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D.C. recently welcomed a new bar into the world, and its name is The Ella Grace.
With nine cocktails and 12 barstools, it’s a small yet intimate space, located in the loft at Sign of The Whale, a Dupont Circle bar best known for its happy hour specials.
Sign of the Whale quietly opened The Ella Grace in early March, as first reported by bloggerBarred in DC. Where Sign of The Whale is known for its sports fans and dance parties, The Ella Grace seeks to create a more refined scene.
There’s no beer on the menu. Instead, options include Champagne, rail drinks with higher end spirits (Maker’s 46, Botanist Gin, and Basil Hayden’s, to name a few), and several classic cocktails priced between $12 and $14, with one exception—a boulevardier that costs $21.
“If you tell our mixologist how you’re feeling—say you like whiskey or vodka or whatever—they’ll be able to fix you the perfect drink,” says bar manager Mark Abraham. “We wanted to make this space much more of a lounge where you can sit down and enjoy a drink or two.”
The bar’s namesake cocktail, the Ella Grace ($14), is a refreshing riff off a French 75, made with Botanist gin, sparkling rosé, and thyme-infused simple syrup. It comes garnished with a rose petal.
“I told my bartenders that I wanted something that would taste like love in a cup,” Abraham says. Much of the space and bar menu has been designed with things Abraham loves too.
Tucked away in the corner by the stairs hangs an impressionist portrait of musician Mac Miller. “That was painted by my buddy, and it’s a tribute,” Abraham says. “It fits in really well. A lot of this bar is a reflection of me and the things I care about.”
Sign of the Whale patrons will immediately notice a difference between the downstairs and upstairs spaces. The second floor has a distinct “speakeasy-like vibe,” Abraham says. “It’s super elegant and beautiful and filled with chandeliers, marble, mirrors, and neon lights.”
Abraham is also an Army veteran and served several tours in Iraq. The bar offers military veterans, police, first responders, and teachers rotating drink specials. The Ella Grace is also a bar concept that Abraham says he hopes to one day open in its own standalone space.
The Ella Grace is open from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. The bar is closed on Mondays.
The Ella Grace, 1825 M St. NW; instagram.com/love_ella_grace