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Retro-Themed Gaslight Tavern Is Here

The new bar aims to bridge the gap between surrounding U Street watering holes

The main bar at U Street newcomer Gaslight Tavern.
Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

One reason busier-than-ever restaurateur Ian Hilton is happy to finally be switching on the lights January 29 at new bar Gaslight Tavern is because he’s tired of sending everyone who asks him for dinner recommendations to sibling establishment Chez Billy Sud.

“We want it to be a little more grown up than the other places around here,” the co-founder of surrounding bars including Mexican-themed El Rey, barbecue-friendly American Ice Company, British-themed Brixton, and rock-n-roll diner Satellite Room, says of his vision for the latest arrival at 2012 Ninth Street NW.

The new bar, which features wood floors, multiple fireplaces, artsy light fixtures, patterned wallpaper, and a fenced-in patio that will continue taking shape this spring, was designed by American Ice co-owner Joe Reza. Hilton says the renovation took about a year, but that it was worth it to capture the “1920’s tavern feel” that the principles wanted to foster here.

The main dining room at Gaslight Tavern features mostly high top tables and lots of elbow room.
Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

Both the bar up front and a second one tucked away in the back room will serve the same stuff: five draft beers — including an IPA from local producer Vanish Farmwoods Brewery, 3 Stars Brewing Company’s Above the Clouds pale ale, and Ommegang Brewery’s Hennepin saison — prosecco on draft, seven canned and bottled beers (all beers will run from $5 to $9 a pop), a dozen wines by the glass, and nearly a dozen cocktails ($12 to $13).

The back bar, which faces a wood-burning fireplace, at Gaslight Tavern.
Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

Chef Brendan L’Etoile, who also runs the kitchen at French-themed Chez Billy Sud, sprinkles gourmet touches across the small plates-centric menu here. He’s excited for customers to try poutine smothered in miso-spiked gravy, and says a salad featuring gem lettuce, radishes and buttermilk dressing reminds him of dinner around his family table. He describes his mushroom toast — which summons thick-cut bread doused in a sherry reduction and topped with sauteed mushrooms, goat cheese, and a lacy fried egg — as a tartine-like take on the meal.

Hilton says the Gaslight team is still trying to figure out what to do with the patio out back.
Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

Hilton, meanwhile, is rooting for the house cheeseburger, and a short rib stew featuring beef, bacon, onions, and roasted carrots.

The ample lighting at Gaslight Tavern is as Instagram friendly as it gets.

The bar is scheduled to open for dinner to start .Hilton says brunch is expected to follow, and leaves the door open to adding lunch service “if the neighborhood dictates it.”

Status: Certified open. 2012 Ninth Street NW

Chez Billy Sud

1039 31st Street Northwest, , DC 20007 (202) 337-8852 Visit Website

Gaslight Tavern

2012 9th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001 202-864-6272

Satellite Room

2047 9th Street Northwest, , DC 20001 (202) 506-2496 Visit Website

American Ice Company

917 V Street Northwest, , DC 20001 (202) 414-7930 Visit Website

El Rey

4201 Wilson Boulevard, , VA 22203 (571) 312-5530 Visit Website