Some of the more intriguing elements about the forthcoming Truxton Inn include Sriracha popcorn, a framed photo of “Godfather of Go-Go” Chuck Brown, and a paperback copy of Jaws 2.
An array of quirky accents are packed into the small 50-seat space, set to bring old-school glamor to Bloomingdale (251 Florida Avenue NW) when it opens on Tuesday, May 2.
“We wanted it to feel like a place that’s been here for a long time, but it also has a modern feel to it,” said owner Matt Weiss, who also runs McClellan’s Retreat, 201 Bar and Barrel.
The starting point for the design was the worn-in green bar top slab, which will play host to a variety of popcorn flavors, charcuterie and other light bites.
At the centerpiece is its cocktail program, helmed by bar man Brian Nixon (McClellan's). The 12-item menu has two sides — one for classic cocktails, and the other for Nixon's versions of those same cocktails.
If daiquiris are your jam (one of six “Suggestions”), try the JFK on Vacay (the mirrored “Recommendation”), featuring Maui Pineapple rum, Rhum Agricole, passionfruit, lime, and house-made mulled simple syrup.
A year in the making, the space was converted from an “oddly-shaped” distributing shop, says Weiss. The lounge area resembles a library Don Draper might retire to, with vintage furniture like leather chairs, a reclaimed wooden pew, black-and-white photos, and colorful stained glass.
Dim mood lighting emanating from retro wall fixtures is expected to set the scene for lots of dates; Weiss suspects Truxton may become a hot spot for the Tinder set (much like McClellan’s).
“It wasn’t my intention, but I’m getting really good at getting people to hook up,” he told Eater.
D.C. authors and artists inspired some details, with framed photos of Edgar Allen Poe and Chuck Brown adorning the walls.
“We hope people bring games here, and bring a book, take a book — whatever,” said Weiss.
A patio will add another 50 seats into the mix.
Nixon says he’s “seen a lot of bars around the world” and one, in particular, helped shape Truxton’s overall ambiance and vibe: Nightjar, a subterranean speakeasy in London.
“Thankfully you won’t be wont be paying hotel prices like 23 euros for a cocktail here,” Weiss said.