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by Tim Regan July 2, 2015 at 3:35 pm 2,228 0

Guggenmos at ANC 2F

Number Nine and Town Danceboutique co-owner John Guggenmos seeks to open a “comfortable” new tavern on 14th Street NW.

Guggenmos said last night during a monthly ANC 2F meeting that the new business would be located at 1410 14th Street NW in the space under Black Whiskey.

That storefront is currently occupied by Jrink juicery, which will move to Shaw in August.

If all goes according to plan, the new tavern — still unnamed — will have a small dance floor, live DJs and feature architectural design elements made from salvaged materials.

“One of the things we’ll be looking to do here is use materials that give them all a second life,” said Guggenmos during his presentation to ANC 2F’s commissioners.

For instance, Guggenmos said he would like to build an outdoor seating area’s fence out of wood found in the wreckage of a barn destroyed by a tornado.

“You take down this wonderful old barn wood and give it a second life,” he said. “These big, thick old planks; you couldn’t buy something new that has that character.”

Guggenmos hopes the salvaged materials will lend the tavern a comfortable feel.

“I was criticized with Number Nine for making it too nice,” said Guggenmos. “People didn’t feel like they could put their feet up.”

by Tim Regan June 18, 2015 at 10:05 am 0

BlackWhiskey_Flag

A liquor license for a “new tavern” has been posted at 1410 14th Street NW, a space currently occupied by Black Whiskey, Jrink, and Italian suit pop-up Abitissimi Fashion Room.

The liquor license says the business will feature “live entertainment and dancing” and a summer garden with seating for 46 patrons.

Though the licensee listed on the posting reads “In Stereo, LLC,” the policy agenda of last night’s ANC 2F meeting says an official name for the new tavern is to be determined.

by Borderstan.com June 13, 2013 at 11:00 am 0

"Whiskey"

Black Whiskey at 1410 14th Street NW. (Jane Alonso)

From Jane Alonso. Her passion for food and spirits leads her on frequent excursions into Borderstan’s land of bars and restaurants. Email her at jane[AT]borderstan.com

I have been itching to visit Black Whiskey, 14th Street’s newest watering hole, since its opening in early May, and I finally got my chance one rainy night this past week. As I sampled a shot of bourbon at the upstairs bar, I realized that every assumption I had about the place was wrong.

Wrong Assumption #1: Black Whiskey is owned by the Bethesda-based Black Restaurant Group, owners of BlackSalt Restaurant, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace/Black Jack, Black Market Bistro, Black’s Bar & Kitchen, and Addie’s. Nope — actually, despite the “Black” in the name, Black Whiskey is the brainchild of the team behind Kushi — Ari Kushimoto and Darren Lee Norris. The friendly bartender taking my whiskey order set me straight right away on this basic fact.

Wrong Assumption #2:  Black Whiskey is a typical DC whiskey destination bar. I admit, I had expected Black Whiskey to resemble Jack Rose, Againn or Bourbon both in atmosphere and in breadth of whiskey selection. Wrong again. Black Whiskey has a smaller, more intimate approach, and — ready for this — it doesn’t even have a whiskey menu! 

You have to either rely on the bartender to make a recommendation or have very good eyesight to read the labels on the bottles on the wall behind the bar. It’s a little frustrating not to be able to peruse the selection in an easy to review format, but the non-structured, free-spirited approach seems to be part of the vibe that Kushimoto and Norris are trying to create at Black Whiskey. Still, I wouldn’t mind a menu.

Wrong Assumption #3: A night at Black Whiskey will set you back a pretty penny. I have this assumption about all whiskey-focused bars, because – well, let’s just state the obvious – good scotch and bourbon are an expensive habit. But hats off to Black Whiskey for keeping its prices at reasonable levels. Most of the shots I sampled were between $7 and $8, which is not bad for a good bourbon. What is hugely annoying, however, is that you have to ask the bartender for the prices because (again) there is no menu to guide you in that department.

So I walked away with the sense that Black Whiskey, at least in its infancy, is catering to a more casual young party crowd rather than the moneyed whiskey aficionado set. Not that this is a business problem, as the Black Whiskey appears to be doing quite well in its first six weeks. The atmosphere is vibrant, and there is no shortage of customers, even on a rainy Monday night.

