Iron Horse Taproom

Bar
Iron Horse Taproom Iron Horse Taproom in Washington, DC’s Penn Quarter offers craft beer, Skeeball, bourbon, & cool motorcycle décor. Hitch a ride to this DC bar with Party Earth. Washington, DC United States 38.896402 -77.021735
3.12 5
Iron Horse Taproom - Bar in Washington, DC.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review A block from the Verizon Center sports complex, Iron Horse Taproom offers craft beers, Skeeball, a healthy bourbon selection, and lots of motorcycle décor with nary a grizzled biker in sight. The motorbike... ... read full review

  • Metro:

    Green, Red, Yellow Lines: Gallery Place-Chinatown; Blue, Orange, Red Lines: Metro Center

  • Phone:

    202-347-7665

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    M–Th 4pm–2am, F 4pm–3am, Sa 5pm–3am, Su 5pm–2am
    Venue often opens early before a game at the nearby Verizon Center; check venue website for details

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Iron Horse Taproom Review

The Scene

Iron Horse Taproom in Washington, DC’s Penn Quarter offers craft beer, Skeeball, bourbon, & cool motorcycle décor. Hitch a ride to this DC bar with Party Earth.

A block from the Verizon Center sports complex, Iron Horse Taproom offers craft beers, Skeeball, a healthy bourbon selection, and lots of motorcycle décor with nary a grizzled biker in sight.

The motorbike theme inside is straight vintage, with 60s-era Nortons and Triumphs hanging in the main bar area, along with framed adverts and a racing mural by the entrance that could’ve been pulled from grandpa’s favorite cycle mag when he was a boy.

Patrons, however, are far more likely to be clean-cut Penn Quarter office mates than fabulously bearded hog enthusiasts, as they mingle with their Millers in the open area by the bar amid the scattered flannelled drink snobs sipping Pumpkin Ales or one of the forty or so whiskeys offered.

Not surprisingly given the bar’s location, the flat-screens favor sports (and occasionally crappy movies), and though the venue tends to be laid back during the week, patrons are assured of finding a packed house before and after any game at the Center.

Things also pick up come Fridays when an older crowd of professionals dominates the street level, while younger groups of college kids descend to the basement – also decked out in retro bikes and vintage ads – for shuffleboard, Skeeball, or to blast away at Big Buck Hunter near the second, smaller bar.

An unpretentious gathering spot, Iron Horse Taproom is far from an authentic biker bar, but can be a fun destination for all types…regardless of how they get there.

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Tip from Lucas:

Happy Hour knocks $2 off all the beer, making Iron Horse a great go-to after-work bar that can satisfy your beer needs without breaking the bank.

  • Crowd

    Area office mates, preppy young professionals, unpretentious suits, and craft hunters, with a younger college-aged crowd downstairs along with a few shuffleboard and Skeeball fanatics long since graduated, 20s to 40s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Music on the two jukeboxes is mostly selected by patrons and can vary widely.

    Three shuffleboard tables, two Skeeball machines, and a handful of arcade games downstairs.

    More than a dozen flat-screens tuned to sports on both levels.

    Downstairs available for private rental.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    No food, but outside food is welcome. Happy Hour M–F 4–8pm, Sa–Su 5–8pm.

  • Prices

    Beer $5–$12, wine $8, rails $6, liquor $7–$12+. Shuffleboard $12/hour for two, $16/hour for four (M–W, Su), or $14/hour for two, $20/four (Th–Sa).

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual: jeans, polos, button-downs, flannel, skirts, shorts.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Anytime shortly before or after a big game at the Verizon Center or most Friday and Saturday nights for the largest crowds.

  • Close By

    The Greene Turtle (601 F Street NW) is a relaxed sports bar that can be pretty dead midweek – for those in need of a quiet place to chill – and completely packed during big sporting events – for those wanting to catch the game with a fun crowd. They also offer a full menu of bar food.

Iron Horse Taproom User Reviews

Average rating:
Iron Horse Taproom - A Little Bit of Everything
Ian L. May 15, 2013
If you're anywhere near Gallery Place and aren't sure what you're in the mood for, it's hard to go wrong with Iron Horse. It's as laid back or as upscale as you make it. The upstairs portion of the bar, where I usually hangout, has a phenomenal ambiance for no larger than it is. Great lighting, hardwood floors, and large windows combine to give it a cozy feel while maintaining that modern, post-industrial vibe that's so "in" right now. Some nights it's just music playing, but one night they had movies playing on projections screens, which I thought was different and a really nice touch. Beverage-wise, they can satisfy just about anyone. They carry lots of craft bourbons and have a constantly rotating list of craft beers. They also have the cheap stuff if that's what you're feeling that night. The bar staff is part of what makes it great, because they'll pour you a fancy cocktail, but they'll just as soon mix up a Long Island without passing any judgement. The upstairs usually isn't too crowded, probably because most people head to the larger downstairs bar. There, they offer the same drink selections, along with games like shuffleboard and ski ball. As with the upstairs, even when it's crowded there's still just enough space to keep it from feeling too closed-in. They have couches if you're in the mood to lounge, and plenty of tables if you're more inclined to sit upright while you drink. As with any bar, Iron Horse isn't without its setbacks. I don't think I've been there on a night when someone wasn't thrown out for being too drunk or disorderly. Still, that's a sign that the security staff takes their job seriously, and it's usually pretty entertaining without causing too much of a scene. With all the options in Chinatown, I find myself returning to Iron Horse time after time. It's a place that manages to hit all the right notes.
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