The new lounge menu offers such snacks as freshly fried potato chips with pan-roasted onion dip. Photograph by Kyle Gustafson
Fans of the tiny Hank's Oyster Bar in Dupont Circle are used to waiting for a table in cramped quarters. Now, a new 68-seat next-door lounge is giving diners more room to slurp bivalves.
Although you can’t get hearty lobster rolls—or anything from the dining-room menu—in the lounge, chef/owner Jamie Leeds is serving up snacks such as house-made soft pretzels with cheddar-beer sauce; roasted-onion dip with house-made potato chips; and tins of smoked oysters with saltine crackers and mustard.
Designer Maggie O'Neill—who's also behind the interiors of Sax and Lincoln—created four areas in the tri-level space to eat and sip: a subterranean den with low banquettes and candles, an airy bar on each floor, and a private upstairs dining room with glittery vinyl walls. All are prime places to sample from the lengthy cocktail menu, which features classic martinis and shareable punch bowls such as the Fish House, fueled with rum, cognac, and peach brandy. There’s a new shooters menu (and no, we're not talking lemon drops): One has sea urchin, cucumber, and Dolin Blanc vermouth, another holds caviar spiked with Champagne, and you’ll also find the popular oyster/sake shots Hank’s has been serving from day one.
Size isn't the only thing at Hank's to extend: the new space is open until 2 AM on weeknights and 3 AM during the weekend. The lounge snacks are served up to one hour before closing time.
Hank's Oyster Bar and Lounge. 1624 Q St., NW. Open Monday through Thursday 5 to 2, Friday 5 to 3, Saturday 11 to 3, Sunday 11 to 2.
Click the menu to view at full size.