Food

I Tried to Get Fancy Water Delivered From DC’s Water Bar

Key word is "tried"

What is going on with Water Bar DC? Photo by Jessica Sidman.

Over the summer, a new bar opened in DC dedicated exclusively to water. No beer, no cocktails, not even hand-carved ice. Just… water.  The Park View business advertises around 40 domestic and international varieties from Romania to Vietnam plus a selection of high-end bottles, including one encrusted in gold and diamonds for $100,000. A Groupon deal offers a two-person tasting of three water samples for $17, while happy hour promotions promise an open water bar and free food. Ladies get in free!

It seemed like a joke, or at the very least, a front. Some speculated that Water Bar DC must be affiliated with the adjoining History of Cannabis Museum—maybe the water came with a special “gift?” A co-founder denied the rumor to DCist, saying “Absolutely not. Are you serious?” When a reporter from the Post finally managed to visit after a couple failed attempts, she found ’90s bachelor pad decor, cucumber-mint infusions, and a general manager who informed her, “We aren’t selling water. We’re selling true hydration.” (Still, no “gift.”)

And now, it seems, Water Bar has started delivery. Thirsty, I decided to place an order.

On DoorDash, I selected a $6 can of Kalena pineapple sparkling coconut water and an $8 bottle of Voss, which seemed like the kind of water people who get water delivered would order. (You can get the same bottles for $2.49 and $2.99, respectively, at Target.) I live less than a mile away from Water Bar, and DoorDash promised my liquid fix would arrive in 31 to 41 minutes.

I waited nearly 20 minutes for Water Bar DC to confirm my order. Just when I was about to give up on the whole thing, my courier, Anthony G, was on his way. I watched his vehicle inch closer and closer on the app’s map. Finally, it arrived at Water Bar. “Dasher waiting for order,” DoorDash informed me. The dasher waited. I waited…and waited. Then suddenly, a new message: “Order cancelled.” I got an email saying I’d been issued a refund which would appear on my credit card within 5 to 7 days.

I tried calling the bar, but it rang a few times and went to an answering machine. Then I went back to the DoorDash ordering page and found that Water Bar was now “closed” even though the operational hours indicated it was open.

Next, I decided to try GrubHub, which still listed Water Bar as open. It also offered an expanded menu of “mixed drinks,” including “mojito water” and apple-cinnamon water. I opted for a pear-vanilla infusion and another bottle of Voss, because now I’m a person who gets water delivered. I was skeptical that my order would be confirmed this time, but again, it was, and again, I waited, and again, it was cancelled. This time, at least, GrubHub offered me 50-percent-off my next order for the inconvenience.

I’d like to be able to tell you what the heck is going on here, but no one from Water Bar has responded to multiple phone calls, emails, or even Instagram messages. Is there really a market for delivering a $22 bottle of Australian water? Or any bottled water? Is Water Bar actually open? Is it even a real business?!

All I know is I’m sticking to a nice big glass of DC tap.

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Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.