Photo by Jennifer Mitchell Photography
From a press release:
“At this weekend’s Tales of the Cocktail festival in New Orleans, Drink Company’s cocktail bar and tasting room Columbia Room won the coveted Best American Cocktail Bar category of the Spirited Awards. The award was received by Drink Company President Derek Brown, CEO Angie Fetherston, and Columbia Room Head Bartender JP Fetherston.
“For years, DC’s food and drink scene has been on the rise – a reflection of our city’s renaissance and the diversity and vibrancy of our neighborhoods,” says Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Last year, we saw multiple District restaurants honored with prestigious Michelin stars, and it was only a matter of time until one of our cocktail bars would be named the best in the nation. With their hardworking and passionate staff – led by a DC native – it is no surprise that Columbia Room is the one to bring the award home. Cheers to all the staff at Columbia Room – you have given us one more reason to call Washington, DC the greatest city in the world.”
Columbia Room was a finalist in the Best American Bar Cocktail category along with New York’s Attaboy, San Francisco’s Trick Dog, and Houston’s Anvil Bar & Refuge. In the Best American Bar Team category, Columbia Room placed in the Top Ten. The Spirited awards were introduced to Tales of the Cocktail in 2007 to recognize excellence in bartending- not just in America, but worldwide. “We’re just blown away,” says Brown. “We work toward this goal everyday but being officially recognized for it is something altogether different. The other nominees are amazing bars and we know how hard it is to reach this level.”
The original Columbia Room opened inside of the Passenger in 2010, and earned James Beard Award nominations. Relocating to Blagden Alley in 2016 with three distinct experiences – Tasting Room, Spirits Library, and the newly bloomed Punch Garden- Columbia Room reemerged just as Bon Appetit named DC. its Restaurant City of the Year. To bring cocktails and bartenders into the conversation, the team has created an incredibly detail-oriented service and education experience that pairs classic and original cocktails with inventive plates from Head Chef Johnny Spero.
“I’m immensely proud of our Columbia Room team for achieving this incredible honor,” says Angie Fetherston. “To be regarded as the best bar in America by the most prestigious group of our peers shows how far DC has come as a cultural destination and we’re proud to lead the vanguard for cocktail bars across the country.”
While the team plans on celebrating upon their return to DC, service is priority. Says Brown, “our staff is dedicated to not just winning awards–as amazing as that is–but making sure our guests leave saying the same thing that the judges did: that this is without a doubt the best American cocktail bar.”