You wouldn’t first think of piano bars as great places to enjoy live music and a couple drinks, but they can actually be quite fun, playing tunes everyone can sing along to and serving interesting cocktails to keep the night going.
These three piano bars in and around Washington, D.C., are definitely worth checking out for a good time.
3287 M Street NW, Washington, D.C., 20007
Georgetown Piano Bar is probably the most classic piano bar in Washington, D.C. It has an air of elegance — but also mystery — from the moment you walk through the door and take the steps down to the basement. It’s almost reminiscent of a speakeasy, with cocktails named after musicians and small tables placed close to each other in dark lighting. Try the Sinatra (bullet rye, vermouth, bitters) and transport yourself back the 1940s, or go for the Elton John (Stoli Citrus Vodka, Chambord, sour, sugar rim) for a sweeter, more modern taste. View the full cocktail, beer, and wine list here.
The bar features live piano every night starting at 7 p.m., and dueling pianos on Fridays and Saturdays starting at 9 p.m. It’s recommended that you make a reservation in advance, as it does tend to get full, especially on the weekends. Learn more about Georgetown Piano Bar here.
172 Fleet Street, National Harbor, MD 20745
Bobby McKey’s Dueling Piano Bar is located in the MGM National Harbor, which boasts tons of entertainment, including a casino, bars, restaurants, and hotels. The piano bar is not only a fun idea for your next party, but a creative one, too. It’s perfect for a girls’ night, a bachelorette party, a birthday, or even a corporate event. It’s recommended that you buy your tickets online to make sure your group gets a spot. Make sure to note that there are two options for seating, either down by the stage with tables, or standing room on the second level by the bar.
While Georgetown Piano Bar is more sophisticated, Bobby McKey’s has a more lighthearted vibe and is just plain enjoyable. The performers are very interactive with the audience and will play requests all night long. The specialty cocktail and shooter menu is extensive, and they even serve food. It’s also worth mentioning that Bobby McKey’s is a 21-year-old-and-over establishment every day. Learn more about this piano bar here.
520 Florida Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 20001
Shaw’s Tavern is a local gem in the neighborhood of Shaw, and unlike the other two mentioned on this list, it doesn’t function as a full-fledged piano bar, but hosts a weekly dueling piano performance. With its exposed brick interior, sunlit patio, and classic American fare, it’s already a popular spot to grab dinner, brunch, and drinks. But now you can experience “piano night” every Wednesday night and on the first Friday of every month.
The environment is much more casual than Georgetown Piano Bar or Bobby McKey’s, and it’s not necessary to make a reservation in advance or buy tickets online before the show. The vibe is great for a close group of friends or a couple that’s been together for a while. If you love the piano bar and want more, you can also check out other events Shaw’s Tavern hosts here.
For dinner, start out with some grilled wings or crispy calamari, then order the Shaw’s Burger as your entrée. Wash it down with one of the beers on draft or their specialty Moscow Mule. The dinner menu can be found here.
Have you been to any of these piano bars before? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!