Kushi owner Darren Lee Norris has just signed a lease at 1410 14th St. NW for a whiskey bar and street art gallery called Black Whiskey.

The bar, which will occupy the second floor of the two-story space, will serve contemporary bar food. Norris says he’ll showcase some molecular gastronomy techniques that he’s been using in the background at Kushi. “No chicken wings and burgers.”

The extensive whiskey list will focus on craft small-batch American varieties. And as for why a whiskey bar? “It’s really, to me, the heart of drinking,” Norris says. Also expect about 20 beers on tap.

The ground floor of Black Whiskey will be a “flexible arts space” with a focus on street art. Norris says he was inspired in part by the art scene in Brooklyn, where he lived before moving to D.C. six years ago. “Street art is the affordable art. That’s what people buy,” Norris says. “Nobody can afford fine art.” In addition to holding events in the arts space, Norris also plans to use it every one or two weeks for a chef’s dinner, in which he’ll cook for 20 to 25 people.

Black Whiskey is slated to open by February or March of 2013.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery