D.C.’s newest sports bar will serve Cracker Jacks with “pistachio dust” and nachos with two-day braised goat. The Prospect, from the same owners of Provision No. 14, is set to open in the former Ulah Bistro space on U Street NW on Sept. 12.
“Whatever the regular idea is, we always put this one twist on, try to take it to the next level,” says chef James Duke, who will oversee the menu along with fellow Provision Nov. 14 chef John Leavitt.
General manager Freddie Ball describes the food as “international stadium fare coupled with classic bar food.” Essentially, the menu features dishes you could find at stadiums across the globe—except fancified to the point that you would never actually find them in a stadium. Case in point: smoked carnitas pupusas topped with a crab slaw with grapefruit pearls. Other dishes include Turkish meatball sliders and breakfast sausage corn dogs with sage cream and maple mustard. Diners will also find a range of sandwiches and flatbreads as well as chicken wings and “hog wings” made of pork shanks. The wings come with a choice of seven sauces like ghost chili, Cognac barbecue, chili peach, and cider (apple cider spiked with aromatics and sweetened).
Rather than highlighting beer like most sports bars, the Prospect is focusing on cider both on its own and in cocktails. “Cider, it’s a very approachable base. We’re adding gin to cider. We’re doing Champagne and cider,” Ball says. He adds that they’re looking to offer one of the cider-based cocktails in absinthe drip-like vessels with trophy bases. There will also be a cider slushie.
The one thing that actually makes the sports bar feel like a sports bar is the 40 televisions. Each one can potentially play a different game, and the staff is able to control them with their phones rather than remote controls. When there’s not a big game on the, TVs will show old-school football or boxing matches.
On the street level floor, the Prospect has 14 bars seats as well as a so-called “chef’s table,” which in this case, is basically just a glorified way of saying there’s a large table near the kitchen. Upstairs, there’s another 20-seat bar and additional seating. The ceiling is painted to look like a striped rugby shirt, and a chain link fence around the restrooms is meant to look like a batting cage. One wall is covered with baseball mitts, and a light fixture is fashioned out of golf clubs. There will also be a DJ booth for music on weekends.
Co-owner Mike Bramson was interested in opening a sports bar in homage to his father, Bernardo Bramson, who passed away last year and was a football star at the University of Maryland in the 1960s. “The two things we always talked about was sports and food,” Bramson says. Bernardo Bramson came from Chile after receiving a scholarship to play soccer at UMD.
“At a soccer practice, a football landed at his feet, and he kicked it, it went 40 yards, and the coach was just like, ‘Who is this guy?’… My dad had no idea what football even was at the time,” Bramson says. His father ended up playing both sports, but in football, he became known as the “human scoreboard.”
“He basically started off the season at zero. Every time he kicked a field goal or an extra point, they would run off the field and change his jersey.” In 1964, he got up to 44 points. That number is now emblazoned on the ceiling of the Prospect.