Grilled cheese with kimchi, bacon, and Pepperjack. Photo by Laura Hayes.
Grilled cheese with kimchi, bacon, and Pepperjack. Photo by Laura Hayes.

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When Smoked & Stacked at 1239 9th St. NW closed in December, the owners hinted that they would hold on to both the space and Marjorie Meek-Bradley’s pastrami recipe, melting meat lovers’ hearts. Today, restaurant development group Tin Shop’s Peter Bayne, Sam Perkins, and Geoff Dawson unveiled their plans to open a grilled cheese and wing bar that celebrates tall boy beers. They’re keeping their promise. There will be pastrami at TallBoy, but it will be folded into one of the grilled cheese selections.

As the name lets on, the beer menu will have eight tallboys. “We had to get Schlitz because they were the first company to bring back the tallboy, so we have to have the OG [original gangster] tallboy,” Bayne says. “We’ll have Guinness as well because that’s a classic, and it’s a PBR town so we have to do that.” 

There will also be a selection of drafts ranging from Miller Lite to Maine Beer Company and Manor Hill. Two of the taps will be used for seasonal cocktails and they will have a full bar, including a collection of Scotch and whiskey.

The partners’ focus in opening TallBoy is to give the neighborhood both a late night food option and something affordable that pushes back against price creep. That’s partially how they settled on a narrow focus of grilled cheese sandwiches and wings in flavors like General Tso’s, loaded with fresh ginger and garlic, Buffalo, buttery lemon pepper, and Memphis dry rub.

General Tsos wings at Tall Boy. Photo by Laura Hayes.s wings at Tall Boy. Photo by Laura Hayes.

There’s also some history. “Part of this idea came from one of Geoff’s first restaurants up in Cleveland Park, Ripple, where we first met Marjorie,” Bayne explains. Ripple closed in 2017. “They used to do a late night grilled cheese bar and he loved it.” 

They also called upon former Ripple General Manager Danny Fisher, who now distributes French wines, to put together a short and sweet wine list. He’s choosing three French reds and three French whites that will all be available by the glass in the $7 to $12 range. 

The grilled cheeses range from simple to more sophisticated, but there’s one sandwich the owners hope guests order oftenthe “Tom and Cheese.” It’s named after a close friend, Tom Marmet, who died last year at the age of 22 when he was struck by a stray bullet in D.C. At the time, Marmet was volunteering with the local charity So Others Might Eat (SOME), which helps the homeless obtain food, clothing, and healthcare.

Tom was the son of Dawson’s parter at Ripple, Roger Marmet. “Roger somehow was able to get up and give a eulogy, and one of the things he said was the crowd should continue Tom’s mission by supporting So Others Might Eat,” Bayne explains. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds of each Tom and Cheese sold will go to the organization. 

Bayne says Tallboy should open within the next couple of weeks. He hopes the 1,200-square-foot bar with 30 seats becomes “a home away from home” and a “place you go to feel special.” 

The hours of operation will be Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m.; Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3 a.m.; and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Tin Shop is also behind Highline RxR, Franklin Hall, and Church Hall

Tallboy,1239 9th St. NW