Asylum Rebranded Upstairs Bar to be called “The Smoke & Barrel” – BBQ, Beer and Bourbon. Opening in mid-Sept.

Back in March we learned that the upstairs bar at Asylum (2471 18th St, NW) would be rebranded into a craft beer establishment (from the same ownership as Meridian Pint.) I’ve been getting some emails for updates and was fortunate to get a sneak peek of the renovated space.

First let me say that the downstairs will remain Asylum. I’m told it is exactly the same as it has always been and will continue to feature veggie and vegan fare. They will be celebrating their 20th anniversary tomorrow. Ed. Note: Asylum is owned by the same folks who own Meridian Pint (primarily John Andrade) and is a PoP advertiser.

But back to the new spot. Credit for the name goes to new general manager Matthew Heffernan who came up with “The Smoke & Barrel”. As you can see from the tagline on the logo below the focus is going to be on BBQ, Beer and Bourbon:

A bit about the BBQ. A new chef is expected to be announced shortly but what I thought was pretty cool was that the search extended to Texas, Kansas City, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee and elsewhere in BBQ country. The BBQ menu (smoker on site) will also feature beer pairings from the 24 beers to be offered on tap.

Stay tuned for a sneak peek at the menu.

Construction is ongoing but here is a taste of the new look upstairs:

14 Comment

  • Couldn’t these jackasses get rid of Tom Toms or something everyone in the hood hates?

    I’m guessing it will go the way of the Toledo Lounge.

    • +1

    • What way did the Toledo Lounge go? I’ve walked by several times since the buyout and renovation and the place is plenty busy.

      Not being snarky (for once), just curious if you’ve seen different.

  • Still have the downstairs.

  • Pretty disappointing that they’ve gutted a great old bar in order to latch on to the barbecue trend that is currently sweeping through DC.

    I bet it will be the Smoke Barrel for a couple years before being renovated for the next trendy thing.

  • small plate craze
    cupcake craze
    frozen yogurt craze
    speakeasy craze
    hamburger craze
    BBQ craze

    oh why oh why can’t the service industry in this town come up with a new concept all on its own as opposed to relaunching the same tired trend over and over and over and over

  • I used to love Asylum for their brunch, it was delicious… But then the unthinkable happened… One morning, I’m there with my wife and another couple, we all order vegan dishes… About 1/2 way through my wife bites down on a mouthful of tofu scramble and chomps right into an INCH LONG RUSTY SCREW! I’m not kidding… It was an old, rusty, nasty, screw…

    I brought it to the attention of the wait staff, who didn’t really take it seriously enough at first glance… They ‘talked amongst themselves’ and came to our table to let us know they’d be giving all of us our meals for free… But I have to say, that totally turned me off from Asylum ever since… I’ve never been back…

    Hopefully this place will be different… I really hope they remodeled their kitchen as well…

  • at least it wasn’t meat…

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