Ryan Chetiyawardana: America’s unlikely capital of dive bars

Drinks industry heavyweight Ryan Chetiyawardana – aka Mr Lyan – has travelled the world from his native Edinburgh to Sydney and Tokyo, mixing drinks and drinking drinks, all of which has informed his latest venture, Seed Library, a stripped-back analogue cocktail bar in the basement of the One Hundred Shoreditch hotel. And although he may be king of the cocktail, he also likes to slum it in the dive bars of Washington DC

Aside from the amazing historic and cultural spots, the great music and food, Washington DC also has the best dive bars around. The Pug is a great spot to hit, but don’t come here looking for fancy drinks: the “speciality cocktails” button on its site sends you to the webpage for Cosmopolitan magazine. This is a place for beer: draft, cans, tallboys, bottles. Before you go, it’s a good idea to have filled your stomach. Great places to soak it up include Ben’s Chilli Bowl , famous for Washington’s local speciality, the “half-smoke” – a half-beef, half-pork hot dog that comes with chilli on top. The tiny street food stand Meats & Foods does great sloppy joes and chilitos (they also serve a beer to really help things along), but sadly they’re not open in the evening. For something a little smarter, head to the Basque-inspired Bar Spero, where they cook squid and scallops over an open fire.

The Pug DC, 1234 H Street NE; thepugdc.com

Bar Spero, 250 Massachusetts Ave, barspero.com

You can try Mr Lyan’s drinks at Seed Library, 100 Shoreditch High Street, and follow him on Instagram here: @mrlyan

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