Around Town: Best of DC Reader’s Poll @ Washington City Paper (Through 3/23/15)

properburger

The Proper Burger from Duke’s Grocery

In an unusually competitive year, the Washington City Paper has extended voting in seven of its categories for its Best of DC Readers’ Poll. The special extended voting on the poll’s highly popular categories will extend through 11:59pm on Monday, March 23.

Said the City Paper, “These seven categories were so competitive, we’re giving you extra time to decide the winners.

The finalists for each category were the top vote-getters in this year’s poll. Vote for your favorite.”

The seven categories and their semi-finalists are below. I’ve included some light commentary to reveal my votes. I’m not suggesting that it should sway your vote, but don’t let it stop you if you’re looking for suggestions!

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Stars and Bars: The Return of The Passenger?, 2/8/15

The Passenger - God Save the District

Update: Fritz Hahn, bar sage of the Washington Post, reports on Jan. 15 that the Passenger is holding a pop-up in its former neighbor Bar 7 (1015 Seventh St. NW, DC) on Sunday, Feb. 8 from 7pm-1am. Apparently, Tom Brown will hold a series of pop-ups.

“Brown promises live-band karaoke with the Hari Karaoke Band, a special cocktail menu and possibly tiki drinks in Bar 7’s lower-level lounge,” Fritz says.

Personally I don’t see the point. Tom could just go work at another joint and make his cocktails there while waiting for a new space for the Passenger?

The Twitter account of The Passenger, the popular DC cocktail bar that closed New Year’s Eve, suggests it may return to a new location faster than many anticipated.

Via Twitter, the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 13: “Mark Sunday, February 8th on your calendar! Deets forthcoming. #wemissyou”

Many mourned the passing of The Passenger, founded by DC mixologist Derek Brown, when it announced last fall it would close its old location (1021 7th St. NW, DC) on Dec. 31, 2014. For the previous five years, the bar sat on a block long-scheduled for demolition. Its inventive cocktails, dive bar atmosphere and gracious ambience appealed to a wide audience, including myself — and I’m a beer guy. I visited the bar on its last day around dinnertime and I found things as congenial and the cocktails as tasty as ever.

Derek Brown went on to co-found three new bars outside the Shaw metro station but vowed his brother Tom Brown, the popular and friendly face usually behind the bar at The Passenger, would reestablish the bar in a new location, hopefully in the Shaw neighboorhood.

It appears The Passenger may indeed already have found a new home?

Grapevine: Stanton & Greene Coming to Capitol Hill

Walk With a Doc 18033

Stanton Park, Northeast DC

A new cocktail bar and bistro, Stanton & Greene, will soon take over the space previously inhabited by Pour House.

The name gets its inspiration from Stanton Park (in the NE, blocks from my home) and the dichotomy between the name of the park (named after Edwin Stanton) and the statue in the middle that instead honors General Nathanael Greene.

Fritz Hahn (of Washington Post’s Going Out Guide) reports:

‘The owners of three different bars on Pennsylvania Avenue SE are harnessing their talents to create a new bistro, cocktail bar and event space at 319 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, the former home of the Pour House. Stanton & Greene, which could open by the end of the month, is a collaboration between Sonoma owners Eli Hengst and Jared Rager, and August Paro, one of three partners behind Beuchert’s Saloon.’

‘…the cocktail list, for which Stanton & Greene’s partners tapped Erik Holzherr, the owner of Wisdom, the gin-centric drinking den near the Potomac Avenue Metro, and H Street’s Church & State and Atlas Arcade.’

Stars and Bars: Imbibe Names Derek Brown ‘Bartender of the Year’

DC cocktail mogul Derek Brown was named 2015 Bartender of the Year by Imbibe magazine Tuesday.

Derek currently is best known as the common partner in a string of bars by the Shaw metro station along 7th Street NW in Shaw: Mockingbird Hill (1843 7th St. NW, DC), Southern Efficiency (1841 7th St. NW, DC) and Eat the Rich (1839 7th St. NW, DC).

On New Year’s Day, Derek closed the Passenger and the Columbia Room (1021 7th St. NW, DC), previously located in Mount Vernon Square. Those low-key and high-end establishments respectively served to make him a household name in the DC bar scene over the past five years.

In a profile video posted by Imbibe (above), Derek says, “Cocktails are truly a conversation with the world. When I think about cocktails, I think about how they connect to nature; I think about how they connect to history; and I think about how they connect to the people who made them and the time they were living in.”

Imbibe, based in Portland, Ore., is a bimonthly magazine covering the gamut of the U.S. bar scene. “From wine, spirits and beer to coffee and tea, Imbibe celebrates the world in a glass. We feature the world’s top drink destinations, recipes and in-depth stories covering the people, places and flavors of liquid culture,” the magazine says on its Facebook.

Congratulations, Derek!

Grapevine: Esquire’s Weekend Fix to Feature DC Hotspots, 11/26/14

The Esquire Network’s television series Weekend Fix will feature DC in its new episode premiering on Wednesday, Nov. 26, at 10pm on the cable channel.

Here is a description of the series from the Esquire website:

“Actor Omar Miller and fashion designer Andres Izquieta of Five Four Clothing know that the best travel experiences don’t come from following a schedule—they come from following advice. And a good Wi-Fi connection. In each episode of Weekend Fix, Omar and Andres travel to a different city, using every social networking tool at their fingertips to seek out recommendations from friends, locals and strangers alike for the go-to hotels, off-the-radar restaurants and can’t-miss local experiences that the guidebooks just can’t tell you about.”

In the clip above, Omar and Andres visit the Dram & Grain Speakeasy in the basement of Jack Rose Dining Saloon (2007 18th St. NW, DC), where they experience some rare drinks thanks to Mixologist Trevor Frye.

If you catch the episode, let us know what you think about the places featured on the show and if it did a good job of fulfilling its objectives.

Stars and Bars: Last Call @ Duffy’s Irish Pub — 11/4/14

Bushmills and the fallen

The first clue that something was going to happen at Duffy’s Irish Pub (2106 Vermont Ave. NW), for me, came yesterday when the Satellite Room (2047 9th St. NW), the diner located behind the 9:30 Club, announced it would start giving a free shot of Jameson to anyone who produced a 9:30 Club ticket stub after seeing a show when they bought a beer.

Hey, I said, they stole that idea from Duffy’s.

Except PoPville already reported rumors that Duffy’s was set to close at midnight last night, and other sources indicated that owner Andy Duffy couldn’t afford to keep the place afloat any longer. Duffy would offer $5 beer and free wings, long rated the best in the city by the Washington CityPaper’s Best of DC readers poll, as long as they lasted.

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