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Twisted Horn Becoming Hank’s Cocktail Bar in Petworth

by Prince Of Petworth — November 28, 2016 at 10:15 am 31 Comments

819 Upshur Street, NW

A reader reports at 8am:

“Not much to go off, but it would appear Twisted Horn is changing names. Does DC need another Hank’s concept though??”


Hank’s Cocktail Bar’s facebook page says:

“Allow us to reintroduce ourselves… as Hank’s Cocktail Bar.

We will continue to offer the same seasonally focused, high-quality food and drink menu, the same affordable prices, and the same great neighborhood vibe that guests have come to know and love at The Twisted Horn as well as JL Restaurant Group’s sister venues, Hank’s Oyster Bar & Hank’s Pasta Bar.

“We’re excited to share this name change with you all,” Owner, Chef & Restaurateur Jamie Leeds says. “We would always refer to The Twisted Horn as our cocktail bar, so why not call it that. As JL Restaurant Group expands and as we celebrate the one-year anniversary of The Twisted Horn in January 2017, we wanted to bring the cocktail bar under the Hank’s brand.”

Before Twisted Horn:


  • anon

    Damn, that was quick.

  • Anonymous

    Why not make it Hank’s Oyster Bar? They’d crush it. We haven’t gone there as much as other places on Upshur due to lack of legit food options.

  • Edgar

    The name change is unfortunate, I loved calling it “The Horny Twister”

  • twobytwo

    We loved TH, but will admit to only going once because we have kids and its rare we have a sitter/family visiting who can allow us a date night. TH was great but was obviously not a kid friendly place (which we totally respect and had no complaints about) so as a result we were not able to go that often just given our current stage of life. I’d guess the same holds true for many in the neighborhood so hopefully the change gives them more business. Good luck Hanks! We’ll be there soon!

    • Elkhaert

      I’m not sure how much if anything is going to change besides the name.

  • madmonk28

    Twisted Horn is my favorite place on Upshur. I like the atmosphere and the lack of kids, to be honest.

    • saf

      Me too

  • PetworthGuy

    “affordable prices” lol. Place is so overpriced for Upshur

    • Anonymous

      Give me a break. Some people will never be happy unless one thing is free. I’ll pay for quality. Now if you want to debate if the price is equal to quality then that’s valid. Plenty of hole in the walls still around if you want cheap food.

      • PetworthGuy

        Was not commenting on quality, just the fact that they consider themselves affordable. There is nothing wrong with serving high-end cocktails and pricing them as such, but don’t pretend to market them at affordable prices when they aren’t.

    • Anon Spock

      Every place in a neighborhood can’t sell Schlitz and cheap burgers. If you don’t want to pay for quality, I’m sure there are other places in that area.

    • siz

      i was gonna say, it IS pricey, but they are doing some really masterful cocktail work over there, with good booze. that’s gonna cost you. can head around the corner to dc reynolds for the cheap stuff and BOGO.
      also, this is disappointing! i love the name.

      • textdoc

        Sure, they’re doing masterful stuff… but the point is that they’re claiming (for some reason) that they have “affordable prices.”
        I gotta agree with PetworthGuy on this one.

        • PetworthGuy

          Exactly. Their cocktails are masterful and have great presentation, but a $12-$20 cocktail is not affordable. I am not saying that they are overpriced, just incorrectly advertised.

          • New to Petworth

            pretty cheap to me. When I go to City Center I expect to pay $25+

          • siz

            you…literally said they were overpriced. but point taken.

    • I’ve only been there once so I can’t remember how much the drinks cost, but Petworth Citizen and Slash Run both offer very reasonably priced drinks at happy hour.

    • ke

      I don’t think that well thought-out cocktails in the $10-$12 range is overpriced for Upshur or DC. That’s right in line with Room 11 and slightly cheaper than 2 Birds 1 Stone, for instance. And they do have good happy hour prices.

  • mbisme

    It was a great name to match the vibe.. very disappointing move but I guess there is much worse to complain about

  • anonymouse_dianne

    I met the chef a while back at a Smithsonian cooking event. I’ve been to Hank’s Oyster and it was very good and not too steep IIRC

  • anon7

    The Twisted Horn is a fantastic name. Don’t change it.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      It’s the chef’s brand and the name of her father.

  • GoutMachine

    First reaction: So, they’re changing everything that made it cool. Second reaction: Wait, they’re not changing anything other the the name and the animals on the walls? What the hell is the point?

    My response to the original reader question: No, we do not need another Hank’s concept. If anything, this cheapens the place for me. I liked Twisted Horn – the name, the vibe. Hank’s is … well, it’s like it’s becoming a chain.

  • Anonymous

    “Hank’s Twisted Horn.”

    Problem solved.

  • NT

    This is quite simple. They’re doing it because Hank’s has name recognition around here. This will improve traffic. As much as you might like the name Twisted Horn, most people won’t know who is behind this place. Changing the name instantly breaks down that barrier by connecting it to a known quantity. “Oh, that’s from the Hank’s people? Must be good.” Or at least, “We should try that.”

    • siz

      i guess? i’ve been a couple times and it didn’t seem like traffic was an issue, but obviously that’s anecdotal. my guess was there’s been some kind of behind the scenes shift with ownership or licensing or something that might necessitate a name change, and they’re trying to pass it off as something they wanted to do anyway.

    • Anonymous

      In this day and age, I think name recognition counts for less than word of mouth. I have been to Twisted Horn once. I really enjoyed it. I went because people whose opinions I trust recommended it. And it’s in my neighborhood. I would not have gone any sooner had I known or remembered that it was part of the “Hank’s” restaurant group. Personally, I don’t think doing one restaurant or concept well means you can do any and every restaurant or concept well. I would not be patronizing “Hank’s Indian Food” just because the guy does decent oysters.

    • GoutMachine

      Whereas my reaction would be, “Oh. It’s Hank’s. Meh.”

      • MR

        Agree. Hanks is really overrated, especially the oyster bar on Q Street.

    • Anonymous

      I think that the people for whom that connection is important already know what owner or restaurant group is associated with a particular restaurant or bar. Traffic is a product of demand and experience. If people don’t want what you are offering or the demand is there but the experience provided is sub par, you won’t get traffic. People weren’t lining up for Slim’s Diner because Paul Ruppert is the owner. They were lining up because of a strong demand for a neighborhood diner. The fact that an experienced restauranteur was associated with the project may have raised expectations, but it didn’t drive traffic.

    • Anonymous

      Name change to Hank’s indicates to me – as a DINK – that it will be more kid-friendly before 8pm. Though TH is pretty cramped, so I have no idea where they would put the strollers.


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