Sneak Peek of La Jambe (Legit French Wine Bar) Opening in Shaw Thursday

by Prince Of Petworth June 21, 2016 at 10:20 am 43 Comments

1550 7th Street, NW

La Jambe legit. How so? In the El Solian way of “A Real Mexican Restaurant Run by Real Mexicans Cooking in the Kitchen”. The owner is French and she has created a spectacular space. Spectacular I say because of the details which you’ll see in the photos after the jump. But I can say it’s very hard to turn a totally new construction into a warm, cool, comfortable spot to hang out. Happily La Jambe has done it (and they weren’t even 100% finished when I stopped by to take some preview photos last week.)


In addition to wine, you may recall, La Jambe will also feature Charcuterie & Fromagerie. I’m told for the menu you can expect:

“several “mise en bouche” starters including olives with herbes de provence, mortadella salad, and house made rillettes. We’ll be arranging several boards pairing Europe’s finest charcuterie and lots of tasty French cheese. There will also be sandwiches featuring those same charcuterie and cheeses on freshly made French baguettes, and for dessert, we’ll be doing a café/thé/vin gourmand, where your drink of choice is served with three mini-desserts.”

Standby for a 5pm opening this Thursday at 7th and Q St, NW across the street from Dacha. I haven’t been this excited about a wine bar opening since Cork kicked things off way back in the day (RIP Sparky’s) on 14th Street.


Lots more photos of the awesome details after the jump.

Kids from the neighborhood helped add graffiti touches to the mural

You’ll notice Parisian themes throughout the space
















  • Fraser

    Psyched for this to open! Hope the graffiti looks better in person though.

  • Adams M

    Cannot WAIT for this place to open! Best thing to happen to that part of Shaw in a while.

  • LittleBluePenguin

    Who’s in for a HH here?!

  • wdc

    This looks fantastic and I’m just disappointed it’s not closer to me.
    However, real question: What is the objection to installing some kind of noise mitigation? I’m seeing lots of bare concrete and other hard surfaces, and nothing to soak up the sound. Is it just cost? Or are restauranteurs still being advised that noise = energetic scene? Maybe the insulation would be hard to clean?
    Anyway, I can’t wait to try it, but will probably have to do so early because it looks like it will get unbearably loud if it’s even half full.

    • Anon

      “restauranteurs still being advised that noise = energetic scene” – yup
      They are targeting the well-employed millenials, not folks who’ve decamped for the burbs.

      • wdc

        But here’s the thing. Americans get shrieky when they get tipsy and social. French people murmur pretty much always. So it can’t be very authentic without some kind of noise insulation. It’s not a suburbs thing (really original burn, though, Anon!) it’s a French thing.

      • Shawz

        Some of us who live in the city would like to be able to hold conversations in bars. Especially wine bars, why do I want to shout while having wine and cheese?

      • Bryan

        What is the point of this statement? I didn’t know only millennials are loud?

        • Anon

          Millenials (as a stereotyped group) prefer a lively social scene. Those who don’t are much more tolerant of the constant din than older folks. I thought this was pretty straight-forward.

          • stacksp

            Or lively social people regardless of age prefer a lively social scene.

          • Bryan

            This is a ridiculous statement. The only factual POV on this is that younger people (which in this case are the tail end of those born a millennial) tend to like a more lively social scene. But, and this is where you go off the rails, the older millennials (ie: people over the age of 26 or so) have most likely moved onward. More to the point, millennials are what is driving the growth in restaurants in all parts of DC. Almost all of these places do not cater to “loud and raucous” millennials. It caters to the larger group who are past that part in their life.

      • Anon

        Burn? Anyway, I agree that I’d expect something more along the lines of Bistro du Coin for a quaint French wine bar than something like this carved into a brand new development, but hey – not my project. I’m guessing this will be not too dissimilar from Dacha in terms of scene – a scene that’s very profitable, likely much more so than Bistro du Coin across town.

        • Bryan

          But why? This is a French wine bar. Beer gardens are supposed to be lively and loud and boisterous. Have you ever been to a real one before? Why in the world would you expect a French wine bar that is most likely a date spot to be of the same vein as a beergarden that caters to large groups and wants to be loud?

          • Anon

            “Why in the world would you expect a French wine bar…”
            I’m talking about this particular wine bar, not some theoretical French wine bar you have in mind. I’m not prescribing what it should be, rather what it will be. Have you spent any considerable time in this area recently? If so, you’d see where I’m coming from. Wine bottle’s on me if I’m wrong…

          • Bryan

            But this still doesn’t check out. What it should be is not the same as what it will be. True. No denying that. But do you expect a normal group of people via their group text to go something like this?

