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A Huge Bar Is About to Open Inside a NoMa Apartment Building

The experimental watering hole has 30 draft lines and happy hour

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A preview night for Streets Market’s new NoMa bar on Wednesday, January 9.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Homegrown grocer Streets Market is getting into the bar game big time, bringing the NoMa neighborhood a much-needed drinking destination this weekend.

The cavernous bar is part of the new 7,000-square-foot Streets inside the Ava NoMa apartment building at 51 M Street NE. Along with the grocery store, it’s scheduled to open tomorrow night with 30 draft lines, estate grown wines, and eventually, food and cocktail menus.

Streets VP Campbell Burns describes the drinking area as a “full, sit-down Cheers-like bar.”

Drafts cost $6 to $8 for 16-ounce pours, with a gold dog tag hanging over each tap to identify the beer. On weekdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., drafts are $1 off, and a glass of red, white, or rose costs $5 each. Bottles on site are mostly small batch producers.

About half of the beer list reps local breweries, including Atlas Brew Works, Port City, and Right Proper. Other pours include Maine Beer Company’s Lunch IPA and a super potent Victory Golden Monkey (9.5 percent ABV) from Downington, Pennsylvania.

Streets Market likes to pair up with apartments, opening its first grocery store in 2014 at the foot of Capitol View on 14th Street NW. The NoMa Streets Market — the brand’s seventh location — is the first with a large-scale bar inside. Building residents have lobby access to Streets, which means they never have to step outside, but the public can access it from an M Street door.

The experimental drinking destination, located within the grocery store, has a nautical-meets-industrial vibe, with navy walls and leather bar chairs, chrome accents, and circular glowing orbs hovering above. A cafeteria-style hot bar around the corner, which will do fast-casual breakfast, lunch, and dinner, will focus on Korean and American fusion. The bar itself will soon start slinging its own snacks.

Guests can take the party upstairs to a seafoam-colored seating area overlooking the grocery store on one side and the bar on the other. Playful art includes “Mmmmmm St” lettering going up the stairs and a huge cartoon of a thumb’s up at the top.

Streets Market’s new bar is accessible from inside the grocery store.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC
The hot bar’s food menu is expected to include tacos and chicken wings. Bibimbap rice bowls could also be an option.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC

The grocery store is expected to open daily at 7 a.m., with bar service starting in the late afternoon. Both will stay open until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10 p.m. on other days. Full hours are expected to kick off this Saturday.

More like-minded grocers are starting to realize millennial-packed apartment buildings are into drinking options inside. H Street’s Whole Foods, anchored next to The Apollo, installed a bar giving customers a bird’s eye view of the store upon opening last year.

Despite the surge of multifamily development, the NoMa neighborhood is begging for more dining options. The sparse landscape currently includes enclosed beer garden Wunder Garten, which has limited hours in the winter, and adult arcade the Eleanor.

Next year, NoMa will fill out more with the arrival of Neapolitan pizzeria Menomale and its sister Italian deli Salumeria 2703 alongside cult D.C. coffee shop Sweet Science.