Stars and Bars: Grand Re-opening @ Miracle on 7th Street, 11/25/16

Gretchen, Stop Trying to Make Fetch Happen by Joy Asico
A Christmas-themed cocktail: Gretchen, Stop Trying to Make Fetch Happen (Photo by Joy Asico)

Last Christmas, Derek Brown had an idea! A clever idea!

Derek got a wonderful, amazing idea!

(To be fair, he borrowed the idea from a friend in New York City.)

He would make Christmas even better! And so away he lept with Angie Fetherston and Drink Company and they magically transformed their bar Mockingbird Hill into the super-festival Miracle on 7th Street (named in equal parts for its address at 1843 7th St. NW, DC, and a movie about holiday shopping at the Macy’s department store, Miracle on 34th Street.)

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Stars and Bars: Grand Opening @ Vieux Carre — 9/14/16

Vieux Carre 03 Bartender Chris makes a slow gin fizz at the Vieux Carre grand opening party on Sept. 14, 2016.

Cocktails mecca Vieux Carre opened on K Street in July, and last week the bar welcomed guests for a grand opening party.

Creative Director Seth McClelland personally greeted people at the door like a proud father, and he’s got a lot to be proud of. Vieux Carre is a lovely place, recreating the experience of being in an old-school French Quarter bar from New Orleans. You can immediately make yourself comfortable at small tables around the first floor or balcony or pull up to the grand bar that dominates the first floor at the right of the door.

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Stars and Bars: Cherry Blossom Season @ Chaplin’s Restaurant — 3/21/16

Kirin Ichiban Kicks Off Cherry Blossom Season in DC by Joy Asico
A Kirin beer and a shot of sake (Photo by Joy Asico)

With the assistance of Japanese beer Kirin Ichiban, Chaplin’s Restaurant (1501 9th St. NW, DC) introduced a couple of Japanese-themed cocktails on Monday, March 21, to celebrate the DC cherry blossom season.

Chaplin’s, a popular ramen house in Shaw, is known as a cocktail destination, and the introduction of its two “beertails,” both using Kirin Ichiban as an ingredient, comes as DC cherry blossoms are about to hit peak bloom on Wednesday, March 23, and Thursday, March 24.

MoKi Media Co-Founder Dannia Hakki and Chaplins Owner Ari Wilder kick off cherry blossom season with Kirin Ichiban by Joy Asico
MoKi Media co-founder Dannia Hakki and Chaplin’s Restaurant owner Ari Wilder (Photo by Joy Asico)

The two specialty cocktails available at Chaplin’s during cherry blossom season are Bread & Soda, made with Kirin Ichiban and Bulleit Bourbon, and Honzo’s Steel, a mix of Kirin Ichiban orange-blossom honey reduction and Nolet’s Gin. Chaplin’s is also offering pints of Kirin Ichiban and shots of Sakura Emaki Rose sake as a “Cherry Blossom Bomb.”

Chaplin’s offers all three drink specials — $8 Kirin beertails and $5 Kirin pints or pints-and-sake — through April 17.

By the way, we loved the Kill Bill reference, Chaplin’s, as we presume Honzo’s Steel is named for Hattori Hanz?, master swordsmith who outfitted Bill and his Deadly Viper Assassination Squad!

Here are the ingredients for the two cocktails:

Bread & Soda
Bulleit Bourbon
Kirin Ichiban
Maple ginger
Lemon
Ginger beer cake
Cardamom caramel

Honzo’s Steel
Nolet’s Gin
Tozai Plum
Ichiban Orange Blossom Honey
Lemon

For more information on Chaplin’s or to make a reservation, visit http://chaplinrestaurantdc.com.

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Chaplin’s barstaff put the finishing touches on Bread & Soda cocktails (Photo by Parklife DC)

Stars and Bars: First Look @ Columbia Room, 2/9/16

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The view from behind the bar in the Tasting Room at the Columbia Room (Photo by Jeff Elkins)

Over the weekend, DC cocktail mogul Derek Brown held a soft launch party for his new flagship spirits destination, the Columbia Room (124 Blagden Alley NW, DC).

