Bartending provides a lot of benefits for professionals all over the country, but in Washington, D.C., it’s a profession that can yield a very fruitful income. That’s thanks to a high household income and many bars’ proximity to businesses and government agencies that have a lot of high-earning individuals working at them each day.
But, to cash in on all of that as a bartender, you have to know how to find the best DC bartender jobs. And with a decent amount of competition for these coveted positions, that can be a challenge. The good news is that we’ve put together this simple guide to finding the best part-time and weekend bartending jobs in D.C.
Read on to learn more. And if you’re interested in bartending in D.C. on your own schedule, download Qwick and start filling bartending shifts today.
Bartending Jobs in D.C.: An Overview
Washington, D.C. is unique in a lot of ways, and that certainly extends to the bartending landscape in the district. For one thing, our bar-focused nightlife has been booming since 2008. With the exception of the worldwide slowdown in business thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, this upward trajectory really hasn’t stopped.
In recent years, the number of liquor licenses approved by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration has increased by more than 77%. Meanwhile, the number of liquor licenses for restaurants increased by 37% in that same time period. The only area where liquor license approvals actually decreased was in nightclubs.
By and large, the number of bartending jobs D.C. has to offer has also increased in recent years. And there’s no sign that it’s going to slow down any time soon.
How To Find Great Part-Time and Weekend Bartending Jobs
If you’re hoping to cash in on bartender jobs in D.C., you absolutely can. But you have to know where to look and how to go about it. Here’s what you need to know.
Look in the Right Neighborhoods
First thing’s first: You need to know which neighborhoods are duds for D.C. bartending jobs and which ones are winners. Fortunately, there’s some data that can help us navigate those choppy waters.
According to data obtained by the D.C. Policy Center, the Washington, D.C., neighborhoods with the highest proportion of bars to restaurants and nightclubs include (in order):
1. Ivy City
5. Columbia Heights
Of course, most D.C. neighborhoods have at least some bars, but if you’re hoping to find DC bartender jobs, those six neighborhoods will give you your best bet.
You may not have as much luck looking for bartending jobs in Palisades, Chevy Chase, Georgetown, or Glover Park. In those neighborhoods, bars make up only a small percentage of the establishments with approved liquor licenses.
Work With Qwick
Here’s a pro tip for finding flexible part-time and weekend bartending jobs in D.C.: Download Qwick. We’re biased, of course, but our platform truly brings freedom and flexibility to hospitality aficionados like you. Qwick connects bartenders with open shifts all over DC. You choose the place and time—you’re always in charge of your schedule. Plus, you can get paid in as little as 30 minutes after your shift. Check it out.
Top Bartender Jobs in D.C.
Let’s get into some specifics. Even if you know which neighborhoods to look in for D.C. bartender jobs, how do you know which restaurants and bars to apply to? As a rule of thumb in bartending, higher volume and higher prices mean higher earnings, so it can be helpful to understand which bars are considered the hottest bars in DC.
There’s probably no better resource for understanding that than Eater Washington D.C., the publication that covers all things food and drink in our nation’s capital. The following 21 bars are the ones Eater called out as “essential” D.C. bars, meaning they are great candidates for your list of potential places to bartend in Washington, DC:
1. Tequila & Mezcal
2. Tiki On 18th
3. Franklin Hall D.C.
4. The Green Zone
5. Jack Rose
6. Service Bar
7. Lulu’s Wine Garden
8. Bar Charley
9. McClellan's Retreat
10. Dacha Beer Garden
11. Ivy and Coney
12. Cotton & Reed
15. Maxwell Park
16. Republic Cantina
17. Copycat Co.
20. The Eastern
21. Tiki TNT & Potomac Distilling Company
Make Money As a D.C. Bartender On Your Own Terms
You may not immediately associate the profession of bartending with the freedom of making your own schedule, but if you download Qwick you will. Qwick is the leading professional platform for the hospitality industry, matching bartenders like you with open shifts at the best bars and restaurants in D.C. and beyond. The best part? You get to make your own schedule and get paid just 30 minutes after clocking out. If that’s not the most flexible bartending job in D.C., we’re not sure what is.
Ready to make money from D.C. bartender jobs on your own terms? Sign up for Qwick today.