Just a few of the highlights from the uniformly positive review:
the decor is suitably hip: The purple walls are covered with flocked lions, and old silkscreened concert posters are hung inside vintage gilded frames. Gothic wrought-iron lamps hang over the bar. A cozy couch-filled room is upstairs, just away from the dance floor, with a Christmas tree as its centerpiece. And the back patio is one of the most interesting outdoor spaces in town: Lit by purple lanterns that hang from an overhead trellis, there are metal benches, a wall of tall green trees and flowering plants, and a fountain with water gushing from a lion's head.
It's wonderful," says Courtney Clugston, 32, an art director for a marketing company. "There's no pretentious attitude at all. I come here a lot by myself and talk to random people."
"It's not too hip -- no one's going to judge you," adds her friend Jessica DeMaio, 30, a sociology graduate student at George Washington University.
The house rules are simple: Be polite, tip your bartender and don't act like a fool. That's all it takes.
The scene: "It's a really comfortable place," says Michelle Lapin, 34, an IT product manager who admits she "felt super cool" when some early-adopter friends brought her in. "The staff is really down-to-earth. The music isn't too loud, so you can hang out with your friends. Somehow, the balance is just right."
The beer selection walks a fine line between divey and gourmet. On one hand, you can get Stroh's -- specially imported to D.C. because one of the bar's owners is from Detroit -- for $3 a can. There's an ad in the binder-size drink menu hawking 24 oz. cans of Steel Reserve malt liquor for $8. But the coolers behind the bar also contain a good selection of bottles from Bear Republic, Stone, Bell's and Founders, typically found at specialty beer bars.