Candy-Topped Cocktails and Eclectic Comfort Food Come to H Street

Purl's wide-ranging menu aims to be nostalgic and colorful.

Purl's Bitter Fruitopia cocktail with mezcal, raspberry syrup, Campari, and a Nerds candy garnish. Photograph courtesy Purl.

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A nostalgic, candy-colored American eatery is coming to the H Street corridor, courtesy of a brand new restaurant group. Purl, opening Friday, June 30, is an eclectic concept that aims to cover a lot of ground: zany cocktail bar and family-friendly restaurant. Short rib pappardelle, piri-piri chicken, Thai-inspired fried calamari, and a burger all find their way onto the menu. 

What the globally inspired dishes all have in common are their comfort roots. The restaurant’s classic burger is ground daily from a blend of short rib and brisket, and the spicy, Portuguese-inspired piri-piri chicken comes with mashed sweet potatoes and roasted broccolini. Housemade thick-cut potato chips are drizzled with onion remoulade. There’s also lobster-and-truffle mac and cheese as well as a ribeye with fries and truffle butter. Desserts include beignets and a “90s Baby” sprinkle sponge cake.

Piri-piri chicken is one of Purl’s global touches. Photograph by Kevin Allen.

Purl is the creation of Ashlee Jack, director of hospitality of the newly formed Lemon Group Hospitality. She previously worked in hotel restaurants and nightclubs in Las Vegas before moving to DC a decade ago and joining District Restaurant Group, which ran The Ugly Mug on Barracks Row, among other establishments. 

Purl is helmed by Ashlee Jack of Lemon Group Hospitality. Photograph by Kevin Allen.

Jack turned to Kelsey Ramage, a Toronto-based cocktail consultant, for the oddball drinks. Ramage’s cocktails are colorful tributes to her ’90s childhood. Bitter Fruitopia, with mezcal, raspberry syrup, and Campari, is topped with Nerds candy. The Root Beer Flip, with blended Scotch and amontillado sherry, gets a garnish of root beer-flavored Dum Dums. Non-alcoholic cocktails will be announced soon.

Purl occupies a 111-year-old townhouse that was most recently home to Hikari Sushi, with exposed brick arches and bright floral furniture. The 88-seat restaurant will be open for dinner every day from 4 PM to 12 AM, with an outdoor garden open in summer. 

The group also has plans to open more restaurants in Northwest DC toward the end of the year. “Casual concept neighborhood spots are our thing,” Jack says. “That’s where we’re comfortable.”

Purl. 644 H St., NE

Ike Allen
Assistant Editor