Former Liberty Tavern chef Liam LaCivita will open his first solo venture, Bar Civita, in what was previously Murphy's in Woodley Park.
Despite the name, LaCivita says Bar Civita is more restaurant than bar. (Although its Irish pub predecessor provides a 24-seat solid oak bar, where LaCivita's staff will serve classic cocktails.) The modern American menu will take inspiration from LaCivita's Italian heritage plus eastern European, Irish, and New England influences—"what I've been cooking growing up." Expect lots of homemade sausages, cheeses, and breads, too. One carryover from Liberty Tavern will likely be the Vermont pizza with smoked prosciutto, white cheddar, and Granny Smith apples.
"Everybody told me I could retire on that pizza," he says. "Well, I just may."
LaCivita says he doesn't plan to make any drastic changes to Murphy's tin ceilings, brick, and dark wood. But he does plan to lighten it up and "bring in more sun." The restaurant will continue to have a 40-seat heated outdoor patio. The place is expected to open early next year.
Photo via Liam LaCivita