Dry January Is Over—Here Are 8 New Places to Enjoy a Cocktail

Where to find squid-ink martinis, elote old fashioneds, or just a giant margarita.

Turncoat's take on a Gibson. Photograph courtesy of LeadingDC.

Now that Dry January is behind us, you may be ready for a drink. Here are a few new bars and restaurants to check out:


Aventino Cucina

4747 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda

Photograph by Scott Suchman .

The glowing, emerald-green bar is the decorative showstopper at this long (long)-awaited Roman restaurant from the Red Hen/All Purpose crew, which opened Wednesday, January 31. Head there for spritzes and negronis, plus a martini salty with capers and black with squid ink.


The Dabney Cellar

1222 Ninth St., NW

The Dabney Cellar returns in the same form they left it at the start of the pandemic. Photograph by Andrew Cebulka.

This cozy, subterranean hideaway had a great two-year run before the pandemic. On February 4, the tiny brick-walled space will reopen with 20 wines by the glass, easy snacks like deviled eggs or marinated radishes with tartar sauce, and a handful of cocktails. 


Level 1 Cocktail Lab

2446 18th St., NW

The old Roofers Union space in Adams Morgan is now home to this cocktail spot featuring four types of old fashioned, four styles of negroni, and three kinds of ricky.



1640 Capital One Dr., N., Tysons

The bar at Ometeo. Photograph by Kristopher Ilich.

This loud, crowded Tex-Mex spot in the Capital One complex comes from the crew behind the Salt Line and Dauphine’s. Pair your guac’ and queso with a giant margarita or michelada, or go for options like a guava-hibiscus marg made with both mezcal and tequila, a frozen mango agua fresca spiked with vodka, or an elote-inspired old fashioned with corn-infused whiskey. 



1323 Fourth St., NE

Photograph by Rey Lopez.

Stephen Starr and Keith McNally’s Meatpacking District transplant arrived in late January. Grab a stool at the curvy bar and order a properly briny dirty martini or a mix of white tequila, blood-orange marmalade, and lime. If you’re hungry, I recommend a round of marinated artichokes with a smooth puree of herbs and anchovies. 


Taco Bamba City Ridge

3930 Wisconsin Ave., NW

The City Ridge development’s new location of Victor Albisu’s ever-expanding taqueria features a big patio and full bar, with drinks like the zesty Green With Envy, a mix of tequila, cucumber-and-tomatillo puree, mint, and lime. There are two weekday happy hours—3 to 6 PM and 9 to 10 PM—with discounted margaritas, micheladas, and sangria.



411 New York Ave., NE

A leopard-spotted cocktail at Treehouse. Photograph by Mynor Ventur.

You’ll find weekend DJs, corn-milk coladas, and a greenhouse worth of plants at this rooftop lounge atop the Union Market hotel (from the creators of Ciel Social Club and Heist). Head to the Jungle Room for bottle service tequila, mezcal, and of course, Veuve. 



5406 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase

The faux-speakeasy next to the Heights food hall in Friendship Heights is going all in on its prohibition theme (there’s a mural of bootlegger mug shots, among other touches). Cocktails include the Billie Holiday, a mix of rye, orange bitters, and prickly-pear syrup, or the Coppers & Gangsters, a lemon-and-almond-scented gin cocktail topped with creamsicle foam. Bonus: it’s open til midnight. 

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.