Need more proof that DC has arrived? Look no further than The Hamilton, the latest offering from the the Clyde’s braintrust located at the corner of 14th and F in Northwest. Holding a capacity of 850 over three massive floors, it includes Washington’s newest music venue and it’s an insomniac — the whole place is open 24 hours a day. From the picture of Alexander Hamilton wearing Kanye sunglasses on the website’s main page, you immediately know you’re in for something different — this ain’t yo daddy’s restaurant.
First up is the main floor. The days of stuffy and stolid are over, folks – The Hamilton is totally the New Old Ebbitt Grill. And change is good. Combining elements of old and new, the familiar wood-paneled booths coexist in perfect syzygy with eclectic modern art and unusually bright walls. It makes for a very warm and convivial atmosphere. The upstairs bar is a bit off the beaten path and is markedly darker than its downstairs partner. I didn’t get a chance to check out the music venue but apparently it’s old supper-club style and the seating is first-come, first-serve. Ticket prices range from $15 for local acts to $25 and up for the bigger names. Eddie Money played about a month ago.
The menu offers Clyde’s popular brand of American-new-delicious as well as a sushi bar to cater to DC’s ever-widening palate. They offer over 20 different beers and wines by the glass as well as an extensive cocktail list featuring Washington’s newest small-batch liquor creations.
Bargain hunters beware – the place is a little pricey, but nothing out of the norm for a swanky downtown establishment. For good reason, The Hamilton is immensely popular right now, so if you’re looking to have a more intimate meal with normal conversation levels, I recommend Ceiba just a block away. Either that or plan a late dinner, like at 4am.
Written by Joel Church. You can buy his book Fingerprints here at Amazon.