In Lieu of a FQotD Please Accept a Sneak Preview of Room 11 (Located at Corner of 11th and Lamont)


Forgive me if the following post is not terribly coherent but I am weeping tears of joy as I write this. Plus I’ve had a few glasses of wine… Le Jour de Gloire est arrive. The glorious day has arrived. Or it will arrive Monday, August 10th. As first reported here July 20th the new wine bar, Room 11 is set to open on Monday and had a sneak preview tonight that I was fortunate enough to attend.


It is hard to believe given all the build up but it exceeded my expectations. The place looks fantastic.

Both inside:


And outside:


What is hard to explain is how good the vibe feels. It is simply a very comfortable place. Of course it doesn’t hurt that the wine, food, and proprietors are fantastic! Dan Searing (pictured in the first photo) is one of the nicest people in town and those who remember him from Temperance Hall will surely appreciate his presence here. His famous Punch Club will be continuing on a weekly basis in the near future. In the kitchen is an Aussie, fellow owner and super nice guy, Ben, who will cook up some paninis and eventually some Asian themed food to include possibly Thai Beef Salad, Vietnamese Chicken Salad, Summer Rolls and more.

One of the most delicious things I tasted besides the cheese and prosciutto were the goat cheese cake balls by Paisley Fig:


Room 11 located at the corner of 11th and Lamont Streets, NW is filling a gap for the neighborhood. One of the investors told me, “there is definitely something for everyone, nothing is ordinary. You can find things here that you won’t find anywhere else.” And you’ll also find super nice folks with a super mellow/comfortable vibe. And that’s why I think this place is going to be super successful. Be sure to check them out on Monday. Lots more photos after the jump.



Paninis before:


Paninis after:


Mmm, cheese:


More space inside:



Photos of the menu:



You can see their Web site here They’ll be open Sunday – Thursday from 5pm to 1am and on Friday and Saturday from 5pm – 2am. In the future on Sat. and Sun. they’ll likely be open earlier around 11am or 12pm for some brunch style pastries. Stay tuned for that.

66 Comment

  • congratulations!

  • You cut off the beer part of the menu!

  • mmm… goat cheese cake balls and wine. Who could ask for anything more? I can’t wait to drag hubby there next week.

  • @Matt G – forget about the beer. You will drink the wine and like it! I’m sure they will have a buttery chardonnay for you.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    @Matt G sorry the beer photo was blurry. Two beers on Draught
    Brooklyn Pils and Victory Hop Devil both for $5.

    Also various bottles including belgian and germans choices like De Koninck Belgian Ale ($6), Gaffel Kolsch ($6), Orval Trappist Ale ($8), Rasputin Imperial stout ($7), Lindeman’s Framboise ($9)

  • i second what matt g said. what a tease. list of beer on tap please.

  • and thanks…
    gonna talk to dan about some ipa’s come cooler months. lookin’ forward to checkin this place out.

  • Wine, schmine.
    DeKoninck on tap so close to home doth coaxeth forth my own tears of joy.

  • PoP: That’s Monday, August 10, no?

  • Looks simply wonderful. What a great thing for 11th street.

  • Hooray! Hooray!

  • Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
    The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
    And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
    So, there is joy in Popville— the mighty Room 11 will open on Monday!!!

  • Prince Of Petworth

    @animal mother yup! sorry ’bout that I guess I just got used to typing “11” it is indeed Mon. the 10th!

  • It’s about time. Glad Dan is there. He was always very nice to my wife and me. I was very sad to see him go from Temperance…was sad to see that whole concept go. While I hope this place is successful, I hope it is not overwhelmingly crowded. Just a mellow neighborhood spot with an open barstool for a nice after work glass of wine.

  • Looks good, do you think i have to wait until the winter until it’s not packed?

  • Super fantastic 😉 indeed!

  • Looks great! Can’t wait to check it out!

  • How about this for a theory – This will be the hot place you can’t get into until Meridian Pint opens and steals the thunder. Hopefully an equilibrium will settle in after that.

  • they should have zipcode only nights. nothing is more irritating than going to red rocks and seeing a line along the sidewalk of VA Hipkids. You dont see me going to your neighborhood VA joints and making you wait in line after me.

  • Good call, Anon 11:04…I mean reducing the about of sales for a small business is always a good idea.

    Oh wait…no…that’s just plain stupid.

  • yeah it sucks when people from virginia come and spend their money supporting businesses in our neighborhood. i wish they’d go back to virginia and keep their money away from the brave souls opening entrepreneurial ventures in DC.

    do people really have problems with red rocks being too crowded with people demonstrably from virginia? seriously? i have never had a problem getting a seat at red rocks.

  • So so so exciting! This place is going to be wonderful, and I can’t wait to go!

  • It was amazing! I am sooo happy to have a new place to become obsessed with and go every night.

