Friday, May 22, 2015

Checking out Colony Club, new coffee shop and bar on Georgia Ave: cool spot

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the opening of Colony Club, the new coffee shop and bar at 3118 Georgia Ave NW, near Irving, and last weekend I got a chance to check it out -- it's a really neat spot.

Co-owner Max Zuckerman showed me around a told me a lot about the spot, whic has a maximum capacity of 49. For one, it's really nicely done: the interior is clean and modern with a lot of nice woodworking from a company out of Jessup, Maryland: cabinets, tables, the bar and more are all really beautiful. There's an area with some seats and tables in the front, then the bar, then a more loungey area with a coffee table and a few more tables. One of the neat features at the couch area is a collection of coffee table books on soccer, food and other topics.

Upstairs, there's a tournament-style ping pong table and some places to sit and set your drinks. That looks like somewhere I will spend a lot of time (but sadly I forgot to take a picture.) There's also a lot of cool retro posters: art exhibits, World Cups, and such.

There's also a patio area in the back which they are still working on, but which will seat 20 people.

Zuckerman's background is in real estate, he worked for his family's company, but the Zuckermans have a lot of history in this part of town: they used to own a flower shop in Petworth called Dave Zuckerman's Colony Flowers, which was named for the Colony Theater at Georgia and Farragut Street NW.  That building still exists, though not as a theater (much like the York Theater across from the Looking Glass Lounge, which is now the Fishermen of Men Church.) It's an interesting reminder of how many movie theaters used to be in DC -- the Tivoli at Park and 14th being one of them.

Max explained that a lot of places around there were named after the theater, like the still-open Colony Liquors and others.

As for the split between coffee shop and bar, Max said every day they'll be the coffee shop until 5 pm, and then after will start serving alcohol -- except Sundays, when they close at 5. He explained that they'll see how this goes, since they are new. When I was there on Sunday around 4, there were a lot of folks enjoying coffee, reading and working on their laptops and such, and my friends who joined us were surprised they didn't have beer then. 

The coffee comes from Ceremony Coffee Roasters, a local roaster, and was quite tasty. In addition to coffee drinks in the coffee shop portion, they have pastries, quiche and yogurt, and interesting soft drinks like seltzer on tap.

Then as for booze, they have beer, wine and hard liquor, the idea being to have small batches for each of those -- some interesting wines and spirits that are tasty but reasonably-priced. I didn't recognize most of the spirits they had, for example. Zuckerman said they planned to have one of each type (bourbon, gin, etc.) and would serve mostly neat, on the rocks or with the aforementioned seltzer.

There's a handful of good beers on draft for $7, like Allagash White, Centennial IPA, Brewer's Art from Maryland and Founders Porter, plus cans (the Porkslap is $3, a great deal) and also larger format bottles of nice German and Belgian beers. In addition, there's the "cellar" beers, which are bigger, fancier bottles.

They have a happy hour too until 7 pm, with drafts dropping to $5. 

There's no kitchen, but along with the coffee shop bites, they have bar snacks like charcuterie meats and cheeses, almonds, olives, pickels and such, and tinned seafood. I asked Max about this as it was new to me: he explained that it's common in places like Spain and France to have them at bars, and unlike American canned seafood, the idea is to have high quality fish in interesting, nicely designed tins. I forget the exact prices but they were around $10-$15.

Another interesting feature is that they will offer annual memberships, which will include deals on beer and wine, free unlimited coffee, and other freebies, for $250. He said the idea was kind of like the memberships at Bedrock Billiards, where regulars who come in a lot can join and get deals. I think it makes sense if you plan to go a lot.

I took a bunch of photos, look below for more. 


Martin Rozenberg said...

Definitely a great addition to the area! Great contrast between Bravo and Colony Club, love both places for different reasons.

Anonymous said...

This place looks so damn cool. Just wish it was closer to me. They should look into expanding up by Red Derby. With all the news condos going in, they'd make a killing.

Anonymous said...

Are there really that many new condos going in up by the Red Derby area to validate a business expansion to that area?

Jacqui said...

@Anonymous May 25, 2015 at 8:57 AM, yes, there are at least two, if not three, new condos currently being built, and there are those of us who already live near the Red Derby in condos, houses, and apartments, who would really appreciate a place like Colony Club near us.

IsmeSon said...

Colony House looks GREAT! I love their offerings and such a nice space. I'll definitely check it out, perhaps even stop by on my daily bike commute - either coming or going. Thanks for posting!