clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Voodoo Bar Brings Big Easy Energy to the U Street Corridor

Plus, MoCo considers eliminating tipped minimum wage, Barbie makes a Negroni Week appearance, H Street County Club auctions off decor, and more intel

Revelers Turn Out For Annual New Orleans Mardi Gras Celebration
U Street NW will get a year-round taste of New Orleans’ annual Mardi Gras celebration.
Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

An eclectic taste of Bourbon Street busts open in D.C. soon. Voodoo (1334 U Street NW) comes from the team behind Alchemist, the subterranean speakeasy situated in the same brick building. In true French Quarter fashion, booze will start flowing as early as D.C. permits (6 a.m. daily), per a new ABRA filing. The two-story sibling bar with room for 90 — not including a life-sized voodoo doll going in there — will serve communal fishbowl drinks alongside potent New Orleans cocktails like Hurricanes and Sazeracs. “Voodoo promises to bring the spirit of Mardi Gras to the nation’s capital all year long,” says Joshua Valencia, a California native who owns the U Street nightlife cluster with Texas-born business partner Joshua Taylor.

Tucked past a bright yellow door framed with a fleur-de-lis will be a first floor dripping in colorful beads, “crazy decor and lighting” and an overall tourist-trap feel, says Valencia, with plans to host trivia, karaoke, and sports-watching parties fit for Saints fans. A blacklight-illuminated second level will turn up the party with music and glowing neon accents, a la NoLa’s Halloween tradition of Voodoo Fest. A TBA food program will kick off next summer.

MoCo could join D.C. in phasing out the tipped minimum wage

D.C. voted to increase the minimum wage for tipped servers under Initiative 82, and now, Montgomery County could go the same controversial route. Councilmember Will Jawando introduced legislation to bump the tipped minimum wage from $4 to $6 next summer, followed by $2 yearly increases through 2028. The Restaurant Association of Maryland strongly opposes the move, stating servers could actually make less money if restaurants are forced to pass on the cost onto consumers. A public hearing is scheduled for October, and the bill must be signed off by the county’s whole council.

Barbie makes a Negroni Week appearance

Dovetail’s Barbie-themed Negroni Week cocktails ($18 each).

Now through September 24, bars and restaurants around the world — including over 100 in D.C. — offer Negronis and riffs on the Campari classic to benefit Slow Food. Viceroy’s chic hotel restaurant Dovetail opts to embrace the billion-dollar Barbie blockbuster for Negroni Week. Sip suze and St. George citrus vodka through a crazy straw in the Hey Blondie or go with the Barbie Girl, a Malibu Beach party in a glass with Grey Whale gin and a smoked watermelon garnish. The Just Ken plays on a boulevardier with Horse Soldier bourbon.

Buy a piece of H Street County Club before a brewery moves in

H Street Country Club, the mini-golf bar that quietly closed this summer after a 14-year run, is liquidating its assets. An auction site lists its glowing green “H” sign, neon-lit and metal beer ads, and kitchen equipment up for sale. The vacated space (1335 H Street NE) will welcome a new brewery and wine bar called Henceforth next spring, per BarredinDC.

Also on H Street, Popville spotted coming soon signage for Grand Central — the first sportsbook in D.C. — going into the old Rice Bar.