We found this great post at Roberts and June about a speakeasy in our neighborhood. We’ve included a snippet here; there’s a link at the bottom if you want to read the whole thing.
‘Have you been to the speakeasy on 7th?’ our neighbors asked.
‘There’s a speakeasy on 7th?’ was our reply.
We’d actually read a brief mention of said speakeasy, Harold Black, in the Washingtonian’s Capitol Hill neighborhood guide when we first moved in. But we didn’t go right away, and hadn’t heard anything about it–and we do lots of reading and talking about cocktail joints; so it sort of slipped our minds.
Harold Black is very dedicated to the speakeasy aesthetic. They don’t really advertise. They don’t have their own Facebook page (there is one, but it’s unofficial). Their website is just an embedded Open Table reservation form. They basically rely completely on word of mouth. It’s either admirable dedication to a theme, a terrible marketing plan, or both. Chalk one up for admirable dedication: our neighbors did actually spread us the word.
As you’d expect, the speakeasy vibe continues as you make your way to the restaurant. You cut through a corner of Acqua al 2’s patio, go through an unmarked door, and twist and turn through Acqua al 2’s back hallways until you get to a 2nd floor dining room . . . which is, of course, not the right spot. Knock instead on the blank wall with the peephole in it. There’s at least a candlelit sign on a small table giving you a hint. Despite being completely artificial, the whole thing really does give you the fun feeling of being in the know.
Inside, it’s a small, quiet, comfortable, candlelit space. We went on a Wednesday night, and it was full, but not loud or overcrowded. Chalk another one up admirable dedication to the speakeasy feel. The staff is relaxed, open, and friendly; they treat you like you’re a guest at their house. They’re very politely not fans of phones, which is something of an impediment for bloggers like us, but also makes for a pleasant, conversational atmosphere.