By Heather Trese
Special to the Times
The first thing I thought when the three of us walked into D.C.'s Downtown was that we did not belong there.
It took one sweep of the odd looks on patrons' faces to realize that a) this was a regulars' bar and; b) one of my friends and I were the only women in the joint, save for the bartender.
No matter, I thought. Maybe we'd meet some new people and find a great neighborhood bar in Tarpon Springs. We ordered a pitcher and found a high-top table close to the bar. As we looked around, we realized what a strange little place it was. There's live music every Sunday, but the stage in the corner looked empty and sad on the Friday we were there. There were a few dartboards, some pool tables, a very high-tech bowling game and — for some reason — a scale in front of a Budweiser sign. This amused my friends to no end as they took pictures of each other weighing themselves, both with and without their beers in hand.
That's when things got even more strange. First, one of my friends, who has a serious love for jukeboxes, went to hunt down an ATM for cash, leaving my other friend and me uncomfortably sipping our Newcastles. I looked up and saw someone we had gone to high school with in Clearwater and we were sitting in a semi-obscure bar in Tarpon Springs.
Strange turned to tense when my friend selected some jukebox songs that ticked off the bar regulars, who apparently have a deep love for classic rock. They failed to find the humor in Sade's No Ordinary Love. After dirty looks and rude gestures, we paid our tab and left.
But the experience of heading into that bar was so amusing that I don't think we regretted for a second going there.
And that's the thing about D.C.'s. You never know what could happen there. You might have a quiet night with the locals and make some new friends or you might run into someone you haven't seen in six years. It seems like a cool place to hang, and they have some killer specials. Just be careful about messing with the status quo.