1626 North Capitol Street, NW
I’ve been getting tons of messages asking about Old Engine and it occurred to me I never posted the press release I got (I blame the high ABVs on my favorite RAR and Dogfish Head beers) – without further ado:
“The century old firehouse located at 1626 North Capitol Street NW will soon be home to a new restaurant concept along with venue improvements designed for hosting large and small private events. Spark at Engine Co 12 will be a neighborhood cocktail bar and smoke house with a menu of shared platters featuring smoked meats, flavorful composed appetizers, craft cocktails, and a specialty rum menu. Set to open January 2018, the name Spark at Engine Co 12 preserves the legacy of the Firehouse built in 1897 that once served the Bloomingdale community.
Bought by event industry heavy-hitter, Jenna Mack of Event Emissary, who set out to “open a restaurant I’d love to eat at in a space I’d love to do events in,” the restaurant will officially change hands from the current owners on January 1st. Chef Peter Prime, Executive Chef at the current concept Old Engine 12, has been pegged to lead the charge, and breathe energy into the concept. Chef Peter’s Trinidadian roots will peek through most with the presence of fry bread, beef patties, oxtail and jerk on the menu. Spark’s selection of meat, grilled to perfection and inspired by West Indian street food, will be offered in duos and trios and served, much like West Indian tradition, to be shared.
Spark will be unlike any other dining destination in the Bloomingdale neighborhood or in the District for that matter. Guests can expect to get their hands dirty digging into the mains from this smokehouse which include grilled oxtail, jerk brisket and cumin spiced pork belly. “If you’re afraid to eat with your hands, Spark may not be the place for you,” laughs Chef Peter who’s worked under the likes of Todd Grey and the late Michel Richard. While appetizers such as the smoked marrow, avocado beignets and salmon tartare sliders are more composed, desserts will take on a life of their own, embodying the “spark” in Spark at Engine Co 12. Think jalapenos and pop rocks (but not together).
Do not expect white tablecloths and buttoned-up waiters at Spark either. The dining concept will complement its rustic backdrop to achieve a relaxed and inviting dining atmosphere. Lounge seating, communal dining tables, and reclaimed wood with metal accents will merge for a warm, mid-century modern-industrial aesthetic. The building boasts three levels of prime event space flanked by original 19th century wood flooring and exposed brick. Ample windows and two garage doors allow the sun to pour in, and when open, the vibe to overflow into a 50-seat covered patio for dining al fresco.
About Spark at Engine Co 12
Spark at Engine Co 12 will open in late January 2018 serving dinner and weekend brunch. A neighborhood smokehouse and cocktail bar, the initial menu will feature a selection of 4 meats and one fish with plans to expand and feature a larger selection to include local game as well as shareable side dishes. Ingredients will be locally sourced when possible with seasonal menu changes. A full bar will be available along with happy hour specials and unique tasting flights. Spark will be open 6 days a week. The entire venue capacity is 400 and is fully operational as an event space for private and corporate functions.”