Kelly's Irish Times

Dive Bar / Irish Pub
Kelly's Irish Times Kelly's Irish Times in Capitol Hill is a Washington, DC staple for cheap domestics and rowdy weekend fun. Try your luck in DC at this bar with Party Earth. Washington, DC United States 38.8972297 -77.009814
2.86 7
Kelly's Irish Times - Dive Bar | Irish Pub in Washington, DC.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review With beer and cheer o’er flowin’, Kelly’s Irish Times has been a DC staple that’s survived and thrived – and no doubt put up with loads of bad Irish puns – for longer than even the oldest of the old-fart regulars can remember... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    M–Th 11am–1:30am, F 11am–2:30am, Sa noon–2:30am, Su noon–1:30am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Kelly's Irish Times Review

The Scene

Kelly's Irish Times in Capitol Hill is a Washington, DC staple for cheap domestics and rowdy weekend fun. Try your luck in DC at this bar with Party Earth.

With beer and cheer o’er flowin’, Kelly’s Irish Times has been a DC staple that’s survived and thrived – and no doubt put up with loads of bad Irish puns – for longer than even the oldest of the old-fart regulars can remember.

Pub purists from across the pond might decry the all-American bric-a-brac that dresses the walls or the fact that Miller far outpours Murphy’s Irish Stout, but if that keeps them away it just clears up more room for the rowdy college kids and post-work Hill staffers that make the Times their home away from home.

Walls are plastered with photos of past presidents (Reagan reportedly loved the joint), District police badges, bumper stickers, antique ice buckets, faded Super Bowl tickets, and local university logos, often to such an extent that the wood isn’t even visible.

Though typically the epitome of a chill dive during the work week as older locals drop in to nosh on a mix of Irish classics, bacon tater tots, and Frito chili, the onset of the weekend finds the joint overrun with the barely-twenty-one set.

Festive live Irish music fills the ground floor Thursdays and Fridays, while the packed scene at the second bar downstairs gives way to lots of flip-cup, dudes head-butting the punching machine, and DJs driving the disco ball-bedazzled dance floor with loud rock and pop.

Young or old, in school or retired, patrons at Kelly’s Irish Times find plenty of reasons to take an alcoholiday.

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Tip from Lucas:

Kelly’s offers great drink specials daily, but it’s hard to beat Saturdays when, from 8 to 11pm, you can dive into all-you-can-drink Miller Light and Blue Moon for only $15!

  • Crowd

    Rowdy college kids, post-grads from Catholic, GW, and Georgetown, Hill staffers, old-fart locals, and area kickball leagues, early 20s to 50s, with the regular crowd trending young on the weekends.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Live Irish music on the main floor Thursdays and Fridays from around 10pm.

    DJs spin loud, danceable pop and rock downstairs on Saturdays from around 10pm.

    Jukebox stocked with a wide array of rock, Irish classics, folk, and country.

    Several TVs usually tuned to sports.

    Punching machine and dedicated flip-cup table downstairs.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Irish pub classics like Guinness stew and grilled Ruebens, as well as gut-busting American bar food like buffalo shrimp, Frito pie (chili covered with Fritos), tacos, and burgers. Seasonal patio. Happy Hour M–F 4–6pm, with additional drink specials daily, including weekends.

  • Prices

    Appetizers $7–$12, soups/salads, $4–$6, sandwiches $7–$9, entrées $8–$17. Beer $3+, wine $6+, mixed drinks $5+.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Super casual: college attire, jeans, polos, sundresses, flip-flops, some more conservative wear on the after-work Hill crowd, and sexier duds on the weekend party kids.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Any night to get in on some cheap domestics, or Fridays and Saturdays to party like a college kid.

  • Close By

    The Dubliner (4 F Street NW) is a family-owned Irish pub that has been serving up nightly Irish bands, authentic Gaelic grub, and gallons of Guinness since 1974.

Kelly's Irish Times User Reviews

Average rating:
Kelly’s is kissed by the luck of the Irish
Mark H. Apr 2, 2013
Feel like getting Gaelic? Kelly’s Irish Times on Capitol Hill is an excellent start. As one of the District’s most beloved pubs, it’s still the golden standard for D.C.’s Celtic hangouts despite opening in 1978. A few minutes spent inside its antique but still vibrant walls quickly explains why. History reigns supreme at Kelly’s, and the atmosphere is the perfect fusion between Old World and New. Over a century of Irish lore dots the layout, ranging from Emerald Isle mementoes to Bean Town police badges. Though firmly rooted in the past, Kelly’s hasn’t forgotten the present. Few places in D.C. provide such a great atmosphere for watching Boston sports. On that note, Kelly’s offers a wide range of TVs for catching any or all big games. It’s thus rocking and rowdy during the in-season, but loud sports fans aren’t the only patrons. Kelly’s proximity to the hill brings in many movers-and-shakers, and last St. Patrick’s Day President Obama dropped by for a Guinness. Congressional staffers are common, as are area college students and seasoned lifers. Menu-wise, Kelly’s makes simple but comforting fare. Its bar bites – including mini-corn dogs, beer cheese and even Frito pie – often cost little but taste rich. For more traditional pub-crawlers, Kelly’s serves dishes like savory Guinness stew or hearty steak slathered in Jameson whiskey butter. Last but not least, a wide range of burgers and sandwiches round out the selections with ample variety for both lunch and dinner. Given its roots, Kelly’s beer list skews mostly towards English and Irish brews. There are few places better for Guinness drafts, and every bartender makes killer Irish car bombs. For more American tastes, Kelly’s also sports most major U.S. beers and several of their seasonals for variety. Specials are frequent and often unbelievable deals – $20 domestic draft “super tubes” during football season Sundays serving as one of Kelly’s biggest steals. Few places in D.C. survive without continuous success, and Kelly’s longevity is evidence of its crowd-pleasing experience. It’s a stout shot of Irish pride in the nation’s capital, and one that leaves visitors feeling like they’ve found a pot of gold.
Great food
Uri G. Feb 11, 2013
Great food
Great food....but..
Lindsey B. Oct 16, 2012
Kellys is defiantly nothing fancy but great atmosphere and delicious artery clogging food. Staff were helpful and made any drink we wanted. Guinness was best in Washington DC. Bit loud at times so not great for privacy. Overall the place is old, dark and seems very much like a local's joint but it's worth stopping in.
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