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DC Insider’s What To Do EALS Weekend Guide

As you know from last year, I have perfected my list of where to go, eat, and drink in DC over EALS weekend over my 10+ years in DC. So, it’s only right that I do it one more time. After 8 months away in Chicago and London, I had a lot of fieldwork to do, aka stuffing my face, once I got back in January. It was a tough mission, but a worthy one.

I’d like to thank my friends who informed me of the best new spots that emerged while I was away and even dragged me away from the library to try some of them. I’d also like to thank everyone coming to EALS, from as far as Utah, as my motivators. Because I want nothing more than for you to have an amazing weekend in DC!


Start off the weekend with a bang at EALDC’s annual membership pARTy. Here are the details in their words:

2nd Annual EALDC pARTy March 4, 2016 | 8-11 pm Woolly Mammoth Theatre – Kogod Lobby Don’t miss our annual bash for EALDC members to celebrate, connect and create! Be sure to renew your membership if you haven’t already so you get in free!

Free Member RSVP | $15 Nonmember Tickets

Featuring: Complimentary Port City beer; tastings by Galley, Pinstripes, Shake Shack, and Bakehouse; beats by Scorpio Entertainment; open-air Hot Pink Photobooth; 3D printing by TechShop; incredible raffle prizes …and MORE!


While the EALS Committee preps for the next day and gets ready for Happy Hour + ART, you should get up early and beat the lines to the Renwick Gallery! Even with a line, it is worth the wait to see the incredible Wonder exhibition. If crowds are not your thing, the National Gallery of Art has an incredible collection of pieces from all over the world in their exhibition, Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World, that has marveled the art historians of EALS. When you are done, stroll over to Momofuku and Milk Bar for some delicious buns, ramen, and cereal milk ice cream. That was one of the first spots I hit once I got back to town, and it was a great way to get back into the DC food scene!

More of a performing arts person? Then Atlas: Intersections is the place for you. The Festival concludes this weekend as part of the kick-off for Atlas Performing Arts Center’s 10th Anniversary. In their words, it “brings the best of DC arts and artists to the stage and H Street with performances, experiences and happenings in theatre, dance, music, vocal, choral, opera, visual arts, video, film, writing, sculpture, photography, circus, spoken word, public art, community art, and art space activation. Discover how art, culture and connection happen on H Street.” There are shows throughout the day so you can easily find one to fit your schedule. While on H St. visit Toki Underground, Sticky Rice, Red Rocks, Granville Moore, or the iconic Horace & Dickie’s Seafood.

Need a break from the arts? No judgment here. Start with brunch at any of the amazing food stalls at Union Market. I spend every Friday there among the delicious aromas working on my thesis until 6 pm when a loyal group of friends meet me for happy hour. My personal favorites are Red Apron, Puddin’, Mason Dixie Biscuit Co., Rappahannock Oyster Co. and Takorean. Our Executive Director, AmyJo, would insist on you getting in line for a kolache at Republic Kolache! You could spend your Saturday here and be completely content between the food, cute babies, drinks, and people watching.

For those of you of age, you can explore DC through a brewery tour. From Union Market, take the Red Line to Silver Spring to check out Denizens Brewing Co. before heading back to Takoma Park and visit 3 Stars. Then take the Green Line to U St. (get off at the Civil War Memorial exit) and visit Right Proper Brewing Company. Then head to the EALS Meet and Greet before capping off your adventure at Bluejacket down at the Navy Yard; it’s surrounded by great restaurants and the Light Yards pop-up glowing bunny installation.

On Saturday night, the EALS committee and volunteers are throwing Happy Hour + ART at Penn Social from 5-7pm. Get to know your fellow attendees, before the keynote and panel discussions. Join us on the lower level of Penn Social for networking, food, drinks, and games. Free to attend, but not to drink (cash bar). Short walk from Chinatown/Gallery Place metro stop (Red, Green, Yellow lines). 21+ only.


Sunday is EALS, and there is a jam-packed day full of networking, panels, and performances, but if you end up making friends along the way and want more time together before heading home or to Advocacy Day Training in the morning, I’ve assembled a list of Sunday happy hour spots for you.

Agora in Dupont Circle is from 5 pm to close. Atomic Billiards in Cleveland Park has specials from 4 pm to 8 pm. McCormick and Schmick’s has a surprisingly good happy hour from 4 pm to close. Sette Osteria in Dupont has food and drink specials from 4 pm to 10 pm. Union Pub on Capitol Hill has all day Sunday specials.


After training all day, don’t forget to attend the Nancy Hanks lecture at the Kennedy Center. There are numerous meet ups for you before the lecture so take your pick. EALDC and National Arts Strategies are hosting happy hours at 51st State Tavern in Foggy Bottom. District Arts Managers Network is meeting up in the lobby of Kennedy Center to explore their concessions and bars.

If you are overwhelmed by people, Circa has half-priced bottles of wine on Mondays just across from the Foggy Bottom metro where a convenient shuttle will pick you up to go to the Kennedy Center. If you want to escape people, go to Marshall’s/Flavors of India. Yes, you read that right. There is an Indian restaurant that is home to the most very middle America sounding bar. Between the Marshall’s bartenders who were kept on when it became Flavors of India and the tandoori wings, you will be set.


Since you’ll be up on the Hill, I wanted to assemble my foolproof Hill food and drink guide.

If you are on the Senate side, you can do no wrong with Shake Shack at Union Station for lunch and Kelly’s Irish Times, Dubliner, or Union Pub for happy hour after a successful day of advocating.

If you are on the House of Representatives side, check out one of Spike Mendelsohn’s spots We, The Pizza and Good Stuff Eatery for lunch. The toasted marshmallow milkshake will make you forget the feet of snow DC had and bring you straight into the summer campfire spirit. Hawk ‘n’ Dove, Sona Creamery, and Hanks Oyster Bar are great ways to end your advocacy on the south side of the Hill.

If you have any questions or need more recommendations, tweet me @Lenes27!

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