Starting tomorrow, Feb. 9, the Columbia Room is open to the public! But before you go, Derek kindly provided pictures of the space so that you can orient yourself to the stylish surroundings, sure to inspire many long, intellectual conversations stimulated by the bar’s sophisticated drinks.

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Stars and Bars: Grand Opening @ Columbia Room, 2/9/16

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Columbia Room Owner Derek Brown and Head Bartender J.P. Fetherston. (Photo by Joy Asico)

Our favorite cocktail mogul has announced the return of his signature establishment, which he promises will be bigger and better than ever.

On Feb. 9, enterpreneur Derek Brown will reopen the Columbia Room in its new location in the Shaw neighborhood (124 Blagden Alley NW, DC). The original Columbia Room, once relocated within the Passenger cocktail bar for a five-year run, closed over a year ago after receiving widespread recognition, including two James Beard Award nominations.

“We’re so excited that we get to expand on our original idea,” said Derek in a press release. “It means that we get to add bells and whistles, but it also means that we get to bring a new perspective — a more confident perspective that I think, for guests, will translate into a richer experience with our service, drinks, and food.”

The new Columbia Room covers 2,400-square feet and consists of three areas — The Spirits Library, the Tasting Room, and the Punch Garden. The Spirits Library is the “main room,” which holds only 20 people, serving the specialty cocktails and spirits upon which Derek has crafted his repuation. He’s joined in the enterprise, of course, by Columbia Room head bartender J.P. Fetherston.

Customers will require tickets for the Tasting Room, which holds only 14 people. Inside the Tasting Room, patrons can enjoy three- and five-course tasting menus featuring specialty cocktails, punches, sodas, and light snacks curated by Derek and the team.

The Punch Garden is a seated outdoors terrace with a great view of the city, and it won’t open until later this spring.

For more information on the Columbia Room, visit its website at http://www.columbiaroomdc.com.

Of course, Derek also will continue to be the coproprieter of sister bars Mockingbird Hill (1843 7th St. NW, DC), Eat the Rich (1839 7th St. NW, DC), and Southern Efficiency (1841 7th St. NW, DC).

Below are pictures of a few of the Columbia Room signature cocktails.

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Iron Arm Grog: Scotch, brose (oatmeal, hay, faro), myrtle berry liqueur, honey, cranberry bitters, frozen cranberries, juniper sprig (Photo by Joy Asico)

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Give Me a Home: Bison grass vodka, fresh pressed apple juice, spiced apple foam, caramel lace (Photo by Joy Asico)

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Robert Frost Cocktail: Bourbon, amontillado sherry, white port, orange bitters, sugar maple charcoal filtered (Photo by Joy Asico)

Stars and Bars: Second Anniversary Party @ 2 Birds 1 Stone — 8/24/15

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A simple sign marks the subterranean entrance to 2 Birds 1 Stone.

A modest crowd gathered for the second anniversary party of 2 Birds 1 Stone (Lower Level, 1800 14th St NW, DC), the approachable yet intimate cocktail bar established by Adam Bernbach in Shaw.

From 7pm-midnight on Monday evening, the bar served up $5 punches and $6 pina coladas and dark & stormys. There were consistent opportunities to get seats at the small bar, which holds seats perhaps a dozen people.

The crowd may have remained light due to the waning days of August in DC or due to the torrential rain then struck in the first 90 minutes of the party.

“If you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain, then the 2 Birds 1 Stone party is for you,” this blogger quipped after enjoying a pina colada special at the bar. IMG_8938
Do you like pina coladas? And rain? Then last night was for you.

2 Birds 1 Stone actually offered two $5 punch specials: one with peach, bourbon, sherry, and cava; a second with watermelon, tequila, Hefeweizen, and lime. Both were light and refreshing.

Cheers to Adam and two years of offering weary travelers a welcome respite in the quiet den of 2 Birds 1 Stone. Since its opening, the bar has operated with integrity and transparency, and it always just seems a little bit more pleasant than many other cocktail destinations.
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Peach and bourbon punch was a crowd-pleaser.

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Happy birthday, 2 Birds 1 Stone!