            Person1: You all down to get hype tonight?
            Person2: You know it! I want to get lit!
            Person1: Great! Where do you want to get together?
            Person3: How about La Jambe? They look like they to have a real good wine list.
            Person2: Sounds dope! I’ll get the first order of charcuterie and cheese. Then it is time to hit on some hot singles.
            Person1: Yeah! See you there!

          • Anon

            Hahaha, yea… sounds like you really have your ear down on the grindstone.

          • TR

            We are all dumber for having read this.

    • merp

      Noise seems to be a common problem in DC bars and restaurants. I have a feeling that establishment owners just don’t care. If a place is “hot” enough they’ll get loads of customers and the noise just encourages speedy turnover of tables and bar stools. This place looks gorgeous and I can’t wait to check it out, but I’ll be going when it’s apt to be less crowded.

    • Green Monster

      I have nothing but high hopes for this place, and I love the decor. I have a feeling my wife will be a fixture here with her friends (which also affords me more Ivy&Coney privileges, so double-win for me). I can’t quite picture La Jambe being a rager any more than vinoteca, cork or dickinson. All of them get a little boisterous now and then, but nothing outrageous. It also seems to me that this is the kind of place that kicks off a night for people on a mission; not really where they end it. So the late-late night crowd could be a pretty good scene for nursing a bottle or two with some friends – lively but not a mess.

  • CatieCat

    Also, gotta give some love to the latino wine store next door (Cata). The owners are so nice, interesting wines and snacks. This block is legit!

    • Nathan

      +1 Love stopping in there, great selection and very good prices. They launched a wine club recently as well.

    • Green Monster

      +1. Not a wine connoisseur, but I do like their mezcals.

  • MER

    Thrilled that all the hard work is finally paying off — I’ve been fortunate enough to get sneak peeks at the space and to preview some of the selections. Let’s just say nobody will be disappointed.

    Congrats, Ana (and Dave, Pat and Heather!)

  • DRM

    Eccited for this to open, the owners are wonderful folks and the space looks like a great date spot!

  • CEDS

    Really looking forward to trying this out! It looks fantastic and sounds exactly what the DC scene needs – a legit French wine and charcuterie bar.

  • anon

    Great add to the neighborhood! Space looks fantastic and can’t wait for some sliced cured meats and delicious delicious wines. roseallday.

  • Carol Huffaker

    We had a sneak peak while visiting DC from Atlanta. What a wonderful idea! Wish we had this in our neighborhood. We will be back soon, and can’t wait to visit! Congratulations!

  • victoria

    Love the lighting & wall paper (not the faux distressing so much) and fabrics. Hate the graffiti scrawls all over the mural! I probably will never go here because I would find it so depressing to look at. I don’t need reminders of vandalism while I’m sipping my Bordeaux.

    • pru

      My thought exactly. So sad.
      But I will try and go anyway.

  • “But I can say it’s very hard to turn a totally new construction into a warm, cool, comfortable spot to hang out. Happily La Jambe has done it.”
    I disagree, but that’s based solely on the photos. Perhaps it comes across better in person (or finished). I’ll definitely stop by to get a first hand account, but it currently looks kinda ehhhhh….

    • Are you sure it’s not based on being a semi-professional contrarian…? :) Let us know what you think when you see it person!

      • CatieCat


      • It’s based on that space not looking “warm” at all, but like I said, it’s just piecing together photos. If someone plans a happy hour there I’ll definitely be on site to recount my pre-assessment :)

        • Maybe warm wasn’t the best word – but it’s very cool – you’ll see!!

      • SMGC

        oh my god, really? that’s the least surprising thing i’ve ever read.

        • Of course I do not. I’m blacklisted by the site for writing a 1 star review about Yelp itself.

  • wpk_dc

    I love the art nouveau wallpaper and mirror — great seeing something different in a restaurant interior. I live nearby so I’ll definitely be trying it soon. They list sandwiches, cheeses, and charcuterie. As I don’t drink, I hope the food’s not an afterthought.

  • Marina Kolmanovich

    I love that people are talking about the noise and have yet never been in here?

    • victoria

      Some people are smart enough, and have been to enough loud restaurants to look at concrete walls, hard floors, high ceilings, cavernous spaces and do the physics. I’ve gone into loud restaurants and asked the host, in a normal voice, if there was a quieter part, and had them shout at me “What?” Strange – but I actually like to talk with the people I’m dining with.

  • n3

    Seriously, guys? Complaining about the noise before the place is even open? Get.a.grip.

  • Kevin

    I had the pleasure of attending La Jambe’s private opening last night. The bar has a very energetic yet cozy feeling. The wine is unique yet accessible. The authentic french bread, cheese, charcuterie are a cut above the rest. I am so happy to have a more contemporary and authentic wine bar than most in the DC. Plus, the owner and her husband are warm and welcoming.


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