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Photos By Armando Gallardo, Words By Brandon Wetherbee

Espita Mezcaleria wants to be your mezcal destination. They have a good shot at making that happen.

The first thing you’ll notice as you enter the Shaw restaurant are the murals by Oaxancan artist Yescka. They’re bright, bold and political. And they were made by the artist for the restaurant. If the art is any indication of future success, Espita Mezcaleria will do just fine as neighbors of Columbia Room, Table and A&D.


The new restaurant and bar from Josh Phillips has been two and a half years in the making. The space was built and designed with his sister, Rachel Reid Aikens of REID & TAYLOR Studio. His mom, Sandra Phillips, painted the very cool art in the bathrooms and designed the logo. It all began when Phillips was living in Philadelphia, had mezcal for the first time and decided to spread the gospel of the Oaxacan liquor.


They’re starting with 85 different types of mezcal. Beverage Director and partner Megan Barnes, previously of McClellan’s Retreat and Columbia Room, will have a lot of ingredients to play with.


Executive Chef and partner Alexis Samayoa will be serving Southern Mexican-inspired dishes. Check back for a Taste Test in a few weeks but we can definitely recommend the tortillas and the tacos. The tortillas are made from scratch, in house, every morning.


Espita Mezcaleria, 1250 9th Street NW, is open beginning today, March 8, for lunch Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., dinner Sunday through Thursday, from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., Friday and Saturday, from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. and brunch Saturday & Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.