by Andrew Ramonas December 9, 2016 at 1:50 pm 0

Duffy's Hot Sauce (Photo courtesy of Casey Callister)Fans of the hot sauce at Duffy’s Irish Pub near the U Street corridor now can get some to take home.

The bar at 2106 Vermont Ave. NW has started selling the spicy concoction it uses for its hot chicken wings and buffalo margaritas, owner Casey Callister told Borderstan today. A 16-ounce bottle of Duffy’s Hot Sauce costs $12.

The spicy flavor enhancer is “knock your socks off delicious,” Callister said.

“I am positive those that purchase the sauce will be repeat customers and they will find that it is great with eggs, toast and even pizza,” he said in an email.

Callister worked during the summer with Cornell University and Morrisville State College to develop a large batch of the condiment from a recipe that former owner Andy Duffy created for the bar. The pub now has about 200 hot sauce bottles available for purchase.

Although spicy food dressing only is for sale at the bar, it could find its way to the Internet and store shelves, with the help of Duffy.

“We plan to have a beer and discuss how to distribute Duffy’s Hot Sauce beyond the pub in the future,” Callister said.

Photo courtesy of Casey Callister

by Tim Regan December 9, 2016 at 10:35 am 0

Gingerbread house photo via Twitter / Ventnor Sports CafeA sports bar in Adams Morgan wants to see how well you build an edible domicile.

Ventnor Sports Cafe (2411 18th St. NW) is scheduled to host its third annual “Night of Christmas Beers and Gingerbread Houses” event next Friday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m.

Patrons who sign up for the competition will have everything they need to build a gingerbread house, including candies, sprinkles, cookies and frosting, the bar said. The person or group who builds the best house wins a prize.

“Last year, some of the best designs were a replica of The Lincoln Memorial and a Game of Thrones themed display,” said bar owner Scott Auslander. “This is going to be our third year doing this and every year it gets more and more fun.”

Ventnor’s bartenders are also slated to serve 15 holiday-themed beers to fuel yuletide cheer during the competition.

The event usually sells out quickly, so those interested in competing should sign up right away, the bar said.

Photo via Twitter / Ventnor Sports Cafe

by Tim Regan December 5, 2016 at 10:25 am 0

A subterranean space on K Street is now listed as “For Rent,” but that doesn’t mean you can actually rent it.

That’s because the space, located beneath Vieux Carre at 1413 K St. NW, actually holds an “unpretentious” hidden basement bar called “For Rent.” If the theme sounds familiar, that’s because the business used to be called The Speak, the speakeasy-style hangout that was shut down last year after operating without a valid liquor license.

Though The Speak briefly reopened earlier this year, it was again shuttered over issues related to the name listed on its liquor license. Now, it looks like the bar may soon reopen within the letter of the law.

D.C. alcohol regulators will make a decision about the bar’s new name later this week on Dec. 7. If all goes according to plan, the bar would open Thursday, Dec. 8, its owners told Washingtonian.

When the business finally reopens, its bartenders will sling cocktails named after D.C. neighborhoods. For Rent will also serve meat and cheese boards alongside a short list of beer and wines.

by Tim Regan November 21, 2016 at 2:45 pm 1 Comment

Shadow Room on K Street, Oct. 25 2016A dance club near Foggy Bottom is slated to close its doors for good at the end of the month.

Shadow Room (2131 K St. NW) will say goodbye to its patrons “at the end of November,” according to a representative for the business.

The club is slated to host a “last call” party with DJs, music and an open bar this Wednesday, Nov. 23.

The club posted a farewell message to its Facebook page yesterday:

Thanks to all those that have supported over the years and thanks to the amazing staff that has worked hard behind the scenes to make Shadow Room a D.C. destination. Come by this Wednesday if you are in town and let’s toast to almost a decade in D.C. nightlife as we say goodbye.

Though it’s unclear why the club is closing, it could be related to trouble with D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Liquor regulators in October concluded Shadow Room had served several underage patrons during a special event last year, leading to a $5,000 fine and an order to temporarily suspend its license.

When asked about the closure, however, a Shadow Room representative said it “received a lucrative offer from a Saudi prince” but did not elaborate. A Borderstan reporter was unable to reach the representative for further comment.

by Tim Regan October 27, 2016 at 1:15 pm 0

Dark and Stormy, photo by Paul TaylorA bar in Shaw will become a haven for maritime bandits as part of a special promotion this weekend.

Eat the Rich (1839 7th St. NW) is set to host “pirate weekend” tomorrow night through Sunday. During the themed weekend, the bar’s staffers will sling $10 drinks like “pirate’s grog,” a concoction of rum, brown sugar, lime, Jamaican bitters, and mineral water; and dark and stormy cocktails on tap.

The bar will also serve such seaworthy fare as Rice Krispy treats infused with “dark and stormy” flavors and meaty “cannonballs” made with Thai pork sausage, egg and sriracha mayo.

As an added bonus, patrons who show up dressed up as pirates will receive 15 percent off their check.

“With all the pressures of costumes and parties on Halloween, we wanted to create something easy and fun where you could dress up as a pirate and drink rum all night long,” said Paul Taylor, senior bar manager at Eat The Rich.

