Mighty Pint Closes to Become Second State

Goodbye, collegiate bar; hello, Pennsylvania-inspired dining.

Freshly shucked oysters will share space with Pennsylvanian specialties at Second State. Photograph courtesy of the Wooden Nickel Bar Company.

So long, pitchers and pierogies. The Mighty Pint, which closed for “venue maintenance” after five years in Dupont, will become a dressier concept under the same ownership. Second State, a seasonal American restaurant, will debut in early October with dishes like roasted pheasant and a raw oyster happy hour.

“It’s a good change for the company,” says owner Reese Gardner. “We’re trying to mature and get out of the party-bar business.”

The former Penn State bar isn’t losing its Pennsylvania affiliation entirely. Gardner, a Pennsylvania native, plans to focus on culinary traditions and ingredients from the Keystone State. (Restaurant fun fact: The name also nods to Pennsylvania, which was the second state to ratify the Constitution on December 12, 1787.) Chef Allan Javery, who also oversees menus at fellow Wooden Nickel Bar Company eateries such as Copperwood Tavern and Irish Whiskey, will carry over his most popular items such as cider-and-bacon-steamed mussels, braised short ribs, and lobster rolls. Rounding out the lunch, brunch, and dinner options will be regional specialties like roasted pheasant with apples and potato-cheddar pierogies sautéed in brown butter. 

Garner says the “from-scratch” ethos of the kitchen will carry over to the bar, which will serve local brews and cocktails such as a whiskey-ginger Liberty Punch and an Old City Rickey made with Philadelphia’s Bluecoat Gin, lime, and hard cider. Happy hour will continue in the generous tradition with $1 oysters Monday through Friday from 5 to 6 throughout the restaurant. Designer Maggie O’Neill of SwatchRoom is behind the new look of the two-story space, intended to evoke a cozy townhouse feel. 

The opening of Second State will mark a series of debuts for Gardner. Orange Anchor, a nautically themed eatery on the Georgetown waterfront, is set to open—complete with boat delivery service—in November. Union Social will follow in NoMa, inspired by the DC Metro, though thankfully they won’t share the same carpeting. All will share a core group of best-selling dishes, plus plates individualized to their various themes. 

Stay tuned for more details on the debuts. 

Find Anna Spiegel on Twitter at @annaspiegs.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.