JSix bartenders reach for the good stuff first, rather than the plastic jug.
  • JSix bartenders reach for the good stuff first, rather than the plastic jug.
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If one bar is good, then two must be great, right? Drinking at JSix means getting to choose between the lofty heights of LOUNGESix or the street-level swank of the restaurant bar.

Located in the Solamar Hotel at Sixth and J Street downtown, both bars grant access to the haute mixology and executive wine lists of a top-quality nightlife spot. The real choice is scenery.

Downstairs, at the restaurant bar, the patronage is a mix of hotel guests, passersby, and diners on a wait. Anyone can stroll in, and the downtown location attracts a colorful mix of people. For example, this big guy who sat down at the bar and ordered a martini with four olives in it. He had a body that looked like Rocky Balboa should have been punching him in a meat locker somewhere and a stringy, Fabio haircut. Two thoroughly wasted girls in their early 20s joined him and had a drink before stumbling off into the night.

It’s hard to prevent the imagination from running wild with that scenario. But don’t let one creepy apple spoil the bunch; the clientele seemed otherwise wholesome.

Happy hour calls for $6 specialty cocktails and $6 bites from the bar menu, which offers mushroom-and-mascarpone ravioli, smoked lamb sausage, and a duck-and-endive salad.

Upstairs, at LOUNGESix, it’s rooftop drinks by the pool, with private cabanas available for parties that want a killer view and executive service. Seating upstairs is, well, lounge-like. Between chaises and padded benches, it’s easy to cozy up somewhere with an inspired cocktail and watch the moon pass overhead.

And those cocktails are fine. JSix is all about doing it the hard way. They infuse their own spirits and reach for the good stuff first rather than the cheap booze in the plastic jug. The chili-infused mango margarita was a firecracker of a beverage, while an Aviation, a purple-tinted mix of gin and crème de violette that evoked scenes of barnstorming and Prohibition, was entirely the opposite. Both drinks, however, didn’t skimp on the liquor.

  • Address: 616 J Street
  • Hours: Restaurant bar closes at 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday; otherwise at 11. The Lounge closes as the weather and season demand.
  • Happy: 4–7 p.m. at the downstairs bar only
  • Cover: zero dollars
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