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A ‘Saved by the Bell’-Themed Bar Zooms Into Capitol Hill

Plus, a moody mezcal speakeasy opens above Maketto, Gravitas hosts an anti-PSL dinner, vegan venture Mita is back, and more pop-ups to try

Barrel’s basement bar reopens tonight with a three-month, Slinky-filled ode to Saved by the Bell.
Sam Sanchez/Barrel

Pop-ups and events are in full swing around D.C., and this selective guide includes everything longer-term pop-ups and one-off events.


Barrel pays homage to Nirvana with a “Smells Like Tequila Spirit” pouch of tequila, orange juice, Jack Rudy grenadine, cranberry, and habanero syrup.
Sam Sanchez/Barrel

Saved by the Barrel

The Deal: Capitol Hill’s bourbon-and-brunch standby Barrel reboots its basement bar for the first since the pandemic with a ’90s-themed takeover for the next three months. Trend-setting SoCal sitcom Saved by the Bell is the muse for a nostalgic soundtrack, zippy neon decor, and wild bartender outfits. The Barrel team refines recipes for ’90s favorites like an Appletini and Cosmo. “We Were on a Break” (a Long Island iced tea) is made with Barr Hill gin, El Dorado rum, Old Forester bourbon, lemon bitters, and orange Curacao. A section of “grown-up” Capri Suns include an “Ecto Cooler” (bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, blue curacao). On-brand snacks for sale include Pop Tarts and potato chips.

Where: Barrel’s basement (613 Pennsylvania Avenue SE)

Dates: Starting Thursday, September 22 through Saturday, December 31, with a Y2K New Year’s Eve party as the pop-up’s finale. Open 6 p.m. to close on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Cost: Cocktails are $13-$15


Spiced papaya dessert from Mita.
Mita

Mita at La Cosecha

What: Chefs Miguel Guerra and Tatiana Mora revive their vegetable-loving Latin pop-up for Hispanic Heritage Month. The eight-course meal includes achiote-marinated kabocha squash; watermelon crudo with fermented carrots and wild rice; and spiced papaya for dessert.

Dates: Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24

Where: Union Market’s La Cosecha (1280 4th Street NE)

Cost: $85 per person; reserve via Tock


FON Supper Club at Primrose

The Deal: New Orleans-based chef Byron Bradley flies to D.C. to curate a five-course dinner with boozy or alcohol-free pairings at Brookland wine bar Primrose. Roving supper club FON, which means “deep” in Haitian Creole, explores flavors of the African Diaspora and its influence on Southern Creole cuisine and culture. Dishes include sweet yam gnocchi with Moroccan chickpea stew and deconstructed lobster with charred okra and gumbo. Music from New Orleans and Haiti augment the meal, with optional wine pairings from sommelier Erica Christian.

Where: Primrose, 3000 12th Street NE

Dates: Monday, September 26. Welcome cocktail or mocktail at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

Cost: Tickets are $200 a person, including tip.


Clandestino

The Deal: Longtime friends Pedro Tobar and Daniel Sanchez, who developed a passion for smoky mezcal while bartending at Shaw’s now-shuttered Espita Mezcaleria, break out with a new agave-obsessed pop-up above hip H Street hangout Maketto. Clandestino (Spanish for Clandestine) offers seven smoky mezcal and tequila cocktails, including a citrusy Atrévete-Te-Te (Banhez Mezcal, Aperol, lime, guava) and boozy Me Porto Bonito (Banhaez mezcal, Libélula tequila, Cocchi Americano, Licor 43 and orange bitters). Names and ingredients are inspired by the duo’s favorite songs by Bad Bunny and Kumbia Kings. Maketto owner/chef Erik Bruner-Yang whips up a short list of accompanying snacks like gazpacho moreliano, tacos arabes, pan de cazón, and churros.

Where: The upstairs space at Maketto (1351 H Street NE); walk-ins only.

Dates: Open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. over a two-week period: September 26 to 29 and October 3 to 6, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.


Meet the Winemaker at Era Wine Bar

The Deal: Tinashe Nyamudoka, a Zimbabwean sommelier and founder of Kumusha Wines, makes a one-night appearance at Mount Rainier’s neighborhood fixture Era Wine Bar. Feast on a three-course dinner with wine pairings while hearing about Nyamudoka’s journey from Cape Town restaurants to the World Tasting Championships in Burgundy.

Date: Tuesday, September 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Era Wine Bar, 3300 Rhode Island Avenue, Mount Rainier, Maryland

Cost: Tickets start at $55


Anti-PSL Dinner at Gravitas

The Deal: Decorated pastry chef Aisha Momaney’s latest “Dessert for Dinner” pop-up is the antithesis to the nation’s obsession with the seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte and its copycat counterparts. The five-course progressive pastry experience is all about the apple, with apple cider sorbet paired with an apple fritter, an apple blossom or a caramel macchiato, and a special “Trick or Treat” finale.

