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An Underground Cocktail Bar With a Huge Tequila List Is About to Open in Mt. Vernon Triangle

DLeña Roja will serve Mexican small plates underneath a new high-end restaurant

dLeña ROJA’s bar top is lined with leather.
Zeph Colombatto/dLeña ROJA

A dark, candle-lit cocktail bar covered in brown leather seats and stocked with 250 tequilas will start serving customers in Mt. Vernon Triangle next week. DLeña Roja, an underground accompaniment to new wood-burning Mexican restaurant DLeña, officially opens Friday, June 11.

DLeña Roja (476 K Street NW) has its own cocktail list and a menu of Mexican small plates. A 14-page drink menu from assistant general manager Mike McDonald includes 300 agave spirits, including all that tequila and 50 options for mezcal. Richard Sandoval Hospitality will rent out 44 lockers that can be filled with private liquor stashes on a six-month basis.

Sandoval, the head of the international restaurant group behind El Centro D.F., opened DLeña in early May, bringing the neighborhood a high-end, Oaxacan-influenced place that serves tomahawk ribeyes theatrically flambeed tableside. Chef Carlos Camacho oversees a kitchen built around a rustic, wood-burning hearth.

The new, walnut-lined lounge shows off an assortment of trinkets, books, and lamps the group found in consignment stores around D.C., as well as shops in South America and India. Eleven artists in the interior Mexican city of Santiago de Querétaro put together wall hangings in the space.

The lounge won’t take reservations. Hours may expand in the future but will follow its upstairs counterpart to start (5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday).

The curved-shaped lounge lined with leather banquettes and ottomans fits 90 standing and 50 seated.
Zeph Colombatto/dLeña ROJA
Zeph Colombatto/dLeña ROJA
The lounge can be accessed via a stairwell in dLeña or from a private entrance on 5th Street NW.
Zeph Colombatto/dLeña ROJA
The swanky space was designed by PETERMAX Co.
Zeph Colombatto/dLeña ROJA

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