Little Coco’s owners Jackie Greenbaum and Gordon Banks have rotated through tropical beach and alpine lodge themed pop-ups in the space above their Petworth Italian restaurant. But now they’ve settled on something permanent and a lot more evergreen: burgers.
Lucy’s, named after Greenbaum’s first giant schnauzer, quietly opened last night with just four burgers. The menu is totally different from Slash Run, which the restaurateurs sold a year ago to a former manager. The staple burger ($6.49) draws inspiration from Little Tavern, the defunct chain of local burger restaurants known for their iconic green roofs. “Your breath always smelled like onions after you had those little death balls,” Greenbaum says of the Little Tavern burgers. “They were kind of gross and wonderful at the same time.” At Lucy’s, four-ounce beef patties (not sliders) are upgraded with minced white onions and a dijon mustard aioli (no pickle) and served on a buttered and toasted potato bun from Lyon Bakery.
The menu also includes a cheeseburger, bacon-cheeseburger with red cherry peppers, and the “Royale” topped with a slice of foie gras and truffle aioli. Chef Adam Harvey has tried to replicate McDonald’s-style fries—crispy, thin, salty—for the side.
Drinks are equally straightforward. You’ll find PBR and Miller High Life alongside six craft beers. Make your own combo with a choice of “pops” (shots such as bourbon, tequila, Chartreuse, etc). The five cocktails are mostly classics (old-fashioned, mint julep) with the exception of one “out-there experimental” drink, Greenbaum says.
The upstairs space has been totally transformed into something a little darker and more tavern-like. Vintage signs cover the walls, including a relic from Rib Pit Lounge which previously occupied the Little Coco’s space. Black booths and red bar stools seat at least 30, and light sconces are arcade game-themed.
“Gordon and I joked that we took what was a beautiful, airy completely glass-enclosed rooftop space and turned it into a basement bar,” Greenbaum says. “It looks great. It is so cute.”
Lucy’s. 3907 14th St., NW (upstairs).