Thursday, April 28, 2011

This Weekend: Foxfield Races

Need an excuse to go day drinking outside, surrounded by beautiful women in sun dresses and horses with tiny men atop them? Two words: Foxfield Races.

Held biannually near Charlottesville, Virginia (about two-and-a-half hours southwest of Arlington), Foxfield is a steeplechase that takes place on the last Saturday in April and the first Sunday in September. If you've never heard of it, you should make friends with local UVA alumni; they'll be sure to tell you just how much you're missing.

Tickets to attend Foxfield are only $40, but you've got to figure out parking (that costs extra) and housing (you'll be getting drunk and not driving home). Tickets are all sold out on the official site, but Craig's List had a few postings the last time Nightlife checked.

Dress accordingly. The weather's skittish in the Spring, so it'll probably rain, and you'll probably get muddy. Something khaki, pastel, seersucker... maybe a bow tie if you can fit it into your ensemble. Saunter over to Brooks Brothers or Vineyard Vines for some style tips, or just do your damndest to look like this guy.

For the ladies, pick a sun dress and a big floppy hat. Wear boots if it looks like rain. Pick something you may not mind not wearing again, as you'll be shotgunning Natty Ice and drinking God knows what.

Take a few extra dollars. You're going to lose them. It's called betting.

Other than that, have fun. Don't do anything we wouldn't do.

Morgan Spurlock Presents: The Greatest Blog Post Ever Sold

Director Morgan Spurlock takes the big screen by storm again in this revealing tale of marketing in motion pictures and in American culture in "POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold." 

The premise: Since the advent of the Internet and fast-forwarding through television commercials, Hollywood has ramped up product placement in film and used co-promotion with other industries to create major blockbusters and to sell products. Spurlock's goal is to create a movie about product placement and co-promotion by funding it entirely through product placement and co-promotion. Genius? Maybe.

Is it right? Wrong? Moral? Immoral?

Mixing man-on-the-street-style vox pops and interviews with industry experts, movie producers, marketing specialists, lawyers, and consumer advocates (including Ralph Nader!), Spurlock takes viewers from Madison Avenue in New York City to Hollywood to find out how marketing affects us, the consumers.

Rotten Tomatoes critics give this film a solid 71%, while viewers have scored it a bit higher at 82%. Nightlife found the film refreshingly honest (like a delicious bottle of 100% POM Wonderful pomegranate juice). Movie-goers might be concerned that "sponsors" of the film exert undue influence over Spurlock's desire to be independent of his financiers, which tied their support to countless hundreds of caveats in hundreds of pages of contracts.

Who exactly financed the film? Well, POM Wonderful, of course. Additionally, Amy's Kitchen, the entire country of Aruba, Ban deodorant, Hyatt Hotels, JetBlue, Merrell, Mini,, Sheetz, and several others. All told, Spurlock reportedly raised $1.5 million from sponsors to produce the film. It's main sponsor, POM Wonderful, kicked in a sweet $1 million to serve as the film's title sponsor.

Spurlock's transparency is what gives the movie its edge. Nightlife left the theater impressed with the lengths Spurlock went to in revealing every step in the process. Unlike some popular documentary filmmakers (ahem, Michael Moore), Nightlife didn't feel Spurlock attempted to confirm any particular bias with heavily weighted interviews or one-sided evidence.

It's a must-see for anyone who feels inundated by advertisers or are curious at how the mind processes advertising.

And two of the best things about the film: (1) OK Go wrote the movie's theme song ("The Greatest Song I Ever Heard"), and (2) the city of Altoona, Pennsylvania changed its name to POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Pennsylvania beginning yesterday for a full 60 days.

*Nightlife is legally obligated to inform you that Morgan Spurlock did not actually sponsor this blog post.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday Night Knowledge Droppin' - Ri-Ra

Keeping with the Irish theme from last night, Arlington Nightlife suggests you check out Ri-Ra Irish Pub on Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon. informs us that domestic bottles are just $2 from 4pm to 7pm, drafts are $3, martinis are half-price and appetizers and rail drinks are discounted, as well.

