We love the barbecue at DCity Smokehouse. The limited space? Not so much, but that’s less of a concern with the opening of Wicked Bloom DC Social Club on Friday. The bar, located a few steps away from the Florida Avenue smokehouse, is outfitted with 49 seats for sipping cocktails or local brews, and digging into smoky pub grub from pitmaster/chef Rob Sonderman.
Co-owners Scott Jacobs and Melvin Hines of the Southeast Restaurant Group designed the concept to be separate from DCity, though there’s plenty of crossover—especially since guests are encouraged to bring their barbecue over to the new space, where there’s room to relax and order a cold beer. There’s also a small bar menu at Wicked Bloom that starts in the late afternoon, filled with smoky eats like brisket sliders, fire-roasted pimento cheese dip, and the Smokehouse Bomb: a crispy mac n’ cheese waffle piled with brisket chili, cheese sauce, and chopped pork. Sonderman says he may add more dishes over time—barbecue quesadillas, grilled cheese—though the plan is to keep the food simple and wallet-friendly (think $7 to $14). A few of the dishes will be offered late-night, up to an hour before closing.
Former Eat the Rich barman Ben Matz is behind the drinks, which run classic, despite the creative names. Opening weekend will bring a few Pope-inspired creations, such as the #PopeTraffic—a daiquiri made with rum, lime, and cinnamon—and the mescal-based Cardinal Sin. A collection of smoky liquors can be found behind the bar, including Scotches, mescals, and whiskeys, as well as 11 draft beers. Plans are in the works for a house sweet tea, served straight and mixed into the cocktails.
“To quote Dolly Parton, ‘sweet tea is the house wine of the south’,” says Matz.
Next up for the crew: a new home for DCity, located nearby at 1700 Second Street, Northwest. The restaurant will move from a carryout into a 35-seat, full-service restaurant, which is expected to open towards the end of winter. In the meantime you can settle into Wicked’s bar with a whiskey cocktail and mac n’ cheese waffle.
Wicked Bloom DC Social Club. 1540 North Capitol St., NW; 202-750-6375. Open Tuesday through Friday, noon to 4 (no food served, but DCity takeout welcome); full-service from 4 pm to 2 am. Saturday open noon to close; Sunday noon to 1 am.