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Proper 21 Is Opening a Second Sports Bar In D.C.

A Foggy Bottom location is expected to land within the year

Proper 21 will import its popular mac and cheese order to an incoming Foggy Bottom location.
Proper 21/official photo
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Nearly three years since entering the D.C. market, upscale New York City sports bar brand Proper 21 plans to add a second location in the city.

NIEUW Group, which also owns Manhattan Proper and Proper West in NYC, inked a deal today for a sprawling 6,000-square-foot outpost at 2033 K Street NW. Its downtown location debuted in fall 2016 at 1319 F Street NW, drawing an instant D.C. following for its modern American menu, cult “Proper” burgers, happy hour, and weekend brunches.

The new space is expected to sport a similar look with velvet wallpaper, orchids, greenery, sleek gray booths, and racy black-and-white artwork. The plan to plant another location in D.C. was the idea since the brand arrived in D.C.

“We gave ourself an 18-month time line. We were going to see how it went and see how D.C. accepted us,” says Will Strozier, who co-founded NIEUW Group (named after the original settlement of Manhattan, Nieuw Amsterdam) with Robert Zahn in 2010.

Proper 21 co-founders Will Strozier and Robert Zahn.
Proper 21/official photo

The latest location marks the first time the partners are doing new construction, which will entail laying plumbing and pouring the concrete. Expect 120 seats inside and around 60 patio seats — about three times as many as downtown.

“I’ve never seen so many banks,” says Strozier, citing the need for more bars in Foggy Bottom.

The one-story layout will be filled with wall-to-wall 4K TVs and a high tech sound system, hoping to lure in George Washington University sports fans and students.

The best-case scenario is to open by the end of the year, but the debut will be more likely the first quarter of 2020.

“The day we sign we will start doing as much as we can in a short amount of time,” Strozier told Eater this week.

The company prides itself on locally sourced produce and meats, switching up the menu every quarter. Expect at least 12 taps for beer and 25 wines.

“We found a phenomenal chef and people working in D.C. We are so lucky with them,” says Strozier, noting the team recently promoted D.C. chef Steve Forbes to executive chef across its two-state enterprise.

“If No. 2 goes well, we’d do a third spot,” Strozier says.

There’s a serendipitous element about the lease’s location: Proper 21 will sit along 21st Street NW.

To celebrate its expansion, Strozier recently got a cursive “Proper 21” tattoo across his chest, a replica of which is now making appearances across T-Shirts and other company swag.