City-State Brewing, [Twitter, website, Instagram] which has had a name, a concept, a brewer, and some home-brewed beers since at least October 2016, has signed a lease to open in Ivy City in spring/summer 2019. City-State, which comes from James Warner, is slated to open in the Hecht’s warehouse development from Douglas Properties. Eater (Warren Rojas) reported in April 2017 that the brewery has been looking for a 30-barrel, 10,000 square foot facility.
According to its website, City-State claims to be the first all-bottle lineup in DC (though surely will sell draft beer via kegs) with 11.2 oz. Steinie bottles to differentiate from competition. The line-up is slated to have at least 5 different beers: an Abbey Dubbel, Dark Wheat, IPA, Saison, and a Maibox (all with great names and labels)
Warner has partnered with Mothersauce Partners and Nick Freshman, who co-owns Spider Kelly’s in Ballston and has partnered to open up the new The Eleanor in Noma.
As mentioned above, this spot has been in the works for a couple years as Warner and partners (some awkward back-story here) have looked for investors.
Once this spot opens a year or so from now, City-State will join DC’s other production breweries with sales off-site, after DC Brau, Atlas, 3 Stars, Hellbender, Right Proper, Bluejacket, and likely the new Red Bear coming to the old Uline Arena in NoMa (now known for REI), RIP Chocolate City!
Tiki Trail DC (Website, Facebook, Instagram) returns to DC for a month-long celebration of tiki starting Wednesday August 1st, ending Friday August 31st. The treasure hunt has grown 50% from last year, to 12 bars (listed below). A free map is available at each of the bars; with a tiki drink purchase, each bar will give you a clue. When you get all the clues from all spots, the secret location and accompanying invitation will be unveiled for the end-of-the-trail luau held in September. Portion of proceeds will go to Island People Recovery, aimed to helping Puerto Rico recover from devastating Hurricane Maria.
The Tiki Trail is the brainchild of the management team (including The Trusted Barman, Brian Nixon) from McClellan’s Retreat & Truxton Inn; this year the signature presidential/political tiki mugs from sister spot Barrel/PoliTiki will also be available for purchase at McClellan’s Retreat & Truxton Inn as well (you can see some of those mugs featured at McClellan’s Retreat above; note that if you order any drink in the mug a deposit will be required).
This morning, Jessica Sidman of the Washingtonian reported that the folks behind the awesome Columbia Heights Laotian restaurant, Thip Khao, were opening up a 3rd (1st is in Seven Corners in NoVa) restaurant somewhere in DC this fall. The owners did not reveal the neighborhood or the name of the restaurant, which will have a completely different menu than Thip Khao and will seat 40-50.
A reliable source* informs me that this spot will be coming to Shaw, around 7th and Q NW. The new place will almost assuredly be in the 1st floor space at 1604 7th St NW, directly north of Dacha. Dan Silverman posted scuttlebutt in summer of 2016 that a Lao noodle shop would be coming to this very space; it does not appear that particular concept will be coming, but should be exciting nonetheless. A building permit (Excel link alert) for restaurant build-out was issued in fall 2017 to Bobby Pradachith, a Thip Khao co-owner/chef. This source also informed me that neighbors should expect longer hours (lunch? breakfast?) with an expanded focus on cocktails, which J Sidman also reported.
For NoMa/east siders who saw my earlier Tweet , there still may be good news. Last week, ABRA approved (see p 24) a tavern liquor license transfer application for a spot called Laos in Town in the Loree Grand building at 250 K St NE. The only retail spot in the building, TD Burger, which opened in 2013, appears to be closed (phone is disconnected and online orders are no longer available), so perhaps another Laotian spot is coming to town. The only other place to get Laotian food, the food truck Sang on Wheels, apparently stopped serving earlier this year (Sang is now on scissors at the Dupont Hair Cuttery).
* “Reliable” meaning I have never met this person nor know their name. They did tweet at me once. I think this checks out though.
You’ve probably read Lavanya Ramanathan’s fun article posted this morning (July 10th) on the Washington Post’s website. The article, entitled “As D.C. dive bars go extinct, summer interns find Washington less welcoming” is notable for both its thesis that there are fewer cheap intern bars for young adults to get their swill on for little money as well as fulfilling the newspaper’s destiny to make sure Democracy does not die in Darkness to unmask the name (though still sounds made up amirite) of Barred in DC (me and PFTCommenter-RIP Eric-have a lot in common). Excited to be in the Post after nearly a 5 year hiatus.
But is the concept true? My quotes are legit, though I also told Lavanya in same conversation that I don’t actually know if there are that fewer intern bars. Instead it just feels that way because 1) there are wayy more nice cocktail / beer bars that don’t cater to 21-24 year olds and 2) people who feel this way have gotten older and stopped going to those cheap bars so we don’t necessarily know where the interns are/or going. Younger folks still make it to the newly re-opened Sign of the Whale, Madhatter, and Front Page in Dupont, Dan’s Cafe in Adams Morgan; Hamilton’s Bar & Grill ($1 PBR & High Life all day Friday), Tortilla Coast, Bullfeathers, Capitol Lounge, and Union Pub on the Hill (and probably others, again, as the piece said, I don’t really goto those bars that much anymore). Dirty Water, the new ramshackle Boston sports bar in mid H St NE is run by the folks who used to run Rhino Bar in Georgetown and offers a $20 open bar from 7-10p on Fridays during the summer and specifically markets to interns. Sure, McFadden’s, My Brother’s Place, Brass Monkey/Roxanne’s/Spaghetti Garden, Millie & Al’s, Chief Ike’s, and Asylum have shut down, but there are still spots there.
