The Good Silver, the name for the new tavern replacing Kangaroo Boxing Club, started out as a joke. Owners Josh Saltzman, Chris Powers, Adam Fry, who also run Ivy and Coney, and their new partner Carrie Dzwil were having trouble coming up with what to call the Columbia Heights spot, so they started riffing.
“Chris and I were joking in the car one day about wanting it to be comfortable, like, ‘It’s your living room but grandma brought out the good china because guests are over,'” Saltzman says. The pair immediately seized on “The Good China” as a name, but ended up rejecting it because they worried customers would assume they were a Chinese restaurant. They also dismissed “The Good Crystal” because “there’s no bad crystal.” Then Fry proposed “The Good Silver,” and it stuck.
The restaurant and bar opened earlier this week at 3410 11th St., Northwest, around four months after the owners closed Kangaroo Boxing Club. Saltzman says their previous business wasn’t making as much money as they wanted, and they were eager to try fresh concepts.
Among the changes to the menu are a selection of shrub-based cocktails. That set off another series of inside jokes: “Somebody quoted [Monty Python] and said, ‘We are the Knights Who Say Ni, and we require a shrubbery!'” chuckles Saltzman. “We were talking with our PBR rep and asked, ‘Do you want to help us put up our mural? We want to do the Knights Who Say Ni,’ and he was like, ‘For real?”‘
In the end, they went with it: a massive mural, painted by local artist Chad Brady which features the Knights clutching beers as they glower over customers. “It’s actually a little freaky. The main knight stares at you from any spot in the bar,” Saltzman says.
The “class meets comfort” food menu focuses on pickled, preserved, and cured delicacies with as well as comfort foods like hush puppies and fried chicken from chef Remi Gottheil, who joined the circus before working in restaurants.
“We went through sixty different iterations of fried chicken to figure out one that had the right crunch, and was still juicy, and had the flavor profile we wanted,” Saltzman says. Best of all: the sandwich is only six bucks.
Meanwhile, the horseshoe bar stocks bottles from local distilleries and breweries for a concise liquor and beer list. The owners have made significant changes to the space, opening it up and lining the walls with family photos dating back to the 1800s.
“While we don’t have fine china or silver-plated silverware, the idea is that it’s welcoming like it’s your home, but with an attention to detail and customer service that’s like you’re an honored guest,” says Saltzman.
The Good Silver is located at 3410 11th St. NW in Columbia Heights. It’s open Tuesday-Sunday from 5 pm to close. Weekend brunch and expanded weekday hours to come soon.