Shaw bar Ivy and Coney is getting a little more festive than Chicago-style hot dogs and Miller Lite this holiday season. Beginning December 1, bar-goers will be able to nosh on latkes and sip on Manischewitz as part of a “Chai-vy and Cohen-y” Hanukkah bar.
Like a lot of things at Ivy and Coney, the pop-up concept started as a joke, says co-owner Josh Saltzman. But as he and his business partners started coming up with more ideas, they figured it was high-time Washingtonians were treated to a Jewish iteration of the holiday bar. “We figured since there’s a Christmas bar, there should be an ugly stepchild bar,” says Saltzman, who was raised Jewish. “So Hannukah bar was born.” (DC’s most famous holiday pop-up, Miracle on Seventh Street, previously included a “Hanukkah Hangout” in its Christmas-blitzed bar. This year, there’s a “Chinese and a movie” room.)
Patrons can catch candle-lighting ceremonies throughout the eight nights of Hanukkah (beginning December 12), as well as dreidel competitions, raffles, and plenty of chocolate gelt coins. The interior will be decked out throughout the month: The front space will resemble a “Hanukkah disco,” Saltzman says, while the back ceiling will be covered in string lights.
A special menu will include potato latkes and Saltzman’s matzoh ball soup, a family recipe (nevermind that it’s a Passover staple). Bartenders will serve some of their favorite Jewish drinks, as well, including Manischewitz wine, Slivovitz plum brandy, and He’Brew beers. The biggest draw of the Hanukkah-themed bar is likely to be a giant menorah fashioned like a “shotski” (a ski with shot glasses attached). The “shot-norah,” as Saltzman calls it, is made so eight guests can take a shot at once.
So, how will Chai-vy and Cohen-y compete with the Miracle on Seventh Street just up the street? Saltzman insists that this would be impossible. “To be clear, we are no Christmas Bar,” he says. “We completely respect everything Derek Brown and his team do. We’re not looking to compete.”
Ivy and Coney. 1537 7th St., NW. 202-670-9489.