‘Last Exit’ Speakeasy from the Owners of Tonic, Coming Soon to Mt. Pleasant

Back in Dec. ’10 we learned that Tonic was planning to expand into the vacant space below Radius at 3155 Mt. Pleasant St, NW. A reader sends in a quick update from The Feast:

“With about 30 seats, it’ll be more of a laid-back lounge with an emphasis on good drinks. “We’re going a little bit higher-end on the cocktails”, he says. “We’re not interested in doing the $25 cocktail, but really good quality, old-school drinks at a fair price”.”

The Last Exit Web site says:

“The entrance was dimly lit, but I knew exactly where to go. I could hear the laughter coming from outside the pocket door. Someone asks, “Is this where it is”? Clearly no one responds. If you must ask then the answer assumingly is no.”

You can take a look at some of the Cocktails here.

I stopped by Tonic on Tues. to check on the status, I was able to take a quick peek and there is still a good bit of construction that needs to be completed. Nevertheless, I was told that they are likely to open by the end of the month. I’ll be sure to update when an exact date is set. Despite the fact that the blurb from their Web site sounds like a J. Peterman ad written by Elaine Benes, I still think this has awesome potential.

40 Comment

  • Awww, I love it when owners put a little effort into their ventures. Makes me think they want us. I hope the drinks stand up to the presentation. Great concept for a sub grade bar.

  • Excited to have this in the neighborhood!

  • Good lord, who are they talking about who charges $25 for a cocktail in DC? And I thought only the rent was too damn high…

    • Good lord, why are they charging $11 for a cocktail in DC?

      • Where do you go out? $11 for a cocktail isn’t a “good deal” in DC, but it is by no means outrageous. I think the fact that $11 is the cap is a good sign.

  • hahaha, amazing J. Peterman reference PoP!! That’s what I was thinking but I couldn’t put my finger on it. It’s all about the Himalayan Walking shoe.

  • Let’s face it folks, Tonic sucks. Sub-par food, shitty service from wannabe hipsters, dirty bathrooms, and mice in the dining room. I can’t stand how every two years the bar “morphs” into something its not. At first they were a dank neighborhood spot, then tried dining now they are a 1/2 assed sports bar. Now a speakeasy. Just do one thing well and you might get my money.

    • I am a fan of Tonic and think that what they are doing now works quite well.

      • They aren’t reinventing the MTP location – they are opening a new bar.
        I’ve never had bad service at either location – exited for this to open.

    • agreed, tonic kind of blows in several areas. it’s not really an interesting place. also the whole speak easy idea is so played out.. these dudes aren’t the most original restaurateurs in the DC area

      • One of my beefs with Tonic is that, for a neighborhood joint, their prices are too danged high for the quality of food. I don’t mind paying $10 for an entree that may not be super delicious but certainly does the job. But $15 is too much.

  • I think I’m going to start a speakeasy in my Petworth basement. It should also seat about 30.

  • yikes. based on that poster and my experience with Tonic, they are trying way too hard. speakeasies are supposed to be cool.

  • OMG! How exciting! I can’t believe how MTP is just blowing up. This is awesome.

    ps, I love Tonic.

  • Would love for this to work out. I’ll certainly stop by and try it out when it opens.

  • One third of the drinks are vodka based? No self respecting speakeasy would have that menu. Not a single gin item? I agree it all seems to be trying too hard. It’s like a little kid playing dress-up. Focus on making great drinks, not on making a “great” theme.

    • Should we all agree to hate this place based on an incomplete menu? The answer assumingly is no.

      I agree gin absolutely needs to be showcased, but also I think common sense tells us that no one’s going to try and open a “speakeasy” without many delicious gin offerings. Call me an optimist.

    • ne self respecting speakeasy would have a liquor license.
      in fact, NO speakeasy would have a liquor license.

  • I understand the ‘trying too hard’ comments, but I’m willing to try it out before passing judgment.

    I like the concept. It’s unique and creative. We’ll see how the execution is.

  • Everyone knows the only good $25 cocktails are served in New York.

  • Tonic leaves a lot to be desired but I thank god for them and the Raven. There are not many places on MTP worth going to and Tonic certainly fills a void even if it is mediocre. I’ll be sure to check out the speakeasy and I’m stoked for Flying Fish Coffee. I just wish MTP would see some investment from a more refined restaurant group. The food situation on MTP is completely uninspired. I would kill to have just one place I would go to on date night. Yeah I said it. Date night.

  • The service and food at tonic got so bad I stopped going. Their renovations stripped all the character out of the place. It used to be fun, now it’s just generic with crap food. No personality. Not expecting much from the new spot.

  • It sounds like they’re trying to be the cheap version of The Gibson (I’m pretty sure they have $25 cocktails there)…guess we’ll find out if that works or not.

  • Bars without signage are all the rage these days. It’s extra strange that this one feels the need to act like it’s not able to be found in its ADVERTISEMENT.

    And nice try, dropping the “$25 is too expensive for a cocktail” line, trying to frame the $11 cocktail as fair.

    • was there a time when that wasn’t the rage? i was only born in the 70’s so don’t recall the olde dayes.

  • Well they’re probably the most popular bar in Mount Pleasant, they have another location in Foggy Bottom, they are expanding next door…they must be doing something right. Turns out the upstairs was a great place to watch NFL last season with unobstructed views. One of my best friends met his very cute girlfriend while she was bartending there between marketing jobs so maybe I’m biased.

  • I noticed a neon bar sign above Don Jamies recently on the second floor. It might have been there forever but I only recently noticed it. Is there a bar upstairs? Anyone know if it’s worth checking out? I’ve only been to the lower level for the Migas breaskfast.

  • Another themed place for the hipster crowd to glom onto. Same story different day.

  • Haterz gonna hate.

  • The majority of posters are right on target — the Tonic in Foggy Bottom is outrageously expensive compared to the sub-par quality and size of the food. Trivia night is fun, and would be a good development in the Petworth area, but let’s be honest: the owners of Tonic have a pretty reliable history of saying one thing before construction (“of course our food will be fairly priced”) and then contradicting themselves when they launch a menu.

    Fair prices or reasonable quality shouldn’t be expected. There’s definitely some character, but it’s become second to making a profit – they should be ashamed, and Petworth will be worse off for it.

  • I just don’t know why everyone loves Tonic! The food is awful – grisly burgers, tater tots that taste like they’ve been cooked in a prison dining hall, and NONE of their ideas are unique or creative. Half their menu items show up (done a lot better) on most of the menus in the city. Their service is a joke (at least among everyone I know), and the entire place makes me feel like I’m putting them out by existing in their dining room. The only reason I can think of to actually CHOOSE to go to Tonic would be when one actually SEEKS a shitty basement bar with zero ambiance and no character. They can’t even pull off sports bar or dining restaurant – why do they think they’re going to be able to pull off a speakeasy? I’d pay good money for a solid cocktail at Gibson or PX before I take my chances on a poorly-made cocktail at “Last Exit.”

  • This place looks lame. They are several years behind on the speakeasy fad, and their cocktail menu is uninspired and uninventive.

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