A fast-casual Capitol Hill counter centered around experimental mix-in burgers goes big on booze at its new Chinatown digs, with wild weekday discounts on cocktails starting at lunchtime.
Eat Brgz opens directly across from Capital One Arena on Monday, May 9, with $6 frozen margaritas on Wednesdays and $5 martinis on Fridays from noon to 6 p.m. (704 Seventh Street NW).
The Southeast original opened in 2019, counting Michelle Obama as an early fan of its revolutionary take on the American classic. Eat Brgz founder Brandon Gaynor mixes fresh ingredients and spices into each burger patty, with protein picks of beef, chicken, Impossible meat, or a double patty. The starting lineup in Chinatown includes seven burgers, including an approachable Basic Brg (applewood bacon, red onion, pickles, aged cheddar and “basic” seasoning), Buffalo chicken variety with blue cheese, scallions, celery, and carrots, and samosa option with mango chutney.
A sleek, 25-foot bar dotted with black bar stools hopes to capitalize on a post-pandemic surge of tourists, office workers, and sports fans flocking to its 7th Street NW corridor. The Washington Capitals host the Florida Panthers for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight at 7 p.m. and currently lead the series 2-1.
The 53-seat burger bar doused in white paint slides into the former home of Legal Sea Foods. Eat Brgz opens daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. to start, with plans to expand hours well into the night later this summer.
Eat Brgz’s new bar manager Devlin Barry-Hoke (Pearl Dive, Maydan, Momofuku) sends out a rotating list of draft cocktails ($12) like an Old Fashioned, rum punch, and elderflower spritz.
A weekday happy hour (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) shaves $3 off draft cocktails to go along with $7 wines and 10 types of $6 drafts from breweries like Austin Eastciders, RAR, Zero Gravity, and Port City. Made-to-order cocktails include an espresso martini built with Mr. Black cold brew coffee liqueur and a Paper Plane (Aperol, amaro, bourbon, and lemon juice).
Burgers arrive in a freshly baked potato roll or gluten-free cauliflower bun or on a salad, topped with one of seven homemade sauces. Eating here is relatively cheap, by Chinatown standards; burgers start at $9.75 and sides of fries or crispy Brussels sprouts run $3.10 to $5. A kid’s menu features a grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, and burgers.
Diners can also customize burger creations with a choice of cheese, mixed-in toppings, a seasoning, and sauce. Orders can be made on-site at a kiosk or in advance online or via text.
Capitol Hill’s proprietary low-fat, protein-packed milkshakes make their way over to Chinatown, as do cocktails like The Second Ward (vodka, lemon, mint, aloe) and Summertime Sadness (mezcal, watermelon, lemon, Campari).
Chinatown’s fast-casual burger scene also includes mega-chain Smashburger, which made its D.C. comeback on the same strip last summer.