GQ lists the Columbia Room as one of the Top Cocktail Bars in America

The Columbia Room is located in the back of the Passenger located at 1021 7th St. NW. Thanks to a reader for sending. GQ lists them as number 18:

“Derek Brown honed his craft in Japan, home of the world’s most precise bartenders. Using a cleaver, he breaks down large chunks of ice and stores the cubes in a basket, where they melt as slowly as glaciers. Ask him nicely and he might carve one into a diamond. The private, narrow space is open just three nights a week. Your reward for getting in: the best martini in America. The process entails gin stored in a medical freezer, a crystal glass, and a thermometer (thirty-one degrees is optimal). It’s an expensive privilege to drink here. But just like in Tokyo, the receipt is prettier than a college diploma.”

The best martini in America? Nice. Congrats.

13 Comment

  • This place is amazing. Hands down- best place to grab a drink in DC. Derek is an artist. He once took 20 minutes to make me a drink (and that is not a complaint, but demonstrates his craft and dedication to the artform). Not for people that like miller lite. Best martini ever.

  • A marketing coup. It’s booze, ice, and a glass. right?

    • This is why you won’t enjoy it. That is like saying wine is just aged smashed grapes. right? There is a reason some wine tastes amazing– ingredients, perfection in using the ingredients, etc. If you think it is just booze, ice, and a glass– there is no reason for you to go and spend the money on these drinks.

      • When it all just seems like booze, ice and a glass, you’ve taken the first step to realizing you have a problem. (Just kidding!)

      • I think the fact that you enjoy it is rather revealing. If I took 20 minutes to pour you a glass of perrier water and charged you 4 times as much as anyone else, you’d probably like that too.

  • Holy guacamole! I walk by this place every other day to the metro, and never even knew there was a bar there.

  • I want to like this bar — I really do — but honestly, can they get some air conditioning. Really, how the hell can a bar in D.C. lack A/C? I went earlier this summer, and it was the hottest, sweatiest, muggiest experience ever.

    Seemed like a fun place though (Passenger, that is, didn’t get to see the super exclusive room). I’ll be back in the winter when it cools off.

  • PZ in Alexandria was ranked higher on GQ’s list

    • brown sandals were also high on their fashion do’s

    • PX is excellent and like the article said, I’m fine with more people from DC not heading over there. So yes – it’s full of brown sandals and people from Clarendon rapping about Arlington – stay far, far away!

      (The team behind PX is of course the team from Restaurant Eve – the house made tonic is the same at both places.)

  • Well-deserved. Great place. Wish they did more tasting dinner events. Although those are very hard to get into. Alas now it’s gonna be even tougher to get a spot at the Columbia Room …

    • On the other hand, if they do well enough, maybe it’ll catch the attention of other smart entrepreneurs who’ll open more fine places like this.

  • Gotta say – never been to Columbia Room, but Passenger may be the worst “new” bar I’ve been to in a long time. Poor service, constantly out of beers, and dreary interior. I’ve never had a good experience there.

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