Where: Gravitas, 1401 Okie Street NE

Dates: Sunday, October 9

Cost: $90 per ticket, with optional wine pairings; book here.


Chef Paolo Dungca x Supreme Barbeque

What: Filipino chef Paolo Dungca debuts a pop-up menu for local chain Supreme Barbeque. Starting Saturday, September 10, its Annandale, Virginia location serves limited edition dishes like pork ribs tocino, smoked chicken insal with acharra and chili-vinegar, and cassava cornbread with macapuno butter. At the Block food hall in D.C., Dungca runs tasting menu spot Hiraya and co-owns fast-casual Pogiboy with James Beard Award winner Tom Cunanan, which graced the cover of Food & Wine this summer. Supreme Barbeque owner Jeremy Canlas has experience combining Asian flavors with American barbecue at its dual D.C. locale, which serves 16-hour smoked brisket alongside brewed-to-order teas from Auntea Boba.

Where: Supreme Barbeque, 6920 Braddock Road, Annandale, Virginia

When: Running for six weeks starting Saturday, September 10


Lost Sock Roasters at Phillips Collection

The Deal: Lost Sock Roasters opens a new pop-up cafe this fall inside the Dupont Circle’s revered Phillips Collection. A full espresso bar, iced and hot seasonal drinks, and non-caffeinated options join a list of wines and beers. Owners Nicolas Cabrera and Jeff Yerxa debuted their first standalone coffee shop in Takoma last year after roasting in Brightwood Park since 2015. Look for baked empanadas by Hungry Moon Foods in Hatboro, Pennsylvania (Cabrera’s parents’ company), as well as new creations by chef Jordi Harper. The cafe is outfitted with free Wi-Fi and a massive patio. Tryst formerly operated a cafe inside the private museum.

Where: The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW

Dates: Opening around mid-September; check social media for updates. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: The cafe will be open to museum guests as well as the general public (without an entrance fee).


Sparrow Room Chef Night Out Series

The Deal: Nalee Kim, the director of ops at Arlington’s new Sparrow Room, throws a bi-monthly supper club inviting top Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) chefs around D.C. to come and cook something fun and different for a night. Chefs have full creative liberty over their surprise menus, with optional cocktail and wine pairing curated by the Sparrow Room bar team. For wine, AAPI sommelier Amanda Carpenter from Native Selections Wines will help curate the list based on dishes of the night. The chic cocktail parlor with dim sum and mahjong (a tile-based game) invites guests to hang out with their chefs after dinner.

Where: Sparrow Room, 1201 South Joyce Street, Arlington, Virginia

Dates: Look for pop-up appearances from Katsuya Fukushima, Masako Morishita, Justin Ahn, Tae Shik Strain, and more.

Cost: $85 per ticket, starting at 6:15 p.m.

Chef Jerome Grant is also popping up at Sparrow Room with Mahal BBQ on Tuesday, September 27 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Reverie x Minibar

The Deal: When extensive fire damage forced Michelin-rated Reverie to temporarily close last month, its chef/owner Johnny Spero turned to his former Minibar boss José Andrés to figure out a way to support out-of-work staff. Four full-time Reverie employees will collaborate on joint tasting menus at Minibar for a month this fall, Spero tells Washingtonian. Spero, who’s gearing up to open Bar Spero downtown next week, will go back and forth between both. Reverie will likely not reopen this year, he says.

Where: Minibar, 855 E Street NW

Dates: Starting Wednesday, October 5

Cost: Multi-course dinners are $350 per person; $25 from each sale directly supports Reverie staff. Tickets here.


Press Club Preview at Jônt

The Deal: The hospitality group behind Michelin-rated Jônt and Bresca plan to unveil a luxe new cocktail bar called The Press Club on the Southwest Waterfront’s Wharf development next year. To get excited for the opening, the team invites NYC’s Overstory — just ranked No. 27 in the World’s 50 Best Bars: North America — down to D.C. for a cocktail collaboration with spirits brand Michter’s. The new bar at the Wharf will feature resident DJs, drinks, and bites.

Where: Jônt, 1904 14th Street NW

Dates: Monday, October 17, with seatings starting at 5:15 p.m.

Cost: $185 per ticket


Desayuno at Cinder BBQ

Details: Cinder BBQ’s new Mexican breakfast pop-up brings tamales, enchiladas, huevos rancheros and huevos con chorizo, pozole, and chilaquiles to Petworth, according to Petworth News.