That's not all, though. On Tuesday nights, there's live trivia. Who doesn't want to go show off just how much useless stuff you know while getting drunk in a room full of people who know just as much useless stuff as you do?

According to their site, much of the bar is actually salvaged material from an old pharmacy in Dublin, Ireland, giving it a unique bit of Irish flair that is lacking at other Irish pubs.

The wait staff is friendly, and everything on the menu is good. We highly encourage you to take a team of coworkers, devise a clever team name (like "Rattlesnakes and Condoms"), and show them what you're made of.

You can check Ri Ra Clarendon out on both Twitter and Facebook.

See Some, Get Some: The Boyfriend Draft

This post originally appeared here.
All of our favorite sports leagues have drafts.  Hell, the WWE has a draft.  The last-ranked teams get first pick on the freshest talent out there.  Selected based on statistical data and raw talent, these green athletes are then trained to fit the mold of what’s missing from their respective teams.
So why can’t I have a boyfriend draft?
I imagine it drumming up top talent in the area while being as hilarious as Dave Chapelle’s Racial Draft.  Hopefully some talents will be exhibited.  Give me a high-top table in the back of Spider Kelly’s or on the Roof of Arlington Rooftop Bar and line the suitors up. They will fill out a paper application outlining their vital statistics: age, height, job status, education, and a section for fun facts followed by a one-on-one presentation and conversation.
The Rules:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dinner at Beckett's

The Arlington landscape is dotted with Irish pubs, both traditional and commercial. You can't hardly walk down Wilson or Clarendon Boulevards without being within stumbling distance of a Gaelic-named (or not) Irish establishment.

Arlington Nightlife and the Nightlife winglady-in-chief ventured all the way out to Shirlington (we promise it's still in Arlington), and had dinner at Samuel Beckett's Irish Gastro Pub tonight. Samuel Beckett was apparently a big deal in 20th century Ireland. We don't suggest you try to get here via the Metro. (Designated Driver, anyone?)

Nightlife enjoyed a Guinness and Sam's Lamb Burger. It was actually my first experience with lamb at a restaurant, and it was good. Rather than French fries, I opted for the broccolini, which was like a cross between broccoli and asparagus.  The winglady-in-chief got the Tipperary Tart (a leek quiche) and a wedge salad.

The selling point of this particular Irish restaurant is the decor on the inside. Unfortunately, the Nightlife crew sat outside to people watch. Beckett's is located in the middle of the Village of Shirlington commercial/residential mixed-use development, so there are plenty of people to look at.

The food was alright, but it didn't particularly differentiate itself from any of the other two dozen Irish bars in town. Why drive all the way to Shirlington when we can wander from O'Sullivan's to Ri Ra, Kitty O'Shea's, Four Courts, Sine', or any of the other Irish eateries in town?

Nevertheless, we'll probably be back. Both the food and service weren't bad, and there were other things on the menu that Nightlife wanted to try. We definitely suggest hitting it up and checking out all the shops in the Villages.

Check Beckett's out on Facebook.

Nightlife Is Back

Arlington Nightlife is back in town after an extended stay in the South. ($.50 well drinks, $3.00 pitchers, karaoke everywhere, and smoking in bars - what more could you ask for?!)

We know you missed us, and we promise not to leave you again without calling the sitter. If you'd like to consistently see new content, reviews, suggestions, and stories, then we're asking you to submit some! There's no way Arlington Nightlife can possibly hit every bar, see every live show, or discover every new eatery. Not only that, but the Nightlife crew and our readers want to live vicariously through you! Your stories will keep us entertained and informed about your crazy night out.

Just e-mail us with anything, and we'll consider it. And if you'd like to see a sample submission, check out @Fire_and_Nice's Saturday night out at Whitlow's.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday is Mug Night at Hard Times Cafe

What a great idea! Hard Times Cafe will sell you a mug for $5 on Tuesday nights, fill it with draft booze, and then charge you $1.50 (I think) to refill it. Not only that, but you can do right by the environment by saving your plastic mug and bringing it in the following Tuesday. They'll fill it up for the refill price!

