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If you want to impress people at Porrón, which opens Friday on Barracks Row, order red wine. “It goes to the Spanish concept of machismo,” says co-founder Sam Fitz. “It doesn’t make sense to put red wine into a porrón unless you are showing off. You can either skillfully pour it without spilling, or you’re saying you don’t care if you spill wine on your clothes.”
What’s a porrón? A glass pitcher in the general shape of a tea pot that guests hoist above their heads, according to Spanish tradition, aiming a stream of wine towards their mouths.
The long-term pop-up bar (525 8th St. SE) will operate through New Years and is from the same team that operates ANXO Cidery & Pintxos Bar inTruxton Circleand ANXO Cidery & Tasting Room in Brightwood Park.
The focus at Porrón, which Fitz calls their most laid-back concept to date, is a menu of beer, wine, cider, and cocktails that can be ordered by the glass or in aporrón.
Three sample cocktails include the “Clara” with Mahou Cinco Estrellas beer combined with San Pellegrino Limonata, “Rosé-Colored Glasses” with Snowdrift Red, AXTA Blanco vermouth, and blood orange bitters, and the “Hill of Strangers” with ANXO Sidra Natural, Green Hat Spring & Summer gin, and grenadine.
Fitz’s favorite is the Clara, which may remind some of swirling beer and lemonade together in college. “I’m not a big drinker, but I love drinking activities,” he says. “It’s a responsible way to act like a young person and wake up the next day and not feel terrible, because it’s basically a three-percent [ABV] beer.”
Those who want to explore cider can order what continues to be the biggest seller at other ANXO locations—a flight of four ciders, all representing different styles. To start, three of the four will be ANXO products. “We want people to realize cider is a drink that’s amazing with food, but also great in a lounge chair in a somewhat outdoor-looking space,” Fitz says.
Porrón will have an 18-seat bar and additional lawn-style seating, a painted-on blue sky ceiling and a turf-covered floor. Local D.C. artists who are part of the No Kings Collective designed the space. The total capacity is an intimate 77 people.
To pair with the drinks, Chef Alex Vallcorba will employ a wood-fire grill to cook meat and vegetables in the style of Basque and Catalan cuisines on Friday and Saturday nights. Diners will also be able to order cheese, charcuterie, and other snacks—similar to what the quickly growing restaurant group serves in Brightwood Park.
Porrón is open to the public Friday and Saturday nights from 7 p.m. to midnight. The rest of the week the bar is available for private events, and since the ANXO team inherited an entertainment license, they hope to bring in some notable bands, according to Fitz.
To kick things off, Porrón is offering two ticketed “Sneak Peek” parties this weekend. Entry begins at 7 p.m. on June 30 and July 1 and the $65 ticket includes unlimited porrón drinks, a wood-fire feast including ribeye steak, sardines, green onions, pan con tomate, and more. The pop-up bar will also be open to the public this weekend starting at 8:30 p.m., and will offer an a la carte menu.
Porrón, 525 8th St. SE; anxodc.com