20s / 30s / 90s Music / Beer Lovers / Blouses / Brunch / Button-downs / Champagne / Cocktail Bar / Couples / DJ / Dancing / Dinner / Happy Hour / Intimate / Jeans / Laid back / Late Night Happy Hour / Locals / Lounge / Mixology / Patio / R&B / Restaurant / Seafood / Small Plates / Smart Casual / Specialty Cocktails / Steak / Students / TVs / Tapas / Top 40 / Vegetarian Food / Wine / Young Professionals
Policy Policy is a bi-level venue that might also be called bipolar: offering patrons a laid-back restaurant and mixology spot downstairs and a loud, graffiti-laden lounge above. Washington, DC United States 38.915748 -77.032165
3.26 7
Policy - Cocktail Bar | Lounge | Restaurant in Washington, DC.
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Party Earth Review Policy is a bi-level venue that might also be called bipolar: offering patrons a laid-back restaurant and mixology spot downstairs and a loud, graffiti-laden lounge above. The Love Dining Room is an intimate take on the... ... read full review

  • Metro:

    Green, Yellow Lines: U Street/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo

  • Phone:


  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Restaurant: M 5–10pm, Tu–Th 5–11pm, F–Sa 5pm–midnight, Su 11am–3pm
    Bar/Lounge: M–Th 5pm–1am, F–Sa 5pm–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Policy Review

The Scene

Policy is a bi-level venue that might also be called bipolar: offering patrons a laid-back restaurant and mixology spot downstairs and a loud, graffiti-laden lounge above.

Policy is a bi-level venue that might also be called bipolar: offering patrons a laid-back restaurant and mixology spot downstairs and a loud, graffiti-laden lounge above.

The Love Dining Room is an intimate take on the American diner, with red vinyl booths and Formica tabletops where young professionals and couples cozy up with the restaurant’s small, shareable plate format, and sample items like hand cut fries and sausage stuffed calamari.

A long mahogany bar draws beer enthusiasts perusing the menu of over forty drafts and large format brews, while mixologists employ an arsenal of house-made bitters and syrups to craft a range of throwback cocktails like lychee mojitos and honey-infused champagne.

Work-week revelers looking for a bit more action can make their way upstairs, past the towering pop art prints and into the Liberty Lounge, whose incongruous décor of exposed pipes and ornate chandeliers gives the space a shabby-chic party vibe.

While a patio overlooking T Street offers guests a break and some fresh air, most partiers prefer the energetic action on the dance floor, where an upbeat crowd of young professionals and students writhe to the DJ’s mix of Top 40 and 90s R&B.

Whether settling in for the succulent food and cocktails below or the riotous grooves above, Policy patrons are in for a dichotomy of sensual experiences.

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Tip from Emma:

If you aren’t excited about any of the cocktails on the menu, ask the bartender to invent something for you. These master mixologists don’t hesitate when it comes to getting creative, and the results are delectable.

  • Crowd

    Neighborhood locals, young professionals, and students, 20s to 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    DJs in the upstairs lounge. Wine Wednesdays featuring half-priced bottles. Three TVs usually tuned to sports or cooking shows.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Full menu featuring small plates of vegetarian items, seafood, and meat. Extensive wine and beer lists. Happy Hour all night Monday at the bar, Tu–F 5–8pm, Sa 5–7pm. Late-night Happy Hour in the Liberty Lounge Th 9pm–1am.

  • Prices

    Brunch menu $7–$13, small plates $4–$16. Beer $4–$35, wine $8–$18/glass or $30–$100/bottle, cocktails $11.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Nice casual: button-downs, jeans, comfortable dresses, fashionable tops.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Any time Thursday through Saturday, Wine Wednesdays for half-price bottles, and Mondays for the all-night Happy Hour.

  • Close By

    Utopia Bar & Grill (1418 U Street NW) has a long list of deliciously-sweet martinis, eclectic art on the walls, and live local jazz Wednesday through Sunday.

