Five years after the opening of its home base location on 14th Street, fast casual restaurant Chicken + Whiskey will open its third branch near Nationals Park this Saturday, July 30.
Designed for baseball fans, the 4,190 square foot location will feature game day food and beverage specials and televisions for watching the game. Still under construction: an additional 65-seat “patio pollo” which will be open only on match days, as well as an outdoor terrace with 54 seats.
And, of course, far from your typical stadium grub, but for the same price, if not less, the restaurant’s Peruvian offerings such as its signature pollo a la brasa designed by Enrique Limardothe Venezuelan chef behind Seven Reasons, Imperfecto and Immigrant Food.
After brining for 12 hours, the chickens are slowly roasted over charcoal in Peruvian roasting ovens. The birds – cut into quarters, half or whole portions – come with homemade hot sauces and aji amarillo as well as two sides (or four, if you order a whole chicken). Choose from Caribbean slaw, sweet plantains, macaroni queso, yuca fries and more.
The location, which is light, airy and decorated in bright South American colors, including a mural of the Inca sun god, Inti, by Pepa Llama– also comes with its own special menu items. Limardo has crafted a new pork belly arepa filled with crispy chicharrones, gouda cheese, picante sauce, sweet plantain butter, pickled vegetables and cilantro. Also new and exclusive to the ballpark: Tajin Spice Wings.
“I lived in Peru for a long time and I spend a lot of time in South America,” says Limardo. “For this particular concept, I always go to Peru as a core of exploration because the cuisine of the country has a Chinese influence and a Japanese influence but also traditional Peruvian cuisine, so I think of all my time in Peru and I play with creativity .”
Oh, and don’t forget that whiskey. Like its sister establishments, the baseball stadium bar offers a selection of 99 whiskeys, international and local. “In Venezuela, every time you eat at a churrascaria [a barbecue restaurant] or you have chicken or beef, you have it with whiskey. You have a bottle of whiskey on the table,” Limardo says.
But if you’re not a whiskey drinker, no problem. The bar also offers many whiskey-free cocktails, such as its Spicy Kool-Aid Caliente (tequila, chacho with passion berries, lime, blue caracau, grapefruit) or the Bitcoin Becky (vodka, prickly pear, lime and sparkling grapefruit). Cocktails range from $11 to $13. But during happy hour, which is all day Monday and 5-7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, you can pick up an $8 Old Fashioned, $7 house liquor, or take 25% off all whiskies.
However, unlike Chicken + Whiskey’s 14th Street location, where the whiskey bar is tucked away, speakeasy-style, behind a faux freezer door, the ballpark location put the bar front and center. , as well as a DJ booth where longtime partner and DJ Charles Koch curates playlists.
Moving the bar ahead of time was a practical pandemic-era decision, says co-owner Des Reilly.
“During Covid, no one wanted to stand side by side, stuck next to strangers. We wanted space, we wanted outdoor space, in order to have the comfort and peace of mind to enjoy our time,” says Reilly. “And, Covid or not, that’s really the way to do it. This whole indoor/outdoor concept with the outdoors and access to open and covered spaces and the ability to move freely – people really want that.
Since opening in 2017, Reilly says they didn’t initially envision such rapid growth (a fourth location is already on the way to Clarendon next spring).
“The truth is, when we opened 14th Street, we weren’t doing too well. In the first 18 months, we were losing money, so it was really a lesson in courage and tenacity to help us understand the concept, understand this concept and really deliver it to our customers,” says Reilly. . “It was probably during those three years that we realized, ‘Wow, we really have something here. We have something that people really like.
Chicken + Whiskey. 70 N St., SE.