  • I like how the “haves” on the patio can stare at the “have nots” across the street at the laundromat.

  • cute place, which i will surely visit, but this place screams for better landscaping!!!

  • I’d rather have fewer businesses and fewer VAholes than the other way around.

  • How about MDlandians, are they acceptable?

    So, besides its being open and clean and nicely decorated and whatnot what is SO FANTASTIC about it that you have to start obsessing about it? Were the little food thingies that UNBELIEVABLE, awesome and not to mention AMAZING? 😉

    Just kid you, jealous some of you got to go early.

  • My obsession comes from the heart the owners poured into the place. They have been waiting a year to get it open! It is amazing because they did it all themselves with much attention to detail. I admire them very much for the job they did. Plus, they are all just awesome guys!

    Yay for Room 11!

  • That looks great, and relatively affordable, too! Plus, I can walk there and stumble back.

  • I’ll be there Monday!

    The food seems like it will be good and interesting…
    And as a personal request:
    The more pescetarian-friendly dishes, the better! 🙂

  • I talked to Lizzy of Paisley Fig. Shes working on homemade dog biscuits and vegan dessert options!!

  • @ anon 12:31 – So do us all a favor and move to Barstow.

  • It does sort of kill the idea of a “neighborhood” establishment when most of the patrons aren’t from the neighborhood. Although it remains to be seen if anon’s fears are valid. My guess is that while Wonderland and Meridian Pint will get the Virginia party buses, the wine bar will stay fairly local. Also, why does it need to be open until 1 am on weeknights? Most of my neighbors are asleep.

  • @voiceofreason I will be there until 1am every night screaming my head off with my glass of chardonnay, so look out……..weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • So excited about this place opening up. Only like 2 blocks from my house. 11th street is still the best.

  • Hopefully they’ll upgrade that laundromat soon. It’s not so nice to look at and it often smells when you walk by from that dumpster out front.

    Also, I think the bakery next door should open up a little cafe and sell some of their baked goods. That place always smells delicious!

  • anon 2:22- Do me a favor and move BACK to barstow.

  • Glad to have them in the neighborhood, but I wish there was a drink available below $5. The drink menu is pretty disappointing to me. Average beer price = $6.57 .. hmm…………

  • yeah. for reals. make fun of hipsters all you want but ill be at their haunts drinkin on the 2 dollar shlitz. maybe when im good and drunk ill wander over to room 11 for some goatcheesecake balls. I’ll eat anything in ball form. cept for balls. not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  • I must say. As much as Ill be happy to go here. I really wish i owned the house next door with the porch veiw down to the patio. oh I would do the most obnoxious things.

  • Yeah, I will probably try it once to say I’ve been there, then leave this place to the folks that don’t mind paying $9+ per drink including tax and tip…

    Oh well…

  • I agree re: that latino bakery (although is it me or have the delicious smells been more infrequent of late). You can actually go in and informally buy stuff from them but they certainly don’t make that obvious to a random passer-by. I think they could do a killing if they had a little store front, especially when the good smells are emanating …

    I too wish the laundrymat would do a better job keeping the parking / garbage dumpster area clean, vaguely attractive and odor-free.

  • it’s official–Voiceofreason is the PoP Debbie Downer.

  • Wait a minute Jim! There were a handful of negative comments on here, about landscaping, people from Virginia, price of the drinks. Don’t single me out! I actually defended Room 11 surmising that it would be a mostly local crowd and that the fear of attacking Virginians is unfounded!

  • OMG – I’m so excited. I’ve been waiting to have a glass a wine ever since I got out of prison. I know exactly where I’m going next week. Is it ok if I bring all my children?

  • Were there any black people at all?

  • Looks like a lot of white people. Won’t go.

  • First, anon at 6:26, from looking at the pictures, yes. Second, anon 6:35, imagine the outrage if someone saw a picture of a bar or restaurant on this blog and then commented “looks like a lot of black people, won’t go.” Please don’t go, or for that matter any place I patronize in the area — I prefer not to associate with racists.

  • Well, I love cheese, “bites,” and wine so I’m there. This was a soft opening – I would imagine the folks in the pix were mostly friends and family of the owners. So what does race have to do with this at all? I hope that was just a stupid attempt at a joke.

    (But I can’t help but feel there’s a subtle bigotry even among the folks who might suggest that such a place won’t be be embraced by “the neighborhood,” only outsiders. What, minorities don’t have money? We’re too downtrodden to appreciate wine and cheese? All white people are “outsiders?” What is really being said here?)

  • I think this is an amazing thing, and the opening of Room 11 should be welcomed warmly by all. Here we have, in the middle of a recession, a small, independent, local business opening in underserved, urban (and transit-friendly!) neighborhood. It will provide jobs, and bring life to a pretty dead stretch of 11th Street. I’ll be there the next weekend they’re open!

