When you cross the threshold into Truxton Inn, see if you can picture it as the set for a glamorous, old-timey photo shoot. The Bloomingdale bar—that we learned in December would be coming to the neighborhood—looks part library and part hotel bar from a better decade, with its eye-catching green marble bar top, upholstered bar chairs, cool lights, and antique style couches.
Truxton Inn is from the same team that brought D.C. Barrel in Eastern Market and McClellan’s Retreat at the top of Dupont Circle. Bar man Brian Nixon,who’s been designing drinks for McClellan’s Retreat, will be running the show at what he calls an upscale neighborhood bar. “It’s a cocktail bar in Bloomingdale, which I feel hasn’t been provided at all,” he says. “It’s something different. We don’t have a TV. It’s a place to come and relax.”
Nixon says the cocktail menu will have two sides—one for classic cocktails and the other for riffs on classic cocktails that will rotate every other month. He says the drinks will be priced between $10-$13, except for a Manhattan made with a proprietary rye from Whistle Pig.
Nixon’s already excited to pour people a shot called the “snaquiri.” It’s a miniature daiquiri with Maui pineapple rum, double proof rum, lime, and simple syrup. He first heard about the shot in New York. Also expect to see bartenders employ local spirits in their drinks—Civic Vodka, Rock Creek Whiskey, and Cotton & Reed rum. The beer too will be predominantly local.
Though there will be bar bites like kolaches from Republic Kolache, cheese, and charcuterie, Truxton Inn isn’t a spot for dinner. Instead it’s an elegant place to get schnockered before rediscovering sobriety at Meats & Foods next door, which sells one of the city’s best half smokes.
Owner Matt Weiss knows to expect some feedback on the name based on comments expressed during and after ANC meetings leading up to the bar’s opening. For starters, Truxton Inn’s address is technically in Bloomingdale (251 Florida Ave. NW) not Truxton Circle. Second, some think the Truxton Circle neighborhood has “a disputed name and no circle.”
Weiss wants people to know his bar is named after a place, not a person. “I’m not trying to create any problems, but it’s the name of the area and other people are naming things after it,” he says, pointing out the luxury apartment building called “The Truxton” going in down the street.
“McClellan’s Retreat is named after the general,” Weiss says. “That was based on a person. This is not based on anybody. This is based on a place.”
Truxton Inn will be open seven days a week from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m. It may also open at noon on weekends to serve brunch cocktails. The bar seats 50 but eventual patio seating will significantly boost capacity. Weiss and Nixon say they expect to open in April.
Weiss, Jason George, and Molly Allen are behind the design. More photos below.