The owners of Songbyrd Record Cafe will open a music-centric bar and restaurant on Tuesday, next door to their Adams Morgan sandwich, coffee, and vinyl shop. The new addition, called Songbyrd Music House, will feature DJs and vinyl in its street level space. Later this summer, a live music venue will open in the basement.
Co-owner Joe Lapan says the place aims to be for music lovers what a sports bar is for sports lovers. The establishment will center around soul, funk, jazz, alternative, and indie rock.
"The music will always be a focal point, not just background," Lapan says.
That doesn't mean the decibel level will rupture your ear drums. The venue has been outfitted for "club quality sound," Lapan says, with absorbing panels and equipment that allow for crisper, more robust audio.
Even the staff is made up of music fans: "One of the things we asked on any employment application was, 'What are you listening to right now?'" Lapan says.
Whereas Songbyrd Cafe is more of a daytime hub, Songbyrd Music House will be open for dinner and late-night crowds. Unlike its counterpart, the bar and restaurant has a liquor license and will serve beer, wine, and straight-forward cocktails.
Chef Matthew Richardson, formerly of 1905 and Right Proper Brewing Company, has prepared a menu of upscale bar food, burgers, and salads. Some of the snacks include fried roots and tubers—yucca, malanga root, and sweet potato—with horseradish and curry sauces as well as "byrd dogs," which are fancy pigs in a blanket.
Take a look at the full menu below.