  • On the jobs thing, that’s true, the dishwashers and line cooks could end up being the only people of color to be regulars there.

  • But why would you think that, VOR? I mean, you may be right, I can’t predict the future. But what about this place would make it inherently inhospitable to customers of color? People of color like wine and cheese and beer, can afford to buy them, and have been known to patronize food establishments that sell those items. Those people of color also live in this neighborhood. I would see them all the time at Colorado Kitchen (RIP) so I know they’re out there.

  • Christina, of course people of color and money like wine and cheese bars. It’s more a class thing than a race thing really, but in CH, the moneyed class tends to be white (with exceptions of course) and the non-moneyed class tends to be black and brown. But I can predict the future, all I have to do is look at other similar establishments around here.

  • There’s only so far I can take this argument, because don’t know enough about the demographics of neighborhood clubs and bars — I haven’t been to enough of them. I have been to many restaurants and they’ve certainly seemed “mixed” enough, but I don’t know if I’ve been to as many as you have.

    It’s just that…I’m struggling with a way to put this…I feel like these conversations often devolve into arguments about what’s “best” for the neighborhood. (This particular thread hasn’t completely devolved, but it’s just the most recent one I can point to.)

    And underlying such discussions, I feel like there’s some notion from some well-meaning folks that people of color couldn’t possibly want or appreciated a restaurant, or coffee joint, or bar, or whatever. That we’d all be on the outside looking in. But there’s a pretty thriving moneyed POC community in DC, I’m guessing even in CH. And members of that community are constantly absent from these discussions as we revisit “white oppressers” vs. “black victims” for the umpteenth time.

    Like I said, maybe this isn’t the best thread to get into this, and I’m afraid I’m not doing a good job of it. I’ll try again another time and just leave it at this — I’m glad these folks are in the neighborhood and I wish them much success.

  • No, no, of course people of all races and ethnic stripes can and do like all those kinds of businesses and others. But, in DC, a LOT (not all) of professional class black folks moved out to the suburbs and what’s left is a city with a low income black folks, recent immigrants and white yuppies. I’m generalizing of course, but you have to in discussions like this to come to any conclusions. The demographics play out that way though.

    You don’t have to be a racist to notice who goes to the yuppie places around here and who doesn’t.

  • Well, just like you can’t blame the black folks who stayed in D.C. when the whites left the city decades back for there being fewer whites around, kind of silly to complain that there are too many white people at D.C. restaurants and bars if professional blacks are choosing to move elsewhere. People with money, of any race, will always like nice things — duh — including better food, better booze, better vacations, nicer cars, better tickets to sporting events, it is a fairly universal truth, and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s hardly a distinctly white phenomena. I’m not exactly sure what it is folks are criticizing here.

  • By the way, one of the owners is a person of color. Just sayin’

  • I’m not really complaining. I’m sure this’ll be a nice place. I guess I’m just thinking about a couple of things:

    1. The thinking that people “with money” in this community are mostly white. It’s my sense that there are POC with money in this community too. I could be having my own perception bias, so maybe I’m overestimating the numbers. I definitely agree that the less affluent members of the community tend to be black and brown. But I feel like the concept that POC are also part of the growth of CH and PW is an underexplored story, perhaps because the “white interlopers” story is so well entrenched.

    1a. That only white people might enjoy this kind of place. But that goes under the idea that only white people have money around here.

    2. That a place has to be perfectly appealing to every single demographic in the community to be worth having. If a comic book store opened in DC USA, it would have a limited appeal (though I personally would be thrilled!) That doesn’t mean that it’s not worth having around. I have a washer and dryer, so I don’t need a laundromat. But I would never say that we need to get rid of all the laundromats. *If* this place eventually draws a “whiter” crowd — and I’m not saying it will or won’t — so what? Some places appeal to older folks, some to younger folks, some to Latino folks, etc. Unless they’re hosting Klan Tuesdays or whatever, I am sure that everyone will be welcome.

    Anyway, I’m way off the topic. I think it’s nice to see the neighborhood reinvestment.

  • Sure, some places draw a whiter crowd, but there is just something unsettling to me about a wine and cheese bar for mostly rich, white folks in a neighborhood mostly inhabited by working class blacks and latinos. To me, it’s mocking the majority of the residents of the neighborhood. It’s one permutation of the gentrification argument that is hashed and re-hashed often around here.

  • Yeah, I guess it would pay more respect to those residents if someone put in a check cashing place or a another liquor store, because that’s all working class blacks and latinos deserve to patronize.

  • Anon at 5:04 pm, how many working class blacks and latinos do you see patronizing the various wine bars in the city? Deserving it or not is not the issue here. But let’s humor your argument, what do you think would happen if a lot of working class blacks and latinos started frequenting the new wine bar on a regular basis? There’s about as much chance of that happening as me becoming the next queen of England, but let’s say it happened. Do you think everyone on this blog would still be so excited about the place? Be honest.

