Calling all Game of Thrones fans, Winter has arrived to Washington D.C.!!!!
After the success of: Christmas Bar Miracle on 7th Street and Cherry Blossom and Mario Brothers, the Drink Company has done it again with their summer pop-up theme of Game of Thrones! This summer pop-up bar is so huge that it takes up three former spaces of Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich and Southern Efficiency.
The Game of Thrones Pop-Up Bar (PUB) opened a little over three weeks before the final season premier of Game of Thrones. Inside this PUB is not just one, but four bars in one! The House of Black and White, The North, The Red Keep and the The City of Meeren. It has amazing drink options with little touches of Game of Thrones theme in all of them. There is a dragon that blows air! The theme song is playing on repeat that guests can hear at a distance. Last, but not least, they have an Iron Throne for guests to sit and rule! I am getting ahead of myself because I am so excited, so let’s break down this amazing experience for you….
The menu is two sided – one one side guests can fin a few snack foods with a selection of beer, wine, cider and scotch. For beer lovers, the Ommegang Brewery’s Bend the Knee (aka the official Game of Thrones beer) is on draft! On the other side, “aka the fun side”, guests can find Game of Thrones cocktails! Every cocktail has a little token of Game of Thrones in the drink design and name. A few highlight cocktails that we enjoyed were: “Shame”, “The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors”, “The Lannisters Send Their Regards”, “What is Dead May Never Die” and my personal favorite, “The North Remembers”. The cocktails ranged in price of $13 to $15, which is not bad considering there is no coverage charge for this awesome PUB.
Let’s start with the crowd favorite – “Shame”. The Shame cocktail is pretty simple it has tequila and grapefruit tonic. So what makes it so special? Every time a guest receives their Shame cocktail they truly get shamed! As the bartender hands the guest their drink the bartender will ring a bell as they and everyone else in the bar shouts, “SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!”. We, as did the rest of the crowd, loved the atmosphere of this cocktail. It was fun and engaging for everyone in the bar. Even if you were in one room you could hear the bell in another room and the ENTIRE bar would shout, “SHAME”! Too bad Cerise’s shame was not as fun as this one.
“The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors” is a long winded, terrifying name and for good reason. This drink has bourbon, sweet vermouth, amaro and luxardo maraschino. It is served in a coupe cocktail glass with a gold pirates coin (looks like Pirates of the Caribbean). It is a very simple, yet beautiful drink that tasted as good as it looked. Plus you leave the bar a little richer with the gold coin.
“The Lannisters Send Their Regards” is probably one of the best cocktail names and delicious drinks on the menu. The drink is made with vodka, fino sherry, contratto bitter, strawberry, lemon and sparkling water. It gets a Lannister touch with a golden straw and two swords stabbed in a fresh strawberry.
The “What is Dead May Never Die” cocktail may die when you finish it off, but I guess since it is so good it doesn’t really die because you are bound to order another one again and again and again. The cocktail has green hat gin, fino sherry, district celery shrub, cane sugar, celery bitters and sparkling water served in a tall glass with a green bamboo straw.
“The North Remembers” is THE Instagram-worthy cocktail of the PUB. Why? Because it is served in a mug shaped like a horn! The cocktail has Highland Park 12 yr. scotch, oloroso, cointreau, falernum, coconut and pineapple gomme. At first I was hesitant to order this cocktail because of the scotch, but rest assured it tasted like a mature pina colada. This drink is so darn good that the North will not be the only ones remembering how delicious this cocktail is.
The North Room
Guests enter into the North Room and are transported immediately into the fantasy world of Game of Thrones. Behind the bar is a beautiful hand crafted wierwood heart tree that towers over the bar creating a beautiful atmosphere. Guests can also spot a howling dire wolf on one side of the wall .
The City of Meeren Room
Pass the North Room is the City of Meeren Room with Daenerys’ dragons painted on the walls and a sculptured air breathing dragon! This room has a mini bar with the Sons of Harpy hanging behind the bartender and three dragon eggs sitting at the corner.
The House of Black and White Room
The Drink Company did a phenomenal job with the House of Black and White Room. Along the walls of the room are plaster molds of faces depicting the Hall of Faces. Drink Company used their family, friends and staff to create the faces, but we think our new friend, Cuong, helped because there is a mold that looks just like him! If you are not as lucky to find your face on the wall do not fret, you and a friend can make it on a wall of your own by taking a picture in a Hall of Faces photo booth.
The Red Keep Room
The Red Keep Room displays banners from all of the kingdom’s houses draped across the room and bar. Behind the Red Keep is of course the room that holds the Iron Throne!
The Iron Throne
The first thing guests should do when they enter the doors is go straight to the Iron Throne to add their name to the long list to be able to sit on the Iron Throne. When you are added to the list you receive a text with your estimated time of arrival to the throne, for us it took 75 minutes. You also receive another text that tells you it is your turn to sit on the Iron Throne. The wait may be long but who said sitting on the Iron Throne was ever easy?!!?
Everyone was very respectful in taking their turns and taking pictures for one another – for as crowded and crazy as it is in the room it was well organized. People took their turn for no more than five minutes (depending on how many poses and people joined in), but like we said everyone was respectful and patient.
If you are as lucky as we were, The Mother of Dragons may show up and take her rightful spot on the Iron Throne. A beautiful girl, named Kenia (IG @kenia.zelaya), pulled off the best cosplay ever dressed as Khaleesi (Daenerys). She not only looked identical to Khaleesi, but she even had her mannerisms perfected. Kenia was more than kind when she took hundreds of pictures with fans around the room – yes, I was one of them. This was the cherry on top of the entire Game of Thrones PUB experience.
Best Ways to Get There and Arrive
Take an uber to drop you off right in front of the bar or take the metro to Shaw-Howard University Station. The metro stop is literally a two minute walk to the PUB or a few steps to the end of the line (not exaggerating). If you live close to a metro we would recommend that option as you will not have to worry about the D.C. traffic and it is very easy and convenient.
Locals and tourists are lining up down the street to enter this epic bar, we would know – it took us an hour to get inside. So, when is the best time to enjoy the Game of Thrones PUB? From open to close! It does not matter if you are there right before the doors open or if you are there after rush hour – the wait is all the same because thousands of people are thinking the same ideas you are.
We were told that the line at 5pm was longer than when we were there at 8pm and like we said, we had to wait for one hour. So, our advice – JUST GO! Go when you want and when you can because there really is no best time and no matter when you go, you are going to have an epic experience! We know we did!
If you come solo or with just one friend, make small talk with the people you are in line with because you never know, you could become instant friends and have the time of your life. That’s what we did! While we were standing in line we connected with two people, Cuong and Teresa. They were in town from San Fransisco, California for work, but were visiting D.C. at the right time. We bonded over our love for EDM and of course, Game of Thrones. Two of their friends, who were locals ended up meeting them and a wolfpack of two suddenly became a wolfpack of six! When the six of us made it inside we stuck together and had an awesome time! We drank, we laughed, we shamed people, we took over the Iron Throne and much more. Going to the Game of Thrones PUB is fun, but going with friends or complete strangers is much better!
Game of Thrones Pop-Up Bar by Drink Company
1839-1843 7th St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
Open till August 27th
M – Th: 5pm – 12:30am
F – Sa: 5pm – 1:30am
Su: 1pm – 7pm
Closes early on Sunday so that the staff and guests can get home in time to watch the show!