Arlington Nightlife does have one fairly serious complaint about Hard Times, though. One time the Nightlife crew was upstairs, and we wanted to jam out to some country tunes. There's a fancy juke box up there that'll play pretty much anything. When we walked in, there was a ridiculous amount of Lady Gaga being blasted from every corner of the room.

We decided to shake things up with some Hank Jr., a little bit of Toby Keith, and some other country rockstars, but the lady behind the bar wasn't having ANY of it! Lady Gaga was definitely blasting at about level 11, but when the country music started to flow like fine wine the bartender knocked the volume way down and shot us a look of disgust. Oh yea, lady? This ain't Spider Kellys, and we paid for those tunes!

Additionally, she was ridiculously inattentive and hung out at one end of the bar. We can only imagine she thrived on meager tips. For the record, Arlington Nightlife always takes good care of our waiters and waitresses... make sure you do the same.

And don't let one terrible waitress stop you from enjoying cheap beer and great chili! (That's the only bad experience we've ever had there.)

Arlington Nightlife urges you to go upstairs. The downstairs has more of a dining atmosphere and feels pretty crowded. You can spread out with friends or coworkers at a high top upstairs.

And remember those blizzards from Winter '09? Snowmageddon, SnOMG, and all that? Yea, Hard Times was just about the only bar in town that was open through that mess. And what else are you going to do in a blizzard?

Check 'em out on Facebook. And Twitter.

Porktastic Patio Pig Roast

Arlington Nightlife got word of this event from Capital Cooking. 3 in Clarendon loves pig. Pork. Bacon. Whatever. They love it. And they want to share their love of pork with you this week.

This Thursday, April 21, 3 will host their Porktastic Patio Pig Roast as part of their "Bacon Fest" Thursdays. We hear there will be a smoked pig, appearances from the Hogettes (Redskins Super Fans), and DC 106.7FM. There are even bacon Bloody Marys. Who doesn't love a bacon Bloody Mary?

If you love bacon (and other pork products) as much as we do, we strongly urge you to attend.

For more details, 3 is tweeting this event like mad and there are other details and stuff on their Facebook page.

See Some, Get Some: Chronology of a Kickball Clusterf*ck

Editor's Note: This is the first in a semi-regular series from @Fire_and_Nice. If you would like to submit a story, review, or anything else, please e-mail us by clicking here.

I felt fine until I got in my roommate’s car at 10:00 a.m. this morning, then the nausea set in. This always happens to me; motion is my hangover’s nemesis. But it was all worth it and the sausage egg and cheese biscuit I got from the Dunkin Donuts on Lee Highway satiated that urge. Come away with me…

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bar Review: Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill

Ever since Arlington Nightlife heard of the Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill we knew we had to try it. Tucked in between Clarendon and Courthouse on Wilson Boulevard -- above a Subway restaurant -- sits what is sure to be a summer staple for Arlingtonians.
The inside dining area was appealing, but we opted for rooftop seating. The staff was out-of-their way friendly without being fake – a quality that is rare in this day and age unless you’re at a Waffle House in a small southern town after a big football win. It's definitely not something you see at many places in the area.
Nothing but business meetings all day, so you know what that means – expense account! We tried the lobster roll (unique ingredients, a bit messy, but quite tasty), the buffalo chicken salad (a little too much sauce on the chicken), and the burger (no complaints, and the bacon was perfect!). They have a $5 daily lunch deal that is quite appealing to those on a tight budget.
The real draw here is definitely their happy hour. It’s pretty average on the booze selection and prices, but a great view of the Wilson/Clarendon Boulevard corridor coupled with excellent service makes it a must-do. But watch out Arlingtonians, it’s three floor up, and you wouldn’t want to take that “why don’t they call it happy hours” fall down those stairs. Our advice? Take the elevator.
Check them out on Facebook, too.