Policy User Reviews

Average rating:
Love This Place!
Julia C. Apr 8, 2013
We went to Policy recently for my best friend's birthday and had a fantastic time! We waited at the bar before being seated where the bartenders concocted some delicious drinks for our group. We were then seated as soon as our whole party was there, and dinner was nothing less than incredible, from the food to the service. The small plates style meal allows everyone to try multiple dishes, which you will definitely want to do because everything is delicious! Some of our favorites were the sweet potato gnocchi and the crispy duck spring rolls, but literally everything was good. Then, upon the suggestion of our server, we headed upstairs to dance the night away in their graffiti-laden club. The music was incredible - a great mix of 90's pop and current stuff that the mid-20's clientele fully enjoys. Decent prices on drinks upstairs as well, which we really appreciated. This is the perfect place to come for dinner and stay the whole night. I will definitely be back soon!
Come for the food, stay for the club
Andrea G. Mar 11, 2013
Offering both a quality restaurant and a trendy upstairs lounge, Policy is ideal for grabbing a drink with co-workers or for dancing with your friends on a Friday night. Policy looks like a standard chic restaurant and bar from its exterior on 14th street. With its white building, large glass windows, tin ceiling and warm interior, it’s easy to see why foodies and the after-work crowd head here for happy hour and dinner. Offering an array of shared plates featuring seasonal and local ingredients for reasonable prices, many couples and young professionals grab a seat in one of their red leather booths and select one of their expertly mixed cocktails. What is surprising is that the real gem is its lounge upstairs. With a large bar, chandeliers, and graffitied walls, it looks like an entirely different club. With DJs spinning Top 40 on weekends and a new “Throwback Thursday” night, the lounge is usually packed, so much so that it can be hard at times to try out your moves. However, there are VIP areas located above the fray with bottle service if you have some extra cash to burn. Policy is the best of both worlds-a great restaurant with classic cocktails and a rowdy fun bar for young professionals. Either way-be sure to dress to impress. Although students and hipsters mingle together, the crowd is definitely on the trendy side.
They should have given me the darn bread basket!
Helena B. Oct 16, 2012
This is a review for Sunday brunch at Policy. This place is a mess. We had the livingsocial coupon for 2 plates, seasonal bread basket, and bottomless mimosas/bloody marys. We walk in, and awkward hostess greets us. We tell her we're in for brunch, and she looks uncomfortable when she gathers that we have livingsocial coupon. She proceeds to tell us that they're "really busy" and that she has to see whether she can seat us. I peek head in, and there are LITERALLY 5 people seated inside. I start preparing speech in my head about how she can't discriminate against couponers, and how they need to honor their deals. But, no need, she grabs menus and seats us. We wait about 5 minutes for our waiter to show up. Subsequently, we wait 10 minutes for mimosas to show up. And another 5 for them to bring out the bread basket. Quick stop for commentary here. I had been envisioning the "bread basket" to be a basket filled with all sorts of bread...raisin bread, bread with nuts, wheat bread, white bread, garlic bread...you know, BREAD. No, the bread basket is neither bread, nor basket. They brought out a tiny plate, with 8 equally tiny muffins on it. The minimuffins were great, dont get me wrong, but I was waiting for bread basket. I ordered the pork belly skillet and friend ordered corned beef hash. Pork belly skillet had 4 very small pieces of pork belly, on top of 2 eggs over easy and a mix of vegetables. Truth be told, it tasted pretty good, but the serving was minimal (waiter told us it was tapas style). However, for that price ($11, I believe) it was WAAAAAAAY too expensive. Don't know much about corned beef hash, but im assuming it was satisfactory as i didnt hear complaints. Waiter kept disappearing. We had to look for him and call him over to get more mimosas. We had to call him over several times, and eventually came to conclusion that this was their way of saving on mimosas. We were there for about 1.5 hours and only got two refills on the mimosas. Amazing! The bottomless mimosas are $18 for each person, which is PRETTY RIDICULOUS since we only got 3 glasses each. Had we paid full price, I would have lost it on the waiter (the amazing Houdini with his disappearing act). Decor: I have never seen anything more hideous. The light fixtures are just simply terrible. There is no cohesive look to the place, and everything just looked slapped together without much thought. I really didn't like Policy. The food wasn't great, the service was terrible, and the decor worse.
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