PoP Preview: Last Exit – Mt. Pleasant’s New Speakeasy, Soft Opens Thurs. Night

Back in early March we learned that the owners of Tonic would be opening up a new speakeasy called Last Exit in the space next to Tonic and under Radius at 3155 Mt. Pleasant St, NW. I was able to get a sneak preview in anticipation of the soft opening Thurs. night at 7pm (grand opening Apr. 28). You actually enter the space through Tonic:

Their Web site says:

Last Exit is an informal cocktail lounge located in Mount Pleasant DC. We feature unique cocktails, infusions, and specialty beers in a relaxed atmosphere. With its plush couches, chaise lounges, and intimate seating, Last Exit is a unique venue for private events and informal gatherings.

Last Exit is open 7 days a week 7pm to close.

Find the entrance to Last Exit at the bottom of the stairs in Tonic.

You can see their menus here including cocktails, beer (they have bottles and will have 6 taps), wine and small plates. Sound good?

I’m intrigued by the infusions.

Rosemary & Black Peppercorns infused vodka served on the rocks with a splash of tonic & paired w/ a side of Green Grapes

The space itself is pretty chill and has a capacity of around 35:

More photos after the jump.

35 Comment

  • Sweet.

    Wood Rocks.

  • How can it be a speakeasy if everyone knows about it? A speakeasy is supposed to be a secret bar.

    • As Rosie said, ‘speakeasy’ really refers more to a bar that would sell alcohol illegally (and as a byproduct, be sectret due to prohibition). For this to be possible today, it would have to either being selling to children, or be selling crack or something.

      I’m pretty sure nobody wants either of those options.

      “Speakeasy” is just a term used to allude to a romanticized notion of a bygone era in order to build atmosphere and mystique. Don’t take it so literally; it’s just marketing.

    • It’s marketing, dude.

    • Were you hoping to see Al Capone there too?

  • @anon, A speakeasy is technically an establishment that sells alcohol illegally. So no it’s not a true speakeasy. Everyone knows about Gibson, but you still consider that a speakeasy right? I’m sure this spot will be secret to tourists that come to DC which is all I can ask for!

    • I forgot to add that I think it looks awesome! Can’t wait to check it out. That vodka infusion looks great.

    • RE: “secret to tourists”

      For two days in a row now I’ve seen tourist families (complete with fanny packs) walking down Rhode Island Ave near 7th St. NW. What could they possibly be doing in my neighborhood? Has Beau Thai become a tourist destination? So confused….

  • when first announced the description/website of this sounded extremely lame.

    however I’m pleased to note that they’ve removed the offending language from their site and made this place look surprisingly awesome!

  • As a former employee of Tonic, I know for a fact that the owners stole Hard cover menu’s from the Gibson, Passanger, PX, and Church Key. So they could cut and paste their menu. They guys are fakes, and thieves. They can’t run a business without stealing ideas. Good Luck you will need it.

  • I just hope that they actually hire a decent chef. But I have a feeling the small plates at last exit will be coming from the tonic kitchen. So I’m not expecting much. I’m glad to see some investment in MTP street lately with Nana’s, Flying Fish Coffee, and even Last Exit.

  • Alternate Headline: Tonic Adds 35 Seats.

  • Looks like the most uncomfortable bar stools ever – do you just dangle your legs or try to keep your feet from slipping down those sloping legs all night?

  • I’m confused. Is “Last Exit” simply what used to be the first floor of Tonic or is it a separate space with Tonic retaining its usual 2-floor layout?

  • I’m definitely interested in trying it out. I like the exposed brick, but with the floors it looks a little barren. I wonder how much sound, even with only “35” people in there will be.

    Always love new additions to the neighborhood. Hope this place is a winner.

  • This looks like a bar somebody built in their basement over a three day weekend.

  • I saw it a few days ago, it’s similar to the existing downstairs bar at Tonic.

  • Emmaleigh504

    A couple of spilled drinks and the upholstery on the chairs and chaise is going to look and smell like crap.