Monday Movie Night: The King's Speech & True Grit

Arlington Nightlife won't get in the habit of promoting the same venues from week to week; however, we couldn't pass up this opportunity to plug two of the best movies of 2010. Both The King's Speech and True Grit are playing at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse for just $1 a piece.

Doors open at 6:30 for The King's Speech, and it begins promptly at 7:20. True Grit will begin at 9:50. Additionally, the full service restaurant has $1 Corona bottles all night. You really can't lose.

Arlington Nightlife and crew will be at the 7:20 showing of The King's Speech. Be there, or... be somewhere else.

Reviews: Atlas Shrugged

Arlington Nightlife caught part one of Ayn Rand's epic novel brought to the big screen tonight. Critics have hated this film, giving it roughly 10% on Rotten Tomatoes, while viewers have kept the score hovering in the mid-80s. It's fairly clear there's a disconnect between those who make their living giving Oscar nods and those of us who enjoy going to the movies.

The "Atlas Shrugged" site describe the plot summary:
Dagny Taggart (Taylor Schilling) runs Taggart Transcontinental, the largest remaining railroad company in America, with intelligence, courage and integrity, despite the systematic disappearance of her best and most competent workers. She is drawn to industrialist Henry Rearden (Grant Bowler), one of the few men whose genius and commitment to his own ideas match her own. Rearden's super-strength metal alloy, Rearden Metal, holds the promise that innovation can overcome the slide into anarchy. Using the untested Rearden Metal, they rebuild the critical Taggart rail line in Colorado and pave the way for oil titan Ellis Wyatt (Graham Beckel) to feed the flame of a new American Renaissance. Hope rises again, when Dagny and Rearden discover the design of a revolutionary motor based on static electricity - in an abandoned engine factory - more proof to the sinister theory that the "men of the mind" (thinkers, industrialists, scientists, artists, and other innovators) are "on strike" and vanishing from society.
Without getting too political, Arlington Nightlife felt that someone could describe what "Atlas Shrugged" actually brings to the big screen. Check out the video below from Jack Hunter, who also goes by the "Southern Avenger."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Brunch: Eleventh Street Lounge

Arlington Nightlife rolled out of bed this morning to try brunch at the Eleventh Street Lounge. Two words: Dollar Mimosas. You really can't beat them. (Except maybe with dollar Bloody Marys - they have those, too.)

So I set out with my brother-in-brunch (roommate) to knock out two dishes in one review. I had the Sausage Waffle (a Yelp reviewer suggested it), and the roommate had some awesome looking French Toast.

The waffle was pretty good. Hidden under the white gravy were two poached eggs. Being from the South, I wasn't too impressed with the white gravy, but it was alright. The eggs were good, and the sausage was good.

I apparently missed out on a great French toast experience. The roommate gave it an 8 out of 10, inspired by the television program The McLaughlin Group, which was running on the TV mounted above the bar.

The atmosphere is something like a South Nashville coffee shop. Something vintage with a number of interesting paintings on the wall. The furniture fell off the back of a Goodwill truck -- and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Sign up for e-mail updates!

Arlington Nightlife suggests you take just a few minutes to sign up for e-mail updates to the right, so you can receive updates about new happy hours, movie review, brunch and all the other great things we're putting together on this site.

We won't spam you to death. Promise. But you will receive one daily update every day we post here. And our goal is to continually post new content, so you're constantly informed about great places to go in Arlington.

Also, if you'd like to contribute a review or tell us about something that's going on or share an experience you had one night, e-mail us here. (If you work at a bar, restaurant, or other entertainment venue, be sure to e-mail us to tell us about specials and events!)

Be sure to check us out on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, too.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday Night: Live Music at Iota Club & Cafe

It won't look like this. It'll be raining. Rain sucks.
Justin Trawick, The RiverBreaks, and Bobbie Allen are all playing tonight at IOTA Club & Cafe. Arlington Nightlife understands they card. A lot. And the show's 21+. Sorry kids.

