If you’ve been to Mexican spot Mission or Hawthorne on U Street, you’re familiar with the Mission Group mentality: lively bars with frequent food-and-drink happy hours and tons of no-fee event spaces. Co-founders Fritz Brogan and Reed Landry are sticking to the same formula for the newest addition to their restaurant family, the Admiral, a seafood spot opening today in Dupont Circle.
While Mission is all about tequila, the Admiral’s drink of choice is bourbon. Specifically, 75 different types of American whiskey. If you prefer brews over booze, a dozen draft lines are pouring classics like Pacifico, Stella Artois, and Sam Adams as well as two draft cocktails. Still riding the hard seltzer train? The bar serves both Truly and White Claw.
Keeping in step with the Admiral’s sister spots, happy hour is daily with both food and drink specials. The first session from 4 PM to 7 PM features half-price oyster platters, $7 draft cocktails, and select beers for $5 or $8. On Thursday through Saturday starting at 11 PM there are more half-price bivalves in addition to shot specials—liquid courage to dance to the DJ.
The restaurant’s name is in homage to Admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont (you may be familiar with a certain circle also named in tribute). For chef Roberto Hernandez, the moniker beget the menu. “It was like: Admiral. Navy. Seafood. Ocean. That’s the road we’ve got to take,” says Hernandez.
The nautical menu is the marriage of seafood plates and global pub favorites. Hernandez looked to New England for a buttery lobster roll on a potato bun. Dishes like jambalaya and hushpuppies are pulled from the south. Jumbo lump crab dip gratin is a tribute to the Mid-Atlantic, and oysters at the raw bar are sourced from Virginia.
There’s also plenty of land-loving bar snacks like brisket sliders, bourbon BBQ chicken wings, and french fries made in-house. The restaurant is opening with a preview menu until December 24 and will unveil the full offerings on December 26.
The restaurant’s pièce de résistance is a massive 200-seat outdoor patio with it’s own bar, lounge area, and event space. While the patio is currently winterized the team is exploring adding heaters for cold weather.
In the meantime, you can pull up a chair indoors. Like the menu, the decor plays on the seafaring theme with navy banquettes and light-washed wood. Eighteen flat screen TVs are scattered across the space, which means the bar can play both the big game and the big political showdown (it is Washington, after all).
Bottomless brunch will be available on weekends in January 2020.
The Admiral. 1 Dupont Circle., NW.