The Shaw Bijou Is Doing a Cocktail Pop-Up at Central Tonight

When the restaurant opens, it will have a members-only bar

The "Pear Twenty" with pear liqueur, pear nectar, Cava, and lemon. Photo courtesy Central.

If you want to try cocktails at the Shaw Bijou, opening Nov. 1, you’ll have to splurge on the $185 tasting menu (with $95-$185 drink pairings) or pay a yet-to-be-determined fee for a membership to the private bar upstairs.

Or you can pay $14 per drink at a Shaw Bijou cocktail pop-up at Central on Oct. 6 and 7 from 7 to 9:30 pm. This may be the first time a $14 cocktail seems like deal.

The Shaw Bijou head bartender Ben Long previously worked at Central alongside wine director Brian Zipin. The two collaborated on a seven-cocktail menu (see below), which honors two recently deceased stars in the food and drink world: chef Michel Richard and New York bartender Sasha Petraske. Long, who spent several years bartending in New York, previously worked with Petraske. The Milk & Honey founder loved pear liqueur, and so the menu includes three pear cocktails. All the tips from the pop-up will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, a favorite charity of Richard’s.

These drinks won’t necessarily be on the Shaw Bijou’s cocktail menu though, because the restaurant doesn’t exactly have a cocktail menu. “It’s going to be omakase or bartender’s choice,” Long explains. Diners will have their first course at the bar upstairs, where they’ll get their choice of a welcome beer, wine, or cocktail. “We ask them a couple questions and then we sort of form a cocktail to what they’re telling us,” he says. There will also be a cocktail as part of the wine-focused drink pairings.

Memberships for the bar and lounge haven’t quite been sorted out yet, Long says. The plan, though, is to have a 24-hour concierge service, so members can drop in at any hour they please. The bar will also offer a bottle-hunting service where members can request rare bottles of whiskey, and the staff will track them down (for a fee).


Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.