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Before And After: Making Mie N Yu Into Ri-Ra

Missy Frederick is the Cities Director for Eater.

[Photos: Courtesy CORE]

Historic buildings are always complicated, and opening up Ri-Ra Georgetown in the former Mie N Yu space was no exception. D.C. architecture firm CORE worked with Ri-Ra's own designers, both here and in Dublin, to try to make a restaurant that was "an authentic Irish pub, not an Irish-themed bar," explained CORE's designer Christopher Peli.

The restaurant is mostly made up of salvaged materials, whether it be pieces from old pubs, items from stores in Ireland, etc. Entire portions of the bar were assembled in Ireland and shipped overseas to D.C. Core worked to open up the two-level space more than it had been when it was Mie N Yu, and worked to incorporate the building's original frontage into the design. "The idea was that you wouldn't perceive a difference between old and new — that things would blend together like they had been there the whole time. That was the big ideal," said Peli.

Some of the bar's main focal points include the salvaged statue of Saint Patrick downstairs, as well as the classy upstairs Whiskey Bar, which opened for business on Friday. Dark woods and leathers are dominant in that room, which also features eye-catching light fixtures and art work. A dramatic chandelier hangs from the bar's ceiling as well.
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