  • I think 95 percent of people will go anywhere that serves good food, at a good price, in a nice environment, regardless of the demographics. If people didn’t like being around minorities, they would have moved to Clarendon or Georgetown or Mclean. People are here as opposed to other DC neighborhoods in part because they LIKE diversity. Room 11 ADDS to the diversity of the neighborhood, by providing a new, different, option, a true neighborhood corner bar with top quality food and drink products. It is not a zero sum game — far from it, as there is still a TON of vacant space in this area, and none of it is going away anytime soon. Before you make assumptions about the place, why not try it out and see for yourself what the vibe and product is like? And if you don’t want to try, find, but then don’t bash it.

    I don’t understand what you are trying to get at. Columbia Heights has a substantial, and growing, population of people who are going to enjoy this wine bar. There are plenty of different options for people who don’t like it — Ruby Tuesdays, Pollo Campero, Five Guys, and on and and on. If you don’t care about it, fine, then just shut up and let the people who enjoy it, enjoy it, and comment on whatever establishment you choose to patronize. Or start your own blog hyping up places you like better. At what percentage of upper income people living in the neighborhood is the existence of this wine bar “acceptable” to you? Or are you lamenting the fact that anyone with money and/or who is caucasian would ever want to live here? Would you rather D.C. be segregated by race and income so that there are some rich white ‘hoods, and some poor minority hoods, and nothing with any mix?

    In my mind, more options are unambiguously better; there is no downside here. Four years ago, there were hardly ANY non-mexican/el salvadoran food options around here. It kinda sorta sucked. Now there are a ton, in different cuisines, with different atmospheres, at different price points. This is a good thing. This is half the point of city living — easy access to a wide variety of ethnic cuisines and entertainment / drinking / social options. But for that, I’d live somewhere with a much lower tax rate and lower crime and lower cost of real estate. So would most people who are now choosing to move back into cities. There is plenty of room for more. Complaining about the arrival of a wine bar because not every resident of Columbia Heights is going to go is as silly as complaining about Pho 14 because some people hate Vietnamese food or Five Guys because it is more likely to cause a heart attack. More options for more demographics is a good thing. Columbia Heights ain’t gonna become Georgetown, not by a long shot. But it is also a heck of a lot better place to live than four years ago, when the 11th and 14th streets were eerily quiet at night, except for the occasional gun shot and siren, and there were few places to eat or grab drinks in a nice environment, and most of the ones that existed were fairly redundant of one another. There is no other place remotely like Room 11 in CH. there will be minorities eating there. But even if there weren’t, they are not in any way harmed by its presence, and that is totally their choice. And moreover, the tax dollars places like this generate help the lower income residents get the city services we all want to see — someone has to pay for the renovations to Tubman, and the Cavalier, and Girard Park, and so on, after all … you can either tax low and income residents with higher property and sales taxes, which are already exhorbitant in this city, or you can have more businesses paying more taxes to the city, it’s your choice.

  • VOR, I do get what you were saying, at 2:35 p.m. I guess maybe I would feel this were a bit more “mocking” if we were talking about an area that was dramatically underserved in the basic things that people need for life. (I’m setting aside “public safety” as one of those things for a sec.) If you’re in a ward that has one grocery store (that’s Ward 8, right?) for a zillion people, then a wine bar would seem like a weird extravagance.

    But at the same time, I don’t know how right it is to assume that working-class black people and Latinos feel like the existence of such a place is a put-down. I definitely agree that this is a permutation of the gentrification argument, and maybe it’s just me, but I’m tired of hearing that argument. I feel like we’ve gotten into a well-worn groove where people aren’t even listening to each other, they’re just singing the same old song. They aren’t even considering that there might be some new dynamics here, some new people, who may have different ideas to offer.

    I also feel like your argument could possibly be carried to a negative extreme — only rich neighborhoods *should* wine bars, while working-class neighborhoods get…what? Working class people like to kick back and relax too.

    If a lot of working-class brown and black people started patronizing this place, perhaps folks on this particular board wouldn’t be as excited about it. I can’t say. But that just goes to my thought that not every place has to be perfectly appealing to every demographic. I don’t begrudge the many clubs in the city that cater primarily to rich buppies from Prince Georges.

    Anyway, I agree with your earlier point that class may have something more to do with this than race, even though in these discussions we’re constantly using one as a stand-in for the other. There are few places in the city were affluent people (of any race) mix regularly with working-class people (of any race.) Maybe churches? The DMV?

  • And now let me guess again–

    Voice of Reason, are you also DCDireWolf? Seems really, really likely…

  • Needs more food. Panini shamnini, who can’t make their own grilled cheese sandwich?

  • How about a small description following each of the wines by the glass to help out customers?

Comments are closed.