Two glasses of whiskey on a wooden table in the bar

You might think Capitol Hill is comprised solely of buttoned-up politicians, but there’s much more to the area. The neighborhood is home to a flourishing dining scene, including Harold Black, a secret speakeasy hidden behind a wall in Capitol Hill. Yes, really.

How It Started

Harold Black started out as a neighborhood secret back in December 2012. In the first two months that it opened, the place was a city mystery with no social media pages, no website, no signage, and no published phone number. The owners hoped for word about the speakeasy to spread organically and passed out business cards with the bar’s phone number to acquaintances.

How Word Spread

In early 2013, Washington City Paper writer Jessica Sidman wrote a review publishing the bar’s phone number in the hopes of expanding Harold Black’s clientele. The review worked: Harold Black’s has been full of thrill-seeking DC foodies ever since.

How To Find It

To find the hidden bar and check it out for yourself, you’ll first want to seek out Capitol Hill Italian restaurant Acqua Al 2. Situated next to the restaurant is an unmarked wooden door. Open that, climb a flight of stairs, and you’ve arrived.

The Vibe

The dark, leather-and-wood decor of the bar sets the ambiance for an intimate, quiet night. Since there’s no flash photography allowed, this isn’t exactly an Instagram hotspot, but you won’t be able to resist snapping a few candlelit photos of the cozy interior.

What To Do There

Sip a housemade cocktail from the ever-changing menu and take in the atmosphere as you chat with friends and while the night away. This isn’t a place for a wild night, but it’s definitely perfect for a relaxed happy hour or private conversation.

212 7th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
(202) 627-0994