Arlington Nightlife checked out these artists on their MySpace pages and were impressed. They all sound pretty good. Singer-y Songwriter-y. (We think we like The RiverBreaks the most, but it's still too early to tell, since this is the first we've heard of any of them.) Also, Bobbie Allen's pretty easy on the eyes, guys.

Iota says the show is $12, and they don't pre-sell, so you should be there when the doors open. Show starts at 9:00pm, so put on your galoshes, pack a couple PBRs and head down Wilson Boulevard away from Clarendon, right past Whitlow's. (Don't stop to look at the chalk drawings at Whitlow's, but do read this about them.)

Anyway, live music is good. Arlington Nightlife's chief contributor is from Nashville (where both Country and Indie Rock thrive), so he's excited about getting out and seeing some of the local music scene.

Arlington Nightlife suggests you follow them all on Twitter (and us, too)!

If you want to promote your show, shoot us an e-mail here.

Day Drinking: Jay's Saloon

You may have never stepped foot inside Jay's Saloon before, but I guarantee you've seen it a thousand times. The unassuming location on 10th Street between N. Highland and N. Hudson doesn't look like most bars in the area... and that's because it isn't.

You won't find a popped collar or a herd of bros looking for Jaeger bombs. If that's your style, you're a few blocks off.

But if you're looking for good service, good food, and cheap beer (or wine, or mixed drinks), then you're in the right place.

Either step inside and mosey up to the bar, or enjoy the warm weather on their outdoor patio. The staff is friendly and the patrons are true locals. Jay's bills itself as "One of Arlington's last true dive bars..." and nothing could be truer.

Order anything from the menu. Honestly. It's all good. Arlington Nightlife enjoys the burger or the chicken salad. And everything tastes better with a pitcher of your favorite draft beer.

It's a great way to kick off a Saturday, watch a game, or play pool. Jay's opens at noon today, so you've got a few minutes before the doors open. Throw on some sweat pants and have a drink.

Check them out on Facebook.

Reviews: The Conspirator

Director Robert Redford brings to life the trial of widow Mary Surratt (Robin Wright), accused by the federal government of being a co-conspirator to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth.

The Conspirator opens with Maryland Senator Reverdy Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) handing off Surratt's case to Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy), an unwilling and cautious former Union Captain with little experience in the court room. Skeptical at first, Aiken begins to realize the justice system is stacked against his client and heavily in favor of revenge.

While the events surrounding President Lincoln's assassination are certainly tragic, viewers cannot help butdraw connections (with Redford's help, no less) to post-9/11 policies toward detainees. In addition to his acting and directing, Redford is well known for his left-of-center political activism. Don't let that keep you away from the movie, though.

The acting is great, and with a near-perfect cast of characters, it is sure to keep you entertained. Rotten Tomatoes critics give The Conspirator 55%, while viewers scored it nearer to 80%. Arlington Nightlife gives it 3 out of 5 stars.

Click here to check it out on Fandango, read reviews, find showtimes, and buy tickets.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Calling All Bars/Restaurants/Venues!

There's absolutely no way Arlington Nightlife could possibly find every single bar/restaurant/venue in Arlington. To make it easier for us (and for you!), we're asking you to drop us a line and tell us about your specials, happy hours, upcoming events, and so on. We'll be glad to check them out!

Just e-mail us at - thanks! We look forward to hearing from you.

Friday Happy Hour: Hunan Number One

Arlington Nightlife suggests stopping by Hunan Number One (Yelp review) on Friday for 32oz. draft beers for just $4.50. Carey and Dale and the rest of the staff will take good care of you, but you should get there early. Happy Hour starts before you get off work. It fills up pretty quickly with twenty-something Arlingtonians looking to kick off their weekend.

The place is newly renovated, and there's an entire happy hour food menu. Arlington Nightlife recommends the California roll if you like sushi, the wings or the steamed dumplings if sushi isn't your thing.

Either way, Hunan Number One is a great way to kick off the weekend!

