Jun 21, 2023 - Food and Drink

We tried the $20 open bar happy hour in Adams Morgan

Side-by-side photos of two cocktails and two beers on a wooden table in the dimly lit bar, next to a slider.

Death Punch Bar in Adams Morgan. Photo: Anna Spiegel

A $20 open bar happy hour runs twice a night at Death Punch Bar in Adams Morgan.

Why it matters: Cocktails go for $20 these days, so $20 unlimited drinks for two hours — from 5pm to 7pm and 10pm-midnight, including weekends — is intriguing.

  • Especially since Death Punch isn't a frat bar, despite its jungle juice-y name. The grunge-styled izakaya sits atop Shibuya Eatery, James Beard Award-winning chef Darren Norris' Japanese emporium on 18th Street.

🍸 How it works: Get a wristband and it's open season on rail mix drinks, shots, and beers including Sapporo and Kirin.

Thought bubble: I expected a college party scene on a Friday. But at least from 5pm to 7pm, this Gen Xer felt at home with a '90s rock playlist, ladies shooting billiards, and an upbeat din that was still conversational.

  • Rail booze is what it is — Kentucky Gentleman bourbon, don't-even-ask tequila — but kudos to the bar for generous fresh-cut limes that make a Bowman's vodka soda go down easy.
  • I haven't checked out the late-night happy hour, but according to a tiara-wearing 20-something at the bar: "It gets wild."
An empty pool table in the dimly lit bar.
Billiards at Death Punch Bar. Photo: Anna Spiegel/Axios

Good to know: As a friend pointed out about prices: "Drinks are cheap, but food will getcha."

  • Norris' ramen goes for $19. But there are steals like $5 Wagyu sliders, $7 spiced fries with garlic mayo, and $9 wings.
  • And please, eat something besides cocktail olives.

The bottom line: Death Punch won't kill you, but it will make you stronger drinks. A good deal and a great time.

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