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Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe & Grill
Taps: 18 / Bottles: 5
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1517 Connecticut Ave NW
District of Columbia
phone: (202) 387-1400
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 17 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
My attempt to get into Pizzeria Paradiso at Dupont Circle was halted by the ungainly masses mobbing the entrance. There is no way I would want to fight a mob for a brew and a pizza.
So I walked down to Kramerbooks! I had read the BA listing and wanted to give it a try. WOW! This ain't no ordinary beer-bar-on-the-back-of-a-bookstore place. The lineup is tremendous- 15 taps including Goose Island Bourbon County, Sophie and Matilda, Heavy Seas Loose Cannon, Allagash White, Brooklyn Brewmaster, Rogue Dead Guy, Great Divide Wild Raspberry... serious selection!
The atmosphere is alright, not special. A pretty average-looking bar on the back of the bookstore. No wood, dim lights or comfy sofas here- this looks more like a Starbucks with craft beer. It can get a bit loud, but not crazy.
I didn't try food but looks more than decent: lobster cobb, pumpkin ravioli, seared tuna, scallops... not your average bar food!
Service was exceptional. Big friendly bartender didn't miss a beat (or maybe one, but only one) and was real nice. Not only that but he offered a half-pint of Goose Bourbon for free, just because! And then bought my pint of Loose Cannon too.
I understand this was due to the shocking $12 price-tag of my Bourbon County, but still, it is a most generous gesture. Other beers are priced at $6, good price for DC.
I would come back here often if I lived in DC, and will visit again next time.
01-14-2011 18:28:38 |
More by DoubleSimcoe
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Went a little out of the way to get up to Dupont Circle for this one. It was early afternoon by the time we arrived, so we were the only patrons at the 10-seat bar except for a very sad and sodden gentleman - a risk you run anywhere alcohol is served. I don't hold it against Afterwords.
Close to 20 taps, which is great. Prices are acceptable for their location, and they are uniform here, which is nice. Our server was pleasant and friendly, but not overly knowledgeable. In general, books and brews go great together, and putting an indie bookstore with some great micros and imports is a fantastic idea. Kramerbooks and Afterwords both get a big thumbs up from me.
12-25-2009 03:24:26 |
More by BretSikkink
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
A smallish friendly tap-room that serves as the hallway between the bookstore and the restaurant.
Kramer has a nice Tap selection (esp.for DC). Among the selections are the excellent Allagash Triple (served in regular pints, yippe), Brooklyn Lager and a Bkln Seasonal, a Rogue (I think it was Brutal in late Sept. when I was last there last) , and an Abita. Nice food and snacks. There's a nice food/beer deal, get three "sharzies" snacks and get a pitcher of your choice (including the aforementioned Allagash)at a discount.
10-12-2004 21:37:51 |
More by schemb
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Went on a bustling Friday night around 9pm but only had to wait 20 minutes for a table. The service at the bar wasn't great while we waited, but it was excusable because of how busy it was. Draft selection included all American craft brews as I recall, from Great Divide (Titan IPA) to Brooklyn Brewery (Chocolate Stout) to Allagash (White). Pint prices ranged from $5.50 to $7.
The restaurant section of this bookstore-cafe hybrid is a somewhat confusing little labyrinth, especially after having a couple. The dining room is split up in weird ways, with mirrors indiscriminately posted in some, but not all, walls. Disorienting. The bathrooms are a couple floors up, and you need a token from a server to get into the door to do your business. But our server was great--attentive but not pushy. The food was really interesting and creative, and for DC the prices were fine. The big deal was a full pint of Brooklyn Chocolate Stout for $6. That was a great dessert.
Overall this establishment fuses two of my favorite things--books and beer. A funky, unique place worth checking out.
04-16-2009 05:24:52 |
More by timmay41
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Kramerbooks and Afterwords is quite a unique place that seems to thrive on catering to a niche market. It is a great locale for book lovers who appreciate good craft brews.
Walking in the front door of the establishment, one encounters an independant-type of bookstore. As both a beer and book lover, let me just say that for a store that is much smaller than your normal Borders or Barnes and Noble, Kramerbooks has a great selection of many essentials and several unique literary offerings. I have spent quite a while in the book section on more than one occasion, and think just going to this place to look for reading material alone is worth the trip. But since this review is about the restaurant/bar (which really is separate from the bookstore) I do not include that part of the establishment in my review.
The dining/drinking portion--undoubtedly the Afterwords described in its name--includes both a small barroom and larger dining area. The bar seats 10, maybe 12 people with small table space for about 10-15 more. It is rather dark and cozy, without a television, which would seem to fit a place dedicated to reading. The restaurant portion includes many tables, yet still manages to retain an intimate atmosphere. Several interesting posters adorn the walls, lending to the ambiance.
Beer selection is quite good. There are 16-18 drafts. Just about all of them are craft and gourmet Euro offerings. They are listed on the beer menu from light to dark, with an informative description of each. A sampling of their beer list includes Founder's Porter, Allagash White, Magic Hat Odd Notion, Green Flash West Coast IPA, Bellhaven Scottish Ale, Bell's Two Hearted, Hofbrau Maibock, and Smuttynose Brown Dog. On the last visit I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that my 8+ percent Victory Hop Devil actually came in a real sixteen oz. pint glass!! All drafts are six dollars, a relative bargain for downtown D.C.
