Bier Magazine
Home » bar reviews, washington d.c.

Bar Review: Tommy Joe’s

Submitted by on June 12, 2010 – 11:47 AMNo Comment
Bookmark and Share

4714 Montgomery Ln.
Bethesda, MD

Hours of operation: Mon. – Thu. 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Fri. 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Sat. 5:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.  (Football season; March Madness: 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.)
Sun. Closed  (Football season; March Madness: 12:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.)

Best time to visit: Happy Hour; game time

There’s a fair amount going on in Bethesda, and there are more than a few places to eat, drink, or watch your team play. But there might be no better spot to do all three than Tommy Joe’s.

Easy access is one asset, located as it is quite close to the Bethesda Metro station. A good tap selection, good bar food, and good specials are also strong recommendations. Factor in tons of televisions, plenty of space, an outdoor patio, and free wi-fi – great for following a game more obsessively than TV allows – and this becomes a go-to spot for beer drinkers and sports fans.

That tap selection includes Bass, Blue Moon, Sierra Nevada, and Stella Artois, and there is a comparable bottle list; nothing you can’t find elsewhere, but plenty of very drinkable options.

The food menu has the standard appetizer fare – nachos, mozzarella sticks, and so on, mostly sized for sharing – and some other specialties like jumbo shrimp and the Maryland crab dip. The house chicken wings are also worthy of note. A full range of wraps, sandwiches, and salads compliments a relatively short entrée menu, but on most occasions the appetizers will be sufficient. Since wings, quesadillas, and chicken tenders are all half-price from 4 to 7 every weeknight, and tap beers are all $3.50, stocking up before game time is not only advisable but quite desirable.

The building is very unassuming from outside, looking perhaps like a former fast-food joint or diner, or maybe a florist. But the bar – a very homey after-work oasis – greets you as you enter, and the instinct instantly kicks in to grab a stool and order up.

Beyond the bar is the outdoor patio, a courtyard area which, of course, has its own bar, and is enclosed and heated in the Winter. The dining room is to the right, just past the dancefloor, which in fact finds its best use on Tuesday, when Karaoke reigns supreme. But the dining area is spacious, with TVs facing every table.

It already seems like the building is bigger on the inside than out, but way back by the kitchen is another small area, best suited to private parties or weekend overflow. This bar-restaurant is deceptively large, and, though it may be ideally suited to after work and game-time revelry, Tommy Joe’s is popular in Bethesda because it offers various activities and lots of space in which to carry them out.

Downtown Bethesda has more than a few options, but if you can’t decide where to go, Tommy Joe’s is always a good plan B – if it isn’t already plan A.

Pros: Lots of room; decent specials; lots going on

Cons: Sometimes feels like a family restaurant, sometimes like a weekend hotspot

Rating: 3.5/5