Photo courtesy of The Green Zone

Get local news delivered straight to your phone

You could spring for one of the complex cocktails at The Green Zone opening Thursday in Adams Morgan, or you could stick to Johnnie Walker Black, which is listed on the menu as “the second currency of the Middle East.” 

Owner Chris Francke signed a lease for his Middle Eastern cocktail bar last summer, inking the former Rendezvous Lounge space as the future home for his business that’s been four years in the making.

The former World Bank contractor, who is half Iraqi and well traveled in the region, assembled a menu of classic and original libations and bar snacks like falafel; mana’ish (flatbread) with a variety of toppings; chicken wings brightened by lemon and za’tar seasoning; and fries dusted in hot pepper, coriander, and garlic. Chef Gustavo Fuentes, who has a background in cooking Lebanese food, is leading the kitchen.

Six of the cocktails on the menu have been staples at various Green Zone pop-ups across town including the “Janissary Corps” with Green Hat gin, pistachio, lemon, and “silky magic.” There’s also a take on a sazerac called the “Saz’iraq” with rye, dates, Arabian bitters, Peychaud’s bitters, and a spritz of homemade “sharqtreuse” that tastes herbaceous like Green Chartreuse. 

The list of greatest hits also includes the “FUCK TRUMP! Punch” made with several rums, mezcal, vimto, and lemon.

Also look for a slate of classic cocktails and an array of non-alcoholic beverages such as fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice, cucumber lemonade, and apricot soda. 

“As a Middle Eastern place there are plenty of people from the Middle East who don’t drink,” Francke says. “We get those customers as well who come for the food or music or atmosphere, so they might want something more interesting than water or Coke. There’s a really strong tradition of non-alcoholic drinks in the Middle East.”

The bar consists of two floors and a patio. The food and drink menus below are for the first floor that will be open during the week and on weekends. There are more condensed menus for the second floor, which will only be utilized Thursdays through Sundays. Francke says he plans to host DJs up there on Friday and Saturday nights. 

After it officially opens Thursday, The Green Zone will be open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Fridays through Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.; and Sundays from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Food will be available on both floors until last call (a half hour before the bar closes each night).

Happy hour is planned from 5 to 8 p.m. daily with $1 off all Green Zone cocktails, certain beers, and Lebanese wine. Happy hour is offered all day on Sundays.

The Green Zone, 2226 18th St. NW; facebook.com/thegreenzonedc