First Look: Chicken + Whiskey
Brandon Wetherbee | BYT at large | Jun 21, 2017 | 3:00PM |

Photos By Nicholas Karlin, Words By Brandon Wetherbee

It’s going to be interesting seeing how people enjoy Chicken + Whiskey. Will it become a popular fast casual lunch destination? Will people end their night of debauchery eating chicken? Or drinking whiskey? Will it capture Garden District’s spillover? If and when Dacha opens up next door will Chicken + Whiskey provide the food?

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Chicken + Whiskey may have the best address for any new restaurant in the city, 1738 14th St NW. It’s next to the parking lot at 14th and S St. NW. It’s next to a hardware store. It’s a block from the very busy 14th and T St NW corner. It’s two blocks from U Street. It’s one of the few fast casual places on 14th St NW. It’s the only place in the neighborhood serving Peruvian chicken and Venezuelans sides. It’s not the only place within a mile that also has a bar in the back. In D.C., it’s easier to find bars with odd entrances than Peruvian chicken.

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Since chicken is the first word in the name Chicken + Whiskey, let’s talk about the food. Since chicken is the first word in the name Chicken + Whiskey, let’s begin with the chicken. It’s good. It’s juicy. It’s as fine as what you’ll find at El Pollo Sabroso in Mount Pleasant. It’s not as good as El Pollo Rico in Arlington, but that’s the best in the area and it’s much easier to walk to Chicken + Whiskey than El Pollo Rico.

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The chicken is the star. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, there is the quinoa salad but don’t go to the chicken restaurant if you’re a vegan or vegetarian. Chicken is in its name. It’s the best thing on the menu and it should be. They’re spit roasting 500 chickens a day. If this doesn’t appeal to you, head to the back for whiskey.

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The Whiskey in Chicken + Whiskey is essentially a different establishment. You enter through the restaurant but after that, it looks and feels like an entirely different space. The bar specializes in, you guessed it, whiskey.

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Their selection is extensive and well curated. If you’re looking for a Manhattan made with bourbon you can’t find down the block at Batch 13, head to the back of Chicken + Whiskey.

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In addition to whiskey, the space wants to be known for the vinyl. That’s why there’s vinyl next to the bar and near the bar. DJs will spin every Wednesday night with plans to expand.

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Will Chicken + Whiskey become a low key club? Will it became the first spot on a night out on U? Last spot? Will it keep both concepts if one is more popular? Will it inspire more fast casual in an area already saturated with restaurants? It’s going to be interesting how people embrace Chicken + Whiskey. I’ll be back for the chicken. The chicken in Chicken + Whiskey is quite good.

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