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Reliable Tavern Brings Cheap Cocktails to Petworth

Petworth gets kolaches, happy hour and $10 cocktails

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Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Reliable Tavern debuted this weekend, bringing a new budget-conscious, neighborhood tavern to Petworth.

The two-story space, a former hardware store, was reimagined by designer Molly Allen (Republic, Barrel). The first floor features soaring 15-foot ceilings, while a basement boasts two pool tables and a bar backdrop with vintage 1920s central boiler and steam pipes.

The team has deep bar roots in D.C.: Joe Englert and Kyle Remissong are longtime partners in The Big Hunt, Rock and Roll Hotel and DC 9, while commercial real estate broker Langdon Hample has money in McClellan’s Retreat and the newly opened Truxton Inn in Bloomingdale.

Manning the cocktail program — with a mixology menu branded as “nonchalant elegance” — is Ben Alt (Convivial, Himitsu) and Benjamin Long, formerly at The Shaw Bijou. Patrons can pick a category and spirit, and the bartender does the rest.

Prices are definitely doable: cocktails are $10, while beer and wine ranges from $6 to $10. Happy hour starts right out of the gate — a rare perk for a new establishment.

Chris Svetlik’s Republic Kolache supplies the food, which includes $5 Czech-Texan pastries (Svetlik also does Truxton Inn’s fare). There’s a kolache cinnamon roll with orange icing and pecan garnish, and brisket and egg with cheddar, as well as bar snacks like $6 black bean hummus.

Brunch on weekends is in the works, as is a dedicated interior space for the eatery. The spot sits south of the Petworth Metro, in a neighborhood that has seen a surge of new bars and restaurants in the past year.

Status: Certified open nightly at 5 p.m. 3655 Georgia Avenue NW; website.