Better Hospitality Group (BHG), which operates Shaw bars Takoda and Cortez, is bringing a new indoor/outdoor hangout to the Wharf. Easy Company will boast one of the biggest al fresco patio at the Southwest waterfront development, according to BHG founder Ryan Seelbach, and channel a piazza-style wine bar with wallet-friendly carafes, communal seating, and casual cocktails and food. Look for a summer opening.
Seelbach says “Easy Co.” was inspired by cafe-bars in the south of France, where his wife’s family is from and where they were married, as well as piazzas in Italy.
“The neighborhood gathering places are quite different from the American idea of a ‘wine bar,’” says Seelbach via email. “They are generally at reasonable price points, they are designed to be bright and airy. They have the complete opposite vibe of the ‘romantic’ or ‘moody’ wine bars in the US.”
Seats on the 1,500-plus square-foot patio—a mix of small and larger communal tables—will have a European feel flanking Blair Fountain. Seelbach has already dubbed it the Rosé Garden—an homage to friend David Wiseman (Little Sesame) and his OG Rosé Garden in Navy Yard outside Whaley’s (now closed). The space will be enclosed in glass with operable sides, heaters, and fans for year-round use. The indoor bar will have high 18-foot ceilings and flow to the patio.
True to name, drinks and food are easy. House draft wines will be served by the carafe (full or half) and glasses, alongside some European beers. The bar will also serve popular frozen drinks from sister spots like Takoda frosé and Cortez-style margaritas. BHG executive chef Julio Estrada is planning a menu of burgers, steak frites, flatbreads, salads, grilled cheese, and cheese/charcuterie boards. Weekends will bring bottomless brunch.
As laidback as Easy Company is designed to feel, Seelbach’s hospitality group is hardly taking it easy. BHG will soon open The Boardwalk Bar & Arcade at the Wharf—a huge beach-inspired bar and restaurant with games and nostalgic fare like corn dogs and cotton candy cocktails. In the spring, a branch of American bar/restaurant Takoda will open with a big rooftop beer garden across from Nationals Park.
Easy Company. 98 Blair Alley, SW.