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A Bar Collaboration Lets Nicecream Sell Boozy Shakes in Adams Morgan and Shaw

Plus, Cantina Bambina unleashes crab cabanas on the Wharf

Nicecream x Songbyrd’s “Sweet Emotion” milkshake marries caramel Nicecream with Italian brandy.
Songbyrd/official photo

Futuristic scoops shop Nicecream and vinyl-slinging cafe SongByrd Music House have teamed up to cool down their Shaw and Adams Morgan neighborhoods this summer by offering a variety of spiked milkshakes.

The collaboration came to be thanks to a new pandemic-related ABRA bill that allows one business (Songbyrd) to temporarily extend its liquor license to another without one (Nicecream).

“[The city] was creatively thinking of revenue opportunities and partnerships for small businesses,” SongByrd co-owner Joe Lapan tells Eater. He considers neighbor Nicecream, which uses liquid nitrogen to flash freeze its flavors, the top ice cream shop in Adams Morgan. “One of my favorite bars used to be Satellite Room, which did boozy milkshakes,” says Lapan. “It was a no-brainer.”

A trio of 12-ounce creamy shakes (priced $13.99 each) are now available at Songbyrd (2477 18th Street NW), near Nicecream’s AdMo operation, and Nicecream in Shaw (1924 8th Street NW). The “Strawberry Baller” swirls sweet cream Nicecream with strawberry Baileys, garnished with rainbow sprinkles, a cherry, and whipped cream.

The shakes will be available for takeout and delivery from Thursday to Sunday, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., through at least July.

New beers and patios in Union Market

Union Market vendor Laoban Dumplings linked up with Baltimore’s Oliver Brewing to create a new beer dubbed Laoban Lager.

Laoban Lager, by the can and six-pack, is available for takeout and delivery.
Karlin Villondo Photography/Laoban

In other Union Market news, chef Alex McCoy’s two on-site stalls (spicy Thai stand Som Tam and Lucky Buns) returned for carryout and delivery this week. There are two brand new patios to enjoy in the Northeast neighborhood: St. Anselm’s airy new setup spills out into the street, partitioned off with thick rope. And O-Ku’s sushi/sake-slinging rooftop deck — a rare perch perk for the district — is also open.

Weekend wire

The Wharf’s Cantina Bambina unveils a new “crab cabana” setup this weekend. Parties up to six can spend two hours in a 10-by-10 reserved tent with a half-bushel of male crabs and Pacifico beers ($195, plus tax and service).

Over a dozen tents will host mini crab feasts this weekend.
Cantina Bambina/official photo

Downtown’s Immigrant Food hosts date night for two on its patio on Saturday, June 13, complete with live music from Indian-American acoustic singer-songwriter Sirtaj Kaur at 8 p.m. (or listen from afar on Instagram live). The on-site deal includes a pair of Indian Chakra beers, Taj Mahal sliders, and two red lentil sandwiches using naan for bread.

Re(openings) tracker

  • Mama Chang in Fairfax is one of many Northern Virginia restaurants welcoming back customers inside today (at 50-percent capacity). For every $120 purchase (pre-tax and gratuity) during its comeback week, guests get a free strawberry sesame crisp cake made by acclaimed pastry chef Pichet Ong. Lunch and dinner menus include dim sum, small plates like dry fried cauliflower, and family-style stir fry.
  • Cafe Riggs, Penn Quarter’s glitzy all-day dining destination inside the Riggs Hotel, returns after a three-month hiatus. Curbside takeout and delivery offerings include dinner kits starring whole roasted chicken, weekend brunch, and bottled cocktails.
Breakfast by Cafe Riggs.
Peden + Munk/Cafe Riggs
  • Navy Yard’s Mid-Atlantic eatery Shilling Canning Company reopens its garden patio on Friday, June 12, for dinner service (seatings at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.). The $55 multi-course menu includes a kefir-marinated cucumber salad with Chesapeake Bay blue crab, potato and ricotta gnocchi, and chocolate pot de creme.
  • The Renegade, Clarendon’s two-story cafe and live music venue, is back from noon to 2 a.m. with weekend performances from local bands. Shows are also streamed on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter, so “if [customers would] rather get takeout and watch the music at home, we make it happen,” says owner and chef Patrick Crump.
  • There are a few brand-new openings to note: Cafe Unido is open in Northeast’s Latin market La Cosecha and Coldstone Creamery is now live in Navy Yard.

On pause for now

Logan Circle’s tapas spot Estadio is temporarily closed, following the news an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

Patriotic pies

Nationwide protests are inspiring restaurants to promote change and make Election Day a paid day off. Restaurant chain &pizza just announced plans to close its entire nationwide portfolio of pizza shops on Election Day (Tuesday, November 3) and keep providing full paid time off to its 700 employees to do their civic duty.

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