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: 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!