It’s no secret that Barcode has been a smash-hit since its opening, but what remains a mystery is how this versatile chameleon can seamlessly change between a Restaurant, Bar, and Lounge and still flourish and thrive without mushing together.
Being right in the middle of DC’s Golden Triangle, it is surrounded by offices and foot traffic in a vibrant, pedestrian heavy neighborhood. But location alone isn’t enough to attract a crowd in the corporate paradise. It takes a little bit more finesse and substance, which Barcode has in spades, and as one Yelper put it “The decor is sleek and modern, but without a pretentious air”.
During the afternoon, it’s a prime lunch spot. It’s bright, warm, clean, and professional. It’s a place people feel comfortable bringing their coworkers, friends, and even their bosses without giving it a second thought. The service is quick and responsive, the menu has something for everyone, and it all comes out of the kitchen in a hurry.
Sandwiches, Small Plates, Burgers, Pizzas, Pastas, and Full-Fledged Entrees. You can actually get a complete real lunch for under $15. There’s even freshly brewed coffee, espresso, cappuccino, latte, tea, and Red Bull to give your day a boost.
After the lunch crowd has retreated back into their offices, the Happy Hour crowd starts trickling in for the half-price drinks weekdays from 3pm – 7pm. The atmosphere is lively and casual as people put their workday behind them and raise a pint to toast the end of another successful day.
The large communal booths and ample seating means people don’t have to stand on their feet all evening, and the music barely chimes above the din of chatter, so you can actually sit, relax, and enjoy a conversation with friends.
When the weather is nice, most of the facade of Barcode opens up like a pavilion to the spacious outdoor patio out front, providing a great space to hang out and enjoy the evening.
As Happy Hour winds down, the dinner crowd picks up as people from all a cross town migrate over to have dinner. The vibe is relaxed, the air is casual, the mood is perfect for an exquisite dinner without the pretentiousness of a formal restaurant. It works well for a date, a group outing, or even a big birthday event. With the large communal booths and huge tables, they can accept reservations for parties as large as 24 people for dinner.
The menu is a great mix of culinary masterpieces and simple hits. On the fancy side there are things like: Grilled Atlantic Salmon, Filet Mignon, Grilled Calamari and Mussels.
On the traditional side there are things like: the Burger, Margherita Pizza, Blackened Organic Chicken, French Fries, and Mushroom Soup.
By the time dinner is done, this part of DC is a total ghost town. The offices are abandoned, the streets are vacant, the stores are dark, and the tumbleweeds blow down Connecticut Avenue across K street and eventually come to rest at the top of the eternally broken escalator at the Dupont Circle Metro. But it’s at this hour that, revelers from the area start making their way out for a night on the town, and Barcode is the ideal spot for Cocktails, Wine, and Cheese as the night picks up.
The lights go down and the music comes up a little as people enjoy refreshments and light hors d’oeuvres over candlelight in a laid-back setting. It’s not in-your-face or pretentious, but rather quite chill. And if there’s a big game going on, you better believe it’ll be on all 10 HDTV screens and the big video projector! One can even get a bottle of wine and enjoy the ambiance on their heated outdoor patio.
Late Night fun starts as the Cocktails crowd makes its way to the next stop on the tour or heads home for the night (depending on their age). Now it’s time to party like a professional. Barcode is the serious lounge for people who are in-the-know about DC nightlife. VIP tables, Bottle Service, DJs, Sports on TV, Mixed Drinks, and even a little Dancing dominate the late night feel of Barcode.
DJs Saam, Kidlucky and Kam keep the party going strong into the night alongside special guests. And yes, the kitchen is open till at least 12am! So if you’ve got a late-night craving for some damn good food, but don’t want to leave the party, Barcode’s got you covered.
It’s really an impressive place that progressively steps up its game as the day wears into night. Like a chameleon, it changes moods and styles to match the changing world around it. Surprisingly, it’s daily cycle of change was dictated not by management, but rather by the people who came to hang out.
For you see, the owners never set out any rules or guidelines for when Barcode should be what. They just opened the doors and let the place take on a life of its own.