Boom! Columbia Room Re-Opens in New Digs February 9th

columbia room
rear of 1224 9th Street, NW in Blagden Alley back in September

From a press release:

Columbia Room, the intimate cocktail bar created by leading spirits expert Derek Brown, re-opens in Washington on February 9, 2016. Widely hailed for its meticulously crafted cocktails and intimate drinking experience, Columbia Room returns with the same attention to detail and top-notch service that earned it two James Beard Award nominations.

ColumbiaRoom_Drinks-92
Photo credit: Joy Asico
Robert Frost Cocktail
Bourbon, amontillado sherry, white port, orange bitters, sugar maple charcoal filtered

The revamped Columbia Room is a 2,400-square foot bar divided into three distinct areas: The Spirits Library, Punch Garden (outside) and Tasting Room.

“We’re so excited that we get to expand on our original idea” Brown says about the Columbia Room, which he originally launched inside The Passenger in 2010. “It means that we get to add bells and whistles, but it also means that we get to bring a new perspective, a more confident perspective that I think, for guests, will translate into a richer experience with our service, drinks and food.”

Against the backdrop of a stunning Italian mosaic mural that tells the story of the bar, ticketed patrons at the Columbia Room’s signature 14-person tasting room will indulge in three and five-course tasting menus featuring specialty cocktails, punches, sodas and light snacks curated by Brown and his team of expert bartenders, including head bartender J.P. Fetherston. The 20-seat Spirits Library, framed by bookcases and original artwork, will allow guests to taste one-of-a-kind spirits and cocktails à la carte. The Punch Garden, an outside terrace with a panoramic view of Washington, is slated to open in Spring 2016.”

8 Comment

  • justinbc

    Can’t wait. Glad to see JP back behind the bar at Columbia Room too.

  • That Spirits Library sounds like a place where I could spend a ton of money if I’m in there with a buzz. Reminds me of the time I decided to have an impromptu vertical tasting at a restaurant that had Chartreuse from about a dozen different years.

  • Curious as to what that thing is next to the cocktail in the picture. Looks a little shroomy.

  • I don’t really get the hype. Columbia Room was an interesting concept and the cocktails were good, but it was way overpriced for what you get imo. There are plenty of quiet places to get good cocktails in this town for half the price.

    • “I don’t get the hype.” – I think you nailed it. They definitely had great cocktails, but they’re far from being the only game in town. Enough folks do get the hype though, so I guess it’s not a big deal if you sit this out.

    • justinbc

      It would take a lot of mental cataloging to compile the list, but of the top 10 cocktails I’ve had from any bar in any city I’ve traveled to I would wager that Columbia Room has at least 4 spots there. I am a repeated buyer of the hype because although you can get “good” cocktails in DC for possibly 2/3 the price (half is a definite exaggeration if you really understand the pricing), you cannot get anything as good unless you get lucky. I will give you that like any place it might depend entirely on which bartender you had on a given night, and some were not quite as A+ rockstar material, but if you ever had JP, Eamon, Matt, Katie, Derek, and a few others ever making you drinks there, then you were assured a most memorable experience.

      • I don’t know who I had, but I was there at the end when it was their “most popular” cocktails or whatever, including the martini. The cocktails came with some pickled veggies, so I don’t consider that as adding anything to the value. Sure, tip is “included,” but they clearly expect you to tip onto of that. Even if you say the cocktails were $20 (each) of the total price, there are plenty of places to get something as good for $10-13. I don’t know bartender names, but without thinking hard, you an get cocktails made by the guy with long hair at Hank’s in Eastern Market and the guy who used to work at Dino’s Grotto and now works at Lupo Verde that will be just as good, if not better, and they are equally as knowledgeable.

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