As it turns out, the Main Box Office is not as confusing as I thought it was. It is more confusing. Painted in big letters over the Main Box Office [actual address: 1300 H Street NE] is the address for the Fringe Art Bar and Headquarters: 1358 Florida Ave NE. I do not think that being this confused before I even start drinking is the path to success.
Where to start drinking? Perhaps a Belgian restaurant, Granville Moore’s? The beer is absolutely delicious because it’s impossible to mess up Belgian beer on tap. Drink lots of beer. Pass on the food. Seriously, do not even try to eat the food. That will only encourage them to keep serving food, which is an atrocity. But it’s not Granville Moore’s fault. Every Belgian restaurant I’ve tried in the greater Washington area has been terrible. I don’t understand why anyone bothers. People, if we just stop eating the terrible Belgian food, they will stop trying to serve it to us. Just say no. The only thing worth the calories is the beer.
On to Biergarten Haus, 1355 H Street NE, where I thought there was some kind of Fringe-related special going on. The bartender was not aware of any specials and had to go ask the manager. Do you actually need a Fringe button to get a Happy Hour special? Perhaps during un-Happy Hours but I don’t know. I tried this delicious beverage which can come with a shot as a happy hour special. Grapefruit soda + lager = one tasty beverage. Fruity and not too sweet, crisp and refreshing. In a place that is hotter than can be considered comfortable, this is just perfect. I fell in love and would drink it for hours if I could.
The Argonaut, 1433 H Street NE, which is both bar and Fringe venue, playing host to shows like Paper Glass. There is plenty to drink here with more %ABV than the tasty Stiegl Radler. The food here smelled delicious but I was too traumatized by my experience at the Belgian place to try my luck with eating.
Dangerously Delicious Pies, (1339 H Street NE) on the other hand, is a known quantity. And the law of diminishing returns does not apply to pie. Plus, on the door, there’s a sign that says 10% off with a Fringe button. The person at the register is not aware of this sign and has to go ask the manager. Everything works out in the end. Have a slice of dangerously delicious discounted pie. Pair with a tasty beverage. Bonus points for schmoozing with extra friendly Fringe artists who want you to see their show.
Last and best of all, the Fringe Art Bar! (1358 Florida Ave NE, for real, not at 1300 H Street NE). Cooler than the sweltering garden at Biergarten. Chiller. More open, more relaxing. Not only the best bar I’ve been to around H Street, possibly the best bar I’ve been to in DC. They have yet to catch the disease that makes everything terrible in this benighted town. Delicious smells emanate from the food truck. Happy people feast at picnic tables with their beers.
And the music at the art bar for the Fringe Late Night Caberet? It gets everyone on their feet dancing.
One does not actually have to drink before, after, and during the show at the Capital Fringe Festival. But it is definitely one way to go.