Note that the downstairs space (capacity of 250) is still under construction, but marked for a “concert venue and gallery space.” The team also plans to build an outdoor deck addition to the top floor for expanded dining options. Currently, Black Whiskey serves a limited menu of carved meats and bar bites designed to soak up the alcohol, but a more food-centric approach may be in the bar’s future.

At least, I assume that is the case as Norris is known as a first rate chef, having worked at the Oval Room, Red Sage, and Ridgewells Catering, and was named Washingtonian’s 2011 Restaurateur of the year. However, I remind myself not to make any more assumptions. Black Whiskey will be what it wants to be, never mind my expectations.

Black Whiskey is at 1410 14th Street NW. It is open Sunday through Thursday from 5 pm to 1:45 am; Friday and Saturday from 5 am to 2:45 am; and closed Mondays.

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by Borderstan.com May 31, 2013 at 6:00 am 0

"Whiskey"

Black Whiskey is by Joe in DC from the Borderstan Flickr pool.

Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.

Today’s photo, Black Whiskey is by Joe in DC. The photo was taken May 9 on 14th Street NW.

If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group! You can submit up to five photos per day in the Borderstan reader pool. We are looking for photos from DC’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

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by Borderstan.com May 2, 2013 at 7:31 pm 1,767 3 Comments

"Black Whiskey"

Tonight: Black Whiskey has a soft opening at 9 pm. (Luis Gomez Photos)

May2 at 9 pm Black Whiskey is having its soft opening.

Chef and owner, Darren Norris of Kushi Izakaya & Sushi, are claiming his spot on the corridor at 1410 14th Street NW, the former site of Mar de Plata restaurant. Renovations and remodeling for Black Whiskey have been going strong for the last couple of weeks.

Black Whiskey went totally black on its facade. It  keeps the floor tiling of the downstairs space for what they call the “Social Room,” with a capacity of 250. Exposed brick walls and wood details are upstairs in the “Carvery Pub.”

The drink menu will include small batch whiskeys and a large selection of beers on tap. The menu will be “contemporary, farm-to-table, rustic, American meals such as roasted chicken and lamb, with sides like potatoes au gratin and sous-vide cooked vegetables.”

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by Borderstan.com May 1, 2013 at 9:00 am 0

"Black Whiskey"

Black Whiskey at 1410 14th Street NW opens May 4.

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.

Well, it is opening season on 14th Street. Black Whiskey tweeted, posted on its Facebook page and sent invitations to its grand opening this Saturday, May 4. Chef and owner, Darren Norris of Kushi Izakaya & Sushi, will claim his spot on the corridor at 1410 14th Street NW, the former site of Mar de Plata restaurant. Renovations and remodeling for Black Whiskey have been going strong for the last couple of weeks.

Black Whiskey’s opening is in collaboration with Transformer, which will present “Cult Fiction,” a large-scale installation by artists Zach Storm and Cheyenne Seely.

BlackWhiskey_Jack

Jack, bar manager at Black Whiskey.

We spoke to Bar Manager, Jack, as preparations were being made for the opening. Deathfix and Paint Branch will be in charge of the inaugural  performances with DJ sets by Kid Congo Powers and Ian Svenonius.

Black Whiskey went totally black on its facade. It  keeps the floor tiling of the downstairs space for what they call the “Social Room,” with a capacity of 250. Exposed brick walls and wood details are upstairs in the “Carvery Pub.”

The drink menu will include small batch whiskeys and a large selection of beers on tap. The menu will be “contemporary, farm-to-table, rustic, American meals such as roasted chicken and lamb, with sides like potatoes au gratin and sous-vide cooked vegetables.”

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by Borderstan.com April 2, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

"Black Whiskey"

Black Whiskey is already black at 1410 14th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Black Whiskey is matching its facade to its name. Construction on the restaurant, coming soon to 1410 14th Street NW, is progressing as the anticipated opening date quickly approaches.

Washingtonian reports the two-story space will be a hybrid whiskey bar/restaurant and mixed-use art gallery from Kushi’s chef and owner, Darren Lee Norris.

According to Washingtonian’s interview, Norris plans to serve strong, small-batch cocktails and traditional Scottish bar food.

In addition to providing a rotating art space, Norris also plans to provide outdoor patio space for the warmer days ahead.

According to the last update, Black Whiskey aimed to open in March. We’re crossing our fingers for an announcement soon!

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