Blog Spotlight: Clarendon Nights

Clarendon Nights bills itself as a "blog about live music, restaurants, and nightlife in Clarendon, Virginia and the Washington, DC area." From dog "yappy hours" to charity events, music festivals, and restaurant reviews, Clarendon Nights is a great resource for people looking for something to do in the neighborhood.

Arlington Nightlife suggests you spend a few minutes looking over your options. Also, follow them on Twitter.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday Night at Cafe Asia

Not sure where to go after work on Thursdays? Head to Rosslyn and stop by Cafe Asia: $3 selected appetizers and $2.50 drafts until 7:30pm.

In addition to cheap beer and apps, Cafe Asia has some of the best sushi in the area. Here's what they have to say:
Welcome to the Washington area’s most energetic place to enjoy a delightful array of Asian cuisine. Café Asia celebrates the rich and varied culinary traditions of the Far East by offering delicious dishes from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Japan, and Vietnam. While preserving these countries’ culinary traditions, Café Asia puts a modern spin on everything from presentation to performance. Boasting two full-service bars and lounges, Café Asia brings people from all different backgrounds into a diverse melting pot of hip and happening fun. Recognized by local and international media as THE people’s choice for the best sushi and Asian food in town, Café Asia is looking forward to serving you. 
Café Asia… Emotions and tastes that linger!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Work Sucks" Wednesday Happy Hour

This hit Arlington Nightlife's inbox just moments ago:

Join Young Americans for Liberty for happy hour TONIGHT from 6 to 8 PM at the Clarendon Grill!

YAL is moving into a new office, so come on out and help us celebrate.  Draft beers are just $1.75 and burgers are half price!

RSVP on Facebook here and invite your friends!

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday Happy Hour: Mister Days

Looking for a great place to get together with coworkers tonight in Clarendon? Arlington Nightlife recommends Mister Days, which is located just one block south of the Clarendon Metro stop. Tonight's Happy Hour - Wacky Wednesday - begins at 4:00pm and includes $2 drafts (Shock Top, Guinness, Blue Moon, & others) and $2 food items (burger & fries, nachos, chili & chips...) and ends at 9:00pm.

Get there early and try to grab a seat at the bar for better service (not that table service is bad).

Check them out on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

If you have a suggestion for Happy Hour or a story to tell, shoot us an e-mail by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday Night: Dinner & A Movie < $10

Not sure what to do on Tuesday night? Swing by Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse for $2 burger, PBR, and a movie. ($6 total, guys!) Tonight's features include Black Swan at 7:30 and True Grit at 9:50. Tickets go on sale about an hour before the show, and new releases tend to sell out quickly. Arlington Nightlife suggests picking the late show and spending some time at the bar outside the theater.

If $2 is too much for a movie ticket, you can check them out on Mondays. Tickets are just $1, and they have $1 Corona bottles at the bar. They also have stand-up comedy on the weekends.

The Drafthouse is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year:

In August/September of 1985 the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse officially opened as the area’s only Full Service Restaurant/Bar and Movie Theater with table side service, large comfortable seating and a large screen. "The Drafthouse", as it is affectionately known, has humbly entertained the DC area and Arlington, VA for 25 years. 
While featuring nearly all the major film releases throughout the quarter century, The Drafthouse has in recent years diversified its offerings to become one of the area’s best live Comedy venues. The Drafthouse is in the nationally unique position of being both the most loved movie theater in the DC area and one of the most respected comedy rooms on the East Coast. 
The Drafthouse features top box office films at a discounted price and the best national touring comics at reasonable admission fees with no minimum purchase requirements. 
The one constant throughout the Theater’s first 25 years has been the Drafthouse unique ability to offer top notch entertainment at a great value. With movie admission as low as $1 and live national touring comics as low as $10, the Drafthouse has always been dedicated to entertainment for all.
Check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Welcome to Arlington Nightlife!

As you can probably tell, we're working on getting this site off the ground. Feel free to poke around and familiarize yourself with this blog. You can also check us out on Twitter and Facebook. If you have reviews of venues, news about events, or other suggestions, shoot us an e-mail by clicking here.