18th Amendment Morphs into “Barrel”
by Larry Janezich
The 18th Amendment at 613 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, closed since last July after acquiring a new business partner, will be reborn as “Barrel” late this year or early next year. Thursday night, a spokesman for the 18th Amendment representing the partnership applying for renewal of the liquor license for that location, told ANC6B’s Alcohol Beverage Control Committee chaired by Commissioner Sara Loveland that the new liquor venue would be “more upscale” than the previous occupant, with “better food” prepared by a chef from Charleston, South Carolina. According to the spokesman, the new bar will serve 18 draft beers, and the interior is being redone to restore the brick and to bring in “classy lighting.” The spokesman said, “It will be more similar to Beuchert’s than the 18th Amendment as you remember it.” The new partner and driving force behind Barrel is Matt Weiss, the long-time owner of the Union Pub (formerly the Red River Grille) and Lounge 201.
As has been reported elsewhere, http://bit.ly/1amQZbv “Barrel” refers to “barrel-aged”, i.e. barrel-aged cocktails, infused bourbons, aged bourbons, etc. Chef Garret Fleming, formerly of The Pig, appears to be the Charleston chef. For a likely preview of the bills of fare, visit the dinner menu of The Pig here: http://www.thepigdc.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Dinner.pdf and “Bourbon Happy Hour menu” here:
or the drink menu here: http://www.thepigdc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/drinks.pdf
An interesting side note is the apparently continuing connection and involvement of Joe Englert, restaurant and entertainment developer of U Street, H Street, and Capitol Hill. According to the spokesman for the group on Thursday night, Weiss and Englert are partners in ownership of Pour House on Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. Englert is reported to be one of the partners in the 18th Amendment as well as Trusty’s. He began a project to make H Street, NE, a bar and restaurant destination in 2006, after the city announced plans to pump money into the old Atlas Theater in hopes of kick starting the redevelopment of H Street.