I’ve been saying for a while that taxidermy is making a comeback in D.C.’s hippest new bars and restaurants. Here’s further proof: this deer bust, antlers, and pheasant (all purchased on eBay) in the back of nopa Kitchen + Bar. The American brasserie from restaurateur Ashok Bajaj opens Monday, May 6 in the former Zola space in Penn Quarter.
Among the other eateries now mounting stuffed animals on their walls: Chez Billy (goose), American Ice Company (deer and wild turkey), The Brixton (pheasants and deer antlers), Irish Whiskey (fox), Black Jack (longhorn), Jaleo (bull),Hank’s Oyster Bar (“jackalope”), and Beuchert’s Saloon (bison named Mike and Ike). While not technically taxidermy, you’ll also find animal skulls at The Gryphon and Bandolero. And let’s not forget the faux-taxidermy coming to two yet-to-open spots, Teddy and The Bully Bar and District Tea Lodge.
The taxidermy at nopa is a pretty small part of the restaurant’s overall look, which Bajaj describes as “industrial chic” with plenty of leather, steel, and brick. New York-based Martin Vahtra, who also worked on Rasika West End, oversaw the design. Check out more photos of the space below.
nopa Kitchen+Bar, 800 F St. NW; (202) 347-4667; nopadc.com
CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, this story previously stated that nopa opens Monday. It opens Monday, May 6. Also, Bajaj has decided to change “NoPa” to “nopa.”
Photos by Jessica Sidman