New Cocktail Lounge On U Street – The Gibson

Some people are going to hate me for writing about this but hell if it’s on Yelp then I figure I can share it with y’all as well. So 6 weeks ago a new Cocktail Lounge opened up at 2009 14th St NW right next to Marvin. There is no signage at all so just look for the buzzer or a gentleman standing out front. I’d have never of known about it if a friend of mine didn’t recommend it for drinks on Friday so I walked past it tonight. Lots of positive talk over at Yelp. Here are some samples:

“I let the cat out of the bag……
But I just had to share with my fellow Yelpers!

I just wanted to let you know that The Gibson has become more wonderful with time!

After many a night introducing my friends to a great cocktail and a place where we can hear each other and enjoy each others company everyone agrees hands down the best place in the city to hang out with friends and have a drink.”

“The protective metal grate on the only street facing window is permanently drawn, so there is no indication of the lounge from the street. The transformation wrought on the other side of the metal grate by the new owners simply astounds. Upon pressing the buzzer, a dapper and smiling gentlemen in a lovely tweed suit asks for the number in your party. If there is room to sit at the bar or a banquet, he escorts you inside and it’s time to begin. There’s a wide array of thoughtfully created cocktails to choose from; I opted for a whiskey and absinthe concoction. My friend ordered a wine. The bartender is extremely gracious and friendly.”

“I was tempted to write a less than 5-Star review, only because this place makes you leave after an hour and a half. It’s like getting kicked out of the Garden of Eden except the bouncer has a clipboard and not a flaming sword.”

19 Comment

  • BEST mai tai in DC! Anyone who remembers Honolulu will know what I’m talking about.

  • Thanks POP. Well, D.C. has already belatedly followed NYC in the wine bar and cupcakery trends, I guess it was inevitable that we’d follow NYC in the hidden speakeasy trend as well. Still, it sounds pretty chill, definitely a place I want to check out.

  • And maybe you can even get a Gibson there. BTW, does anyone know how they are with classic cocktails? I’ve aways found it difficult to find someone who can make a good Sidecar (winter) or Gin Rickey (summer). Bartenders just aren’t what they used to be.

  • Park View – You need to go to PX. Todd Thrasher is the man to beat.

  • Park View, try finding a bartender who knows how (or who will admit to knowing how) to make a ramos gin fizz on a busy sunday morning.

  • The Gibson’s Old Fashioned’s are phenomenal

  • I’ve been dying to go, the cocktails sound phenomenal. Seems like a great place to spend NYE, but I doubt I could get a reservation.

  • Don’t worry PoP, you’re not giving away any “secrets,” the Gibson was all over the Wash Post (going out guru stuff) when it first opened. Those stories are usually planted, and in this economy (though people always have money for booze) I’m sure the owners’ wanted to make sure enough traffic came through the door. But can I just rant about Marvin (their sister bar next door) for a second? I was there early on a Saturday night (like 6 or 7) sitting at the bar, has 2 Woodford on the rocks (bourbon) and when I got the check, they charged $2 a glass for the rocks. Incredible. There’s gentrification and there’s gentrification, but paying for ice is a new low.

  • $2 for a glass on the rocks, that’s ridiculous

  • $2 for a glass on the rocks, that’s ridiculous

  • U, the one time I went to Marvin I walked in with 2 friends and the hostess ignored us for like 10 minutes even though there was an open table. Then someone came in *after* us, and she started talking to him as he was apparently a friend, meanwhile still ignoring the fact that we were standing there obviously waiting for a table. It was bizarre… I was like, “Am I not dressed nicely enough? Did I have to be invited to come here?”

  • The bartenders at Marvin are horrible about overcharging. On two separate occasions I’ve witnessed angered patrons who had tabs well over what they should have been. The bartenders’ solution both times? Call the bouncers and have them intimidate the customer into paying, then kick them out. Moral of the story: Pay cash at Marvin’s bar.

  • I loved marvin when it first opened, and they still have a great roof deck, but is it me or had the quality of food gone down since the first few months? Also just insanely crowded on weekends …

    One place I WILL recommend in that area is 1905 on 9th. Tried it this weekend, best atmosphere, easily, of any place around U Street, and the food was very tasty.

  • Marvin does have a nice roof deck, but the service has always been spotty. They actually lost a date’s credit card that he had given the bartender for a tab. Talk about a nightmare.

  • Marvin is a cool bar. It’s just a victim of its own popularity in many ways. Keep em comin Eric Hilton

  • I want to second 1905. But the bar has literally 7 chairs and no space for anyone else, so don’t go there if you’re looking for a bar (though I guess you could sit at a table and just order drinks, but I think my point is that its not a “bar”). Very cool though.

  • Marvin sucks just like the area its in.

  • The Gibson is an over-rated speakeasy in a town full of speakeasies. Give me a break about not advertising – who do you think wrote the first “tip” above? Drinks are average but you pay an average of $16-$20 per drink. Huh? Am I missing something here? Granted, Gibson makes their own soda and buys labeled alcohols, but nothing else.

  • Dear Gibson Not:

    I really think you are mistaken… Gibson drink prices are more in the range of $8-14 with a few exceptions, and I have heard from numerous people that they are excellent. Also, I wouldn’t consider DC a city full of speakeasies…most bars are overcrowded and loud which makes the Gibson a welcome change

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