A decade after opening on a then-desolate strip of H Street NE, three-level bar Smith Commons will soon close to make way for a soul food restaurant led by a Chopped winner.
In January, Milk & Honey will take over the space at 1245 H Street NE, expanding the reach of a fast-growing Maryland soul food restaurant that’s built on popular breakfast, brunch, and bar menus while expanding to D.C. and Atlanta.
Chef Sammy Davis, an alum of Nobu in New York who impressed on Food Network, first opened Milk & Honey Cafe in College Park and Bowie, Maryland. He debuted his first D.C. restaurant, short-lived Catch 22, on Georgia Avenue NW in October 2018, then rebranded it as the Bar @ Milk & Honey in July.
A spokesperson tells Eater that Milk & Honey is “growing up” by adding “formal lunch” and dinner items at its newest location. A large, three-level layout will help accommodate the bigger groups and private events.
The Bar @ Milk & Honey sells shrimp and grits, deep fried salmon hash, and a seafood burger croissant that’s served all-day alongside deep fried biscuits and wings, various breakfast sandwiches, and Belgian waffles. Cocktails include a Flamin’ Hot bloody mary inspired by the Cheetos flavor and a super potent “Shark Bite.”
Smith Commons will be redecorated with a theme that reflects the “soulful feel of D.C. from decades ago,” adds the spokesperson. A preview party is scheduled for New Year’s Day at 7 p.m.
Smith Commons came from Howard alums Jerome Bailey and Miles Gray, who teamed up to turn an old carpet warehouse into a cozy, brick-lined venue for cocktails, sliders, and wings. Over its 10-year run, the dimly lit space has garnered a steady fan base for happy hour and Monday comedy nights in its loft.