Looks like everyone had the idea to open a whiskey bar with Southern-inspired food around the same time. Hot off the heels of Southern Efficiency and Barrel comes Rebellion, opening today at 3:30 p.m. at 1836 18th St. NW.
The whiskey bar is headed by first-time restaurateur Brian Westlye, who’s helped open up a number of restaurants across the country over the years. Most recently, he was director of operations for The Bungalow Sports Grill, which has locations in northern Virginia. General Manager Lamont Rooker, also an owner, previously worked at Crystal City Sports Pub.
Rebellion offers 50 craft beers (12 on tap) and more than 75 bourbons and whiskies. As is the cool thing to do these days, the bar will serve several barrel-aged cocktails, including a Woodford Reserve Double Oaked that will be turned into a triple oaked, says Rooker. Happy hour specials will be available from 3:30 to 8 p.m. Residents of the 20009 zip code can stop by Mondays for 10 percent off their checks. Tuesdays, all guests can get half-price bottles of wine all night.
Rooker describes the menu as “tavern food with a Southern twist.” Look out for “Naw’lins” barbecue shrimp, Kentucky hot browns, pulled pork sandwiches, racks of ribs, and more. The restaurant is open just for dinner now, but brunch is coming with a bloody mary bar.
The 100-seat spot has a rooftop bar and downstairs sidewalk patio (both of which close at midnight). Inside, there’s a lot of distressed wood meant to elicit the era of the Whiskey Rebellion of the late 1700s, in which farmers protested a tax on domestically distilled spirits. (The Whiskey Rebellion is also the inspiration for the bar’s name.) “It’s rustic,” says Rooker of the space. “Some of it looks imperfect, but that was the whole point… It was to be rustic and rugged like that era was.”
Rebellion, 1836 18th St. NW; (202) 299-0399; rebelliondc.com
Photo courtesy Rebellion