The Shaw Bijou bar

The Shaw Bijou planned to have a private club located above the dining room where only members and their guests would be able to drink. On opening day, there were already 1,000 people signed up to be considered for membership by a committee, owner Kelly Gorsuch told Washingtonian. But a month and a half into business, the fine dining restaurant under Chef Kwame Onwuachi is punting on that plan. Instead, the entire second floor of the restaurant will be available to walk-ins.

On Dec. 1 City Paper broke news that the current bar would be open for walk-ins, but this new announcement takes things much further in allowing diners to experience The Shaw Bijou for less. Instead of a handful of seats, there are now 40 seats spread across bar stools, tables, and lounge seating. With wine pairings, dinner at the restaurant can cost $962 per couple. 

In a statement, Onwuachi says, “Our focus has always been creating a restaurant that feels like attending a dinner party with your best friends. This new option for our bar is just another opportunity to extend that invitation into our home where people can come in, order a drink, bite to eat and enjoy each other’s company.”

Upstairs guests can order custom cocktails from bartenders Ben Long or wine from the restaurant’s sommelier David Blackburn. Don’t expect average Joe bar bites. Instead, the upstairs menu will include seared foie with lobster marmalade and charred pineapple; roasted lamb head with m’semen bread, ahi amarillo, and foie sauce; roasted squab with red bean sofrito and pepper jus; and grouper stew with king crab sofrito, toasted pepitas, and crispy rice.

Drinks will be priced from $14-$17 and food will be priced from $14-$34.

Visit Tuesdays through Sundays from 5:30 p.m. until midnight.

The Shaw Bijou,1544 9th St. NW; (202) 800-0640; theshawbijou.com

Photo courtesy of The Shaw Bijou