After seven years on Capitol Hill, Beuchert’s Saloon is going on hiatus on Sunday, August 16. Or, as chef/co-owner Andrew Markert puts it: “We’re going to send Beuchert’s on vacation until we can safely welcome guests back inside.” In the seasonal American restaurant’s place, Markert will open Fight Club, a fast-casual shop specializing in boozy punches and creative sandwiches. The concept will open on Wednesday, August 19 for carryout, delivery, and limited outdoor seating on the sidewalk and rear courtyard patio.
Contrary to the obvious, the name isn’t about the mid-nineties era novel or movie.
“Fight Club evolved as punches and club sandwiches,” says Markert. “We didn’t want to do another deli. It’s ‘the sandwich you never knew you wanted’ kind of situation.”
To that end, you’ll find “twisted” creations like a buttermilk-brined fried chicken on a pancake-style bun with Crystal hot sauce mayo, pickles, “shrettuce” (aka shredded lettuce) and tomato. Or a tonnato melt—a tuna melt/vitello tonnato mashup with roasted pork, Italian tuna sauce, and pickles. Markert, a fried bologna sandwich fan, will crisp up salami and stuff a garlic bread bun with slaw, hot mustard, and potato sticks. Vegetarians will find hearty options like a meatless riff on a steak and cheese, with roasted beefsteak tomatoes, cherry pepper relish, grilled onions, and sharp provolone.
Markert also plays to nostalgia when it comes to snacks and sweets. Among the offerings: a spin on his mom’s recipe for crab imperial with a soft pretzel for dunking, and an ice cream sundae with homemade vanilla custard, brownie bites, sprinkles, and whipped cream. Weekends will bring items like chicken and waffles or a “bodega egg and cheese” for breakfast and lunch. Why not call it what it is—”brunch?”
“It’s our camouflage for Karens,” says Markert. “We have some great brunch regulars but we definitely have the brunch oddballs come through.”
In that vein, diners can spike their eggs with “Fuck the System Hot Sauce” made by service director and photographer Maya Fiellin. All proceeds from sales of the sauce go to Stop Police Terror Project DC.
Beverage director Mackenzie Conway is the one throwing punches. Drinks will all be bottled for easy carryout/delivery and classed by potency: light flyweights (i.e. Aperol spritzes), heavier welterweights like a mezcal-grapefruit concoction, and heavyweights such as boozy pineapple-rum punch for two.
Fight Club. 623 Pennsylvania Ave., SE. 202-733-1384