Archipelago

Washington, D.C.
Bar
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1201 U Street NW
Washington, D.C.
Opened in February 2016
Tue-Thu 5pm-2am
Fri-Sat 5pm-3am
Sun 5pm-2am
closed Mondays
(202) 627-0794

Critiki ratings

Archipelago

7.4

Overall

by 42 people

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Decor 6.8
Drink Quality 8.1
Drink Selection 8
Food Quality 8.4
Food Selection 7.3
Mood 6.4
Music 7.7
Service 8
Tikiness 7
Tilt 7.1
Vibe 6.7

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Humuhumu’s description

Archipelago opened in Washington, DC in February 2016. The bar's owners collected bits and bobs of Polynesian Pop in preparation for opening the bar, including a shrine to Magnum, PI. The focus is on cocktails, including both classics and modern inventions, but there is a small menu of food, as well. The decor includes a painted mural with palm scenes, and some thatch and lauhala touches.

Comments

Cape FM
Cape FM has visited Archipelago.
April 27, 2018, 7:43 AM
Went twice in April, two weeks apart and had very different experiences. A few tips for getting the most, IMO, out of your visit.

1. Most important - ask for the hidden menu of Tiki classics. I found these drinks to be far superior to the regular menu offerings.

2. Don't try to lower the bamboo curtains. (I got yelled at). But hey, looking out on to U street in DC isn't exactly an escape.

3. The second time I went I spent the whole time upstairs. Solved the window problem as there were no windows up there. It was also easier to hear the music, which transitioned from classic Tiki/Surf to punk as the night barreled toward 2am. Best of all, we had a great server who checked on us frequently and prevented us from having to fight it out at the bar.

Bonus: The server told us there will be a Tiki speakeasy opening soon focusing more on classic Tiki drinks. About 3/4 of the way up the stairs on the left is a door, so I'm guessing that's where it will be. Should be opening very soon according to the server.

Overall, I was very underwhelmed on my first visit, but with these tweaks my experience went from disappointing to very satisfying.
Sdduuuude
Sdduuuude has visited Archipelago.
February 21, 2018, 8:15 PM
Just a quick update to my thoughts and feelings on this little tiki bar. We made another visit tonight and thoroughly enjoyed it. For the first time in three visits I discovered the classic tiki drink menu highlighting classic tiki drinks from the 30's 40s 50's and 60's. Be sure to ask for it if you can't find something that speaks to you in the main menu. Great rum selection. Wonderful bartenders. Really love this place. 7.4 rating is just stupidly low. Go here: eat, drink and love it !
Sdduuuude
Sdduuuude has visited Archipelago.
January 15, 2018, 10:52 PM
It was with a little trepidation that we visited this place, given the 7.4 rating. I'm from San Diego, home of the 9.6-rated False Idol that has the best drinks I have ever had. I am in the Baltimore/DC area regularly on business and this was the only Tiki place around and I was optimistic that I could find a place to get my Tiki on while out of town - so we went, and I took my tiki-virgin buddy with me.

I have to assume that true Tiki fans have marked the place down due to the decor, which was definitely toned down. The windows were not blacked-out and you could see out into the street. Unlike other tiki bars that are dark, filled with over-the-top tiki decor, and designed for a "special occasion" visit, this place felt more inviting, like you could drop in any time. The more "neighborhood-ish" feel to it really appealed to me.

Of course, the real reason I was there was for the drinks and they did not disappoint. There were not a significant amount of classics on the menu - just a few to remind you that they took their tiki seriously. Overall, I thought the drink menu was very creative. The menu held several unusual concoctions that made you say "hmmm" before you ordered it and "mmmm" afterwards. Most notably was a little dandy with jagermeister and vanilla. "Hmmm"

The biggest surprise was the food. Everything we have eaten there has been very good, most notably the asian nachos - what the *(^@#^$ did they do to that cheese ?!? Killer !

So, if you are looking for the ultimate in classic and creative tiki decor - go else where. If you are looking for interesting drinks and great little dishes, this is the place for you. I love it. It is my new home away from my home away from home.

Our server and the bartenders were super nice also.


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