16 Reviews

Type: Bar, Eatery

815 V St NW
Washington, District of Columbia, 20001-3020
United States

(202) 265-0930 | map

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Added by Dithyramb on 07-21-2005

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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 35
Photo of Barracudas
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I frequented this place many many years ago and saw some awesome bands!

I would also to go to their happy hours many many years ago.

I have not been to the new location.

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Photo of oldn00b
3.84/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Great vibe - awesome concert venue with a lot of history so "cool is sort of built in.

Beer selection is fine, nothing amazing. Service is above average for a concert venue.

Food is better than a typical concert hall but still nothing fantastic. Service is a high point. That the bar upstairs stays open after the show instead of kicking everyone out is also a huge plus.

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Photo of smakawhat
4/5  rDev +14.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Dear 9:30 club... oh how you and I have had so many joys through the lives. This is a music venue, and probably one of the best venues I have ever been in for shows. That being said I wont focus on that.

The atmosphere though is fantastic. Three bars line the venue two downstairs (one of them cash only) The other upstairs from the second level overlooks the stage. If you are lucky and early in line, get up here and grab a stool and you'll have a great view and be close to the bar for the entire show.

Service in general for this place is a little bit above average. It's a music venue. You're not going to get educated here on the selections, and that's probably why I rate it very high for a MUSIC bar. There are easily throughout the bar at least 10 on tap craft brews with some of them in multiple locations, but you wont find something extreme or obscure. It is though far better than any other typical bar BMC concert joint by FAR. I can't think of a single concert venue I've been to that has this much selection period!

There is the possibility of a bad tap line, or a foul keg. I've had bad Dogfish Raison D'etre here that made my toe curl backwards it was so bad. But hey I returned the beer and got something else free of charge.

Food is simple and nothing to write about. Chances are you wont even get it, often the kitchen is making something for the band and can't keep up with people coming to the show. Long story short, eat somewhere else in the neighborhood before the show there's plenty of good options.

I'll be back often for a fav show and a good beer in hand YOU KNOW IT!

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Photo of WoodenNickelPub
4.13/5  rDev +18.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

First things first...it's a music venue, find me a music venue that doesn't overcharge for drinks and we might as well plan for the end of the world. Beer selection is quality considering. A few craft beers is more than I would have expected and I got to try a few that I can't get ahold of were i'm from. Love this place, wish I had it in NC.

Service...well...try to deal with 50 ppl hitting you up for a drink all at once....refer to the first seven words in the first paragraph.

I love the 9:30 and can't wait to return....awesome Place!!!

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Photo of akorsak
3.35/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3

A great place to see a show; a good place to grab a pint.

Atmosphere: Located beyond the hem and holler of D.C., the 9:30 Club is a diamond in the rough. It consists of two bars, one downstairs (no tickets needed) and one upstairs (with the main stage). Downstairs has more of a neighborhood bar feel, with actual pint glasses being served. Upstairs is the concert atmosphere. When the band is on a roll, the joint kicks ass.

Quality: Having drank at both bars, I have few issues with the quality. If you're upstairs, a healthy dose of patience never hurts.

Service: Generally prompt with no complaints.

Selection: The selection varies, generally with a decent BMC selection. Craft is modestly-represented by a few taps, an occasionaly gem in the rough. Prices get a little high but this is a big city.

Food: N/A.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.41/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2

The 9:30 Club is a great place to see a show, one of my favorite venues in the country. It only holds between 900-1000 people so it is relatively small, but it's a famous enough venue to still get big acts.

Because of the acoustics and the standing room only, the atmosphere is great. Usually the crowd is a bunch of big fans so it's a good time.

In terms of the bar, the service is actually pretty good. I usually get to the bar and tip early, and I've always gotten good service throughout the night, not having to wait too long for beers. Their selection isn't that great but they usually do have 2-4 craft beers which is good enough though. Unfortunately the prices are very expensive. It is usually $6 for a bud light/miller light, and the craft beers run up to $12 for 10 oz. cups.

Overall I would highly recommend the 9:30 Club if a band you want to see is playing, but it isn't the best beer bar in terms of selection or prices. I've seen some of the greatest shows of my life there (Foo Fighters, Ben Folds, The Hold Steady), but I've also spent $60+ just to have a few beers.

