With summer in full force, there's a new outdoor spot for booze and bites.
DC Restaurant Group's new 125-seat establishment features a two-story dining room, three bars and a rooftop deck, has such offerings as a grilled 10 oz. Wagyu Beef burger to a gigantic mule in a copper mug that's designed for group cocktailing. 801 is going for a fresh and beachy vibe, partner Eric Heidenberger tells Eater. The corner building, which formerly housed Dunya, got doused in white paint and features natural woods, clean lines and black and white photographs throughout.
As of now, the limited dinner menu includes a seasonal house or grilled Caesar and one of five entrees for $24.95 (Heidenberger says an early entree favorite is the roasted chicken). Other mains include pan-seared halibut, cauliflower steak, the 801 Burger topped with sauteed onions, maple bacon, and fontina cheese, and a 10 oz. grilled coulotte steak with house hand-cut fries. There's a small selection of small bites as well available on the roof. The first brunch service kicks off this Sunday. As for drinks, 10 cocktails are in the mix, including the signature 801 Lemonade with Stoli vodka, lemonade, simple syrup, mint, and chambord and the 801 Mega Mule with Owen's Mule Mix, vodka, and mint in an oversized copper mug.
The plan is to bring the mega mules to a couple of the restaurant group's sister locations, as well as expand their oversized cocktail offerings in general (Heidenberger hints at an incoming giant grapefruit margarita with Owen's Paloma mix). Sister spot Madhatter has a Hatter's Punch—a huge rum punch served in a top hat. The Orange Crush, a big summertime smash, also appears on the menu (appropriate, since DC Restaurant Group also also owns a bevy of beachfront bars like Mango’s and The Starboard).
Most changes to the Dunya space were aesthetic — hence the relatively quick turnaround — but a tabletop was added around the perimeter of the roof to let guests dine and drink while overlooking the buzzing Shaw and U Street neighborhoods.
Shaw has seen a surge of openings in the past year, with debuts from Kinship, Columbia Room and, most recently, Anxo Cidery & Pintxos Bar. DC Restaurant Group joined Shaw last year with the addition of Shaw's Tavern to its family.
801 Restaurant & Bar, 801 Florida Ave. NW; website