Because BYT loves almost nothing–and we mean nothing–more than a classy cocktail and a serving of light, fresh oysters we are thrilled to announce Hank’s Oyster Bar opens in all its fresh-seafood-and-mixology glory on Capitol Hill tonight.
Just one block away from the Eastern Market metro, the new Hank’s location is just a hop, skip and a jump from two metro lines and the Capitol, making it the newest–and in our opinion, most refreshing–Hill spot for an after-work drink or bite. Step into the large, brightly-lit establishment and note the large mirrors over mixologist (or “mixtress,” as she likes to say) Gina Chersevani’s Eddy Bar; those aren’t mirrors at all. They’re TVs.
In fact, one of the most fun aspects of Jamie Leeds’s new Hank’s Hill location is the perceived simplicity–but what appears to be a clean, simple bar is actually modeled directly after an old apothecary and its vintage blue Bell jars dotting the landscape are full of herbs, spices and a surprising collection of homemade bitters (most famously among them is the jar of marshmallow bitters, a tart vanilla-tinged concoction made from marshmallow root).
Especially unique to the new Hank’s spot is its hand-chipped ice, chiseled down from 40-lbs blocks right in front of you at the bar–the ice tongs (pictured above) are an antique owned by Chersevani’s own grandfather over 100 years ago.
In terms of decor, I’d have to say my favorite aspect is the mix of old and new–the strip lighting behind the bar gives the spot that drugstore feel reminiscent of that original apothecary inspiration. The chisels, Bell jars, vintage bar utensils and containers add roots to the light, pristine atmosphere.
The cocktails are of course as inspired by their surroundings as we’d hoped, lifting historical and political significance for drinks like the “PT-109” (featuring coconut-cardamom soda, inspired by JFK’s sunken torpedo boat and the crew’s survival off the drupe) and the “Jackson’s Peaches and Huzzah!,” a nod to both the peaches so vital to Georgia–a state pivotal to Jackson’s career–and Rye and scorched milk, both staples of New Orleans, the town he conquered.
But fans of the DC staple can still expect the same signature hospitality and delectable specials they’ve received at the Dupont Circle and Old Town locations; there will still be a raw bar along with the Meat and Two special, fried oysters, lobster rolls and molasses-braised short ribs. Swing by this evening for all of these and more–namely a special opening-night Cachaça, citrus and sage punch.