  • Can’t wait to have a 4 ounce taster pour of this craft beer from Baltimore called Natty Bo. Seriously…just make this a 12 ounce pour

  • Overpriced yuppy booze in an dark unfinished basement, sign me up. At least there are no one-eyed monsters flashing boring pro $ports to yelling pudgy couch potatoes. Do they serve the 4 oz beers in sippy cups?

  • I haven’t been back to Tonic since I got food poisoning from there. Go into their dirty retrooms and you will see why. Do they ever clean that place?

  • Actually, I checked the space out Saturday night and I’m a fan. It is not an expanded Tonic – neither the atmosphere nor the drinks are what you’ll find upstairs or on the other side of the basement wall. Also, the staff was super nice and attentive (OK fine, it was opening weekend but still…). Anyway – it’s different and three cheers for that.

    Yeah, it *is* a bit pricey but the boy and I tried two of the infusion drinks and they worked really well. He got a mint-infused bourbon drink that came with a side of chocolate chips (mint and chocolate, get it?) and I got a pineapple-infused vodka cocktail that came with a side of potato chips (pairing the salty with the sweet). It’s not for everyone (and obviously, nothing is) but I think it’s a pretty nifty idea that’s been well executed. And I think it must have been fun to come up with the drinks and the paired food tastings.

    I agree that I don’t know why you would order 4 oz of Natty Boh, but after our foray into the realm of adult cocktails the boy ordered 16 oz of Natty Boh and I got 16 oz of a good hefeweizen. Grownup drinks are nice but a tall glass of cold beer on a warm night is just satisfying.

    Anyway, as a Mt. P. resident I welcome any new addition to the neighborhood (yay Flying Fish!). No reason to count it out before you try it. The place was full but chill. Everyone seemed to be locals and the atmosphere was friendly. (A couple even offered us their seats as they left because they saw we were at a standing table; usually people just leave and it’s a mad rush to see who can get their butt in the seat first – the neighborly vibe is a welcome respite!) I dug the exposed brick and cement floors, and it didn’t hurt that it made Last Exit a lot cooler than Tonic or outdoors. The bar also somehow mixed the feel of a neighborhood joint with that of a destination for a ‘night out.’ I like that it’s rough but planned at the same time. I coveted the exposed-filament lightbulbs, and the red light shining on the bottles of infused liquors behind the bar contrasted well with the fabric-covered and back-lit main wall. Plus, any time there’s mismatched furniture I’m sold. Call it a cliched holdover from my days in dive Chicago bars, but whatever.

    Now, I only wish I knew if they plan on having a happy hour. Maybe it’s good that I almost always stick to beer and low-key outings (not that this was high octane) because I can’t afford those prices on a regular basis anyway. While I won’t be there night in and night out, I’m glad for the new addition to the neighborhood. Choices are good! Here’s hoping there’s some more yet to come.

  • I went with my S.O. on Sunday and we both loved it. I basically agree with everything Wanderer said. I actually much preferred it to The Gibson — similar prices, but I thought the drinks were just plain better, and it was wayyyy less pretentious. I am someone who rarely drinks mixed drinks and even more rarely enjoys them, and I loved my drinks. In particular, the vodka infused with rosemary and black peppercorn was simply awesome. The pineapple vodka drink was great too, and the accompanying items really worked, especially the grapes with the black peppercorn drink. Damn that was really good.

    The space itself while fairly typical for this speakeasy type of bar was really cozy, relaxed, and nice, very well put-together, I felt very relaxed and at home, again, especially compared with the more formal atmosphere at The Gibson.

    (By the way, we talked for awhile to the very cool bartender / owner, who also is one of the owners of Tonic, and she noted, and I believed her because I’ve never had anything quite like them, that the drinks were her own creation after a lot of experimentation, and she also came up with the pairings and names. She took issue with whomever commented here that she was just ripping off other bars in the city — obviously she is going to see what they are doing, but this is something she has been working on for a LONG time. I was very impressed with her and the work she put into the establishment).

    Sunday was great as it was very quiet. Not sure I’d want to be there on a packed weekend night as I loved the quiet, relaxed vibe, but I will definitely return soon. Two enthusiastic thumbs up.

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