Party Earth Review In the middle of historic Penn Quarter – a neighborhood where hip hotspots seem to be opening every day – Zola combines an upscale lounge vibe with a Happy Hour that makes it easy for the common man to get a little swanky... ... read full review
800 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
Green, Yellow, Red, Lines: Gallery Pl-Chinatown
M–Th 11:30am–midnight, F 11:30am–1am, Sa 5pm–1am
Penn Quarter, Washington, DC –
In the middle of historic Penn Quarter – a neighborhood where hip hotspots seem to be opening every day – Zola combines an upscale lounge vibe with a Happy Hour that makes it easy for the common man to get a little swanky.
The entrance to this posh venue is right next to the Spy Museum, but the gussied-up regulars who frequent the crisp, clean interior certainly aren’t trying to hide.
Split between a bar and restaurant, the spacious dining area features a modern décor of islands of champagne buckets scattered over the checkered floor and stark walls of white, black, and red, while the bar uses the city as its décor, with large windows facing out to the street.
Area suits and trendy shoppers drop in for lunch to snack on big salads like lobster grapefruit or the cafeteria-style business lunch, as stylish college kids – who might still be using daddy’s credit card – take on a few early martinis.
Twice daily Happy Hour include $5 cocktails (and even cheaper beer), as well as small plate specials ideal for the theater-going crowd and the pre-club groups of girls who stop in to start the evening with a little sophistication – and maybe one of the venue’s over three hundred bottles of wine – before hitting a nearby dance club.
Upscale but comfortable, Zola is a relaxed spot that doesn’t break the bank – but feels like it should.
Stylish college kids, junior to senior professionals, theater crowd, pre-clubbers, and moneyed tourists, early 20s to late 50s.
Ambient Top 40 and other current mixes. TV over the bar.
Full menu of upscale American cuisine, including pumpkin scallops, hay smoked venison, Korean beef short ribs, burgers, salads, tacos, lamb, and fish dishes. Private room available for rental. Happy Hour M–F 4–6pm and 9:30–11pm.
Appetizers $11–$13, salads $17–$21, sandwiches $12–$13, entrées $22–$35, prix fixe three-course meal (M–Sa 5–7pm) $40, desserts $8–$12. Beer $5–$10, wine $7–$17/glass or $38–$500+/bottle+, cocktails $9–$15. Valet (after 5pm) $8.
Upscale: button-downs, suits, skinny jeans, dresses, dressy tops, heeled boots, stilettos.
Mondays through Fridays for the pair of Happy Hours or Friday and Saturday nights for a sophisticated start to a long night.
Less than a block away is Ultrabar (911 F Street NW), a five-floor venue featuring six bars, four DJ booths, and room for everyone from wealthy internationals to 18+ college students.