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On Tap: Freedom Celebrated With Fireworks, Freebies, BBQ, Bottomless Drinks

By Olga Boikess
June 30, 2014

July Fourth falls on a Friday this year, kicking off a long weekend holiday. Awesome free entertainment will draw huge crowds to the Mall for a parade, concert and the magical fireworks spectacle, starting at 9:10 PM.  Pig roasts, viewing parties, beer and special deals at area restaurants will offer options for grabbing a bite before or after heading to the Mall, or just cooling out elsewhere with friends or family. We’ve listed a few of the intriguing options below.

Remember, these are just a sampler of what’s out there. Indeed, your favorite eateries and watering holes may well be buzzing, so check out their deals.


- Café du Parc: Block party BBQ near the Mall ($15 picnic), with live bluegrass (12-8 PM); restaurant open post fireworks until 10:30 PM.

- Cashion’s Eat Place: AYCE picnic (roast pork, corns dogs) plus cocktail from 2 PM until it’s gone (1-6 PM; $40, must reserve)

- City Tap House: BBQ battle between 3 Stars Brewing Company and Evolution Craft Brewing Company; ‘cue plus sides ($10); drafts ($5) from each brewer (noon to 5 PM).

- Hill Country Backyard Barbecue: Texas ‘cue, plus two live bands at 5 and 6:30 PM; open 2-9 PM.

- Mintwood Place: American eats and drafts; burger, brat, trout po' boy; 1-9 PM.

- 701: Patio grills ($8-15), starters and sides near the Mall ($4-8), wine, beer, cocktails; 4-10 PM; reserve.


- El Centro D.F. on 14 St NW and in Georgetown, Ambar,  Masa 14 and Zengo; $5 red, white and blue margaritas, along with late night DJs, happy hour specials and bottomless brunches.

- Lincoln: Emancipation punch bowl ($34) and a DJ from 2 PM to  midnight,with AYCE BBQ, salads and desserts ($30, $15 children 12 and under).  

- New Heights: Honors the ‘free’ in Freedom; no-cost swigs of gin and watermelon, plus complementary pig croquettes, shrimp corn dogs, oysters and mini pies (4-9 PM).

- Republic: Celebrates freedom to make craft beers more affordable in Maryland with an all day beer, AYCE BBQ and live music; $35, 11 AM-3 PM or 3 PM-7 PM or $50 all day. Reserve. $1 oysters to passersby.


Most of the hotels and restaurants that are holding rooftop viewing parties are either fully booked or restricting access to their guests. One possibility is Jack Rose Dining Saloon, whose rooftop will host a canned beer viewing party with Flying Dog Brewery ($4 -$6) and food and drink specials — likely a bustling scene. And if you mainly want the rooftop breezes and are happy to see the spectacle on TV, DNV Rooftop will open at noon, offering red-white-and-blue boozy pops.

Of course, you could splurge on a pricey hotel room, or brave the crowds on the Mall. But there’s also the option of watching the spectacle on the Virginia side of the Potomac River. The Air Force Memorial (where a band strikes up at 8 PM), Lady Bird Johnson Park and The Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima) are near Metro stops, and offer vistas that you’ll be Instagramming all night.

Places Mentioned

Café du Parc

French • Downtown

Food21 Decor20 Service19 Cost$48
Cashion's Eat Place

American • Adams Morgan

Food25 Decor21 Service24 Cost$53
City Tap House

Penn Quarter/Chinatown

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
Hill Country Backyard Barbecue

Barbecue • Judiciary Square

Food- Decor- Service- CostI
701 Restaurant

Continental • Penn Quarter/Chinatown

Food23 Decor24 Service24 Cost$54
El Centro D.F.

Mexican • 14th Street Corridor

Food21 Decor20 Service20 Cost$32
El Centro D.F.

Mexican • Georgetown

Food- Decor- Service- CostI
Masa 14

Latin American • 14th Street Corridor

Food23 Decor22 Service20 Cost$40

Asian • Penn Quarter/Chinatown

Food- Decor- Service- Cost 

American • Downtown

Food20 Decor23 Service20 Cost$40
New Heights Restaurant

American • Woodley Park

Food22 Decor20 Service20 Cost$59

Takoma Park

Atmo.- Decor- Service- CostM

American • Shaw

Food21 Decor22 Service19 Cost$35
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