Pink Taco, the flashy Mexican bar with celebrity fans like Snoop Dogg and Jennifer Aniston, unveiled its massive Navy Yard locale this week.
Around since 1999, the loud chain’s first-ever D.C. location (100 M Street SE) opens with eight types of tacos, enchiladas, burritos, fajitas, churros, and four types of margaritas by the glass or pitcher. D.C. also has its own taco to try: a lamb barbacoa variety with roasted beets, goat cheese, pepita, and gremolata on a corn tortilla.
The 236-seat space offers 72-seat wraparound patio. To start, hours are weekdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (with 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. happy hour) and weekends from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The sprawling corner location, which slides into the industrial-styled space formerly occupied by brewery Gordon Biersch, offers a mix of bar, high-top, and booth seating illuminated with magenta bulbs. Flickering votive candles and colorful images of animated skeletons wrapped around slick white subway-tiled columns contribute to a goth-like Day of the Dead look.
Its big, circular bar in D.C. is ground zero for an experimental cocktail menu that will eventually appear at other U.S. locations. Its answer to an espresso martini is the “One True Power,” which pairs Mr. Black cold brew liqueur and espresso with mezcal, tequila, Nixta corn liqueur, and bitters. A traditional spritz gets a kick from chipotle-infused Aperol. (Disclaimer: during opening week, some of the debut drinks may not be available just yet.) Domestic and Mexican beers like Coronas and Tecates come by the can or in buckets of six.
Taco Tuesday will enter the fold in mid-July. It’s the only time to try tacos a la carte (orders normally come as a trio). There’s also Tuesday-only tacos like charred octopus and crispy tofu, served 5 p.m. to close. Navy Yard is already home to a similar Mexican and tequila-driven menu with color-soaked El Bebe across the street.
The iffy Pink Taco name has stirred up some controversy in the past due to the same derogatory slang term for a portion of the female anatomy, but the name actually refers to the pink pickled onions in its tacos. Pink Taco also makes pink tortilla chips and shells for its eponymous taco.
“The Gospel of Pink” (tequila, strawberry-beet agave, and lime juice) cocktail comes in both on-the-rocks and frozen form. Slushy selections arrive in carved-out pineapples for $6 more.
The boisterous taco chain was founded in 1999 by the late Harry Morton, son of Hard Rock Café co-founder Peter Morton and grandson of Morton’s Restaurant Group founder, Arnie Morton. The brand will soon expand to NYC with an outpost in Times Square, joining existing locales in West Hollywood, Boston, and Miami Beach.