Scuttlebutt Confirmed! “Espita Mezcalería, bringing artisanal mezcals and Oaxacan food to Shaw”

9th and N Street, NW

From a press release:

“Three exciting new restaurants have leased space and will open later this year on the street level of The Colonel, a newly completed apartment community in the rapidly transforming Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC.

Shaw resident Josh Phillips will launch his first restaurant venture, Espita Mezcalería, bringing artisanal mezcals and Oaxacan food to Shaw. Phillips, a Master Mezcalier, aims to share his passion for mezcal with an innovative bar program that highlights the many varietals of the spirit, paired with the complex flavors of food from the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Espita Mezcaleria will have both indoor and outdoor seating.

Co-owners of two of the city’s most wildly popular and acclaimed restaurants, The Red Hen and Boundary Stone, will open a new Roman and Italian-American concept called All Purpose, with The Red Hen chef/co-owner Michael Friedman manning the kitchen. Next door, award-winning pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac, chef and owner of Buttercream Bakeshop, will open her first storefront shop offering custom wedding cakes and special occasion sweets as well as breakfast, lunch, and take-away items; she also will consult on the dessert program at All Purpose.

These three restaurants will occupy all 7,700 square feet of retail space at The Colonel, a new apartment community developed by a joint venture of CAS Riegler, CityInterests, and Douglas Development, with leasing and management by Oculus Realty.

In the three restaurant lease transactions, the ownership was represented by John A. Asadoorian of Asadoorian Retail. Jared Meier of Streetsense represented Buttercream and All Purpose. David Dochter of Cushman & Wakefield represented Espita Mezcaleria.

“The development team is excited to be a part of bringing such an amazing group of restaurateurs to the Shaw neighborhood,” said Kevin Riegler, Partner, CAS Riegler. “Our vision from the beginning was to add to the high-quality new mixed-use projects that have shouldered the neighborhood renaissance, while maintaining the authenticity of Shaw. We believe that these new restaurants will not be fads; rather, they will be staples for many years to come.”

“As excited as I am to be opening my first mezcaleria, I’m even more excited that it will be a part of Shaw,” said Phillips. “The first time I saw the space at The Colonel, I knew it was a perfect fit for Espita. I think that this stretch of 9th Street and Blagden Alley will quickly become a top dining destination in DC.”

Named after Civil War colonel Robert Gould Shaw, The Colonel offers 70 luxury apartment homes ranging in size from studios to two-story penthouses, along with extensive amenities including a roof deck with expansive lounge area, fire pit, and kitchen. Development of The Colonel began about five years ago with acquisition of a 92-year-old low-rise building and adjacent lots. The vacant historic building housed an automotive repair and supply shop through the 1970s and later hosted apartment dwellers, an urban nursery, and even an underground party venue with indoor skateboarding called “Fight Club.”

Located just one block from the Mount Vernon Square/Convention Center Metro station, The Colonel enjoys an unmatched location in the heart of the burgeoning 9th Street corridor, home to the city’s most cutting-edge art galleries, retailers, bars, and restaurant concepts.

For leasing information, visit, call 202.803.6078, or email [email protected]

16 Comment

  • I’ll just say that I’m SO SO SO happy we bought a condo with parking in the area in 2012 🙂
    This sounds nice, but I’m far more excited for the other two options

  • “Espita Mezcalería, bringing artisanal mezcals and Oaxacan food to Shaw”

    1. Oaxacan – woah, awesome!
    2. Mezcal – also really good!
    3. Artisanal – ARRGGHHHH NO

  • A “Master Mezcalier”? Non, s’il vous plait.

  • To put the flames out, “artisanal mezcal” is a legal classification of mezcal, not just an excuse to charge extra –

  • It looks like a lot of people like to go on these threads to complain – just simply – to complain. However, I am THRILLED that there are several new restaurants coming to the Shaw neighborhood! I am a big supporter of my neighborhood, the small businesses that reside here, and to top it off – a huge fan of dining out.

    I have also recently become a fan of Mezcal after a trip to Mexico, and ‘Artisanal’ is actually a legal classification of Mezcal….not just a trendy word used to describe this restaurant. If the owner is a “Master Mezcalier” – as this article states (globally, there are about 30 if I remember correctly) – I recommend everyone that has commented negatively on this to go to the restaurant when it opens and get schooled in your Mezcal knowledge, or lack thereof.

    In addition to ‘Espita Mezcaleria’, incredibly excited about ‘All Purpose’. Red Hen & Boundary Stone are great spots and can’t wait to see what this combo brings to the neighborhood!

    Keep up the awesome work everyone! Shaw is excited to have you!!

    • Not so much whining as recognizing the obvious. A good Oaxacan place would be great. The business plan buzz words usually mean it will be some kind of dumbed-down but fancy looking Oaxacan (ina city with awful Mexican food to begin with) at a hefty price. I live close enough that I’d go if it wasn’t just another pretension-fest.

  • In terms of their legal category (which was mentioned in a few posts above), mezcals served in restaurants today, especially premium label mezcals, are generally “artisanal” mezcals. So the “artisanal” label is not that important. Not to mention that almost no one except the most ardent aficionados can tell the difference between artisanal and industrial mezcals.

    • not an aficionado, but i can tell the difference between tenleytown vodka and grey goose. same thing with crap mezcal and the good stuff. although maybe a good soft opening idea would be to have people do a free taste test!

  • So excited for this! Welcome to my neighborhood!

  • Already drank tons of tequila on that spot… RIP Fight Club. That said, I can’t wait to check these spots out.

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