Stars and Bars: The Ivy Room @ Republic Restoratives Distillery

Ivy RoomThe 800-square-foot Ivy Room is a collaboration between lobbyist Vinoda Basnayake and Republic Restoratives Distillery’s Pia Carusone and Rachel Gardner. (Photo Credit: John Robinson)

Nestled next to the Republic Restoratives Distillery like a fancy sun room, a new cocktail bar opened in Ivy City.

The Ivy Room, a well-appointed and airy tasting room, will serve cocktails made with Civic Vodka. Civic is made in the distillery mere steps away. You can easily see the tanks reflecting light through the giant windows. Those windows open, giving it the perfect atmosphere on a sunny day or evening.

Cocktails featuring Civic, like the Blackberry Sour and the Moscow Mule, are refreshingly good. Republic is also distilling a batch of bourbon, which will be ready in the next few weeks. I’ll need to venture back.

There will not be a kitchen on-site, but they will plan to arrange for food trucks to park nearby.

Ivy City is a burgeoning neighborhood, with multiple distilleries and a brewery (Atlas Brew Works). Yet it is not Metro accessible. Luckily there is a parking garage next door, along with some free parking nearby. You can also find a Capitol Bikeshare station only one block away.

Ivy Room hours
Thursday/Friday: 5pm to 11pm
Saturday: Noon to 11pm
Sunday: Noon to 5pm

Ivy Room Cocktail MenuIvy Room Cocktail Menu

Ivy Room - Blackberry SourBlackberry Sour with Civic Vodka

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Around Town: Mari Vanna’s Second Anniversary Celebration, 2/24/15

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Mari Vanna’s house infused vodkas

Russian restaurant Mari Vanna (1141 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC) kicked off its second anniversary Tuesday with a birthday party in its swank third level, welcoming guests with a DJ spinning the likes of “Mr. Saxobeat” by Alexandra Stan and “Cool Kids” by Echosmith.

The lovely third floor lounge of the restaurant is playfully adorned with Russian records and photos of Russian musicians along its walls, and guests were seated in comfortable booths and homey settees.

Although the ambience was cozy, the real draw of the night for Mari Vanna’s patrons was its wide selection of house infused vodkas.

The house infused vodka bar includes such diverse delights as horseradish, cowberry, honey pepper, plum, cucumber and dill, and seaberry vodkas. This reporter, purely in the interest of exploring the vodkas, sampled tastes of less adventurous raspberry and apple and cinnamon vodkas. Both are absolutely wonderful full-bodied drinks with a plentifully powerful fruit flavor. The juiciness of the raspberry vodka particularly made it surprisingly easy to drink.

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Records adorn the walls of Mari Vanna’s third floor lounge

Outside of the DJ on the third floor, guests on all three levels of the restaurant were treated to the music of accordionist Peter Dranga, who wandered minstrel-like among diners and revelers as he played traditional folks tunes.

Since its DC opening in February 2013 (its fourth location after the original in St. Petersburg, Russia, and expansions to London and New York), Mari Vanna has offered its Slavic food and kitschy atmosphere to enthusiastic crowds, and judging from its birthday party celebrations, we can expect it to continue to do so for years to come!

Stars and Bars: Opening Celebration @ One Eight Distilling, 1/8/15

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One Eight Distilling, DC’s second distillery (after New Columbia Distillers LLC, makers of Green Hat Gin), will official open its doors on Saturday, Jan. 10.

But before then, One Eight will host preview night on Thursday, Jan. 8. So you can visit One Eight on 1/8…

From 7-10pm, the distillery will host a celebration for its grand opening, featuring “after-hours tours, food from Dirty South Deli and a cash bar featuring District Made Vodka and Rock Creek White Whiskey cocktails–produced in partnership with Union Kitchen,” according to One Eight.

The distillery invites us to its facilities at 1135 Okie St. NE, DC, for drinking, mingling and shopping. Guests will be able to purchase bottles from the first batches of the distillery’s vodka and whiskey. The celebration is 21 and over only and does not involve any tickets. Simply show up!

Starting Saturday, Jan. 10, One Eight will open with free tours each week from 1-4pm. For more information, visit http://www.oneeightdistilling.com.