Photo by Paul Taylor

by Tim Regan October 25, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0


A club in the Foggy Bottom area was ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines and temporarily suspend its liquor sales after serving alcohol to teenagers last year, according to a D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board notice posted last week.

Acott Ventures LLC, the company that owns Shadow Room at 2131 K St. NW, must pay a $5,000 penalty by Dec. 19 to keep its license to serve booze, the panel ruled.

The business also will have its alcohol license suspended from Dec. 21-24, regulators ordered. But it may have to refrain from serving booze six more days if it doesn’t pay its fine on time.

Investigators received a tip from D.C. Police that Shadow Room was selling alcohol to minors, according to an ABRA case report Borderstan obtained. A club bartender sold cranberry vodkas, gin and tonics, and tequila to at least six underage patrons — some of them teens — during a special event on Sept. 13, 2015, a police report says.

The patrons told police the bar’s employees didn’t check their IDs at the door or when buying alcohol.

“MPD detectives observed six minors drinking alcoholic beverages inside the establishment,” an investigator wrote in the report. “The establishment failed to take reasonable steps to ascertain the ages of the individuals.”

A Shadow Room representative did not respond to requests for comment. We’ll update this story if we hear from them.

by Andrew Ramonas October 13, 2016 at 9:50 am 0

"S is for Shaw" advertising Walter E. Washington Convention CenterFor Shaw, today’s release of the first D.C. edition of the Michelin Guide is a reason to celebrate.

Shaw Main Streets is set to host a “Welcome, Michelin Guide” party tomorrow, according to the organization, which works to revitalize the neighborhood’s commercial corridors. The free celebration is scheduled for Columbia Room at 124 Blagden Alley NW from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday.

France’s Michelin, which awards highly coveted stars to restaurants in select cities around the world, already has announced that Shaw’s Chercher Ethiopian Restaurant (1334 9th St. NW) and Kyirisan (1924 8th St. NW) are members of the D.C. guide’s “Bib Gourmand” category. The honor goes to restaurants that Michelin’s anonymous inspectors say have quality food at affordable prices.

Michelin’s complete list of recommendations for the District will come out later today.

At Columbia Room, Upshur Street Books will have 100 copies of the 96-page D.C. guide available for a $20 donation to Shaw Main Streets.

“We’re expecting at least 10 Shaw restaurants to be listed in the Michelin Guide,” Alex Padro, executive director of Shaw Main Streets, said in a statement. “We may even have a starred restaurant or two to toast to.”

by Andrew Ramonas October 11, 2016 at 1:15 pm 0

Beer and pumpkin (Photo via Twitter/The Black Squirrel)For one Adams Morgan bar owner, the beginning of autumn doesn’t signal the resurrection of the Starbucks PSL, but rather the return of a boozier, pumpkin-filled celebration.

The Black Squirrel at 2427 18th St. NW is set to hold its Eighth Annual Smashing Pumpkin Beer Fest with 14 pumpkin beers and other food made with the gourd Friday, starting at 5 p.m., owner Amy Bowman said.

Along with pumpkin soup, pumpkin veggie burgers and pumpkin mac and cheese, the menu includes:


by Andrew Ramonas October 5, 2016 at 4:45 pm 1 Comment

A coffeehouse on the 14th street corridor now is serving beer, wine and cocktails, along with its java.

The Wydown Coffee Bar at 1924 14th St. NW began offering the booze last month, after working since last year to get a liquor license.

General manager Nazia Khan added in an email today:

*The Wydown’s new menu features 8 wines, 3 beers, and 4 craft cocktails.

*Beer, wine, and mimosas are available starting at 9am and cocktails are available starting at 4pm daily. We have extended hours to remain open until 8:30 Sunday through Thursday, and 10:30pm on Friday and Saturday. Coffee and espresso will remain available at all times.

*The cocktails are made from fresh, made-in-house ingredients, including a gin and house tonic, an old fashioned with house coffee bitters and cascara syrup, and a seasonal punch with gin, fresh pineapple syrup, oleo saccharum, lemon and Moroccan mint tea.

*The wine offerings include white, red, rose, and sparkling options. We are particularly enjoying the Evodia, a full bodied, fruity garnacha from Spain and the peachy, medium bodied White Hall Viognier, from a local Virginia vineyard.

Photos courtesy of Nazia Khan

by Andrew Ramonas October 4, 2016 at 10:40 am 0

"F--k Tump" punch (Photo via Facebook/The Green Zone)

(Updated at 11 a.m.) Hillary Clinton supporters can toast the Democratic presidential nominee with a “F–ck Trump” punch near the U Street corridor this weekend.

The Green Zone pop-up bar is set to bring its newly minted Donald Trump cocktail to Darnell’s at Manchester (944 Florida Ave. NW) Saturday night.

The drink, formerly known as the “F–k ISIS” punch, has “stamina,” which includes mezcal, lemon juice and house-made “Arabian” bitters, according to a Green Zone Facebook post.

“What says F–k Trump like an Arab-Mexican fusion?” the post says.

