This long weekend is centered on the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., with parades, concerts, exhibits and events taking place Monday. Other highlights in coming days include the beginning of Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week, with discounted meals across the area; “Mean Girls”-themed parties; a New Year’s comedy night; a concert featuring D.C. blues legends; a free screening of “schlocky cinema”; and a chance to explore lesser-known varieties of mezcal.
Thursday, Jan. 11
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50 First Jokes at Hotbed
What started as a tradition in a Brooklyn comedy club more than a decade ago has expanded to kick off comedy seasons in cities across the United States. This show joins 50 established comedians and newcomers to share the first joke they’ve written in the new year. Hotbed describes it as “fun, fast and loose.” 8 p.m. $10.
Bun’d Up pop-up at Hill East Burger
Hill East Burger is known for its Texas-style smoked burgers — Tim Carman said the storefront near Potomac Avenue Metro “may be as close as you get to Texas in Washington” — but the cozy restaurant is gaining renown for its kitchen collaborations. In recent months, chefs Marcelle Afram of Shababi Chicken, Ben Plyraharn of Urai and Will Fung of China Chilcano have taken over Hill East Burger, offering special menus for a few days at a time. This week brings Scott Chung of Bun’d Up, which offers versions of Taiwanese gua bao at Union Market and Pentagon Row. Through Friday, look for a KBBQ smash burger with gochujang mayo on a bao bun, or a Korean fried chicken sandwich covered with slaw and pickles. Reservations are available, but walk-ins are welcome. Show up before 6:30 p.m. for $1 Miller High Life. Through Friday from 5 to 11 p.m. Sandwiches $12-$15.
Premier Drams and Sams at the Imperial
What started as a one-off event in mid-December at the Imperial has become a regular happy hour. Premier Dams and Sams showcases rare bourbons exclusively bottled for sister bar Jack Rose, including offerings from Blanton’s and New Riff, as $5 small tasting pours (“drams”), alongside $10 Old-Fashioneds and Manhattans. Pair the drinks with $10 sandwiches, such as a smashed wagyu burger with caramelized onion, or pickle-brined fried chicken in hot mayo. 5 to 8 p.m. $5-$10.