Celebrating Your 21st Birthday in Bethesda

Recently an avid Bethesda Actually reader gave us a call to ask where he should celebrate his 21st birthday. His key parameter was that the location be a pub in or near Bethesda — we suspect he is also looking for a place to act as the transition to 21:

Where is he going to go for a pint, to watch the futbol or listen to some music with friends on a Friday night now that he is 21?

As you can imagine your Bethesda Actually team were pleased to dig into this question and examined the options available to this reader. Our conclusions are listed below — let us know if you agree/ disagree or have alternatives we should have considered for the top slots.

1. Harp and Fiddle — this old Bethesda favorite is number one on our list and we recommend our reader celebrate his birthday there for a few key reason: Harp and Fiddle is a real pub — there is a sense of community, the staff are terrific (our reader needs to get to know Steve, Keith and the rest of the crew) the draft beer options are solid (good Guinness on tap!), food is decent (not gourmet but not bad) it is a venue for music and sports watching (the TV upgrade has enhanced the viewing experience).

2. Irish Inn at Glen Echo — the pub side of the Irish Inn feels like a real pub from the old country and we love it. The food is super and the drinks are terrific. There are no negatives but there was a thought that for a 21st it may be a tad bit quiet. If our reader is celebrating with a diverse age group this could be the right option….certainly this should become a long term venue for a quiet Sunday afternoon pint.

3. RiRa’s — we love RiRa’s in new Bethesda — great music and a lovely space to eat, drink and be merry. We have little to say that is negative about it — if our reader decides to go there he needs to consider whether to be based in the quieter restaurant side or the bar/ band side. One big plus is the light summer shandy’s that RiRa’s is making this summer. One suggestion for RiRa’s — they should look to up their sports viewing options a bit.

4. Royal Mile — Wheaton — outside Bethesda but a lovely place. Love the food and the drinks. The staff are nice and the Welsh Rarebit is WONDERFUL!

5. Rock Bottom Brewery Bethesda — a really good Bethesda brew pub — good food, lots of home style beer options along with a sports and music scene. For the 21st it may not work as the reader in question is keen on having a Guinness.

Honorable mentions:

Black Finn — a loud and lively crowd.

Four P’s in Cleveland Park — an honorable DC option but has lost a bit of its past charm.

Brickskeller Saloon in Dupont Circle — a large variety of beers but we have found that at times the beers we want are out of stock. We do suggest a visit sometime after the 21st birthday.

American Tap Room — downtown Bethesda is opening soon!

Union Jack — some of our British readers feel that they need to up their authenticity a bit….

NOTE: Remember — no drinking and driving/ don’t overindulge and only try and buy a pint if you are legally allowed to do so!


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