Food

Take a Look Inside Drink Company’s Trippy New Esports Pop-Up Bar

"Levels Unlocked PUB" features video game-themed cocktails and an open play room
Take a Look Inside Drink Company’s Trippy New Esports Pop-Up Bar
A bar dedicated to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is designed like Kirby's "World of Light" adventure. Photography by Nicholas Karlin.

If you grew up playing countless hours of Super Smash Bros, NBA2K, or if you’re a fan of newer games like Overwatch, Drink Company’s new esports pop-up bar is designed to bring your gamer fantasies to life. “Levels Unlocked PUB” opens tonight with themed cocktail and snacks known for fueling gamers during hours-long career-mode sessions (think, Doritos, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, and Slim Jims).

Events DC, a partner in the pop-up, plans to host meet-and-greets with professional gamers from DC’s esports teams throughout the summer. Best of all, you can challenge your friends to games of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in the open-play room. The pop-up will be open in Shaw through Sept. 29.

Here’s a look inside:

The first room is decorated like Overwatch’s Hanamura map, known for its quiet village streets, temple grounds, and cherry blossoms.

A mountainous backdrop matches the map of Hanamura, a fictitious suburban village in Japan.

A bar in the back features 15-foot-long dragons made of electroluminescent wire, which represent the “spirit dragons” from Overwatch.

A bar dedicated to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is designed like Kirby’s “World of Light” adventure in the game’s story mode.

Bartenders can hit a button, and the bar turns ominously dark while the eyes of characters on the wall flash in bright red.

Gamers hoping to show off their skills can face off one-on-one in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in the open-play room.

A room inspired by the cover of NBA 2K19 pays homage to the DC-based Wizards District Gaming team. Names of players like Demon JT adorn the walls.

Look up, and you’ll see hundreds of miniature basketballs and oversized balls illuminated as chandeliers.

Levels Unlocked PUB is open through Sept. 29; Sunday through Thursday 5pm–12:30 AM; Friday and Saturday 5 PM–1:30 AM. 1839 7th St., NW.

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Assistant Editor

Elliot joined Washingtonian in January 2018. An alum of Villanova University, he grew up in the Philadelphia area before moving to Syracuse, where he earned a master’s degree in journalism. His work has also appeared in the Washington Post, TheAtlantic.com, CatholicNews.com, and Syracuse.com. He lives in Eckington.