PoP Preview – The Passenger


The Passenger bar is located in the former Warehouse space at 1021 7th St. NW near the Convention Center. I was able to attend a media preview Tuesday evening. The bar opens to the public on Wed. at 5pm. This venture is from Tom and Derek Brown, Tom was most recently in charge of the bar at Cork and Derek oversaw the bar program at the Gibson. Paul Ruppert from Room 11 is also a partner. The space has maintained the warehouse feel:


Though there are more exciting things to come after tomorrow’s grand opening. Over the weekend they hope to open up the “train room” which will be able to host overflow and private parties:


And in January they will be opening up an additional room, The Columbia Room, which will be reservation only and will feature a mixologist who can make drinks for up to 20 people. I spoke to owners Tom and Derek:

Derek left, Tom right hand side

Tom said that he envisions the space as a neighborhood bar. They were less interested in a gimmick and more interested in focusing on the fundamentals of a good bar. As such they will have 25 wines by the glass, 15 different cans of beer, and four beers on tap, in addition to specialty cocktails including gin punch which I may or may not have sampled between one and six…

While there is not a big kitchen there will be some food options. There will be Spanish Olives ($3), Marcona Almonds ($3), Chili Half Smoke ($7), Kimchi Hot Dog ($7) and Paninis ($10).

One other question I had was how did they come up with their tag-line, “God Save the District”. Tom told me “that is our Don’t Mess With Texas. We wanted to create a DC place not import a NY place to DC”. And the name The Passenger was inspired by an Iggy Pop song. I definitely feel like this place has very little pretension. I’m excited to see it when all the extra rooms open up and I’m equally excited to see what type of crowd it attracts. For sure it will fill the gap of neighborhood-type bar on 7th Street.

More photos after the jump.






21 Comment

  • keep the old theater space capable of hosting mass dance parties! bring mixtape (http://www.mixtapedc.com/about.htm) back to this space!

  • Looks awesome!

  • Wait…is this in the “Warehouse Next Door” space, or has it over taken the Warehouse theater?

  • Looks great and will certainly be a welcome addition to the neighborhood, but isn’t serving cans of beer (like at Red Derby) a gimmick?

  • So excited to have this in my neighborhood! Sad that there are only 4 beers on tap, and agree with Goot Lemmon that cans of beer is kinda gimmicky. Hopefully that will change. Regardless, I will be there to check it out soon!

  • Six thousand thumbs up. Get me? Six thousand. That block could use a little oomph in a beerly direction. As it’s also my bus stop home from work, I’m six thousand times pleased.

  • That looks like the “Warehouse” space where Mixtape was holding awesome parties…perhaps this is why they’ve had their most recent parties at R&R Hotel??

    If so…Nooooooooo!

    If not…i’ll check the place out.

  • How is serving anything in a can a gimmick? It is how it is packaged. Bottles aren’t really gimmicky, right?

  • I thought Red Derby served beer out of cans to keep the price down. If that’s the case here, I’m all for it.

  • Some people apparently like it in the can.

  • Cans are much better packaging than bottles for beer. Canning lines are less expensive and easier to maintain than bottling lines, canned beer is not exposed to light, canned beer is easier to stack higher which means lower warehousing costs all through the supply chain, and if there’s a little buzz because of it, so much the better. I just look forward to drinking there.

  • I don’t like the tag line…but it won’t stop me from getting wasted on my way home.

  • Cans, unlike glass bottles, are organic, and are considered renewable resources. The production of glass bottles uses much more energy and creates a great deal more pollution. And in recent years, scientists have discovered ways to adjust beer recipes in a way that the metallic aftertaste imparted by the cans actually enhances and complements the beer.

  • Plus, you can smash cans on your forehead and not get yelled at because now someone has to clean up your blood and broken glass out of the lap dance room.

  • They also have beers on top, which the Derby does not have.

    I remember drinking at the Derby one night, talking to Dave and Sasha one night about their original decision to only serve cans. Seems that in their original location in Adams Morgan, they didn’t have enough room for bottles, and cans are a. compact and b. stackable. Their distributor found for them so many interesting beers in cans that they decided to keep with it when they moved.

    So, a little less gimmicky, a little more practical.

    Looks like a great spot; can’t wait to check it out!

  • I’m super excited for this place (love the tagline too), but I’d disagree a bit with your comment that “I definitely feel like this place has very little pretension.” While the place may have no pretension, people tend to carry it with them when they start to frequent these new hip places, so I’m getting myself prepared to dealing with it when going to this place. Still super excited to check it out though.

  • I can’t wait to check it out. I live right down the block.

  • I guess Jamal isnt buying their building after all

  • I think it’s cool a little bar in petworth got everyone else selling canned beer.Way to go red derby.

  • So…what’s up with the warehouse theatre space? No more shows, movies or dance parties? There was always a bar in there, as part of the theatre – is there still a theatre in there, as part of the bar?

  • Sweet. I live around the corner..finally a new venue to check out…..weee!!!

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