Rocket Bar

Bar / Pool Hall
Rocket Bar A tiny red neon sign and the occasional hardened face of a kid who took his Skeeball match too seriously are the only hints of what lies behind the door to Rocket Bar, a subterranean adult fun-land that might be mistaken for... Washington, DC United States 38.899019 -77.022064
3.2 6
Rocket Bar - Bar | Pool Hall in Washington, DC.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review A tiny red neon sign and the occasional hardened face of a kid who took his Skeeball match too seriously are the only hints of what lies behind the door to Rocket Bar, a subterranean adult fun-land that might be mistaken... ... read full review

  • Metro:

    Green, Yellow, Red Lines: Gallery Pl-Chinatown

  • Phone:

    202–628–7665

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    M–Th, Su 4pm–2am, F–Sa 4pm–3am
    Sa–Su from 12:30pm during football season

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Rocket Bar Review

The Scene

A tiny red neon sign and the occasional hardened face of a kid who took his Skeeball match too seriously are the only hints of what lies behind the door to Rocket Bar, a subterranean adult fun-land that might be mistaken for...

A tiny red neon sign and the occasional hardened face of a kid who took his Skeeball match too seriously are the only hints of what lies behind the door to Rocket Bar, a subterranean adult fun-land that might be mistaken for a child’s bedroom were it not for the unmistakable smell of beer.

Lime green stairs lead groups of college students past the watchful gaze of a giant silver robot and down into a flurry of TVs, pool tables, shuffleboard matches, dart boards, Skeeball tournaments, and crowds of giddy young professionals shaking off the day with a few intense rounds of UNO.

Metal rocket ships and multicolored lights hang above the three full bars, while mini-spaceships dangling from the black ceiling vibrate to the beats from the Top 40 jukebox. Sports fans vie for high-backed bar stools from which to catch the game on more than a dozen flat-screens, while eagle-eyed fraternity brothers swig PBRs and sling darts.

Those who prefer pool will have to show up early before the seven tables are taken over by the after-work crowd or the fans who stop in before and after games at nearby Verizon Center, though their concentration might be challenged by the rickety clacks from the shuffleboard tables, the thunks of Skeeballs landing in the center pocket, and the boisterous victory calls erupting randomly from different corners.

Complete with lava lamps, retro toys, and a vast array of board games, Rocket Bar transports adults back to their childhood…except this time there’s alcohol in the juice box.

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Tip from Lucas:

If you want to enjoy Rocket Bar at its least crowded, pop in when there’s a game at nearby Verizon Center – just be prepared for a crush the minute the game ends. Also, this place smells a bit like a urinal cake…but you get used to it.

  • Crowd

    Laid-back college grads, young professionals, competitive pool and dart enthusiasts, fans from Verizon Center, and relaxed groups of friends, early 20s to early 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Seventeen TVs, seven pool tables, six shuffleboard tables, six dartboards, two Skeeball machines. 2 Jukeboxes with Top 40 hits.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    No food, but nearby restaurants deliver to the bar. Happy Hour daily 4–7pm.

  • Prices

    Beer $5–$7, wine $5–$7, cocktails $5–$10. Skeeball $.50, darts $1/hour, board games $1/hour, pool and shuffleboard $6–$20/hour for 1–4 people.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual/anything goes: sports attire, jeans, t-shirts, shorts, flip-flops.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Friday and Saturday nights for the biggest crowds, though the game lines tend to get long, or weeknights for a lower key crowd and more elbow room.

  • Close By

    RFD Washington (810 7th Street NW) has over three hundred beers and one of the most extensive draft lists in the city.

Rocket Bar User Reviews

Average rating:
Blastoff to fun and games in Chinatown
Mark H. Apr 2, 2013
D.C.’s premier recreation station is located in Chinatown. Rocket Bar is a zany basement bar packed with amusements amid futuristic, whimsical scenery. Aiming for one’s inner kid, it occupies a unique niche between Chuck E. Cheese’s and trendy, urban club life. At first glance, Rocket Bar looks like nothing but child’s play. Large and spacious, it’s filled with neon lights, big couches and toy robots. The main attraction is its gaming collection, a stockpile so vast Rocket Bar feels like the ultimate fun park. Visitors can shoot darts, play pool, video game and more. It’ll return even the most serious patrons back to years spent in light-hearted, adolescent fun. That isn’t to say Rocket Bar neglects adults – it doesn’t. For starters, it boasts a wide array of plasma TVs for watching the big game. Though the drink selection’s relatively standard, select libations are $4 during the daily happy hour. The service is often prompt, and multiple stereos feature a catalog of top 40 tunes and classic hits. There are thus plenty of options for customers either young or old at heart. Though Rocket Bar is close to the bulls-eye, it doesn’t hit the mark. Between drinks and renting the various attractions, one’s wallet shrinks fast. Rocket Bar also lacks a food menu, though several nearby restaurants do deliver for a small fee. Last but not least, those looking for relaxation should travel elsewhere: At day’s end, Rocket Bar’s downtown location and multiple entertainments make it frequently loud and crowded. Despite these minor flaws, Rocket Bar reaches most of the stars it shoots for. Though it isn’t perfect, it’s still a great place for bar hoppers who haven’t finished growing up.
SO Much Fun!
Emily H. Feb 20, 2013
My friends and I had a blast at Rocket Bar! It can be easy to miss walking down the street, but don’t pass this one up! The bar is in the basement, down a long set of stairs. Once inside, you feel like you’ve been transported to a different world. The walls are lime green, neon florescent lights shine from above, and games galore surround you at every angle. Rocket Bar is the perfect atmosphere to let loose, make some new friends, and let the raucousness ensue! There’s no time for boredom in Rocket Bar. Pool tables, dartboards, and shuffleboards are all there to keep the rowdy crowd busy. I recommend it for anyone wanting to laugh and let loose.
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