If George Washington was 25 years old today, he’d have a man bun, wear Wayfarer sunglasses, and drink whiskey from Founding Farmers.
At least that’s the fantasy envisioned by the team at the new Farmers & Distillers. The owners commissioned an oil painting of America’s Founding Father as a millennial from local artist Nathan Loda to hang in the Washington-themed dining room of their Chinatown restaurant, bar, and distillery.
“If George Washington was here today, if he was hipster, cool, and this was his place, and he was presiding over the dining room, what would he look like?” co-owner Dan Simons explains of the painting’s premise.
Simons says he tasked his employees with finding photos of “handsome, cool, hipster dudes with a good vibe.” They then narrowed down the pool to photos that reminded them of Washington. Simons gave those images to Loda to work off of. (Loda previously painted the horse body on the host stand at Founding Farmers in Tysons Corner, which makes the hostesses look like centaurs if they stand just right.)
Loda modeled the young Washington portrait after the iconic one featured on the dollar bill. You can see the resemblance in the heavy eyelids and half-smile—but this Washington also wears a vest and leather monogrammed bracelet.