This story has been updated with new information from the business.
Just in time for the holidays, a bar devoted to all things bubbly—and indulgent food to pair with it—is opening in Shaw, thanks to Maxwell Park wine bar owner Brent Kroll. Pop, a no-fuss, all-fizz destination for sparkling wines and sakes, Champagnes, fancy seltzers, spiked sodas, ciders, and a few cool beers opens on Saturday, December 17.
Kroll is an effervescent personality in the wine world, known for creating fun menu themes at Maxwell like Lambrusco Week (yes, seven days devoted to fizzy reds); leading Champagne sabering lessons; and pouring porróns of Basque txakoli. At his new spot, Kroll is going all-in on sparkling wines and a Billboard Top 100-style list of Champagnes. The full and half bottles range from approachable (both in style and price) to birthday-worthy. Still, it wasn’t all wine that inspired Pop.
“The most exciting thing about where alcohol is going is all the canned stuff—micro-seltzers, spritzes, cocktails,” says Kroll, who discovered ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages years ago during wine trips to Europe. “Now it’s starting to hit the US—kind of like how craft beer took over from Bud Light,” he says.
Most of the drinks at Pop are canned or bottled (full, half, and personal size). Kroll scoured the ready-to-drink-beverage world for small, cool, craft, and/or offbeat producers. The list includes spritzes from the likes of Death & Co, Luxardo (Kroll swears by its sour cherry gin-and-tonic), and Florida Seltzer, which uses real spirits and fruit flavors. While you won’t find White Claw, pineapple High Noon gets a pass.
Maxwell Park is named after a playground in Kroll’s native Detroit, and Pop nods to the Midwestern name for soda. To that end, bartenders will spike retro glass bottles—think Spindrift with vodka or gin, Cheerwine and bourbon, or Abita root beer and absinthe.
The menu riffs on classic Champagne pairings, such as savory sour cream-and-onion doughnuts topped with caviar. Also: plenty of fried food like crispy chicken with Vietnamese dipping sauce or birria fries. Given that it’s a Midwestern-inspired bar, there’s also a full menu of Detroit-style pizza. Toppings get creative like pepperoni and chili honey, or Champagne pork and broccoli rabe.
“At Maxwell, I wanted to create a wine bar that I hadn’t experienced before,” says Kroll. “This is the same mentality.”
Pop will serve daily starting next week—it opens at 5 PM on weekdays and 3 PM on weekends—with brunch and a subscription “Fizz club” coming soon. Kroll is also already planning a bubble-fueled New Year’s Eve soiree.
Pop. 2108 Vermont Ave., NW
Check out the opening menus below: