Mixologist Mark Reyburn has left Bistro Bohem to head up the beverage program at Shaw’s Tavern across the street. Already, he’s got ambitious goals for a new cocktail menu and the possibility of brewing and even distilling in-house.

In the coming weeks, Reyburn will roll out a Civil War era-inspired cocktail menu paying homage to the Shaw neighborhood’s namesake, Col. Robert Gould Shaw, who fought for the Union Army and was played by Matthew Broderick in the film Glory. That means you’ll see a lot of rum, brandy, and cognac in the cocktails. “That’s really what they drank back then,” says Reyburn, who worked at Jaleo before Bistro Bohem.

The cocktail menu, which will consist of six to seven drinks to start, will have some authentic recipes from the 1860s that Reyburn found in Jerry Thomas’ A Bon Vivant’s Companion as well as his own original twists. One of the cocktails he plans to do is a “Philadelphia Fish House Punch” with rum, peach brandy, cognac, and lemon juice. He’ll serve at least one type of punch table-side in big bowls. In the winter, expect homemade egg nog.

The beer menu will also play into the Civil War theme; it will be split between southern beers and northern beers. Reyburn says he’s in the process of trying to get a brewer’s license, which he hopes will allow him to make cider and ginger beer in-house.

Reyburn adds that he’s hired the law firm Doyle, Barlow & Mazard to try to introduce legislation that would create a distillery license for restaurants in D.C. There is already a proposal before the D.C. Council to create a new license for wine pubs, where wine could be produced and sold. Reyburn hopes his legal team can add in-house liquor production to that legislation. (A bold proposition coming from a restaurant that lost its liquor license under previous ownership.)

Meanwhile, Reyburn says Shaw’s Tavern plans to open a rooftop patio and bar in the next two months. Stay tuned.

Photo by Megan Arellano