by July 2, 2012 at 11:30 am 1,371 0

"Pyongyang Gang"

Pyongyang Gang at the Blaguard Irish Pub, 2003 18th Street NW. (Laetitia Brock)

From Laetitia Brock. Email her at laetitia[AT] You can follow her at @FrenchtwistDC and on her own  blog French twist DC.

It almost starts out like an Irish joke: two guys walk into an Irish bar and take over its kitchen every Wednesday night… with Korean food. The joke of course, is on every one who doesn’t make it to the Blaguard Irish Pub to check out the Pyongyang Gang pop-up concept. The best part of it? While it’s definitely not the most authentic Korean food (and doesn’t pretend to be), it’s simple, good and cheap. The menu is short and sweet, featuring just 4 items. If you order one of each, plus drinks for two, the meal will barely set you back $30.

But back to the two guys… Mike Thompson and James Jang are your pretty typical D.C. types. Thompson got tired of his government job and decided to switch gears and pursue a career behind the stove. Jang was already busy working in a kitchen but dreamt (well, still dreams) of opening his own restaurant. They met and decided to team up to take over willing under-utilized bar kitchens with their Pyongyang Gang concept. The Blaguard gives them a shot on Wednesday nights and the result is two juicy burgers, the Seoul with ground beef and the Pyongyang with marinated pork, sweet and spicy chicken wings and fries with ssamjang aoili. The fries are nothing spectacular, but it’s always nice to have a little side with your burger and the two burger options are definitely worth waking up early the next day to go to the gym. They’re also testing out some new items like a vegan noodle dish and a pork belly special, just in case the regular menu isn’t enough to keep you from coming back.

Pyongyang Gang Pop-Up at the Blaguard Irish Pub: The Details

  • Where Am I Going: 2003 18th Street, NW
  • When Am I Going: Wednesday nights for the Pyongyang Gang pop up but the Blaguard also has a brand new menu that includes Irish car bomb sundaes and they will be introducing a new raw bar soon with fresh oysters from the Chesapeake Bay, so you’re covered any night really. Happy hour is until 8PM. Also, on July 4, since the holiday couldn’t possibly be celebrated without one BBQ, the Pyongyang Gang is pairing up with D.C. and throwing a Korean BBQ bash for Blaguard patrons.
  • Paycheck Pain: Intern pay check friendly.
  • Say What?: Head upstairs if you’re on a cheap date night, it’s newly renovated and much quieter than downstairs. There are also a few seats outside on the street if you get there early enough.
  • What You’ll Be Eating: An American take on Korean bar food in an Irish pub. How you’ll be eating it? With your fingers. The food comes in brown paper bags, it’s pretty laid back.

Get an RSS Feed for the F&E Section, or an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories. 

by October 4, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,704 0

The Blaguard, Lebodome, Adams Morgan, 18th Street NW

The Blaguard is on 18th Street NW, just north of U. (Scott Leibowitz)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at [email protected].

Quarter way through the NFL season and I am still thanking the great football gods for bringing it back on time (the same can’t be said about the NBA gods, that sport might never come back).  The highly touted Cowboys and Eagles are both 1-3, the Detroit Lions are unbeaten, and the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers appear to have no hangover.

I have the same 3-1 record in my three fantasy leagues and yea somehow the Redskins are 3-1 atop the NFC East (Enjoy it, DC, while it lasts). This week’s football viewing comes from a bar I already have quite a high opinion of, and my game-day experience did not disappoint. So without further ado:

The Blaguard, 2003 18th Street NW

General Description: Your neighborhood Irish pub with the draft beer selection you have always wanted. Always a friendly crowd, plenty of Jameson, and never a crazy line like their neighbor, Jack Rose.

Why I Went There: Sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your name. To this day I have not found a friendlier staff and fun bartenders in the district. When I asked the owner if he would ever have my football team’s games on, he said come in, and it will be there.