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Photo of blackie
2.89/5  rDev -17.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3

visited with dirtylou below for camera obscura, it is what it is, a pretty nice place to catch a show and the venue that catches most of the bigger names on the scene, live music and beer just go together

had a small (~8 oz) red dixie cup of nitro Old Rasputin, and a standard issue red dixie cup of DFH Raison D'etre, only a couple other selections of interest, I wanna say that these two beers were $8 apiece

doubt there's any real beer knowledge here, but it isn't that kind of place, bartender pissed me off a bit with his extended conversation with a friend/patron while I was trying to quickly grab a beer between songs, but I quickly moved on

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Photo of dirtylou
3.16/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

the 9:30 club - destination for a camera obscura show

not a beer destination - not sure who would confuse a medium-scale music venue with a beer hall

hard to not give the atmosphere a high score - i mean there are major acts playing in the background.

taps were rather interesting - drinking old rasputin out of a plastic cup is a great way to get hammered. dfh rasion d'etre was also on tap, as well as harpoon ipa and a few other things of interest

pretty strong selection for a music-first venue

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Photo of Applesauce1
3.35/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I've visited the 9:30 club twice now. I saw a Nada Surf show and a Calexico show here. The people here are nice. Very good service, especially a concert hall like this. You never have to wait too long for a beer. Selection is pretty good in my opinion for a concert hall. Yuengling, Sierra Nevada, Anchor, North Coast, and a few others along with the typical macros are available here. Prices are a little. A pint of Yuengling for 6 bucks seems a little high for me. The beer here also doesn't seem to be very well carbonated. Not sure if that is more the 9:30 club's issue or just the kegs they're buying. Overall, a good place to see a show. Not really a place to drink though.

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Photo of hmarebel02
2.78/5  rDev -20.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

This place is an exceptional club atmosphere, but this place is not all about the beer. The social atmosphere is pretty good and there are some great bands that roll through here. I make it a habit to go at least once a season, but I go for the club scene and whatever band is playing.

For beers, the best they have is Sierra Nevada. Its probably best that you not go exclusively for the beer, but the club scene and youthful and fun.

One thing of note is that the bar is very strategically located near the stage.

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Photo of ubermick
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2

I'm rather confused as to why the 9:30 Club is in here - it's a phenominal place for a show, but it's certainly not a "go-to" spot for a beer. Mind you, compared to most live music venues, it's got a decent selection on tap, including Dogfish Head, Anchor, and a few others. But be prepared to dig deep - at $6 for a 10oz plastic cup, I find it to be a little spendy for my blood.

So, check it out for live music, by all means, but if there isn't a band you like playing, take your hard earned coin elsewhere...

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Photo of shivtim
2.85/5  rDev -18.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3

While the 9:30 club is a great concert venue (as far as midsized venues that get big acts), it's not a beer destination. It does have a better variety than most places, and is one of the few venues I've been to where they actually have a selection on tap as opposed to just bottles of Bud Light and such. However, it's $5-$7 for a *very* small plastic cup of beer, which doesn't even get filled to the top. You could spend almost $15 here on less than 20oz of beer. Service is crappy- the bartenders don't say a word to anyone other than the price (even when the bar is not crowded because the concert doesn't start for a while), and they clearly don't care about beer.
They do get some fairly major bands, so make sure to get tickets way ahead of time. While it's not an intimate venue, it does have good sight lines. Gets pretty packed on the floor.

Key idea: good concert venue, not a good beer venue. Go there and have fun, but don't go there just for the beer.

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Photo of alysmith4
2.95/5  rDev -15.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Have been to this place for many a concert.. the most recent was Pink - she rocked the house! The place is always over-crowded and sometimes it takes forever to get a drink. Not to mention, it's hard to see the show if your short, so you definitely have to get there early.

Many good beers on tap and in bottles, including: Sierra Nevada, Chimay, Dogfish Head, Harpoon, Anchor, Newcastle, and Liefmann's. Also have the typical BCM at each one of the three bars. Most everything is served in a plastic cup, execpt the Dogfish Head which is surprising. There are a few other beers in my opinion that warrent a real mug over DFH.

If you get the munchies, they have some good little tasty offerings.. onion rings, portabello mushroom sandwitches, and nachos. Most everthing on the menu is vegetarian too.

