The new restaurant (2000 18th Street NW) is an actually an extension of the year-long Lucky Buns he first shared with the world at his rotating restaurant in Park View (3301 Georgia Avenue NW). According to McCoy, customers became so enamored with the beefy creations served in conjunction with his Thai kitchen, Alfie’s, that he decided to spin off the two-handed favorites.
The latest iteration of Lucky Buns features more exotically spiced fare than ever. There’s six beef-based burgers dressed with everything from savory bacon XO jam to zesty sambal chili mayo; five chicken sandwiches (some cooked tandoori-style, others swabbed in tangy tonkatsu sauce); a British breakfast burger composed of sausage patties, back bacon, fried eggs, and HP sauce; a vegetarian burger with halloumi, pickles, and onions; and heartstopping sides such as a “spice bag,” which brings together British chips (aka fries), fried chicken, Sichuan peppercorns, and curry.
“It’s late-night drunk food,” McCoy says of the lovingly crafted menu.
One of his favorites is an Australian number bolstered by smoked cheddar, pineapple, and pickled beetroot. “It’s so good,” he says of the flavor combination he fell in love with overseas.
Long-time collaborator Fabian Malone, who’s worked with McCoy up at the Georgia Avenue space, is back in the mix here. Drinks guru Jo-Jo Valenzuela joined the team after cutting ties with his most recent venture, Bistro 1521 in Arlington, Va.
Malone tells Eater he is excited about serving updated Bahama Mamas, Singapore Slings, Kamikazes, Alabama Slammers, and other throwback drinks they’ve re-engineered.
“Whatever’s gonna make somebody laugh when they order it or see it on the menu,” he says. Valenzuela has contributed some festive punches. There’s been discussions of rolling out hot toddies as the temperature drops. Oh yeah, and get ready for upscale wine coolers.
“You know you want one,” Malone says, chuckling to himself at the thought of seeing a bar full of people sipping fizzy fuzzy navels. Local beers on draft, bottled imports (Tsingtao, Tiger), cider from local producer Anxo, and java from local roaster Vigilante Coffee will round out the beverage service.
The restaurant is projected to operate for happy hour, dinner, and late-night to start. “I lament how hard it is to find good late-night food,” McCoy says, citing a desire to “keep the kitchen open as late as possible.” Lunch and brunch are expected to follow.
Can’t make it to Adams Morgan? McCoy says the Lucky Buns food stand inside Capital One Arena should remain in place until next spring.
Status: Scheduled to open at 5 p.m. 2000 18th Street NW; website.