Its party-starting owners Mike and Christal Bramson also run nearby Clarendon Ballroom, Pamplona, Roll’d Sushi, and The Lot, along with D.C. club Alias on 14th under Dolce Vita and Rebel Tacos on K Street NW and Ashburn, Virginia.
The team’s year-old live music venue B Live occupies the front half of the old Whitlow’s On Wilson, the beloved watering hole that now sits in Shaw (2854 Wilson Boulevard). The new Coco B’s fills out the balance of the iconic Clarendon address. The 4,000-square-foot addition doubles the size of the indoor party, and a reactivated rooftop bar sending out frozen drinks under a thatched hut tacks on another 2,000-plus square feet. Hours are weekdays from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Coco B’s chef Juan Olivera sends out island bites like Jamaican oxtail patties, oysters with tamarind mignonette, ceviche punched up with popcorn, and refreshingly fruity salads dressed with papaya, mango, pineapple, and hearts of palm. Shareable orders like jerk chicken with yuca fries and jicama slaw join key lime pie and banana fritters for dessert. Coconut plays a natural role across Coco B’s menu, with starters served in carved-out coconuts, coconut shrimp, and a namesake daiquiri topped with a pillowy coconut foam and freshly grated lime zest.
Coco B’s beverage program is curated by director of operations Manuel Olivera, an alum of El Secreto De Rosita and Del Mar, and acclaimed mixologist Mick Perrigo — a big new hire for B Social Hospitality who formerly ran respected D.C. bars like Left Door, L’Annexe, the Passenger, and now-closed Columbia Room.
First-floor B Live embraced a Jingle Bell Rock pop-up theme during the holidays, and its latest summer takeover — also going live on August 11 — is called Beach Bar Live. Framed with flip-flops, darts, and surfboards, the dive-y destination for local bands and karaoke upon entry slings freshly squeezed orange crushes (including a Tang variety) alongside boardwalk favorites like fries, Baja tacos, burgers, funnel cake, hush puppies, and Old Bay crab cakes. If the Beach Bar Live pop-up proves to be popular, both spaces could eventually combine into one year-round trip to the tropics.
“We think this will stick in Clarendon because it’s a really a fun vibe,” says Bramson, paying homage to “all these beach bars we’ve been to in the past.”
Whereas B Live takes on a casual beach bar aesthetic, Coco B’s goes for glammed-up island vibes with velvety floral banquettes, coral tones, and pink-plumed chandeliers. David Anthony Chenault put together the look, which is divided into three “bays,” each with its own hot-pink neon cursive catch phrase: “Pink as F—ck!,” “too glam to give a damn,” and “Bitch, where’s my Champagne?” The latter overlooks a Bubble Bar dedicated to Champagne pours, spritzes, and sparkling apertivo cocktails.
A stylish garden patio area is covered in with cotton candy-pink stripes, bucket swings, and floral-patterned banquettes, while another bay is adorned with cool blues, tropical greens, and luxe basketweave wall covering, a la French designer Christian Lacroix.
A frozen-focused program up top includes a spin on a tiki margarita, mojito “frappe” (Don Q rum, mint fig leaf, lime, soda, absinthe mist), strawberry daiquiris, pina coladas, rum runners, and a watermelon Red Bull margarita.
Aggressive happy hour deals — “think Coyote Ugly on the beach” — include $2.50 tiki mug refills, $5 Champagne bottles, and a bloody mary bar.
Next up for the nightlife team: expanding to Navy Yard with the late summer opening of the Cove, a cabana-covered hangout on the banks of the Anacostia River where Bardo Brewing once sat. The sand is being poured as we speak.
“We do love beaches,” says Mike Bramson.