Also, one quibble with headline and some of the language in the story: intern bars aren’t necessarily really all “dive” bars, instead more typically 24 years and younger meat markets with sticky floors and dancing areas with cheap drinks. All in all, it’s worth reading and discussing at the bar with your fancy $14 cocktail or $9 local craft beer, like my friends did over text/e-mail/Facebook.
P.S. Also, if you’re a fake journalist or not a journalist and are curious how the sausage is made: I got an e-mail out of the blue from the reporter 3 weeks ago asking if I had time to chat about the intern bar scene and how it’s dissipated. I replied saying I would be happy to chat but I bet her co-worker Fritz Hahn would know better or just as well as me. She still said she wanted to get my perspective and we had a nice phone chat for 10 minutes the next day. I’m guessing this is the norm (and I have no problem with it) for fun, trend pieces like this but I got the sense she already had an angle (intern bars are disappearing) and was trying to nudge me with her questions to agree (which I did, at least for some of the quotes you see).
Tuesday night, Initiative 77, the ballot measure to gradually eliminate the tipped minimum wage by 2026 in DC, passed 55% Yes to 45% No with about 1 of 6 DC registered voters weighing in. This will go to Congress for a 30-day review period; DC Council still has the power to overturn or modify it (Barred in DC expects this to move forward, with modifications/extensions/exemptions. Nearly unanimously opposed by restaurants/bars and seemingly by servers and bartenders as well, many folks believe this will lead to closed restaurants, lost shifts, and less tips. For more/better analysis, read Jessica Sidman, Laura Hayes, and others.
An overwhelming majority of the precincts in DC supported Initiative 77, though most seem to have results close to the relatively slim margin of the entire city. Strong support (60%+) was found in far NE near MD border and particularly in SE east of the Anacostia. Majority surprisingly supported in AU Park, Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom, and Kalorama (how did the Obamas vote?).
Neighborhoods which a majority voted No roughly align with the neighborhoods the few Republicans in DC can be found. Still, only Spring Valley, Wesley Heights, and Georgetown had “No” votes exceed 59% of the vote..
Areas which voted against Initiative 77:
Mass Ave Heights
Van Ness (west side)
Adams Morgan (Kalorama Triangle)
Much of Capitol Hill (south of Union Station, near Cap Hill South metro, Eastern Market, Barracks Row, a sliver northeast of Lincoln Park)
The 201 Bar closes its doors on Friday, June 15th. Originally opened in 2003 as “Lounge 201” (before a summer 2012 make-over), the subterranean watering hole on Capitol Hill near Union Station has long welcomed Senate staffers and lobbyists for after-work happy hours as well as many private events over the years. An appreciation party will be held Thursday, June 14th.
For several years, the spot has hosted Nebraska Husker college football watch parties, though otherwise has been most recently closed on Saturdays and Sundays except for private events. The folks behind the 201 Bar also run the nearby Union Pub, as well as Barrel near Eastern Market, McClellan’s Retreat in Dupont, and Truxton Inn in Bloomingdale.
DC’s famed snow day specials (which Barred in DC frequently posts) at bars and restaurants may be less special going forward. That’s because last week OPM finally, as required by the Administrative Leave Act of 2016 (passed Dec 2016), issued its final regulations about the new “weather and safety leave.” Under the new regulations, which are effective May 10th, OPM has essentially codified existing practice for snow days. One major change, however, may lead to fewer federal employees being able to take advantage of drink & food specials during the day.
Under the new regulations, any employee who has a telework agreement will be required to telework, period, on a snow day, so long as it was “reasonably anticipated” which would allow the employee notice that he/she needs to take laptop home, etc. Previously, OPM had mandated that folks who already were on their regular telework day had to telework on snow days; many agencies required all teleworkers to do so as well but many did not (neither agency I’ve worked for did, hence the frequent posts over the years). This means that if you have a telework agreement but only actually telework a couple times a year situationally, you will be required to telework or take annual leave when there’s a snow day, though you may be in luck if your power is out at your house. OPM thinks that it will be rare that a weather day off wouldn’t be reasonably anticipated, referring to floods, fires, and earthquakes as times where you wouldn’t be prepared. It will be up to each agency to figure out what it means to be “reasonably anticipated” in the end.
So what if you still want to keep your #snowdayfundays and you’re a fed? Well, you could always terminate your telework agreement (depending on your agency, you might be able to re-up and then cancel depending on the season); an agency can’t generally force you to sign a telework agreement. OPM doesn’t believe that a significant number of employees will actually do this, but I know there will be many. Unlike employees in the private sector, the federal government generally doesn’t allow you to telework at a coffee shop or a restaurant.