City Paper is not for tourists.
Update 11/2: Smith and Feldt have changed the name of their pop-up from Ampersand to Past Perfect because the original name didn’t jive with &pizza opening in Adams Morgan a few doors down.
Bartenders Jenny Feldt and Lukas Smith are taking over the basement of Smoke & Barrel in Adams Morgans Thursday-Sunday nights starting Nov. 2. The pair, with the help of some others, had been running Addendum inside Eighteenth Street Lounge since the start of 2017. The bar-within-a-bar focused on cocktails sans citrus, garnishes, or sugar. Smith, of Cotton & Reed, and Feldt, formally of Le Diplomate, will carry that concept over to their subterranean cocktail pop-up bar.
Even though the founding bartenders split, Smith thinks Eighteenth Street Lounge will likely keep the name Addendum. He and Feldt have therefore named their new bar Past Perfect. Inspired by New York bar Amor y Amargo, the cocktails at Past Perfect lean heavily on vermouth, amaro, sherry, and bitters.
Smith says their flagship cocktail is a variation on a Last Word called “The Stirred Word.” He mixes gin with Green Chartreuse, Luxardo Maraschino, and dry manzanilla sherry that’s been pumped up with citric and malic acids. The sherry becomes as tart as the lime juice called for in the original recipe. “We’re not using lime juice, so we’re not throwing anything out,” Smith says. “There’s a slight ecological component … lemon and lime aren’t the best answer to every souring need.”
The bar will also serve beer and whiskey from the upstairs barbecue restaurant. “For the most part it will be less sports, more cocktail, but not super fussy,” Smith says of the atmosphere he’s trying to create in a space typically filled with football fans.
Smith and Feldt plan to operate the pop-up throughout November and December, with the opportunity to extend. “If we like it, we’ll keep it going,” Smith continues. “In the meantime, we’re looking for the right real estate to do something permanent.”
A third partner, Kapri Robinson, will join the team in December and Smith says he hopes to bring in guest bartenders from Philadelphia and New York. There will also be live music and DJs.
The hours of operation on Thursdays through Sundays are still being determined, but they’ll likely open around 6 p.m. and go until last call.
Smoke & Barrel (basement), 247118th St. NW; (202) 319-9353; smokeandbarreldc.com