83°Partly Cloudy

Sneak Peek Inside the Dead Sexy – District Distilling Co. – Opening Friday on U Street

by Prince Of Petworth August 24, 2016 at 10:20 am 35 Comments

1414-1418 U Street, NW

OK, OK, OK I know I tend to get excited about new spots opening but District Distilling Co. in the former Coppi’s and Utopia spaces is absolutely beautiful. Stunning. Dead sexy.


“District Distilling Co. is D.C.’s first combination Distillery + Kitchen + Bar. Everything from our menu to our seating is designed to help you discover something—a new appreciation or an old favorite—all in the comfortable setting of a historic 19th century row house at 14th and U Street. We’re open for tours, drinks, weekend brunch and nightly dinners. Stop by and stay awhile.”

Check out their many menus (bar, kitchen and drinks) here.

Don’t take my word for it, see for yourself (but do believe me in that the photos don’t come close to doing the space justice, so go in person starting Friday.)


Lots more photos after the jump.












  • siz

    i thought the name of the business was dead sexy district distilling and was like that is TERRIBLE but, anyway, yes. this looks nice.

    • U neighbor

      Agree to disagree :)

  • It looks nice, not particularly unique in anyway (reminds me a lot of Dickson Wine Bar), but like it will be insanely loud with not a single “soft” surface in sight.

    • palisades

      Agreed. Looks very generic.

      • JohnH

        The problem with restaurants in this area tends to be service/quality more so than decor. It looks fine enough to do well. I’m not sure if this is the market/area for another $25+ entree restaurant. But if it’s a big bar/smaller dining room, it could be fine as long as it remains a place to hangout.

    • JS

      I like it, but I realize it’s a prime example of an “AirSpace.”

    • kate

      I was going to say–it looks loud. I wish restaurant owners in DC cared as much about the comfort and experience of their patrons as they do about reviews and profits.

    • anonymous

      looks loud? are you all also concerned with the lack of people in the photos? Looks empty.

      Also, that ceiling looks great for sound dampening, but I guess ya’ll are sound engineers.

      • That ceiling actually looks terrible for sound dampening. It’s just an observation, you’re free to disagree if you like, but filling your space with nothing but hard surfaces is a pretty proven way to raise the decibel level. Personally that’s not really a factor for me in whether I actually enjoy a space or not, but it doesn’t change the factuality of it.

  • Ashy Oldlady

    Is there no concern about housing a distillery directly in front of a large apartment building? Google “distillery explosion.”

    • OP Anon

      That’s what I thought when I first heard about this. I’d think this would be banned under zoning, but apparently not.

      • Ashy Oldlady

        Perhaps the size of the operation keeps it from being too much of a danger to the surrounding area.

    • JS

      How often do distilleries (legal ones, not moonshine stills) actually explode?

    • Kathryn-DC

      There must be an exception that allows the gas station to sit so close to apartments and town houses as well.

      • OP Anon

        Heh, touché!

  • FridayGirl

    I know this is petty but I’m still annoyed that they painted over all the random scribbles and stencils on their storefront. That was the best part….

  • LooksGoodtoMe

    wow… people love to hate everything. Good god.

    • FridayGirl

      I think it’s less “hate,” which is kind of a strong word, and more new-establishments-that-all-seem-the-same fatigue.

      • NE Mama

        It’s hate. Haters feel free to just keep moving. Nothing more to see here. Small businesses have enough bs to deal with. They haven’t even opened their friggin doors yet. Ha! smdh

    • tom

      LooksGoodtoMe – Spot on.

  • JohnH

    This reminds me of City Tap House, which has a large beer selection and a nice menu. Trying to merge bar/restaurant together. But two big differences…
    1. City Tap House has a tourist/hotel/convention crowd aspect that this will not.
    2. The menu is very limited to only higher end entrees. City Tap House has similar entrees/price points, but also offers a lower-priced burger (which seems to be the most ordered item when I’ve been there) and a couple other sandwiches, some pizza/flatbreads and large appetizers/wings/bar food that are priced more on the “casual” side. I don’t know if such a high end place has the market on U Street.
    However, if it’s maintained and run well, it will be a nice spot to hang out at as a bar – which not all U Street bars are places you want to hang out when it’s not late night….

    • Nathan

      Well their late night menu does have a burger and some other smaller plates, though only available after 11pm.

    • alpinepaq

      There is a dedicated bar menu, a late night menu for the dining room, and rumor has it there is a late late night food menu as well. Plenty of options for non high-end stuff.

      • JohnH

        But again, the day to day “normal’ price point items are on limited menus/availability. City Tap House doesn’t limit a burger order to after 11 or you’re sitting at the bar. It’s fine to have their menu- but it’s all high end in a specific area (U Street) that’s younger/casual and an overall area that has a large number of high end price points (14th St). That’s why I said the quality/service has to stand out. It stands out at Le Diplomate or Ghibellina. There’s cheaper restaurants in this area that haven’t lasted.

  • Former Petworth.

    I long for Utopia and random pop ins late night wine and jazz.

  • C2

    Checks a lot of boxes for me — the brick, the cool lighting, the location, the good drink list. Hoping the food is good too!

  • Veggiesaurus

    No veggie options–not even in the appetizer section. That’s pretty disappointing. And seemingly shortsighted.

    • New restaurant bingo!! Hope you’ve been checking your cards.

      • BDale REs

        What about the Ratatouille.

    • The whiskey is vegetarian.


    For a place serving $8 Miller High Lifes, I’m not sure how “awesome” this place can be when there are so many other options on 14th and U/Shaw.

    The space looks amazing though, but not sure if the drink prices will make this a frequent “go-to”.

    • Perhaps they’re charging a lot for terrible beer like Miller to encourage people to try their in-house made spirits?

    • DM

      An $8 Miller High Life from Golden, Colorado, apparently.
      I know Coors and Miller have a weird corporate arrangement but… Miller is just so very Milwaukee.

  • northeazy

    Can someone explain why 17 oz of Shift Punch costs $86?

    • Anon

      How else do you make $8 High Life a feasible option?


Subscribe to our mailing list