Here's a boozy bit of news for you: Brothers and top cocktail talents Derek and Tom Brown are making plans to open a two-pronged drinking destination this winter.
Specifics have not been nailed down, but if all goes as planned, the location will be north of Chinatown and the bar will open sometime around November.
The joint the brothers are dreaming up includes a main bar dubbed The Passenger that will be Tom's domain, serving cocktails, inexpensive wine and off-the-beaten-path varietals (think a Riesling from the Midwest to Greek wine to Virginia bubbly).
A second bar — 20 seats, only 30 reservations per night and most likely concealed behind a locked door — is where Derek will interact closely with guests to make custom cocktails. He describes it as primarily an educational lab and a place to develop recipes. "It's not the Gibson or PX," he says. "I plan to take notes from small, Japanese bars in Tokyo but let people in on the process of making cocktails."
At that smaller bar — a sort of "inner sanctum," says Derek — he'll only stock a handful or so of commercial liquors. The rest, from bitters to liqueurs to mixers, will be housemade.
Each bar will reflect the respective brother's mixology style. "It really kind of hinges on the personalities of me and my brother," Derek says.
With their combined experience, the Browns are poised to make DC an even more delicious place to drink. Derek, who has also served as a sommelier at Citronelle and Komi, created his own consulting company, Better Drinking, and has pursued its namesake mission by designing the Gibson's cocktail program (among others), teaching at CulinAerie and L'Academie de Cuisine, and representing the Museum of the American Cocktail. Tom has earned a reputation for the fantastic off-menu cocktails he slings behind the bar at Cork.
So nail down those plans, guys. I'm thirsty.