The new drinking and pizza mecca (1817 7th Street NW) is scheduled to officially open on Friday, October 26 with a five-hour happy hour kicking off daily at 5 p.m., featuring upbeat music and cocktail specials. The lengthy happy hour, also accented by the occasional local or visiting DJ spinning above diners’ heads, is being dubbed “The Vibe.” The DJ booth, accessed by a winding stairwell, also gets its own name: the “Tree House.”
“I think one of the things that makes D.C. D.C. is it’s such a happy hour city,” &pizza co-founder Michael Lastoria tells Eater. “I haven’t been to another city that loves it more, and we pay homage to that.”
While there’s already an &pizza nearby on U Street, Lastoria says he always wanted to open a sister spot closer to Howard University and in the heart of Shaw — one of his favorite neighborhoods to hang out. Broccoli Bar sits on the same nightlife strip that houses Drink Company’s rotating pop-up bar and Mason Dixie Biscuit Co.’s new location.
He says the Broccoli Bar concept came to fruition pretty quickly. He and Broccoli City co-founders first sparked the conversation about a potential collaboration just this March during Austin’s annual SXSW conference.
“They’re doing big things in the community. We want to lift them up and spread their gospel the way others have spread ours,” he says.
Broccoli City’s signature summer music festival featured superstar headliners Cardi B and Miguel this year.
“They have such an amazing rolodex of not just local and emerging acts but some of the biggest stars. You’ll see a lot of guest appearances from unbelievable artists going through town,” says Lastoria.
Broccoli Bar’s hours of operation are scheduled for Sunday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
&pizza’s signature offerings stem from a small pick-up kiosk tucked in the back of the restaurant, and customers can order pizzas from their phone or on-site tablets. A brand new cheesy pie at Broccoli Bar called “Mad Cheddar” naturally integrates broccoli, alongside cheddar beer sauce, pickled red onions, and croutons to deliver an added crunch. Here’s a look at the opening menu, which also calls for boozy brunches on weekends.
Broccoli Bar’s main focal point is its bar, lined with leafy plants, big windows opening up to the patio, and lots of Jameson bottles and other spirits. Vodka makes its way into the G.F.L (Grown Folks Lemonade) cocktail with limoncello, ginger berry lemonade, and lemon. Lastoria says the mentality behind making the happy hour run from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. is so that some customers can fit their night out into that time slot.
“We’re all a little older now so bed time to us is earlier than when we were younger kids,” he says.
As part of his six-year-old homegrown brand’s rapid expansion plans, &pizza will break into the Miami and Boston markets next. While Lastoria declined to disclose future store counts, he promises 2019 to be its “biggest” expansion year yet.
Boston’s getting a debut Milk Bar-meets-&pizza shop, a setup similar to the new Broccoli City collaboration. Milk Bar and &pizza share the same investor RSE Ventures, an offshoot from the founder of real estate tycoon Related and have tag teamed on menu items before.
- Broccoli Bar Will Bring Boozy Brunches, &pizza Pies, and Business Lectures to Shaw [EDC]
- Why Momofuku’s Billionaire Investor Is Aggressively Funding NYC’s Top Restaurants [EDC]
- &pizza CEO Dissects Expansion Plans, Winning Strategies at MCON [EDC]
- How Two Pals Created DC’s Broccoli City Music Fest [Washingtonian]