438 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Check out the Opening Dinner Menu (PDF)
From a press release:
“An advertiser, a lawyer and an architect walk into a bar…
It might sound like the start of a joke, but it was actually the start of a successful DC pub. About ten years ago, Brittany Ryan (the advertiser), Matt Murphy (the lawyer), and Nick Bernel (the architect) were moonlighting from their day jobs at a Georgetown bar when their passion for the business led them to opening their first restaurant. The trio brought in Jeremy Gifford, another veteran of the same Georgetown bar fresh off of opening DC Reynolds in Petworth, as an advisor, and together they opened The Pub & The People, at the crossroads of Bloomingdale and Eckington on North Capitol Street.
The Pub, as regulars call it, was an immediate success, and has won either “Best New Bar,” “Best Neighborhood Bar,” or “Best Bar” from the Washington City Paper every year since opening in 2015. Now, that quartet is taking their winning formula across town to open Present Company Public House this weekend.
Present Company occupies an 1855 firehouse that was the oldest operating fire station in the District when it was decommissioned in 1974. The space has been redesigned with care and sensitivity to its history, adding modern touches while exposing the bones of the 19th century firehouse. Located at 438 Massachusetts Ave. NW, it straddles the line between Chinatown and Mount Vernon Square, and is just a few blocks from NoMa.
The kitchen will be headed by Executive Chef Lincoln Fuge, a Certified Sommelier originally from Nashville, who was most recently head chef at DC’s recently closed and much-loved 701. He brings with him extensive experience in upscale restaurants on both coasts — from Boston to Los Angeles — with names like Nobu and Todd English on his CV.
Chef Fuge is looking forward to taking all he has learned from the worlds of both fine dining and high-volume cooking to make simply great pub food. Don’t look for chef-y drizzles next to tiny morsels plated with tongs. He’s told colleagues from the fine dining world joining him at Present Company that they can “leave their tweezers at home.”
Present Company is dedicated to being low in pretense and high in quality. No one will ask, “Have you dined with us before?” because a menu shouldn’t have to be explained. Go ahead and taste each other’s food if you choose, but your waiter won’t open with, “We recommend sharing.” And no one will need to figure out how many “small plates” per person.
The menu isn’t themed; instead they have tried to create a menu on which everyone can find items they love. It helps that one of the owners is a vegetarian, so there are plenty of vegetarian offerings. Meat eaters will enjoy pastrami smoked on premises, and seafood options range from Faroe Islands salmon to local Maryland crab.
All ingredients on the food menu are fresh and humanely sourced, and whenever possible, local. The bar menu combines distilled spirits and wines from around the globe with local craft offerings.
The bar will have 12 beers on tap, and 46 bottles, including hard ciders and spiked seltzers. Beer and shot combos start at $6, alongside pricier options if that’s what you prefer.
For the non beer-drinkers, there are 20 wines in an approachable price range, a cocktail menu with a dozen original house creations made alongside well- made classics, and an extensive, well-rounded spirits list.
Happy hour will include $6 house red and white wine, $4 rail drinks, and $2 off draft beers, along with delicious food options
The owners are focused on keeping prices reasonable for their neighbors, both the residents of the neighborhood and employees in nearby businesses.
Present Company will open this weekend with limited hours, but very soon plans to be reliably open daily from lunch to late-night, with brunch on weekends.