Friday, June 4, 2010

Bar #4: Unicorn - Capitol Hill

(written by Francesca Penchant)

Unicorn is a popular new bar in Capitol Hill with a decadent circus theme. I’ve been needling Chris to escort me there, but he usually avoids hip bars that emphasize cocktails over beer. Thank you, EBIS!

The Unicorn owners went all-out decorating their bar. There are zebra-print booths, stuffed game on the bright, striped walls and a magnificent pastel churrigueresque bar. The huge windows are also painted with stripes, which makes the bar nice and dark. In the basement, they plan to finish building a pinball room this winter.

Besides the surreal décor, another draw at Unicorn is the kitschy food, which is surprisingly tasty. Corndogs are a major part of the Unicorn menu. Chris balked when I ordered a giant corndog stuffed with cream cheese and a deep-fried Twinkie, but he had to admit that they were damn good. Not the kind of food that you’d want to eat every day, but just what the doctor ordered for a night of heavy binge drinking. Another tempting dessert is the Candies “en Croute,” a selection of store-bought chocolate bars. Unicorn is open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

The patrons at Unicorn are the typical black-clad Capitol Hillsters, so we fit right in. There’s a decent liquor selection and plenty of beers on tap and in bottles, although Chris said that the beer was crap. He drank a Big Al IPA and a PBR. I had a gin martini. Crazy drinks such as Jell-o shots add to the campiness.

A jukebox is always a fun diversion, and the Unicorn’s is solid. When we came in, the bartender was playing Prince, but as the bar filled up around 8pm, we heard punk, indie rock, hair metal, ‘80s pop and classic rock tunes from the jukebox. I played The Buzzcocks, Ween, The Smiths and Soundgarden.

If you like your food on sticks and your bars flamboyant, Unicorn is a welcome addition to the crowded Capitol Hill bar scene.


  1. As a Midwesterner, I always have a soft spot for food on sticks. Excellent review, and I admit my curiosity was further piqued by the words "pinball room." May have to try this place out some day.

  2. "Corndogs are a major part of the Unicorn menu".

    I've been avoiding that place purely because it scares me from the outside. But, I think Jeanne and I will have to venture in for some corndogs.

  3. Corn Dogs: Fuck yeah!

  4. You got me with "deep-fried Twinkie."

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