The Red Derby

The Red DerbyThe Red Derby
The Red DerbyThe Red Derby
Bar, Eatery

3718 14th St NW
Washington, District of Columbia, 20010-1321
United States

(202) 291-5000 | map

View: Place Reviews | Events
Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 11
Photo of Kubishark
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Came here pretty late on a Saturday night where it was unsurprisingly busy and loud, but with pretty great music playing. Very dark and divey.

Mainly came here to drink more cheaply than at the previous DC location we were at, so I ordered a tallboy of Schlitz and then later a can of Shiner Bock and was pretty happy with what I got for what I paid, all things considered. Beware, it is cash only. Bartenders were nice and very quick.

Selection is good: lots and lots of cans to choose from.

I could easily see myself coming back here.

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Photo of circus_cat
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Atmosphere: I knocked it down a couple of points for atmosphere because I know a lot of people hate hipsters. It is a hipster bar (for DC) and there's no denying it. I love the atmosphere, personally. It's divey, which is a fresh breath of air in DC. They have board games and weird 80's movies playing on a projector. Their roof deck is AMAZING. I'll use this section to talk about the location too. It's a bit of a hike from the more popular areas like Dupont, U St., Logan Circle, and Adams Morgan, but not too bad. It's just north of the really fun and awesome Columbia Heights going toward Petworth. I recommend not even messing with the metro and instead taking the 16th St. buses up (the S buses--they come often) and getting off at Spring. It's at 14th and Spring.

Quality: Awesome. All canned beers which is actually better, less rough on the beer, taking away the light damage and skunking. They have the standard canned macrolagers which I avoid (except the occassional PBR or Natty Boh tallboy if I'm trying to have a big night--last time I was there they sold those in tallboy form for $2). But they also have amazing craft brews with mostly, if not completely, American craft brew character and ingenuity.

Service: Friendly, helpful staff. They tell you whatever you need to know about the beer. There is also a common problem of DC bartenders and wait staff acting like jerks (it's like they train them that way or something). Not these folks.

Selection: Excellent. Highlights how many great canned craft brews there are out there. I recommend the G'Knight (a red ale, made buy the same brewery that makes Dales--Oskar Blues).

Food: Very nice (if heart attack-inducing)_food selection. As a side note they have a great brunch (mimosas, of course). They do that "in" thing where you have a sunny side up egg in a burger.

Value: One of this place's greatest assets. My theory (and I've never asked them) is that they save a ton on not having to maintain a tap and keg, and saving space by sticking to cans instead of bottles. Where a non happy hour craft beer would be $7-8 at most other places in DC, Red Derby's are in the $4-6 range.

Its location and discreet appearance (it's not marked by a written sign, but a simple red derby hat) make it a hidden gem. Okay, now I'm sounding cheesy so I'm going to end this review--but this place is my favorite DC bar.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3/5  rDev -25.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Not much ado about nothing here. I heard about this place as a buddy and I were on the prowl in checking out "dive" bars in the area. This place is situated between the Columbia Heights and Petworth Metro stops. High ceilings when you walk in - feels like retro 50s and surprisngly somewhat classy place. Service was pretty decent. Beers not so much of a selection. We just decided to roll with PBRs and shots of whiskey at this place to mesh with the environment there. The food was not that great - I believe we just had wings and chicken tenders. I don't plan on coming back here.

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Photo of alysmith4
3.45/5  rDev -14%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This place is a pretty cool little find in upper NW DC. It's a little on the small side, and can get pretty packed on the weekend. They have a nice selection of micro-canned beers, and the food is good as well.. in particular the sweet potato fries with sweet "icing" sauce. They seem to carry just about every beer that Oskar Blues Brewing Company makes, as well as some others.. Youngs comes to mind. The bartenders make a few good beer cocktails with what's available as well, so that can be fun. They have a pool table in the back and some board games to play too, assuming you can get a seat.

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Photo of guild337
4.13/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Located solidly between the Columbia Heights and Petworth Metro stops, it was worth it for my group of drinking buddies to drive to this little, friendly, community watering hole. First of all, make sure you keep your eyes open when looking for the Red Derby, because there is no sign which says "The Red Derby". The fact is that it has only a...get this...Red Derby above the door. Charming. The inside had the feel of a lounge that could have fit in very well in Dupont Circle. There was a eclectic itunes playlist going (and apparently they will hook your ipod up to the sound system if you ask) and a movie was being projected on the wall.

Lets move on to the beer and food, which were both very good, especially for the price. I had a Cheese Quesadilla, which was very good. My other companions had among other things a Grilled Veggie Sandwhich, and some deep fried Maccaroni Wedges. Typical and not so typical bar food abounds. If you were not already aware, The Red Derby only has canned beers. For my first one I had a Brooklyn Lager (which I didn't know came in a can.) Next, I had an Oskar Blues Old Chub Scottish Ale. Then the helpful and friendly bartender made the suggestion of a Butternuts Heinniewisse. Not too bad for canned beer. There is quite a few more where they came from. 30+ by my count. A great little local place.

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The Red Derby in Washington, DC
Place rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 11 ratings