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The two-story historic row house where The Shaw Bijou from Chef Kwame Onwuachi will open on Nov. 1 has received a luxe makeover. An evening at the restaurant, at 1544 9th St. NW, could kick with cocktails in a sunken upstairs bar with seats upholstered in Icelandic sheepskin. There, bartenders will craft a bespoke welcome drink to pair with small bites.
Dining at a tasting menu restaurant is a progressive meal. After a few snacks, upstairs guests could make their way into the kitchen to watch Onwuachi and his team at work. That’s also where you’ll find an enviable spice rack that will likely become one of the most Instagrammed walls in D.C. More bites from the kitchen will be delivered while patrons ogle the kitchen staff.
Finally, it’s into the dining room for the rest of the 14-course meal, which in total is expected to last three hours, according to general manager Greg Vakiner. “We’re trying to keep the integrity of the feel of a home,” Vakiner says. “You don’t just have a seat right away in the dining room.”
Not all patrons will lay eyes on one area of the restaurant because there’s a second bar on the top floor that’s reserved for members who will pay dues. Members are able to bring two guests each time they visit if they make a reservation. But if they come solo, “there will always be space for our members,” Vakiner says. Expect to find a rare whiskey selection and a collection of old spirits such as Chartreuse from the 1930s. The members-only bar will not open right away. Vakiner says Jan. 1 is the likely opening date.
The Shaw Bijou is already taking reservations online. Dinner costs $185 per person (before drinks, tax, and tip). Beverage options include two pairing options priced at $95 or $185 per person. There is also a wine list with about 160 selections for ordering a la carte.
The Shaw Bijou,1544 9th St. NW; (202) 800-0640; theshawbijou.com