[This post has been edited after another visit]
The Eastern, 360 7th St. SE (b/t C & Penn SE), open at 4p daily, HH 4-7p M-F, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. The Eastern, an eagerly awaited wine bar around 450 feet from the Eastern Market Metro station, opens Tuesday, July 30th in the 700 Penn development. The cozy yet bright spot, which can fit around 50 inside and 20 outside, comes from Matt Weiss and Mike Schuster, who also co-own the whiskey/Southern food spot Barrel 800 feet away.
The Eastern will feature 35-40 wines by the glass (median price seems to be around $12-13); menu is smartly divided into categories based on popular types of wines. Several of the wines will be on draft, as will a couple beers (you can get a 750ml champagne bottle of High Life for $10). A small list of cocktails include a great wine cocktails like the Kalimotxo from Basque country in Spain (red wine and coke) and the refreshing Port and Tonic (popular in north Portugal). Lots of whiskeys too-so if you’re someone like me who can go without wine, this will still be a great place to check out. There will be a HH 4-7p M-F (opening HH included $7 house wines, an $8 riff on an Aperol spritz, $6 beer, and several food options). A firmly-tongue-in-cheek $10 “champagne” service of a 750ml bottle of Miller High Life, the champagne of beers, will be offered (you can get a standard $4 12 oz. option if you life).
Despite only packing seating for 45 or so, there will be multiple servers and sommeliers at all times, and the owners and GM Robert Morin told me that they expect to make good service a hallmark at the outset. Food comes from the executive chef at Barrel (Walfer Hernandez) and it will be not extensive but very good: bar nibbles, dips, charcuterie/cheese, and other tasty medium plates.
Random tidbit, Weiss also owns Capitol Hill watering hole Union Pub and private event space The State Room (formerly The 201 Bar), as well as cocktail bars Truxton Inn and McClellan’s Retreat. Schuster co-owns popular foodie spots Maydan and Compass Rose as well as the neighborhood bar Trusty’s (one of these three is not like the others-he also was a partner in the recently departed The Star & Shamrock).