Atmosphere: As this is a neighborhood bar, many of the patrons have been coming to this bar for years on Sunday to watch their teams. In a town like D.C. there were fans from almost a dozen or so teams wearing their colors proudly. There are plenty of TVs downstairs and upstairs so your game is bound to be on somewhere.

Small awesome addition you probably missed. The foot-stool in the downstairs bar is actually a piece of the 18th Street streetcar rail that was torn out of the streets in the last year. It’s a perfect compliment to the high stool and tables, as well the best table in the house that looks right on to the street. Also a strong sense of Redskins camaraderie with their fight song playing after wins and a portrait picture of departed safety Sean Taylor.

Food and Beverage: I’d say there around 20 unique beers (maybe more) on tap with plenty of local and seasonal flavor. On Sunday they have good wing special but their hidden specials are fried macncheese tots and hot pretzels. Also while there Sunday a patron ordered a “Yahtzee,” which turned out to be a Jack Daniels and Red Bull. I asked him why it’s called that and he said when you drink this you are rolling the dice and have no idea where it will take you. Pretty sure he was a Packers fan.

Actual Game Viewing: Plenty of TVs, plenty of space up or down. People shift in and out of the good barstools when their team’s game is over, a high sign of class.

Overall: This is my Cheers bar. I am just glad that the football experience is good as the everyday. Nick should be proud of his establishment, and the people that work there.

Total Pigskins 4.5

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Just when you thought the Shake Weight was hilarious, now there is this.
  • Beer vendors should be allowed to harass whoever they want.
  • Madonna during Super Bowl halftime. AWFUL

by March 15, 2011 at 5:15 am 3,234 0

Duffy's Irish Pub, Vermont Avenue NW, U Street corridor

Duffy’s Irish Pub at 2106 Vermont Avenue NW will Irish dancing on St. Patrick’s Day. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Alejandra Owens and Laura Herman. On Twitter: follow Alejandra on @frijolita and Laura @Lmhhabs. Alejandra also writes about food at at her site, One Bite At A Time.

Few things say St. Patrick’s day more than a green beer, an Irish band playing in the background and singing an Irish ballad or two.

Okay, so where does one partake in the green-beer-singing-hopping around fun? D.C. might not be Boston (or New York or Chicago), rich with Irish pubs and a history of Irish immigrants, but we do have a few great bars to enjoy the day of the patron saint of Ireland.

Laura and I pulled together of best bets and a few good deals for when you make your way out this week. Do you guys have plans to celebrate? Where will you be?

Bars to Hit and Their Best Deals

  • The Blaguard falls just outside the boundaries at 18th Street and Florida Avenue/U Street NW, but is a hidden gem of a bar.
  • Duffy’s Irish Pub is the District’s Irish bar in resident. With Irish dancers, an Irish bar, Guiness and Jameson girls and green beer, you better get there early. There’s no cover from noon to 2 pm, $5 from 2 to 3 pm and $10 after 3 pm. The first 200 people get a free T-shirt to commemorate the day. Don’t forget to grab $2 Green Jello shooters and $5 green beer. Duffy’s is at 2106 Vermont Avenue NW, across from the 9:30 Club.
  • James Hoban’s Irish Restaurant is located off the southwest side of Dupont Circle (address is 1 Dupont Circle) and serves up dishes such as Irish Stew and shepherd’s pie along with other pub favorites like burgers and fish and chips. Happy hour prices will last from 9 am to 2 pm, so that’s $5 imported drafts, $4 domestic drafts, $4 imported bottles, $3 domestic bottles and $4 rail drinks and glasses of wine.
  • Solly’s Tavern is a long-time favorite you can go to on St. Patrick’s Day, at 11th and U Streets NW.
  • Maddy’s Bar and Grille can’t be called thew newcomer to Dupont any longer. With a loyal following, lots of space and solid bar food, you can’t beat it! Location is 1726 Connecticut Avenue NW, just south of S Street on the west side of the avenue.

Subscribe to our mailing list