Cocktails and fried chicken. I’ll say that again, cocktails and fried chicken, that’s the gist of the menu at Service Bar, one of the latest spots to open up in the U St/Shaw neighborhood. Despite its size, SBDC packs a punch, a menu of drinks that isn’t overwhelming, with detailed ingredients and icons for each drink to let you know if it's carbonated, strong or even which glass it will be served in, perfect for those of us wanting to avoid the coupe, yes I’m that guy.
The classics such as a Tom Collins, Old Fashioned and Mint Julep are offered at $7 all day, but it’s the curated cocktails you’ll want to give a go. With nods to neighboring areas and friends – The Bloomingdale – galangal infused gin, raspberry aged apple cider vinegar shrub, lemon egg foam and absinth spritz. Or try the Ode to Arroyo – gin infused with chamomile and fresh berries, lemon and soda (for Jon Arroyo, former mentor to two of the bar owners). The Zombie Punch was an impressive, and slightly over the top rum concoction served in a copper pineapple vase, fun nonetheless.
The food offerings are limited but that’s not a problem, fried chicken and fries, chicken tenders in a waffle cone, or my favorite – an excuse to eat “green” - Caprese salad of breaded fried mozzarella medallions, mixed greens and fried chicken. I’m yet to try the buffalo chicken dip, that’s next.
On my first visit it wasn’t long before I’m shouted at from across the room, Chad Spangler who I met many years back (and business partner Glendon Hartley from their days at Founding Farmers) found time to chat with me on a busy Friday night, but I could soon tell that no matter if you knew any of the folk who worked there they’d make you feel as welcome as anyone. It’s a nice addition to the bustling Shaw neighborhood.
Service Bar DC: 928 U Street, NW Washington, DC (closest metro: U Street/Cardozo east exit)