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Now even rusty saws are making their way into hip dining room designs. The look of Shirlington “cabin-style” restaurant and bar Copperwood Tavern? Try L.L. Bean-meets-Walter White hideout-meets-moonshine distillery.
The restaurant—from the team behind Irish Whiskey, The Mighty Pint, and Wilson Tavern—was designed by O’Neill Studio’s Maggie O’Neill, who has also worked on places like Teddy & The Bully Bar and Sax. O’Neill, who’s also an investor in the restaurant, says owner Reese Gardner is a big hunter and fisherman, and he wanted a woodsy look.
The team dismantled an abandoned barn in Virginia and used all of the wood to cover the space. O’Neill also used old distillery parts in the decor, taking some inspiration from Appalachian moonshiner Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, the Gandalf lookalike who took his own life rather than go to prison over his illegal alcohol production. (His portrait is also in the restaurant.)
Things are perfectly legal, however, at Copperwood Tavern’s bar, which will serve up 30 small-batch whiskeys and 24 draft beers. And keeping with the mountain man theme, chef Allan Javery will cook up game like bison meatballs, wild boar ragout pasta, and a coffee-rubbed venison chop. Entrees ($18 to $29) include brown ale butter chicken, trout filet, and “drunken” beer-marinated hanger steak. There are also smaller plates and hearty family-style sides like roasted corn casserole and truffled mac and cheese with sour cream and onion crumb topping.
Pets are welcome, too: The restaurant will have a dog-friendly porch with copper dogs bowls and house-baked dog treats.
Photo courtesy Copperwood Tavern
Copperwood Tavern, 4021 Campbell Ave. NW, Arlington. copperwoodtavern.com