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When the happy hour crowd files into Provision No. 14 tonight at 5 p.m., the first floor of the 14th Street restaurant and bar will look a lot different thanks to a renovation. “We recognized the demand of the beverage program and want to expand on that with the atmosphere,” owner Mike Bramson says.
Last we checked in with Bramson, he was hoping Provision No. 14 would find success as a dual concept with a full-service restaurant downstairs and a cocktail lounge upstairs. “We were told it’s hard to pull off, to have a solid culinary program and have that nightlife,” Bramson told City Paper. “I’ve seen it be successful overseas, so I wanted to attempt it.”
Two years into operations they’ve decided to tack and embrace the boozier side of the business. “So many people wanted to go upstairs that a line started at 10 p.m.,” Bramson says. At the same time, “Guests were naturally creating this new vibe, defining what downstairs was.”
Designer David Anthony Chenault is taking care of the facelift. He designed Pamplona in Arlington, which is also a Social Restaurant Group spot. “We’re going to make it more like upstairs—moodier, edgier—by expanding the bar area,” Bramson says.
Red velvet now covers the banquettes, horse heads adorn the walls, and a chain link fence separates the expanded bar from the reduced dining room. The bar also has additional high-top seating. It’s like finding Christian Grey‘s bedroom inside a bank vault inside a Medieval castle.
Another big change is an indoor/outdoor bar, which Bramson hopes will enliven an outside area big enough to hold 40 people. “It’ll give the patio more of a convivial atmosphere,” Bramson says. So will spiked watermelon slushies.
Starting tonight, the food menu will be more focused on sharable bar snacks to match the increased emphasis on the drinks, but Bramson says guests’ favorites aren’t going anywhere.
Provision No. 14, 2100 14th St. NW; (202) 827-4530; provisiondc.com