Friday, July 11, 2014

All Souls Bar, DC

In the quiet up-and-coming area of Shaw, there sits an unassuming painted brick building with wavy red shingles. Inside this small 33-seat bar, All Souls offers a simple drink menu consisting of a few wines, a few beers, and a few signature cocktails. The name is a an ode to storefront churches, specifically the All Souls Church off of 16th Street NW, where the owner used to see shows.

All Souls was opened in December 2013 by David Batista, formerly of the Think Food Group where he worked as a bartender and bar manager at Jaleo, then a bar manager at Zaytinya. When Jaleo was remodeled, Batista kept the old bar and that is what you see at All Souls -- so the old Jaleo bar lives on.

On this Sunday night, the bar was a-bustlin', but that may have mostly been because I was there to meet a bunch of people for a get-together. With only three cocktails on the menu, I went for the one that sounded the most unusual -- the No. 4. This drink was pretty incredible. Called the Juan's Chilean Afro, it consisted of Kappa Pisco, Aperol, and Dolin Sweet Vermouth. It was sweet and strong.

Next up, I tried the No. 3 Negroni and with just Tanqueray, Cynar, and Carpano, it was the perfect negroni.

Four of the cocktails including the Perfect Manhattan are $9. The other one that is quite unusual is "The All Souls" made with a sparkling rose and a shot of Maker's Mark for $11. Other offerings include a Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc, Sapporo, and DC Brau. The wines range from $8 to $12 per glass and beers from $4 to $8 per bottle.

The space is fairly small and dark with seating for some and standing room for others. There are tables separate from the bar and seating along the window too. I see this as a low-key spot that I can escape to when I want to escape the hustle and bustle of 14th Street. The staff were very friendly and service was quick despite how busy they were. Next up, I'm looking forward to seeing what kinds of small bites they'll be offering. This place is definitely on the bars to watch list.

All Souls
725 T Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 733-5929