Adams Morgan will get a year-round slice of paradise next week with the arrival of Tiki on 18th. The second-story beach bar above the Game Sports Pub (2411 18th Street NW) is packed with swaying decor and will sell marinated pork belly skewers alongside tropical drinks served in funky glassware.
Tiki on 18th opens Saturday, July 20. It comes from Jonathan Peterson, the co-founder of Rum Day DC, Rum Cocktail Club, and the Rum Block Party in Baltimore, and D.C. bartender Saab Harrison, who stirred drinks at Service Bar in Shaw.
A rotating spirits list will help fill flights of rum, tequila, and mezcal. A growing collection stocked behind the wood-lined bar includes El Dorado 15-year rum, El Silencio mezcal, and Maryland-based Lyon Distilling Co.’s pineapple-flavored rum.
The opening lineup of five creative cocktails ($12), including some on draft, carry playful tag lines. An Old Fashioned — described as a “drunken Caribbean beach cruise with a stop in South America” — gets a tropical twist with rum instead of rye.
Rum-heavy tiki drinks will be paired with Polynesian-meets-Mexican food from Jo-Jo Valenzuela, who runs the critically acclaimed, Filipino-focused place downstairs that replaced Ventnor Sports Cafe in February.
His marinated barbecue skewers, built with pork belly, chicken, and shrimp, arrive atop green banana leafs. Corn tortilla chips come with salsa verde, guacamole, or chili con queso. There’s also fish, pulled pork, and veggie taco options, along with a fatty brisket tostada.
The lengthy rectangular-shaped bar fits up to 40 seated guests inside, and another 12 on its patio out back (with 70 total standing).
Polynesian decor in the bathrooms honor Don Beach — a World War II veteran considered the “founding father” of tiki culture.
To drum up buzz around its opening month, Tiki on 18th is running a social media competition for $500 gift card giveaways.
Hours are scheduled for 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday to Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Todd Thrasher’s Tiki TNT just announced plans to capitalize on daytime waterfront views this summer by offering lunch through Labor Day.
Here’s a look at the opening menu:
Tiki Soft Opening Menu (1) by on Scribd