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The “I Work on the Hill” Happy Hour
Venue: Pour House, Union Pub, Cap Lounge

Congressional staffers are notoriously underpaid, so they flood these establishments for one reason: cheap drinks. Think young people in suits trying to keep their college drinking skills alive. PBR specials? Sure thing, bro.

The “Just Because It’s Free (NETWORKING)” Happy Hour
Venue: Who even cares? You will go wherever, whenever for some free sh*t.

Dust off your (homemade) business cards and get here ASAP before they run out of FREE appetizers. Look around the room hoping to recognize someone — you don’t. Nosh on the pigs in a blanket awkwardly in the corner. Make small talk with a few lonely souls about how you LOVE what you’re eating. Leave with enough business cards to build a card-tower. Success.

The “I’m an intern” Happy Hour
Venue: Sign of The Whale, McFaddens, Hawk and Dove

You’re new to town and looking to party. You experience bumper to bumper traffic inside the bar, but you kind of enjoy it. Look everyone in the eye — and by look, we mean stare. You think you’re better than everyone else there. Put your name down to win a free HH, because, why not? But for pete’s sake, please don’t make a fool of yourself.

The “Let’s go drink in Clarendon” Happy Hour
Venue: Liberty Tavern, Mister Day’s

No, it’s not in DC, but “it’s just outside of the city. SO hip and SO fun…and SO conveniently located next to the happy hour suggester’s “awesome” apartment. You make the dreaded orange line trip to Clarendon after your 9-6 day and what do you talk about when you get there? Work. Work. More work. The curse of the young professional’s social life is at its peak in Clarendon, where every slightly buzzed conversation is about Bobby’s desperate need to impress his boss and climb the social ladder. Can we just have or $5 beer and forget work? No. Not in Clarendon. (By the way, good luck on the commute back to DC).

The “This is Actually Awkward Coworker” Happy Hour
Venue: Bobby Vans, Chef Geoff’s, Front Page

Someone at work suggests the team get together after work hours to enjoy a libation or two. If you don’t go, you’re the office buzzkill; you’ll miss out on the inside jokes, gossip and drama that make the work day go by faster. But if you do go—be prepared. Do you talk about work? No, too standard. Your personal life? Dating life? Marriage? Kids? The weather? What happens when you run out of things to talk about? That uncomfortable silence. You can’t pull your phone out and pretend to be “working.” On the other side of the bar, and 3 glasses in, Mandy from HR is spilling all about her recent divorce. Someone always ends up crying, and it makes for REALLY awkward Keurig conversation in the morning.

The “Actual Influencer” Happy Hour
Venue: Bourbon Steak, Off the Record, The Palm

These places don’t even have happy hours. Why? To keep the peasants out. Why go? Because you are a high rolling K Street lobbyist/Senator, OR you’re a middle-aged woman who wants to be married to a high rolling K Street Lobbyist/Senator. You wanna talk immigration? Two Crown Royals on the rocks, because this is where the real Washington politics goes down.