Clare & Dons was my next stop. I had actually been here before years ago but was excited to check it out again. I walked in the door and remembered why I liked this place. The decor was really cool and the beach feel was relaxing. Plus I was treated with a very cool pouting scene by a guy in a suit...lol...yeah it happened.
The Happy Hour Special (Monday-Friday, 4pm-7pm) was very food heavy, half price appetizers on non-seafood items. Since the non-seafood items are not very expensive, this turns into a pretty cheap deal crushing most item prices to around $3. (Dill Pickle Chips, Cheese Tots, Cheese Fries, Wings, Onion Rings, Nachos, Chicken Strips, Mini-Quesadillas and more...ask bartender to confirm).
Drinkwise they just had $2.50 Miller Lite, $4 margaritas, $1 off rail drinks, and on this day Bud Light Lime 16oz bottles were $3. No craft beer specials.
What I did have was a Kona Longboard Lager, which was not on special and was $5. They also had New Belgium white and Blue Moon on tap as well as 5 other beers.
The bar is called a beach shack for a reason. The place looks like a bar you would find on the boardwalk or something. Everything is light pink and light blue and lime green and whatever you would imagine a tiki bar to have. The bartop is really cool with tourist maps of different beach towns. The wall has a mural of the beach, there are boogie boards on the wall, license plates...you get the idea.
The beach theme continued with lots of good music echoing throughout the bar. Lots of beachy songs with a ton of Bob Marley. They even have a bunch of beachy drinks, which I didn't get to try (11 types of boat drinks, 9 kinds of margaritas). A really cool patio (that is zipped up in the winter) is here as well which would be really fun in the warm weather.
The highlight of this occasion was a guy in a suit who had been told, apparently by a co-worker, that the whole gang should meet there for post-work Friday drinks. He did a lap (if you can even do a lap at the small place) and was visibly not happy. The beach theme totally threw him off and he pleaded to his friend that they try to move the Happy Hour to World of Beer in Arlington. He was almost crying.
The suit guy got on his phone, called up somebody from the group, and whined the place was "too crowded" (a lie) and that they should go to Ballston instead. His friend, who thought Clare & Dons was a refreshing change, asked if they could walk there and I just started laughing at the bar. No buddy. You have to go BACK in traffic and drive. Suit guy didn't care, great friend.
Anyways, that guy sucks, but if you like places that look like lounges in James Bond movies, then you might not like it here either. Also if you go to the same bar every weekend, and don't try out new bars, then what are you doing?
I drank up my longboard and it was time to move on. On my way out I noticed their weekly specials posted on the exterior of the bar.
Monday is $6 Burger Basket Night (I assume comes with fries or chips) and Tuesday is $7.50 Grouper Sandwich Basket Night. They have oysters on the weekends too (although not on special).
Wednesday night appears to be the night to go as they have trivia with prizes (8:30pm), 50 cent wings, 1/2 price nachos, and $7.50 chicken sandwiches (reg $10ish) after trivia starts. But be sure to get there right at trivia where you can get pitchers of Fat Tire for $10 for a half hour starting at 8:30pm.
As I headed on my walk down the street I figured I'd probably come back on a Wednesday.
Next: Part IV: Chasin' Tails
130 N Washington St, Falls Church, VA 22046 - (703) 532-9283