Hank's Oyster Bar chef and owner Jamie Leeds has built up the bar areas at her seafood-focused restaurants over the last few years. Next, she's opening a cocktail bar called Twisted Horn, coming to 819 Upshur St. NW this spring.
"I've always wanted to do a bar for a long time, and this opportunity came to me as far as real estate," says Leeds, who lives in Petworth. "I really believe in Petworth as an up-and-coming area. A lot of people are moving in there, and there's very few options of places to go."
The bar will seat about 40 inside and up to an additional 40 on the outside patio, where there will be a fire pit. Megan Coyle, who runs the beverage program at Hank's Dupont location, will oversee the drinks and be the general manager. (Bartender Gina Chersevani, a partner in Hank's Oyster Bar on the Hill, is not involved in the project.)
Among the cocktails: the "Ghostwood Development" with gin, port wine, Sapins aperitif, Salmiakki Dala (Scandinavian fernet), egg, fresh nutmeg, and pepper as well as the "Louisiana Purchase" with cognac, dry and red vermouth, Bénédictine liqueur, and muddled cucumber. In addition to cocktails, there will be an extensive wine list.
The food menu will be snacky with bites like pimento cheese finger sandwiches, deviled eggs, dips and chips, meatballs, and escargot in puff pastry on a stick. Leeds will also highlight "micro-local" foods, meaning they're produced within the Petworth neighborhood. For example, there will be charcuterie from Straw Stick & Brick Delicatessen (formerly Three Little Pigs), pickles from Gordy's Pickle Jar, and coffee from Qualia Coffee. A variety of local cheeses will also be available.
"I really want to support the independent small businesses that are opening in the neighborhood," Leeds says.
Photo courtesy Jamie Leeds