The parting of ways took place around New Year’s Eve, according to Reyburn, who says he tended bar at an event unrelated to Elisir on December 31, though he was still employed at chef Enzo Fargione’s Penn Quarter Italian restaurant at the time.The Birmingham, Alabama, native began working at the restaurant around Thanksgiving. He says Fargione asked him to create nine original cocktails; the new list debuted in early December. On December 11, the restaurant showcased Reyburn’s winter cocktail menu—featuring ingredients such as mint ice cubes, basil spheres, and chocolate-bacon-infused bourbon—at a special media event. (Fun fact: According to K Street Magazine, actor Laurence Fishburne visited the restaurant that same night.)
Elisir has always looked to create an elaborate bar program. When the restaurant opened in November 2011, it debuted a whimsical cocktail menu—smoked cherries, Campari marshmallows—designed by original bartender Steve Oshana, now at BLT Steak.
Reyburn says he has a new project in the works but would not share details as the arrangement had not been finalized. He did offer more details surrounding his departure; we have a call in with the restaurant for comment on those along with future plans for the bar. Check back here for updates.