons voted with their feet and found other good places to go. Do your neighbors a favor and scope out some alternatives and ask PoP to post them or put them on your local listserv. If enough people follow your lead, you may be able to convince the owners to change back! Or at least change part of the way back – my place restored the original happy hour and added in some higher profit margin specialty cocktails, and the regular price increase was reduced from $2/drink to $1/drink, which put them a lot closer to the rest of the market anyway.

    • SWChick

      I was a regular at Redline for years. They had $3 dollars rail drinks. Last spring/summer they tried to up the price to $6 and some change and everyone went else where. There was no point to continue going there. I went in last week and guess what? $3 DRINKS FOR ALL! ;-)

  • TropicBird

    If The Heights was your favorite pub, there is no helping you.

    • CHGal


    • PopOverWork


    • kd21

      Tough but fair

    • Sorry, I know some people get their jollies by ragging on the Heights, but you’re wrong. The bartenders, Keith, Walter & Melissia are all great people and long-time employees who know & treat their customers well. The burgers and a lot of bar items are great. I don’t eat actual dinner there much, but I’ve sent lots of tourists and they are all happy. The happy hour was also one of the few places where there was a pretty good mix of people. If this ruins that, which I suspect it will, I will be dismayed.

      • changing faces

        Sorry Victoria, when was the last time you went to the bar? I know Walt left about a month ago (on his own accord) and I hear others are on the way out, if they haven’t left already. I completely agree bartenders help make a bar experience, but it seems the new ownership is trying to make some big changes. Time will only tell if the changes work for them

        • HaileUnlikely

          Bummer. Walt was the man. I’ll miss him.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Correction. Walt *is* the man. Wherever he is. If he has taken his skills, enthusiasm, friendliness, and professionalism to another bar in the area, I’d love to know where.

  • Dogg

    I used to like this place a lot years back. The changed the menu over a year ago and got new owners and it was just okay. Then alcohol prices skyrocketed and a draft of Two Hearted was like $8-9 and I stopped going.

  • Good Lord

    I’m not paying 8-9 dollars for a beer.

    • Jeff

      Amen, Good Lord.

  • The Heights?????

    The heights was your favorite bar???? Plenty of better bars in the area, especially on 11th St. and some on Georgia Ave – Wonderland, Red Rocks, Meridian Pint, DC Reynolds, Looking Glass, KBC, etc.

  • [email protected]

    Hey PoP Folks– The Heights has released a new HH menu which increases the craft cocktails choices and includes larger beers and house spirits. $6 across the board is a STEAL for the products available at the HH price. Our $4 rail spirits are still available for anyone who inquires, we just chose not to print them on our menu to help highlight everything else. Sorry for any confusion, and we hope you all can come and check us out anyway!

    • Sorry, this makes no sense. $6.00 for a rail gin and tonic is not a steal. We realize restaurants make most of their profit off alcohol, but we also know that you pay maybe $8.00 for an entire bottle of rail gin. “Choosing” not to print the $4.00 price on the menu (available to the secret club who knows to ask???) is just stupid and will only highlight that you are messing with us.

      $12.00 for a craft cocktail has become standard, and fine, knock yourself out, but many of us just appreciated having a welcoming neighborhood bar with good people, good food and good prices.

      • FridayGirl

        +1. It’s not a steal. Especially when there’s places like Red Derby fairly close by where you can get a beer and a shot for $6 at ANY TIME of day (even peak weekend hours).

        • Bdylan89

          Overall it sounds like the owners are just being greedy. Nobody really wants to spend $6 for a beer at HH. HH isn’t for drinking expensive beers it’s drinking a good beer at a great price. Going from $3 and $4 dollar beers to $6…meh, I think a lot of people will pass.

      • textdoc

        Maybe we can move our PoPville Gin and Gardening meetings somewhere else.

      • AmandaCH

        Choosing not to put the $4 HH price on the menu? Now I really hate The Heights. Can’t wait for something new and better to come along.

    • Bdylan89

      What are larger beers, are the pours more than a pint? Depending on the beers you’re serving would define $6 as a STEAL. Would you mind listing some of the beers that are available at the new price point?

