TallBoy: The Bartenders’ Late Night Haunt

TallBoy, a bar on Ninth Street in Shaw, is open late nightly. Photo by Alexander M. Padro, Courtesy Shaw Main Streets.

It’s midnight on a weekday. Storefronts along the 1200 block of Ninth Street NW are dark, save one. The lights are almost always on at that hour at TallBoy, 1239 Ninth St. NW.

“It’s funny, a lot of people think there’s no way people come in on Tuesday at 1 a.m.,” General Manager Elliot Howe remarked, laughing. “We get the biggest rush every weekday between 12 a.m. and 2 a.m.”

Tallboy is the creation of owners Geoff Dawson, Peter Bayne and Todd Galaida. Dawson and Bayne, both former bartenders, knew the challenges of finishing a late shift with no place to unwind over food and drink before heading home. Joined by Galaida, the three envisioned a bartender friendly, neighborhood hangout, named for the 16-ounce cans of beer that are the bar’s mainstay. TallBoy is now a late-night destination for many in the District’s hospitality industry.

“We’re serving that industry crowd here,” Howe said. “Let’s say you bartend across the street or downtown and you’re going home. There’s always going to be a beer for you at TallBoy.” Neighborhood residents also come for the friendly vibe and to watch soccer and other sports on the TVs.

The walls at TallBoy are decorated with bright, colorful murals reflective of the city’s rich sports history. They give the place a friendly vibe. Outdoor seating options include a covered streatery.

While the menu features a short list of mezcal and tequila cocktails, the staples are inexpensive domestic and imported beers in tallboy cans, plus a few beers and ciders on tap, which are all under $10. Beer shot combos round out the drink offerings. The food is classic bar fare, such as wings, both traditional and boneless, with a variety of sauces and seasonings, burgers, pork, beef, chicken, fish and mushroom tacos and appetizers. Chips and salsa are free. Happy Hour food and drink specials are available from 4-6 PM.

TallBoy is open Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday, 4 p.m. to 3 a.m., Saturday, 12 p.m. to 3 a.m. and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. Visit tallboybar.com for more information, including food delivery.

Sarah Payne is a reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at sarahp@hillrag.com