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The Saloon

Not Rated.
The SaloonThe Saloon
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

22 Ratings
Ratings: 22
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.15%
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1207 U St NW
Washington, District of Columbia, 20009-4442
United States
phone: (202) 462-2640

view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
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(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Casterbridge
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Casterbridge, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of Ngntjp
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Ngntjp, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of starrdogg
3/5  rDev -25.7%

starrdogg, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of seanchai
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

seanchai, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of FrizWhiz
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%

The no standing rule means that everyone gets a good seat. We walked in with a group of five people and they actually moved things around for us so that we could all sit at a table together. Our waiter was courteous and knowledgeable. The service could not have been better.

If you like German or Belgian beers, you'll be very pleased with the selection here. My group was a mix of everyone from beer snobs to people who claimed to not like beer, and everyone found something they enjoyed, poured into appropriate glassware. Just don't ask for a mixed drink.

A quarter is added to every bill to help fund their school construction projects in impoverished countries. The pictures of their projects line the walls and are pretty remarkable.

FrizWhiz, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of ybba
3.3/5  rDev -18.3%

Usually I'm not too particular about service, but both of the times I've been to the Saloon I've been treated with poor service. The staff is very extremely concerned with seating space, and so they pack customers into their establishment like sardines. Even if you're sitting down for a while, they'll move you to another place to accomodate new guests. My party ended up feeling awkward and uncomfortable. We were happy to leave.

On the good side - The Saloon offers a unique atmosphere with a wide selection of beers; not much on tap though.

ybba, Mar 02, 2012
Photo of drabmuh
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%

Popped into this place with the wife after eating dinner on U street. I will visit every bar and shop in the district and review it on Beerfly, my beerfly ticking goals.

This looked like a dive and I wasn't expecting much, its nice to be surprised sometimes. First thing you may notice, you have to be seated, please no cell phones at the bar, 5% will be added to your bill if you are rude, no TV. It is a custom at this bar to strike up a conversation with the person next to you. Its a brick bar with wooden beams and there are names on the bricks (some of them). There are tables and seats at the bar, the "bouncer" sat us at the bar.

The beer selection is OK. Nothing too odd or rare, several German ales and lagers on draft, if you like Spaten, this is your place. There are about 20 bottles of Belgian beers available as well.

We didn't order food but the bartender, that turned out to be the owner, was very attentive and helpful. The value was good but most of the beers are served in 0.5L wheat beer glasses, be prepared.

I would definitely go back. The owner of the bar donates a ton of money to charity, approximately 200,000$ over the past 7 years. I can respect someone that does that much.

drabmuh, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of IMZep
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%

The first thing most people notice when walking in are the rules: No TV, No Standing. They want you to drink your beer and enjoy it. If that's not your thing, go elsewhere.

The people who work there are great. Friendly, knowledgeable, and most concerned with your enjoying yourself and your beer. Not necessarily in that order. Better still, they sponsor a number of charitable projects and help build schools in Central America and Asia, which they describe with various ads and murals on the walls. So, drinking there, you feel good about yourself even if you don't drink too much.

Selection is mostly German and Belgian beers, with a heavy focus on the Belgians in the back of the menu. There are a few domestics available, as well. All are served in fine glassware, appropriate to the style (did I mention that these people care about what they do?). Reasonable prices overall, from the $4ish Leinenkugel to $9 for a small glass of Urbock 23.

Food is surprisingly good, if basic. The one caveat is that there are more notable places to eat on that block (Ben's...).

Overall a great place and one of my first recommendations for a good beer bar in DC.

IMZep, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of Travlr
4/5  rDev -1%

Great atmosphere - no standing, no TVs, no martinis. Don't ask. Bricks are covered with the names of people who have donated to their charitable projects - they build schools in Central America and Asia, and close for a month in August to do it (DC is empty then anyway). The bartender is from Tehran, the server is from Addis Ababa and the cook is from the Caribbean. Smallish selection of decent Belgian and German beers that does not rotate. Friendly staff. Great local crowd. Decent and interesting food. Nice place.

Travlr, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of Clydesdale
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

The atmosphere is unique and pretty enjoyable. Laid back, no TVs, no standing. All the rules can be slightly off-putting, but you can't really argue with the results.

Beer selection is definitely very nice. Plenty of interesting German and Belgian options on tap and in bottles. Glassware is appropriate and definitely a nice touch.

Service is quick and curt. Emphasis seems to be on efficiency and staying out of people's conversations.

The selection is high-quality, as mentioned. Beers tend toward a European character, and do a nice job of presenting different styles.

Food was pretty average. The bar food my table ordered was fine but uninspired. Portions were on the smallish side.

In terms of value, definitely not cheap, but you can do worse in DC. Some tasty and uncommon beers available, and for the most part, the prices reflect that pretty fairly.

Overall, a nice place if you'd rather grab a good European beer and chat with friends than stand in a crowd next to blaring speakers drinking $8 Bud Lights.

Clydesdale, Aug 04, 2009
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The Saloon in Washington, DC
90 out of 100 based on 22 ratings.