A few weeks back, we threw this question out to some of our loyal readers, asking for your picks for the best discreet meeting spots in DC, and frankly, what we got back was questionable at best.
One of you actually recommended Bullfeathers.
We can only hope that you guys aren’t trying to pull off anything sneaky, cause you’re about as subtle as Chris Lee posting on Craigslist.
Thankfully, we know shady folks who were willing to dish on their favorite clandestine meeting spots. Read and learn, Boy Scouts.
#5: Any place NOT on Capitol Hill
Despite being Famous for DC, and no doubt recognizable back in the District, chances are no one outside these 2 square miles knows whom you or who your rank-and-file Congressman is. (Even if they’re wearing their Congressional pin, practically begging people to notice them!) If you’re a member of the Senate, okay, we’ll widen the radius to 10 square miles.
Even running for President isn’t a guarantee that people will pay attention. Rick Santorum could smoke crack off a hooker’s you-know-what on the National Mall and no one would notice or care.
So, step one in fulfilling your manifest clandestiny: leave the Hill. Uber somewhere. Anywhere. We’d recommend Maryland or Virginia, but chances are NW DC is far enough.
#4: Archibald’s, Camelot, or Good Guys
If you’re doing something shady, best to go where everyone is doing something a little sketch so the principals of mutually assured destruction can work in your favor. Any one of these fine DC strip clubs will do.
Bonus: these places are dark. Double bonus: everyone there is distracted, all the time. Triple bonus: smartphones and social media are persona non grata. So go ahead, pass the cash and under the table. Just don’t forget to tip your waitress, because that would be tacky.
#3: CafÉ Milano
Whatever amateur dealings you’re doing, chances are some diplomat is doing far worse in the front room; so if/when the FBI decides to raid the place, you’ll have plenty of time to finish your branzino, order gelato, and still escape.
Much like the aforementioned strip clubs, this place comes with the guarantee of a distracted clientele, because everyone is either so self-absorbed they can’t be bothered to notice anyone else, or because they’re so busy being cool and acting like the fact that Barack and Michelle just walked in is no big deal. Either way, it’s a win/win for you.
Honestly, the Pope could show up to Café Milano for dinner and be left alone. Best of all, you’ll have a delicious meal with amazing service.
#2: Tortilla Coast
If “hiding in plain sight” is your strategy, it doesn’t get any more obvious than this favorite watering hole. Seriously, go ahead: take your Mistress. Have some margaritas. Share some queso. Let her salt your chips.
You could run into your wife and she’d be convinced you two were just there for a fundraiser, because you’d have to be dumb to be that overt… or would you?
Just remember not to look so uncomfortable/paranoid that you arouse suspicion and draw unwanted attention. Our hunch here at FDC HQ is that you guys probably need to work up to this one.
#1: A Senate Hideaway
First, in order to pull this off, you’re going to have to be a United States Senator or a super-trusted staff member of a Senator. (Sorry, House folks…)
Since these offices are completely unmarked, your second hurdle is in knowing where the Hideaway is and being able to find it. The more seniority the Senator has, the closer to the Senate floor, which means it’s easier to find, but also easier to be spotted.
And if you’re not a staffer and have no Congressional ID to get into the Capitol, the Senator or their appointed staffer (or whomever you happen to be secretly rendezvousing with) is going to have to meet you on the Senate steps to escort you in. Not the most discreet game plan, but Capitol Police are lockboxes when it comes to this stuff. They’ll even wave you in if they see you there every day at noon, no questions asked.
The final hurdle is in having the key. They only make a few and they’re impossible to replicate. If you’re given one, for God’s sake, don’t lose it. You’ve literally scored the keys to the kingdom.
And finally, a note from our Editors: Don’t do shady sh*t. It never ends well.