Fight Club is getting back in the ring, but this time it’ll be slinging sandwiches and pouring punches on its own turf.
The irreverent pandemic-era pop-up from the team behind Beuchert’s Saloon and the forthcoming Newland lands in Capitol Hill’s former Hank’s on the Hill space at 633 Pennsylvania Avenue SE this spring with an expanded menu, arcade games, and plenty of seating.
Co-owners Andrew Markert, Bart Hutchins, and Mackenzie Conway debuted Fight Club in Beuchert’s Saloon in 2020 while the Capitol Hill saloon known for classic cocktails sipped in an old school, Prohibition-era setting was on a pandemic hiatus. Unlike Beuchert’s, Fight Club isn’t about classic cocktails or a reliance on civilized accoutrements like forks and knives.
Located just five doors down from where it started, Fight Club gets to continue serving the community that embraced and supported it during the pandemic. “We had folks coming out two or three times a week, folks buying gift cards just to keep us around even when they weren’t hungry,” Hutchins says. “Fight Club was a pop-up, but it generated its own regulars. I’m just excited to have those folks back.”
With an aesthetic Markert describes as “outdoor punch garden with more edginess,” Fight Club will feature street art murals by local D.C. artists, arcade games (possible Street Fighter or Mortal Combat), a DJ booth, and televisions for sports in the dining room and at the bar. There are about 62 seats inside, as well as eight on a patio facing Pennsylvania Avenue.
“We take our sandwiches and our drinks seriously, but not ourselves,” Conway says.
In addition to many of the now cult classic sandwiches and boozy punches Fight Club served at Beuchert’s Saloon, the new menu will add a new large plate menu category that’ll include Nashville hot lamb shank with slaw, spicy pickles, and Hawaiian rolls for DIY sandwiches, as well as a fried half chicken and caviar that comes to the table with cornbread, honey butter, and coleslaw.
New sandwiches, like a shrimp toast “po’ boy” dressed with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, sesame remoulade, and pickled chilies on a hoagie roll, also join the line-up. A new sandwich called the “Iowa swine” features potato chip-crusted pork loin with garlic mayo on a sesame bun.
Also returning to the ring are favorites from the pop-ups days like the “F.C. chicken doink” stuffed with crispy buttermilk-brined chicken thighs, maple cake, and Crystal hot sauce mayo; and the namesake Fight Club, a spin on the classic club with roasted club steak, bacon, roasted tomato, shredded lettuce, and brown butter mayo on white country bread.
Conway and Fight Club bar manager Cory Holzerland are bringing back cleverly named cocktails like the Sad Boyz Tea, made with vodka, passion fruit iced tea, earl grey tea, mint syrup, and lemon. New additions to the drink list include the Venetian Mask, with chamomile-infused Old Overholt rye whiskey, foro amaro, rosemary syrup, bitters, and smoked rosemary. Imbibers can order large-format punches to share as well.
Bar Manager Cory Holzerland has been infusing rum with popcorn, and gin with Hubba Bubba (for a bubble gum negroni). “It’s a gorgeous negroni with this aromatic really bubble gum nose,” Conway says.
Joining Beuchert’s and Newland as the final piece of the team’s Capitol Hill trifecta, Fight Club will be open for all-day service seven days a week as well as brunch on weekends. DJs will spin during weekend brunch. Fight Club will also offer carryout when it opens.
“For me the big excitement is that number one we found a space, and number two we found it here in Capitol Hill—for this specific neighborhood; for this specific community,” Hutchins says.