Can you think of a more perfect day to open a new bar than repeal day? Me neither! Since the Passenger always gets so crowded on weekends and there arenâ€™t many good watering holes (yet) around the convention center, I was thrilled when I heard that Daniel Oâ€™Brien and Ali Bagheri were expanding their domination of the corner of 9thÂ Street and Naylor Court NW with a new bar.
The pair that brought us some of the cityâ€™s best sandwiches and one of DCâ€™s most popular supper clubÂ is branching into bar food and craft cocktails with A&D Neighborhood Bar. During the soft opening on Wednesday, December 5 General Manager and mixologistÂ Evan CablayanÂ came around to each table to welcome us and ask for our patience as they fix some of the kinks inherent in any new business.Â Â I was too busy sipping on a very generously poured and potent 54th cocktail to notice anything.
The craft cocktail menu is fun and original. Daniel Oâ€™Brienâ€™s commitment to locally sourced ingredients is evident here too, with DCâ€™s own Green Hat Gin andÂ Loudoun Countyâ€™sÂ Catoctin Creek DistillingÂ CompanyÂ rye making an appearance in two cocktails: the A&D and the Winter Julep respectively. My choice of libation for the evening, a potent combination of 1776 rye, dark rum, Angostura cherry syrup and orange bitters, came in a rather large mason jar and was a perfect accompaniment to the beef tongue reuben.
Iâ€™ll have to go back a few times to eat and drink my way through the menu of locally source small plates (Iâ€™m especially intrigued by the poutine chips but so far I like what I tasted! And what I saw as well.)
DC-based creative agencyÂ Design OperativeÂ did a great job updating the former Lamont Bishop Gallery, integrating the ornate ceiling and hardwood floors into just what aÂ neighborhoodÂ hang out should be: a modern, inviting space, where everybody will probably very soon know my name!
A&D Neighborhood Bar is located at 1314 9thÂ Street NW, near the Convention Center metro station (and very close to the future Market at O Street development). Itâ€™s open from 5 pm to 1 am Sunday through Thursday and 5 pm to 2 am Friday and Saturday.