Groundhog Day is meaningless. Punxsutawney Phil can’t tell you anything about the beginning of spring (or the end of winter). Here in D.C., we have a much better way of scoping out when spring is coming. We know the sun is going to come out, the snow is going to stop and the tourists are about to descend when the Cherry Blossom Pop Up bar comes back. Lucky for us, 1843 7th Street NW has blossomed overnight. Spring is here and it looks damn good.
Once again, Matt Fox and Adriana Salame-Aspiazu (who head up Drink Company’s special projects team) have managed to completely reinvent the space. Step inside and you’re immediately transported to the courtyards of Versailles, complete with lush greenery and lace-like lattice work that climbs the walls. The only anachronism is the bundles of pink and white cherry blossoms that cover the ceiling and cascade down the walls. When you’re tired of drinking rosé cider in France, just duck under the green arches and you’re back in Washington D.C., complete with a technicolor mural of the Tidal Basin. When the Pop Up officially opens, this will be the most romantic bar in D.C.
But romance and whimsy aren’t the only things Drink Company has in store. Step into the back room and you’ll find yourself inside a giant pop art style bowl of ramen. Chives and fish cakes hang from the ceiling while a swirling vortex of noodles cover the walls (thanks to the help of 300 pool noodles that have been cut in half and stretched). If you’ve had a few too many drinks in France and need a pick me up, this is the place you want to be. From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, plus 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Chef Hiro Mitsui of Ramen by Uzu will be serving up his vegan miso ramen (with sweet add ons including pork belly). Have fun eating ramen, while you’re in ramen.
Our favorite aspect of the Pop Up Bar, the reason why we go back season after season, is that stepping through the doorway feels transportive. Time after time, Drink Company nails this feeling, and the latest Cherry Blossom bar is no exception. It’s our favorite way to go on vacation without leaving the city limits.