July 29, 2010 at 3:29 pm EDT | by Andres Morinigo
Eat, drink, shop on a budget

The summer rush on Metro has lately caused me to strip off my dress shirt and ride in my Hanes undershirt to keep from passing out while jammed uncomfortably close to the nearest stranger’s armpit.

Luckily, D.C. has a plethora of LGBT-friendly locations that offer happy hour specials to help you cool off after the rush hour frenzy.

If you’re looking for a relaxed, low-key bar scene, Monday “Showtunes” night at JR.’s offers one of the best deals in town. The $3 beer specials and flat screen TVs playing Broadway musicals will have you relaxed and chatty before sunset. Sundays are also a great night at JR.’s, with a $2 Skyy vodka special that proves the perfect add-on to your “Sunday-Funday” budget plans.

Just a few paces down 17th Street is Cobalt, where Wednesday night karaoke attracts a crowd with affordable drinks and no cover charge. Specials include: $1 rail drinks and $2 domestic beer from 4-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and then until 9, there’s $3 beer and $3 rails. Fridays are also a must at Cobalt, with an open bar rail drink special from 11 p.m.-midnight and $6 cover at the door.

Ziegfeld’s/Secrets (1824 Half St., S.W.) boasts bargains galore, from reduced cover charges on Friday and Saturday (just $5 from 9-10:30 p.m.) to its popular shirtless Thursday special, when doffing your shirt gets you free drinks from 10-11 p.m.

Meanwhile, PW’s Sports Bar & Grill (9855 Washington Blvd. N. in Laurel) has free pool on Wednesdays and happy hour lasts all night on Sundays.

Ladies are in luck, too, as Lace (2214 Rhode Island Ave., N.E.) offers some terrific bargains, including half-price cocktails and appetizers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from 6-8 p.m. this weekend. And don’t miss Lace’s naked sushi bar and $3 Saki bombs on Thursday, Aug. 5.

If you’re looking for a quieter evening with great deals on food, look no further than Masa 14 (1825 14th St., N.W.), which offers recession friendly prices and terrific tapas that are big enough to share. If you’re feeling extra exotic, try their popular Sangria jugs. For $22, they’re big enough to share with a large group and the choice between white or red Sangria makes it a great option to combine with the tapas of your choice. Make sure to get comfortable, as the large crowds of gay patrons make for an entertaining evening full of eye candy and friendly conversation. Visit Masa14.com for more information.

Check out local favorite Thai Tanic in Columbia Heights (3462 14th St., N.W.) or in Logan Circle (1326-A 14th St., N.W.) for regular specials on some of the city’s best Thai food.

Or cook your own food with produce from one of the city’s many farmers markets. One of our favorites is the 14th and U Farmers Market held Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. near the Reeves Center. Find fruit, vegetables, grass-fed beef, pasta, cheese and more at affordable prices.

If you’ve made it through the week and are looking for affordable ways to wind down and have fun, the venerable Perry’s Sunday drag brunch on Columbia Road in Adams Morgan provides memorable entertainment and a spacious venue with a full buffet.

“Sundays tend to get very crowded with the line for the drag brunch forming at around 9 a.m. since it’s on a first come, first served basis” says manager Devin Sparks. “Doors open at 10 a.m., and the first drag performance comes on at about 10:45 with things winding down by 3 p.m.” The all-you-can-eat buffet and drag show price is $22.95 per person (drinks not included), which is a reasonable price for entertainment provided by some of D.C.’s best queens in heels. For more information, please visit www.perrysadamsmorgan.com.

If shopping is more your speed, then there are plenty of places to find a deal this summer. The summer clearance sale at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (1526 14th St., N.W.) ends Aug. 1. You can find discounts on floor samples and other items of up to 70 percent and 20 percent off some special order upholstery. At Israeli Accents (4838 Boiling Brook Parkway in Rockville) you’ll find a unique collection of Judaica at 20 percent discounts.

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