What is better than a doughnut? A warm doughnut. At midnight.
That’s what you’ll find at Sugar Shack Donuts and Coffee, which opens in Shaw on August 18. This is the twelfth outpost for the Virginia-based chain, but the first one with late-night hours and equipment to keep at least some of the doughnuts nice and toasty.
The doughnut shop will kick things off at 6 AM on Friday by giving away a free doughnut a month for a year to the first 50 people in line. Throughout the weekend, there will be a raffle for the chance win an 18-inch doughnut and other prizes.
Even if you miss out then, the freebies will continue every day, year-round. At 5:30 AM daily, Sugar Shack will post a challenge on its social media feeds, whether it’s doing a yoga pose or singing a song, to get a free doughnut.
Owner Rob Krupicka (a former Democratic member of the Virginia House of Delegates) says that all the locations use the same dough recipe, but each store makes its own glazes and fillings. Between 25 and 30 flavors are available in the case at any given time, including staples like chocolate sprinkles and cinnamon-sugar alongside more unusual options like cucumber-melon and pineapple-serrano. The doughnut operation has nearly 400 recipes in rotation.
The Shaw shop will also partner with local breweries, including Right Proper, for beer-based doughnut glazes. Other booze-inspired flavors, like blackberry-bourbon and peach fuzzy navel, will be the focus of an evening menu dubbed “Donuts After Dark.” It’s available Thursdays through Saturdays, when the shop is open until 2 AM. (Because the alcohol is cooked off, you don’t have to be 21 to order them.)
The doughnut shop will also have a full coffee bar plus nitro cold brew and kombucha on tap. Some alcoholic drinks will be available in the evenings, and downstairs, you’ll find an entire cocktail lounge called Nocturne. The bar will be reminiscent of Captain Gregory’s, a cocktail lounge hidden inside Sugar Shack’s Alexandria location. Nocturne, however, will serve “tapas-style” cocktails in mix-and-match flights. It’s set to open sometime in September.
Sugar Shack Donuts & Coffee. 1932 9th St., NW; 202-629-1417. Open Sunday through Wednesday from 6 AM to 8 PM and Thursday through Saturday from 6 AM to 8 PM.