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Update 9/26: The opening was pushed back from Oct. 2 to Oct. 9.
The District’s second City Tap House will open Oct. 9 off Dupont Circle. The original Philly import debuted in Penn Quarter back in 2013. Over the past four years the bar has become a popular destination before games at the
Verizon Center Capital One Arena. The company’s brand director, Andy Farrell, expects City Tap Dupont to have more of a neighborhood bar feel. Here are 10 things you need to know.
1. They’re gambling on a “cursed” address (1250 Connecticut Ave. NW).
Casa Nonna didn’t make it. Neither did female-friendly steakhouse STK. But Farrell is confident his bar will last. “I can’t speak to what didn’t work for STK, but I think the brand that we try to offer our neighbors is something comfortable and familiar,” he says. It’s set up to fill several niches: weekday happy hour hang, work lunch spot, sports bar, brunch locale for large groups, and late night destination.
2. Live music and DJs will help the bar fit in.
“The Dupont neighborhood has a club feel,” Farrell says. “We’re not trying to compete with that, but at the same time, having the ability to host live music and DJs will be part of our scene on weekend nights.” A late night food menu will be available from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
3. Beer lovers will appreciate the 40 draft lines, plus a selection of 30 additional bottles and cans.
The beer menu shouldn’t stray too far from what’s on tap in Penn Quarter, but Farrell says they’re always working to develop City Tap House’s beer program. “The same attention to local and regional breweries that we partner with is going to be there,” he says. “We always like to sprinkle in international brands, European brands, to tell the story of the craft.”
4. Bookmark the bar if you plan your nights around tap takeovers and other beer events.
“We’re going to build beer events and calendar events based on our neighbors, not just cookie cutter stuff we’ve done at Penn Quarter,” Farrell says.
5. The City Tap Dupont opening coincides with the launch of the fall menu.
Dishes will include pumpkin burrata bruschetta, corn and crab hushpuppies with honey butter, and stick-to-your ribs specials like crispy suckling pig. Get a sense of the food by peeking at the current Penn Quarter menu.
6. Visit Sunday nights for the “Green Plate Special.”
Though an executive chef for City Tap Dupont hasn’t been named, the plan is for them to visit the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market to shop for ingredients and develop a Sunday night special based on what’s in season.
7. You can get bottomless mimosas or visit a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar for $18 during brunch.
Starting Oct.14, brunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Highlights include chicken and waffles, crispy pork hash, and a Maryland crab Benedict.
8. There will also be cocktails, wine, and a whiskey selection.
Farrell highly recommends the “Wolf & Mule” cocktail with hop-infused vodka, lemongrass syrup, and ginger kombucha. The bar gets the hops from 3 Stars Brewing Company. Cocktails cost between $12 and $14. Check out Penn Quarter’s drink list.
9. Happy hour lasts from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Drink specials include $4 canned beers, $5 draft beers, $6 house wines, and $6 mixed drinks. For $5 each, also try Mexican-style elote corn dip, Israeli hummus, charred Brussels sprouts, and BBQ pulled pork sliders.
10. The 9,300-square-foot restaurant may feel a little like a lodge.
An expansive, copper-topped bar will shine when you walk in, but the best seats in the house surround a gas fireplace in the middle of the restaurant. It would feel like fall all year long if there weren’t floor-to-ceiling windows revealing whatever season it actually is.
When it opens next month, City Tap Dupont will serve lunch weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and dinner Sundays through Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Thursdays through Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., with a limited menu offered between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Brunch runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations will be accepted on OpenTable starting Sept. 25.
City Tap Dupont, 1250 Connecticut Ave. NW. (202) 878-8235. dupont.citytap.com