Image: The Not-So-Secret Garden
Last Updated: July 2021
Current Status: The two-story wine bar and backyard garden in Park View is open for dine-in. Reservations strongly recommended for the time being. Wine shop, cheese and charcuterie also available to go.
Overview: St. Vincent was hatched as an idea in 2018 by two long-time D.C. bartenders Peyton Sherwood and Frederick Uku. Inspired by a wine bar/shop in New Orleans with vibrant, open-air space, they started work to convert this location into something with a similar aura. We have not been to Bacchanal so we cannot compare it to the original, but this place does have a touch of magic about it. The menu is built to be shared, with lots of dips or things that go with bread. You can graze or build a proper meal out of the selections. The chef previously did a stint at Compass Rose and mixes the global influences into something specific yet untethered. The wine list is similarly eclectic. You order from the QR-code generated list and a bottle shows up opened and in a bucket if chilling is required. The mark-up is minimal, so with a group there is no downside to sampling.
DCist described the build-out of the location. The team, “spent more than a year transforming 11,000 feet of property inside and out. They stripped five dumpsters of plaster off the walls to expose the original brick and wood bones. They built out a second-floor deck and a stage in the upstairs front room, kept Union Drinkery’s back bar, refurbished the ceilings and floors with barnwood from Richmond, and added gold-tinged burgundy wallpaper, bookshelves, low lamps, and worn leather seating for a sophisticated speakeasy feel. Out back on the patio, they planted cherry trees, dotted low-top tables and heat lamps over gravel stones, and plan to build an outdoor stage next year for acoustic sets.”
Seeing pictures of the New Orleans inspiration, you realize that the garden area in the back is probably spaced to only 60 -70% as intended. Music, wines-by-the-glass and other elements are likely to be added in over the coming months, but there is no reason not to go now.
No Gift Cards but Merch!
Washington Post: Fritz Hahn included it in a Going Out Guide list of new outdoor bars.
Washingtonian: Preview with eerie pictures
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