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Photo of jaluria
4.08/5  rDev +16.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Keeping in the spirit of other well-known live music venues like Irving Plaza in NYC, the 9:30 club is spacious and laid out very well. The atmosphere is casual, energetic, and youthful. There are 4 different bars in the place and each one serves up different beers. There are about 6-8 beers on-tap with an additional 10-12 bottles available per bar. The staff were friendly and know a thing or two about beer. We chatted with one bartender for quite awhile. No one serving drinks had a problem serving us samples of any beer we asked about so that was very nice. The food is somewhat limited, but not bad for a music venue. Beers are expensive costing $6 per 10-12 oz. plastic cups, but then again, most beers are the same price (including macro stuff).

While there, I saw 4 different Dogfish Head ales on-tap: Indian Brown, Midas Touch, Chicory Stout, and Aprihop. There were also several lambics on-tap as well as Anchor Steam, Clipper City Golden Lager, etc. Part of the fun was going to each of the bars and seeing what they had on-tap.
Easily one of the best music venues in DC with a great sound system, plenty of space to sit or stand, and multiple floors. If you're in DC and have time, definitely check out a show here.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This is a live music venue that just happens to have a plentiful selection of beer. It is one of my favorite places to see live music in the city. They have a large open floor on the ground level with a large bar on each side. The second floor area is a U-shaped with risers on each side and a large bar at the back. There are only a handful of stools, perhaps 10, facing the stage and the bars in the performance space themselves do not have any seating.

The bartenders are quick and efficient, even when the place is rocking. They are friendly enough, but it is not really a place to talk about beer, and they don't seem to be too into it.

There are three bars in the main performance space, each have 8 draft lines and about 15 or so bottled offerings. The offerings include Harpoon, Sierra Nevada, Anchor, Newcastle, Liefmann’s, Chimay, Dogfish Head, and Orkney just to name a few. There is some overlap across the bars, and there is also a wide variety of BMC product available. Most drafts are served in plastic cups, red Solo being the house choice, although the DFH products seem to be consistently served in a cylinder glass.

There is a fourth bar, The Back Bar, available for those without tickets to the show. Accessed through a separate side entrance, or from the performance space, it is located downstairs, beneath the main floor. There are some tables and bar seats and is generally more quiet and amenable to lingering. They have the same tap set-up as the upstairs bars with a decent selection.

The 930 Club also has food which is vegetarian friendly and pretty tasty. If you were lucky enough to get one of the few seats at the upstairs bar, then somebody will bring your food to you, otherwise you have to order at the “Food Food” counter on stage right and wait. They are pretty quick though. Veggie chili and sandwiches are amply sized and not too expensive, most in the $5-8 range. Beers run $5-6, which is fairly typical for the area. The two main floor bars do not accept credit cards, but Back Bar and the upstairs bars do.

Overall, I’ve been happy with the selections here, but don’t consider this a beer destination. Rather, it is a live music venue with a pretty decent selection. Accessible via the Metro’s Green Line, it is a short 4 block walk from the U St. stop. Be sure to exit using the Vermont Ave. exit. There is also ample street parking and while the area seems a bit dicey, I’ve never experienced a problem.

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Photo of Dithyramb
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I asked the DC Beerfly guide to add this puppy in for novelty’s sake. First off, it scores fairly high just for being the best place to see great bands and drink good beer.

If the smaller national acts come through the region, they generally bypass Baltimore and head straight to the 9:30 Club. (Hopefully, with Ram’s Head and Pier 6 being rejuvenated, this will end) Rap, rock, reggae, indie, they gets it all. The first floor is an open setup where one can push closer to the stage, if that is your thing. I prefer the balcony levels, grabing a riser seat. They are the best overall for both view and closeness to the actual bar. It is easily accessed via the metro, only a few short blocks from the U street metro stop on the Vermont Ave side. Gets a bit shady parking slightly north of there, but they do have $10 parking about half a block up 9th Street.

Bartenders don’t appear that overly into the beer, but it is generally crowded and jostling. They are very fast and efficient. I've only just yelled out my opinion, and gotten things fast and easy.

Selection is generally pretty good. It includes multiple DFH offerings, Rasputen, Anchor Steam, Anchor porter, Leifman's, and such. All the beers were in the $6-7 range. They were served in smaller (10 oz?) plastic cups, except for Kriek being in ~5 oz. flute.

Overall: A good, cheap rock bar that has a better than average beer selection. Something you won’t get at the MCI Center.

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9:30 in Washington, DC
3.49 out of 5 based on 35 ratings.
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