Service is very friendly with a bit of knowledge about their beers. The description provided by our waitress of the seasonal offerings were not perfect, but still helpful. I was quite impressed with the amount of attention that our servers have given at this restaurant. It is definitely a plus in my book.
Food is appetizing and somewhat unique, if a bit expensively priced. I'm giving a reasonable value rating based on the good value of beer and slightly above average cost of food. Nonetheless, the food is good and flavorful.
On the whole, Kramerbooks and Afterwards is a pretty cool place. I really enjoy combining perusing their book selection before or after having a fine brew or two and some good grub. A nice find in Dupont Circle.
12-06-2009 23:47:02 |
More by macpapi
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Visited during DC beer sojourn 11.13.10.
Located in the posh and spending DuPont Circle neighborhood, Kramerbooks Afterwords is located in the rear of a busy independent bookstore, with food provided by an adjacent restaurant located via a backdoor on the next street. Atmosphere was like, err, a beer bar in the back of a bookstore, a 10 seat bar and about 4 small tables, not a lot of room. The taps were above average quality, 18 including Great Lakes Elliot Ness, Abita, Magic Hat, Goose Island Sofie and Matilda and a Brooklyn Brewmaster's Reserve they were out of (bummer). They also had an extensive wine menu. I didn't eat the food and didn't see anybody eating. Service was attentive and pleasant and prices were reasonable. A different business concept to be sure, worth checking out when in the DuPont Circle area to make sure you haven't missed anything on your beers to drink list.
11-21-2010 19:36:08 |
More by jdense
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
During a recent grad school scouting trip I, with the help of beerfly, came across Kramerbooks. The day was warm and sunny prompting my companion and I to dine outside. The fifteen or so outdoor tables were sparsely occupied. Upon browsing the menu, a menu replete with expensive dishes, we came across the appealing "Sharzies" option. This special allowed us to choose three appetizers and a pitcher of beer for the pittance of $22. Having chosen the macaroni & cheese (absolutely delicious), nachos (tasty but not out of the ordinary), and side pizza (interesting without sauce) the task of selecting a beer was upon us. Perusing the beer menu we came across delectable, but limited choices. Allagash Tripel and Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA headlined the selections. We chose the IPA as we felt it better complimented the food. The beer was served in a substantial glass pitcher, at the proper temperature, with spotless pint glasses.
The experience was quite enjoyable, so much so my sister and I returned for Sunday brunch. While beer was not part of this particular meal I feel it is important to highlight how scrumptious the food was. I ordered the whole wheat waffles which at $14.95 seemed a bit pricey. Needless to say I felt I walked away with a bargain after finding my plate full of scrambled eggs, three strips of bacon, a side of home fries, a sampling of fruits, and a complimentary glass of champagne. The meal was quite filling and absolutely delectable.
If you find yourself in DC Kramers is a wonderful choice for a meal and a pint or two.
04-13-2005 21:35:53 |
More by mdavis31481
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Kramerbooks was a cinch to find on Connecticut just North of Dupont Circle. As you walk through the bookstore to the back then they seat you. It was chilly outside, but we decided to sit there. The heaters made it very comfortable and the only traffic on that street was pedestrian. Heck, Tip O'Neil was spotted strolling down the street.
The beer selection is not long and nothing too exciting, but everyone can find something to have with the meal. Our service was good, but not especially well versed in beer. I settled into a 60 minute and decided that would be all for this visit.
The food had potential for greatness, but ended up only good. The signature dish was bass and it was slightly overcooked and the spinach was engulfed in garlic and the potatoes were not well seasoned. A little less flame on the fish, a little more salt on the potatoes and a little less garlic in the spinach. The other two folks with me, enjoyed their entrees. With just a bit of work the food could be stellar.
I'd go back, good food, good service and some beers all for a decent price (DC standards).
10-31-2005 13:24:59 |
More by GCBrewingCo
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
What a neat place this is. Part bookstore, part bar, part fashionable late night cafe/eatery. Seating is located in the front, with the bookstore in the back. All seating is either under a glassed in dining area (lots of skylights, etc) or under the heated awnings along the sidewalk. Nice beer selection with about 18 taps (mostly US craft) and some decent 750s. Prices are about average for the area (ie a bit expensive) but not absurd. Food is great. Entrees are a tad on the pricy side for what they are, but again, not bad and very tasty. One of the better deals is the three appetizer (sharezies) deal for $17 which you can add a pitcher of any of their drafts for $10. The portions are good and everything is homemade. The deserts are phenomenal as well. Service is kinda spotty and they don't know much about the beer. Great late night or date place though.
02-08-2006 19:46:49 |
More by ChrisBowers
District of Columbia
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | $$
Atmosphere: Right off the Metro, and a door or two down from Connecticut Wine & Liquor, which is the absolute mecca of "out of the market" destination for most of us.
Quality: Thank god for this place: My wife now has a place to shop for books, get her coffee, and grab an alcoholic drink in a one-stop-shop.
Service and Selection: Never eaten here before, but I totally appreciate the bartender letting me know a couple of beer whales were on the menu. I came here before when CBS was an offering. Pretty cool.
Value: Like the rest of the DC area: It is what it is. Whatcha gonna do, huh?
02-20-2013 06:29:28 |
More by Chaney
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Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe & Grill in Washington, DC
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