Downtown D.C. welcomes a dreamy new drinking perch this spring that boasts one of the largest agave menus in the city. The 200-room Moxy hotel’s long-awaited rooftop oasis Lucha Rosa starts pouring on Tuesday, April 11 at 5 p.m. (1011 K Street NW).
Late-night bar service goes until 2 a.m. on weekends, which is a rare feature for its 9-to-5 neighborhood. The Mexican-style cantina marks the second D.C. venue from Baltimore’s Atlas Restaurant Group, which debuted all-day seafood spot Parlour Victoria next door in February.
To get to Lucha Rosa, take Moxy’s lobby elevator to the 13th floor to encounter a restaurant adorned in magenta flowers meant to mimic Southern Mexico’s colorful landscape. Lucha Rosa literally translates to “pink struggle” and nods to Mexico’s wrestling culture.
“It’s an Oaxaca-style design and feel from Mexico,” says Atlas CEO Alex Smith. He likens to look to Atlas’s modern Mexican mainstay Maximón at the foot of Baltimore’s Four Seasons “but more playful and cocktail-driven.”
The transportive and vibrant setup features a mix of indoor and outdoor seating, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a retractable roof with views of the Washington Monument.
Lucha Rosa’s abundant opening agave collection is comprised of 130 curated bottles.
“The mezcal list features brands that show strong support for their mezcaleros and the sustainability of the industry,” says Lucha Rosa’s head of mixology Andrew Nichols.
There are several “destilado de agave” (spirits made from agave but are not registered as mezcal), as well as some Raicilla, Bacanora, and Sotol. Most of the tequila list showcases additive-free producers using traditional production methods, adds Nichols.
Beyond spirits, Nichols says Lucha Rosa will offer “a tightly curated” list of nine cocktails ($14-$20), plus all-canned wines and bottled beers.
“The cocktail program is succinct yet playful, featuring lots of fruits, flowers, and spices,” says Nichols.
Smith says his personal favorite is the Monarch, a fragrant cocktail made with orange, banana, spices, and a rum produced in the Mexican region of Michoacán. The drink alludes to the Monarch butterfly’s journey as it migrates from the cloud forests of Michoacán each year.
The one-page food menu looks to seasonal and local purveyors to assemble traditional Mexican dishes. Vegetables plucked from the restaurant group’s organic Atlas Farms in Finksburg, Maryland help mak a Caesar salad featuring garlic croutons, Cotija cheese, and creamy black pepper dressing. The iconic recipe was invented by Caesar Cardini in Tijuana, Mexico.
Ceviche calls for Maryland rockfish with avocado, tomato, red onion, and lime. Tacos ($8-$12 each) come in five varieties: chicken tinga, roasted mushrooms, carne asada, braised pork, and crispy fish. A pair of handheld tortas ($16-$17) pile roasted mushrooms or crispy chicken between bread.
Hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Sunday to Wednesday, with bar service until 2 a.m. on Thursdays to Saturdays. Plans are in the works for weekly music and entertainment, including a DJ playing every Friday and Saturday night.