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It’s a near Shakespearean tragedy to have an oh-so-satisfying drunk food and nowhere to try it other than a few pop-ups around town. Especially because when you need Fry Brothers the most, the moon’s already starting to set. After six months of being an event-only treat, the fry and dipping sauce operation from co-owners Micah Lubens and Evan Chiacchiaro announces it has a permanent home: Star & Shamrock on H Street NE.
“Part of our whole appeal is that as the bars close, as the lights come, on people need a place to eat,” Lubens says. “We couldn’t think of a better drunk food than French fries.”
The menu from Lubens and Chiacchiaro, who are friends but not technically brothers, includes two fry sizes ($4 for a small, $6 for a large) and a series of District-inspired dipping sauces such as Old Bay aioli which nods at the Eastern Shore; DC Fry Sauce that folds an Ethiopian spice into a ketchup and mayo mix; and Mumbo Sauce. But the sauce that has D.C. dancing is the Pho 16 sauce because it captures all the best flavors from Vietnam’s signature soup.
A choice of one sauce is free with an order of fries, an extra one costs a buck, and regular ketchup is always free (but boring). Down the line, they might offer guest sauces from other local food producers.
“Every culture and every group has a thing that they like to dip stuff into and the French fry is the perfect vehicle for almost all of those sauces,” Lubens says.
Starting in October, Fry Brothers plans to be open at the Jewish-meets-Irish pub (1341 H St NE) Friday and Saturday nights from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m., though hours are subject to change. The bar will stop serving alcohol at last call but the fryers will stay on, and Lubens says they’re toying with the idea of offering a late-night Gatorade hour to help squash hangovers before they happen.
Fry Brothers, a Mess Hall member, got connected with Star & Shamrock through Bullfrog Bagels’ Jeremiah Cohen, whose company has been popping up inside the bar (and will continue to do so during daytime hours). “We’re really excited to be joining the landscape of options because we really love H Street,” Lubens says, offering the proof that he and Chiacchiaro own Fundrise shares in Maketto.
Though you won’t be able to score late night fries and dippers until next month, Fry Brothers will be serving food at tomorrow’s H Street Festival from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. (or whenever they run out). Read: run, don’t walk.