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The Early Word on Reliable Tavern

“A mix between a dive bar and industrial kitchen.”

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

Reliable Tavern debuted earlier this month, 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.

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

Pastry maker Republic Kolache supplies the food, which includes $5 Czech-Texan pastries (RK also handles the food at fellow newcomer, Truxton Inn).

The Stellar Service News: Yelper Mike E. was “treated like family from the time I walked in the door. Ben makes uh-maz-ing cocktails ... my girlfriend and I had 4 a piece, and stayed for far too long chatting and having a blast.” [Yelp]

The Cocktail News: Instagrammer @droitfemme commented on her drink: “Rye'd or die! Best. #Cocktails. Ever. Ask for @benlongtime10.” [Instagram]

The Vibe News: Yelper Kelly S. says, “It has a cool sort of industrial vintage vibe that feels relaxed but serves absolutely amazing cocktails — they even cut their own ice.” Yelper Michaele M. describes the setting as “a mix between a dive bar and industrial kitchen.” Yelper Leah G. calls it a “neighborhood bar that knows what it's doing and requires no pretense. Pool tables downstairs, good food, and a late night industry crowd.” [Yelp]

The Down Low News: Yelper Shawn M. says, “Make sure you check out the basement when you go. When I was there, it was a lot less crowded than the top floor and that's where the pool tables are.” The Washington Post instructs visitors to “head downstairs to the basement ‘fungeon’ to find a second, smaller bar in a low-ceilinged room with a pair of pool tables and a loungey area with couches.” [Yelp, WaPo]

The Bank On This News: Yelper Drew N. notes the “place is budget-conscious, in that they have a whole list of $10 cocktails and ... a number of $3-6 cans and bottles that make drinking here affordable. They also have a whole list of hearty $5 snacks.” Facebooker Kevin Collins calls out the “great drinks with great service at great prices.” [Yelp, Facebook]