Along with their friend and contractor Josh Battino, they’ll open Hill Prince at 1337 H St., NE early next year.
“It’s everyone’s dream,” Nick Wiseman says. “Who doesn’t want their own bar?”
Located in a 100-year-old row house, Hill Prince has a similar layout to Maketto with a courtyard and converted stable in the back. A front bar, focused more on cocktails, will open in January. The larger back bar with garage doors opening up to the courtyard will come later in the spring. The owners have stripped down the building to its exposed brick and restored the heart pine floors. They’ll outfit it with leather furniture and brass finishes.
Anthony Lawson, the beverage manager at DGS Delicatessen, will oversee the bar menu. The cocktails—all classics like sazeracs and daquiris—will cost $10 or less. A punch will incorporate the bar’s own version of “rock and rye,” a rediscovered pre-Prohibition cordial made with rye, sugar, spices, and citrus. There will also be a range of beers, a small selection of wines, and a daily bartender’s choice beer-and-shot special.
Food will be limited to a few snacks, like five-spice beef jerky, warm pretzels, pickled okra, and artichoke dip with bagel chips.
The stable inspired the bar’s equestrian name: Hill Prince was a racehorse who won the 1950 Preakness Stakes. The Wisemans discovered that DC has a long history of horse-racing, particularly in the colonial days. Even George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were avid fans.
“You look back on the history of DC, and a lot of the drinking culture was built around horse racing,” he says. “It just felt like a good place to begin.”