    • Anon

      Hahahaha… Renee, you made an extremely questionable decision here. How’d you think this was going to play out, exactly?

    • Shaw

      Wow! So the bar is actually *admitting* that they are price gouging the customers who don’t know they can get the same drink for $4 instead of $6 if they know the speakeasy-style “ask for the better price” deal?!? WOW!! If you have a drink available for happy hour, you print it on the freaking menu. This is basic common sense! “Rail drinks – $4” could fit on a menu anywhere. You could fit it in a tweet a half dozen times!
      Renee doesn’t sound like she’s going to get promoted to head PR spokeswoman anytime soon, and it doesn’t sound like I’m *ever* going back to that bar. I don’t care for being deceived or being tricked into overpaying if I don’t know to tell a bartender I would prefer to pay the real price instead of the jacked up price.

  • Meh

    I don’t see what the big deal is in a two dollar hike if you enjoy going to the place.

    • Anon

      If that’s the case, you’re not frequenting the Heights to begin with (and if you are, you’re grossly overpaying for nothing in particular).

    • James W.

      A $2 increase on a $4 product is a 50 percent bump. The “meh” attitude of wondering “what the big deal is in a two dollar hike” is what ruins it for the rest of us. It’s your money. You don’t think businesses should earn it?

  • Kay

    I totally agree, their happy hour went to the dogs a few years ago with some unfortunate menu changes and price hikes. Hopefully they don’t eff with brunch because that french toast with bacon is amazing!

  • Anon Spock

    The heights was a money pit that’s why it was sold. Most if not all of the older staff members left as soon as they were able…about 6 months after the sale. Raising prices on rail booze only highlights the issues. It cost about $5 for the whole bottle…You do the math.

  • Christine

    I definitely disagree! I love the Heights happy hour! Wine and beer-wise, it’s a really nice selection, and I would much rather go someplace with quality choices for happy hour than the typical $4 bud light and awful wine. Food-wise it’s great, too. The ginger calamari is a favorite for me and my friends (and really, I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve had there- try the flatbread!).

  • Nikki

    This seems silly. I met some friends for happy hour there this week and had a great experience. The prices were similar to other happy hour spots in DC and the quality of the service was excellent. Dan , the bartender explained the new cocktails and really helped us choose the right drinks, which didn’t include cheap liquor. The Port of Call was particularly memorable! I will definitely be going back and will recommend this spot to friends and coworkers.

    • Bryan

      If you think $6 for a beer is “similar to other happy hour spots,” you terrible taste in happy hour spots.

  • Lizcolleena

    Not trying to defend this move because it’s dumb that they won’t list the available options but I’m guessing that house spirits are different than rail spirits. So that would mean when ordering gin and tonic the server would generally either serve rail or ask for a preference. If not then that’s super shady. But $6 for a beer (unless a tall at 22 oz or something) is not even a steal much less a STEAL. It’s not terrible for cocktails using higher grade liquor, imho, but there are much cheaper options around.

  • Local

    Is this the same place that won’t let pregnant people use their bathroom because they had one who “made a mess” once? See popville archives. I avoid this place. There are much better neighborhood options in the area.

    • Mg

      +100 ftw lol

  • Anonymous

    Who drinks rail liquor? What are you 21? Do your body a favor and lay off that stuff in the first place.

  • ECfromDC

    Never been here and def not interested now.

  • DC CapHill

    Seems like that is always the overreaction of a place in financial trouble. “Hey, there’s a huge markup on liquor, why not just mark it up even more?!?!?! We’ll make a killing!”

    As if anyone just HAS to choose that bar to drink in, prices be damned.

    • SmallBizOwner

      As an owner of a restaurant in DC, I dread having to raise prices because it is always poorly received by your loyal customers. However, within the last couple of years, operating a business in DC has become more and more expensive. Two of the key cost drivers are labor and rent. While I completely support the recent and pending changes in worker wages and benefits (re: 16 weeks of paid leave), I think that it is a stretch to say that the average consumer is making the connection that the price increase might be to help offset the cost of these added employee benefits. Just my 2 cents as that is what has helped me understand and accept paying no less than $10 for a fast causal meal in DC!


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