The graceful ease with which a good bartender mixes drinks masks the difficulty of the job, one that requires knowledge and dexterity—not to mention charisma. The seasoned barkeeps at Bartender of America, a TIPS-certified school, know what it takes to be a good bartender and lead their students through deliberate exercises inside a fully simulated tavern environment. Amid ambient sounds and music, novice bartenders dole out maraschino cherries and shake martinis while refining their conversational skills and learning how to identify underage kids by their mustaches. Fully committed students can opt for the entire Bar 101 curriculum, attaining a bartending license and valuable tricks for managing their resume and acing job interviews, while abbreviated classes offer insight into the fundamentals of the trade.
"You are smart. You are nice. You are pretty. You are uniquely you." This is the mantra at Viva La Girls Spa & Club, where beauticians aim to increase kids' confidence and expand their brains, too. They can perform an array of treatments at their perch within Glam Spa Lounge or travel to a location of the client’s choice to doll up youngsters with nail art, facials, and glitter makeup. Spa soirees make kids feel like movie stars, princesses, or CIA agents disguised as princesses with beauty services packaged with add-ons such as a pink limo service, candy buffets, yoga lessons, and lip-gloss-making stations. Lessons in etiquette and cooking are also available, and the Viva La Girls club keeps youngsters engaged with books, field trips, and community service.
Ask Pound The Hill owners where they get their organic fair-trade coffee beans, and the duo can tell you the actual names of the farmers. This attention to detail springs from a passion for serving high-quality, aromatic cups of joe that come from the award winning PT's Coffee Roasting Company. By day, the airy shop is a bustling cafe, where baristas blend handcrafted drinks and servers plate freshly baked breakfast croissants and pastries. They combine Nutella-based syrup with espresso to whip up their signature nutella latte, a creamy concoction lauded by reporters from Roll Call.
Come nightfall, the cafe transforms into an elegant bistro, where customers clink glasses of craft beer and fine wines amidst the soft lighting and exposed brick walls. Chefs whip up innovative dishes, such as organic crab-stuffed chicken with butter-brined corn or blackened ahi tuna with warm spring tomato jam. The portabella veggie stir fry ignites palates with its mix of lemon-poached fava beans and ginger soy reduction. Patio furniture speckles the private back outdoor seating area, where customers nibble homemade chocolate truffles beneath strings of hushed light.
The DC Running Club serves a community of walkers and runners from DC, Maryland, and Virginia, hosting races open to all ages and abilities. Its events include the Karaoke 5K, held on Friday night and followed by a live-band karaoke concert, and Take a Sick Day & Run a 5K, which benefits the Children's Hospital in DC. Over the next five years, the education-focused nonprofit plans to raise $5,000 in scholarship funds for area youth.