Bar #35 – The Codmother
Time: Friday 7pm, Saturday midnight
Clientele: DJ’s with no concept of what “Dance music” is; white and nonwhite people who dance like white people.
I, Samedi, Cupcakes, and a large group of friends met up at the Codmother on U street a few weeks ago for a surprise birthday party for a mutual friend. None of us had been there before, but its close proximity to Solly’s guaranteed we’d at least have a getaway plan if it turned out to be crowded, loud, or just sucky in general. Fortunately, Codmother turned out to be exactly the kind of place we’ve been looking for.
The space is a (very) small brick basement. It’s smaller than the Raven, which meant that our group of ~20-25 friends took up at least 50% of the place. The outside smoking area is even smaller, which unfortunately means that overflow smokers have to stand on the sidewalk and contend with foot traffic. The draft selection is limited to what you’d see everywhere else (Bud Light, Guinness, PBR), though the bottle selection is more diverse. As for food, they have fish, chips, fish and chips, and that’s about it. There’s also a desert called “spotted ****,” a name that’s sure to tickle your inner 10-year-old. See the menu here.
Punk fans, take note: This is what you can expect to hear all night when at the Codmother:
Now, truth be told, I didn’t discover the real appeal of Codmother until my second visit this past weekend. I was coming back from getting my dance on over on H street around midnight, and after stopping in at Oohs and Ahhs for some orgasmic mac & cheese, I decided to meet up with a couple of pals at Codmother. I plopped down at the bar, and after failing to get the bartender/owner(?)’s attention for a few minutes – he was getting some serious “****-me” vibes from a blonde gal in a green dress – I finally got myself a drink. I’d noticed the tables in front had been cleared out in front of two DJs to make a dance floor. My ladypal and I hopped out on the floor to unabashedly drop booty to the tune of “California Love.” When the song was over, the DJs must have turned on their “Punk-Pop and 80s Soft Rock” playlist, because the next track was Weezer, followed by a long string of fluffy, power-pop-punk shlock. We were just intoxicated enough to not let the fact that you can’t really dance to Weezer deter us, so we continued jumping and gyrating around like the whitest people this side of Georgetown.
The greatest, most mind-blowing moment happened just as the bartender was making the last call. The punk music stopped, and I kid you not, the DJs played the theme song to DUCKTAILS! What a way to end the night, right? I mean, have you heard that song at all in the last twenty years? That experience solidified Codmother as an awesome little divey bar.
If I had to describe Codmother in one sentence, it would be: “We have Guinness and we have fish, and if you don’t like it like it you can piss off, wanker.” The place has charm and character, and importantly, it doesn’t try to be more than what it is. At the very least, it serves as a worthwhile refuge from the shitshow that is U Street every Friday and Saturday night.