Late-night dumplings? Check. Classic cocktails? Check. Where we want to be this weekend: Copycat Co., an H Street watering hole from former BarMini tender Devin Gong. The space opens Saturday at 5.
The two-story spot is meant to be a laid-back hangout for drinkers, snackers, and industry folks looking to unwind after work. To that end you’ll find the bar open nightly until last call—2 on weeknights and Sunday, 3 on Friday and Saturday—and a Northern Chinese street-food menu served until the wee hours.
Just 12 seats greet customers on the first floor, where an open kitchen produces a small lineup of dishes inspired by Gong’s family recipes. Pot stickers, house-made bao buns, and grilled skewers are the focus, with prices in the wallet-friendly range of $1.25 to $4.
Cocktails get a little more complex in the second-floor bar, which can fit 23. A list of classics includes categories like fizzes, old-fashioneds, and martinis, which guests can customize with spirits and preparations of their choosing (gin or bourbon sours, dry versus perfect Manhattans). The menu comes with thorough descriptions of each category of cocktail and method, so more novice drinkers aren’t left out. Looking for a quick choice? The back of the menu includes a number of newer creations, such as “fixes”—citrus, sugar, and a booze of choice—as well as hot toddies.
As for the name, Gong says “copycat” speaks to a form of flattery in the bar world.
“Cocktails are inherently duplicable,” says Gong. “We make cocktails in the hope of someone making it somewhere else, for someone else. That’s the greatest compliment.”
Copycat Co. 1110 H St., NE. Open daily, 5 to last call. Kitchen closes 30 minutes prior to last call each night.