Where: Cinder BBQ, 800 Upshur Street

When: Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon

Chef Ed’s Fly Balls Pop-Up

Details: Chef Ed Hardy, who recently closed Rogi pierogi stand, is back with a meatball (and other round foods) pop-up conveniently located in the former Rogi space at Chefscape at the Village at Leesburg. Everything on the menu is in ball form, such as Eastern shore hushpuppies with Old Bay and lobster cream; Italian meatballs; Swedish meatballs; arancini, bourbon balls, and cake pops.

Where: Chefscape at The Village at Leesburg, 1602 Village Market Boulevard SE #120, Leesburg

When: Check social media for updated schedules.

Spicy ginger and lemongrass chicken meatballs served with sticky coconut rice balls, lime, and micro-basil at Chef Ed’s Fly Balls pop-up in D.C.
Spicy lemongrass and ginger Thai meatballs at Chef Ed’s Fly Balls are served with sticky coconut rice balls.
Chef Ed’s Fly Balls

Pan Pizzas From June Pizza

Details: From husband-and-wife team Michael Turner and Alexandra Bookless Turner (and named for their daughter), naturally unleavened pan pizzas made with mid-Atlantic grains come with pepperoni, sausage and peppers, four cheese, as well as an all-cheese white version with chile flakes, garlic, and honey drizzle. Add on a kale Caesar or a slice of cajeta cheesecake for the full deal. Details on ordering and payment here.

Where: Pick-up is in D.C.’s Trinidad neighborhood. Exact location will be shared upon order confirmation.

When: The pop-up returns once a month with dates announced on the website and Instagram.


A.i. Pop-Up Event Series

A.i.’s Nü Androids pop-up event series is spearheaded by Nayef Issa.
Nü Androids/official photo

The Deal: Nü Androids’s multi-sensory project pops up in a 12,000-square-foot Northeast warehouse through the spring, complete with well-known EDM DJs, activations, custom light shows, LED music visualizers, and art installations. Healthy 4you Juicebar slings fresh-pressed cold juices, pastries, and Neapolitan-style pizzas with a cauliflower crust option. Look for a curated cocktail list named after the featured headliner’s tracks.

Dates: Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. (upcoming lineup here)

Where: A.i. (2101 New York Avenue NE)

Cost: Tickets are $20 to $35 per person


A Presto! Italian Foods

The Deal: From veteran Tune Inn bartender Stephanie Hulbert-Sargent, Rammy-nominated A Presto! Italian Foods celebrates the kind of Sunday dinner she grew up eating in New Jersey with her Italian family, according to Washington City Paper. Named for Hulbert-Sargent’s maternal grandfather, family is the name of the game with several dishes are named for family members. Mama Sue’s meatballs, lasagna, chicken Parmesan, and Sunday gravy all make appearances on the rotating menu. Reservations available here.

Where: Bullfrog Bagels upstairs space (317 Seventh Street SE)

Dates: Thursday through Sunday nights from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.


Balangay Pop-Up at Bullfrog Bagels

The Deal: Filipino chef Wing Villarias sets up shop at Atlas District’s Bullfrog Bagels three nights a week with an a la carte dinner menu featuring classics like lumpia, crispy pork belly, fried calamari with squid ink, vegan pancit, and fried chicken adobo.

Where: Bullfrog Bagels, 1341 H Street NE

Dates: Open for dine-in and takeout Thursday to Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Cost: Dishes start at $8


Kennedy Street Tacos

The Deal: Chef Jaren Morrow’s taco Tuesday residency at neighborhood dive Jackie Lee’s features a menu of crunch wraps, quesadillas, burritos, taco salads, and pick-your-own proteins.

Where: Jackie Lee’s, 116 Kennedy Street NW

Dates: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Tuesday

Cost: Tacos and dishes are $6-$10 and sides (tostones, beans, rice) are $3 each


SANdwich LORENZO

The Deal: San Lorenzo chef Massimo Fabbri debuts a lunchtime pop-up showcasing the sandwiches his mom used to make him in Tuscany. On the savory side, a 10-inch baguette comes with mortadella and caprese. Another option has 18-month prosciutto di Parma ham, burrata mousse, crushed tomato, and 12-year-old Balsamic. A “sweet” section served on a round brioche bun include Nutella ricotta with strawberries and hazelnuts and “Vegano” with fresh figs, mint, and fig jam. The menu will also feature four salads and a soup of the day.

Where: San Lorenzo Ristorante + Bar, 1316 9th Street NW

Dates: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday

Cost: Sandwiches run $10-$14. Orders will be available through DC to GoGo, Doordash, Grubhub, Uber Eats or via pickup at San Lorenzo via phone (202-588-8954).


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