Run by Chris Hassaan Francke, who is part Iraqi, The Green Zone has sold its cocktails with an Arabic twist at various D.C. bars over the past couple years. In addition to the punch, The Green Zone’s drinks include the “Deer in Cihangir” (with rye whiskey, raki and Turkish spices) and the “Under the Pomegranate Tree” (with pomegranate and arak).

“I grew up eating Arabic food, so I thought there must be a way to combine these flavors that I grew up with into cocktails,” Francke told the Washington City Paper in 2015.

After this Saturday, The Green Zone is scheduled to continue its pop-up events at Darnell’s at Manchester every Saturday until Dec. 17, except Oct. 22, according to Francke. He is slated to start slinging cocktails at 5 p.m.

Photo via Facebook/The Green Zone

by Andrew Ramonas October 3, 2016 at 12:00 pm 0

Joe Schinosi (Photo via Indiegogo/Whitney Tallarico)

A Queen Vic employee has launched an online campaign to raise money for a co-worker who is struggling to pay his family’s medical bills.

Joe Schinosi, who has tended bar at the H Street corridor watering hole since it opened in 2011, has a wife with type 2 diabetes, a daughter with lymphoma and another daughter who needs surgery for her lower abdomen, according to the fundraising website Whitney Tallarico set up over the weekend.

Schinosi has medical insurance, but it doesn’t cover his daughter’s surgery. The bartender also went through his family’s savings to care for his daughter with cancer and his wife before he got his current insurance plan.


by Andrew Ramonas September 28, 2016 at 4:30 pm 0

Union Drinkery (Photo via Twitter/Union Drinkery)

A self-described “no-frills neighborhood bar” has started serving locals in Park View.

Union Drinkery opened at 3216 Georgia Ave. NW yesterday, it tweeted.

The bar has beer, wine and cocktails, as well as food from neighboring Small Fry, which has the same owner as the watering hole.

A Union Drinkery representative wasn’t immediately available to comment.

Photo via Twitter/Union Drinkery

by Tim Regan September 26, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0

Flier for Exiles 'Hootenanny'A hangout on U Street has plans for a big party next week.

Exiles (1610 U St. NW) is scheduled to host a “hootenanny” next Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m. The party will include a pig roast, beer pairings, spiked apple cider and a family-style buffet, according to the bar’s co-owner, Brian Hillery.

“We will host the hootenanny on our back patio where our smoker Suzie Q lives,” Hillery said. “As we recently installed outdoor televisions, I was planning on screening The Last Waltz at some point.”

The event will also include games like cornhole and darts along with a chance for partygoers to make some music.

“We’re also encouraging attendees to bring along guitars, banjos, harmonicas, fiddles, and empty jugs with ‘XXX’ printed on them,” Hillery said.

Tickets to the “hootenanny” cost $45. Those interested in attending can email the bar to make reservations.

Flier courtesy of Bryan Hillery

by Andrew Ramonas September 21, 2016 at 2:45 pm 0

Jack Rose Dining Saloon at 2007 18th St. NW (Photo via Facebook/Jack Rose Dining Saloon)

An Adams Morgan bar is set to mark its fifth anniversary with a “bourbon-fueled bash” that will include gratis whiskey, punch and appetizers tonight, according to the watering hole.

The “5 Years Finished” celebration for Jack Rose Dining Saloon (2007 18th St. NW) is scheduled to run from 5 to 8 p.m.

A Facebook event page adds:

Open to the public and free to attend, the bourbon-fueled bash will treat loyal guests to a complementary bourbon punch, ½-ounce tastes of five different ‘finished’ bourbons which have further matured in casks such as sherry, cognac and Spanish brandy. Jack Rose will also resurrect rare barrel-finished beers and popular cocktails from the past, with deals on $5 draft beers and wines by the glass. The anniversary bash will also serve as the launch party for the bar’s exclusive new single barrel from Tennessee’s Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery – a cask-strength 10-year Belle Meade bourbon finished in sherry casks.

Jack Rose also will have “swag bags full of goodies from us and some friends” for the first 25 people who stop by, according to a post on the bar’s Facebook page.

But the birthday festivities won’t end tonight. The celebration will continue until the weekend, with $10 Dram & Grain bourbon cocktails tomorrow, a free opportunity to dip Maker’s Mark glasses with red wax Friday and discounted Pappy Van Winkle whiskey Saturday.

Photo via Facebook/Jack Rose Dining Saloon

by Andrew Ramonas September 20, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

Dickson Wine Bar (903 U St. NW)

A U Street corridor wine bar that “closed for repairs” this summer won’t reopen, a co-owner told Borderstan today.

Dickson Wine Bar at 903 U St. NW has shut down for good following “much deliberation” between its owners, co-owner Steve Kaufman said in an email. The bar served its last customer July 30.

“Dickson’s owners no longer wish to own/operate a wine bar and the business is for sale,” Kaufman said. “As of yet, we have not found a replacement.”

The bar, which opened in 2010, was set to resume operations “shortly after Labor Day,” Kaufman said in early August. The plan was to “take August off and freshen the place up,” he said at the time.


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