Washington D.C.s waterfront navy yard is steeped full of history. The navy yard built ships, then made munitions for the Navy before becoming an administrative center for naval operations. At one time, the navy yard comprised 126 acres of land with 188 buildings.
After the 1960s, the navy yard became the administrative center of the Navy. Abandoned buildings became offices, and the waterfront opened to commercial ventures. Today, the Navy Yard is home not only to the Navy but also to restaurants, a major league baseball stadium, cultural venues, and hot bars.
Speaking of the latter, here are the five hottest bars in Navy Yard, D.C.
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Sports Bar – Walters Sports Bar
With a major league baseball stadium in the neighborhood, there is no shortage of great sports bars. However, the Walters Sports Bar, located at 10 N St SE, Washington, is considered one of the absolute best. Walters is precisely 50 feet from the gate of Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals major league baseball team.
Walters Sports Bar is the perfect place to wear your team jersey and cap, drink beer, root for your team, and have a good time. However, if you go during a home Nationals game, you had better love the team, as it is a haven for hometown fans who couldn’t get into Nationals Park. Instead, they walk across the street to see the game live on enormous screens from multiple angles.
With a full bar featuring creative and traditional cocktails and a vast beer selection, a food menu that is surprisingly complete, and special events, there is always a hot place to enjoy. Events in late 2022 included Iran vs. U.S.A. at the World Cup and a Manny Pacquiao vs. DK Yoo fight.
The Walters Sports Bar gets its name in honor of a Washington Senators pitcher Walter Perry Johnson. He led his District of Columbia team to win the 1924 Worlds Series and held many pitching records.
Irish Pub – Kelly’s Irish Times
The longevity of a business says a lot about the quality and popularity of an establishment. For example, Kelly’s Irish Times, 14F St NW, Washington D.C., has been an Irish pub serving Irish fare for over forty years. And that’s no blarney.
You have a pint outside in front and watch the people go by or come inside for the whole experience. Inside, you’re likely to find an enthusiastic bunch cheered on by a host of characters serving behind the bar. In addition to Irish imported beers and Jameson Irish Whiskey, the entire bar compliments a menu with traditional Irish dishes and popular American picks.
Also inside is Kelly’s world-famous wall. The ever-changing wall exhibits 100 years of unique and sometimes obscure history. On the wall, you can find one-of-a-kind, unopened beer bottles from the 1980s alongside a 1930s Dublin Police Patch. The entire wall is full of this and that, including some political photos and items of curiosity. It will make you wonder how Kell’s came about having all this stuff.
Contemporary Chic – Scarlet Oak
Located in the heart of the Navy Yard neighborhood is Scarlet Oak. The restaurant and bar at 909 New Jersey Ave. S.E. have dual-covered patios outside and tastefully modern decor inside. They unapologetically state, “Our music is loud, our setting is unpretentious, and our hospitality is on point.”
Scarlet Oak features a rotating artisanal beer selection from local breweries. The happy hour tour cocktails are unique, for example, a Scarlet Sangria or a Caipirinha made with Cachaça, lime, and rhubarb syrup. The happy hour menu includes regular favorites, including Pimento Cheese Plate, Deviled Eggs, and Buffalo Wings with gorgonzola sauce.
Scarlet Oak is a popular brunch location on the weekends, so you will likely want a reservation. Bottomless bloody marys or mimosas complement traditional breakfast items, specialty dishes created by the resident chef, and delicious desserts. It is the perfect place and time to impress guests or unwind after a hectic week.
Capital City Views – Top of the Yard Rooftop Bar and Bites
It doesn’t get much better than this locale on a beautiful day or evening. Located on the Hampton Inn Washington DC – Navy Yard (level R) rooftop is an incredible bar: The Top of the Yard. Not only can you see several major Washington D.C. monuments, but a full view of Nationals Park stadium is also available. So yes, you can see the action from the bar’s vantage point during a home game.
The location alone makes Top of the Yard Rooftop Bar and Bites a hot bar in Washington, D.C. Whether visiting as a tourist or going as a local to catch the game; it provides a unique and unforgettable experience. Unfortunately, it is less fun in the winter when snow falls and closes. Consequently, plan to visit during warmer weather.
Gay Bar – As You Are
“A safe place for all” is the motto of As You Are, an LGBTQIA+ cafe by day and one of the hottest dance club bars at night. Everyone is welcome and should feel safe. The management at As You Are prioritize a model of consent and respect to ensure every patron is comfortable and empowered by the experience.
Multiple regular and special events keep the entire community connected. Weekly karaoke, facilitated grief discussion, open bar wristband nights on the second floor, and wine down Wednesdays with wine specials all day long are just a few of the ongoing attractions that make As You Are a favorite destination in Washington, D.C.’s Navy Yard.
The Bottom Line
There are far more hot bars in Washington D.C.’s Navy yard; each one offers a unique experience that may be just the experience you need, depending on what you are looking for on a given day.
If you are a local, then you have time to explore. If visiting the D.C. area, start with one of these top 5 hottest bars in Washington D.C. and see where it takes you. If one doesn’t suit your tastes, move on to another, but remember to drink responsibly.