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TallBoy Grilled Cheese
A Cuban style grilled cheese sandwich from TallBoy.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

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Shaw’s New Late-Night Grilled Cheese Bar Opens This Week

TallBoy starts welcoming customers on Thursday, March 7

This week the former Smoked & Stacked space on Ninth Street NW will officially switch from a daytime sandwich operation to a nightlife hub that sells 16-ounce cans of beer, chicken wings, and grilled cheese until the early hours of the morning.

TallBoy will open at 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, starting off its second life in Shaw with nine varieties of plus-sized cans spanning from Schlitz, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Narragansett ($5) to Burley Oak Lost IPA ($9). Craft beers from Maine Beer Co. and Manor Hill will be on tap, and another draft line will pour cocktails. Former Ripple general manager Danny Fisher is overseeing the wine selection.

Tin Shop, the development group behind the always-packed Franklin Hall near U Street NW, led the transformation after splitting up with Smoked & Stacked founding partner Marjorie Meek-Bradley, who wanted to concentrate all her attention on feeding massive crowds at St. Anselm.

TallBoy bar
The bar at TallBoy will have beer, wine, and draft cocktails.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Tin Shop co-founder Peter Bayne tells Eater that it made more sense for the company to pivot to a bar than to focus on breakfast and lunch in a neighborhood with little foot traffic during the day.

Events at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center would bring in business, and people would still line up on weekends for Meek-Bradley’s pastrami — which will stay on at TallBoy in a “Smoked & Stacked” Reuben — but slow afternoons were inevitable during the week. The time, energy, and costs of curing beef and baking bread made margins tough to navigate, too.

Focusing on beer was a natural move for the Tin Shop, which also operates Church Hall in Georgetown, Big Chief in Ivy City, Highline RxR in Crystal City, and Penn Social. With 30 seats, TallBoy is more compact than the other businesses.

“We’re doing these beer halls and this new hybrid sports bar model that we wanted to expand on,” Bayne says.

TallBoy bar seats
TallBoy has room for about 30 seats.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

When Bayne and Tin Shop partner Geoff Dawson evaluated the state of Shaw, they saw a need for two things: affordable beer and late-night food to serve the bars on Ninth Street. Bayne hopes TallBoy embodies the feeling of carefree days when he used to pool his money with friends to buy a six-pack.

“We wanted to have a place that was comfortable and was affordable and was friendly an you could go after work and not worry about dropping a fortune,” Bayne says.

Shaw’s options for affordable beer and late-night food have recently grown with the respective openings of intentionally anti-trendy Jake’s Tavern and fried chicken spot Roy Boys. Zeppelin just opened, too, bringing the neighborhood late-night sushi and izakaya food.

TallBoy cans
A piece of art pays tribute to historic tall boy cans.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.
TallBoy definitions
Definitions for “TallBoy” are painted on a wall near the bar.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.
TallBoy mural
Local artist Kelly Towles painted a tall boy on the wall.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.
TallBoy wide shot.
TallBoy takes up the former Smoked & Stacked space in Shaw.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

TallBoy is located at 1239 Ninth Street NW. Operating hours are 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday, noon to 3 a.m. on Saturday, and noon to 2 a.m. on Sunday.


1239 9th Street Northwest, , DC 20001 (202) 465-4822 Visit Website
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