Reveler’s Hour, the Adams Morgan pasta and wine bar that marked one of the more exciting openings in town before the COVID-19 pandemic reached Washington, is adding outdoor seating for the first time tonight. The restaurant, which comes from Tail Up Goat owners Jill Tyler, Jon Sybert, and Bill Jensen, recently secured permission to take over a private parking lot behind a neighboring condo building.
Reveler’s Hour at the Lot (1763 Columbia Road NW) adds 11 tables where parties of up to four people can order canned wines curated by Jensen as well as takeout containers full of pastas, wood-grilled snacks, and other casual comfort foods overseen by Sybert, a finalist at this year’s James Beard non-awards. Tyler foresees a lot of people ordering brioche burgers ($16) with beef from dairy cows — there’s a plain jane, with special sauce, lettuce, tomato, and onion, and a spicy burger with fermented chile rub and a hot aioli — and fried chicken platters ($35 to $75) that come with biscuits, veggie sides, pickles, and a shareable dessert.
Snacks on the first menu, which customers can peruse using a QR code, include an eggplant Parm and a panzanella crostini. Desserts from new pastry chef Annie Coleman include a cherry clafoudis semifreddo and gelatos ($3 a scoop) in flavors like roasted sweet corn or caramelized pistachio custard. There are also floats (coffee or soda) with suggested combos like blueberry sorbet with Pellegrino limonata.
Jensen, known for grouping wines in eclectic categories like “There’s Something About Mary” [Taylor] and “From the Former Eastern Bloc,” is picking canned wines to serve individual portions and selling bottles from a daytime retail shop — which also has sandwiches and sweets to go for lunch — to sell bottles that come with plastic cups. Tyler says a bit of kismet went into snagging the lot behind a condo building called the Imperial.
“We were walking by one day, and I look to my left, and I was like how do we get that parking lot,” she says. “The next morning Bill texted me and was like, ‘The owner of the parking lot is here getting a sandwich.’”
Jensen, the beverage director and co-owner, says the outdoor addition allows the restaurant to hire back staff members eager to introduce customers to wines they might not know about.
“The people that are doing this now are in it. It’s their career,” he says. “They’re doing it in sprite of all signals to the contrary that they shouldn’t be doing this, that there are easier ways to make a living. We’re excitant to release them, to unleash them on the guests there.”
Jensen says the Lot will take after Bacchanal, a popular outdoor drinking spot in New Orleans that’s the envy of wine bar owners across the country.
“We don’t have a fabulous New Orleans outdoor space,” Jensen says, “but we have a kickass parking lot.”
Reservations for Reveler’s Hour at the Lot are available Thursday through Saturday through Resy. After this weekend, they’ll go online at 10 a.m. Mondays. Tables have a 1 hour, 45 minute time limit. A 22 percent service fee is included on checks in lieu of tips.