The Place: People's Pub, 5429 Ballard Ave. N.W., 783-6521
The Hours: 3-7 p.m. happy hour on food and drinks; 10 p.m.-last call happy hour on food. Also daily drink specials.
The Digs: From the outside, People's Pub resembles a forgotten establishment. It appears dark, and everyone is standing about 20 feet to the left smoking outside the Sunset Tavern. The emblem hanging above the People's Pub sign is larger than the maroon-and-gold placard itself, and looms like a unicorn's horn piercing the full moon. It reads "Patio Room," and is all that is left of the bar that was before (the Vasa Grill).Inside there is a dining room and a bar, the latter of which is great for midsized groups. Tables hold anywhere from four to 12 patrons. Blonde wood floors, tables, and chairs add to the large, open feeling of the room. The red walls are decorated with old German beer ads--beers with names that look intimidating but which easily roll off the tongue after a few. The music is quiet and the selection odd, as if the kitchen's radio were drifting out into the bar.
The Deal: Burgers are $5.50 during happy hour, and come with a very small side salad and either fries, potato salad or chips. For $5 you can get fish and chips, grilled cheese with tomato soup, or your choice of a German pretzel with mustard, aioli, or apple cream on the side. Any of those are enough for a meal. The specialty meat sandwiches are a bit more: $6-8. A la carte they have potato chips for $2, French fries for $3, and fried pickles for $4.
There are seven German beers on tap for $4.50, the PBR is $2.75, and daily drink specials enhance the happy hour, with $1-$1.50 off on select whiskeys, bourbons, and scotches, depending on the day.
The Verdict: People's Pub has German-night Wednesdays, a good night to try the German fare (with an extra $1 off) and beer ($3.50). The food menu is far more American than German, but includes a small variety of German sausages served with sauerkraut. The schwarzbiers are excellent, flavorful and smooth.
People's Pub is more expensive than other happy hours in the area, and the service is friendly but slow. But did we mention the fried pickles? They're amazing.