Sign of the Whale to reopen as D.C. Tap House after rebranding

Media Credit: Olivia Anderson | Photo Editor

Sign of the Whale, located at 1825 M St. NW, has been renamed as D.C. Tap House and will reopen Saturday.

Sign of the Whale, a popular Tuesday night spot for students, will be reopening Saturday with a new name after about a month of renovation.

The bar has been renamed as D.C. Tap House and will swap their signature whale pails, which were served with a variety of liquor made differently each time, for 24 beer taps, a raw bar and a revamped interior. The newly renovated bar, located at 1825 M St. NW, will reopen Saturday for the annual Nightmare on M Street bar crawl, operating under new management but the same ownership.

Kim Johnson, the marketing manager for D.C. Tap House and formerly Sign of the Whale, said they wanted to put out a “fresh face” and cater to people beyond the typical college students that fill the bar.

“The revamp was to get more than just our typical population in the space,” Johnson said. “We do love our college students and the locals that support us, but we just felt like we wanted to diversify and add to it.”

Sign of the Whale closed in mid-October for renovations, Popville reported this month. Johnson confirmed that they started renovations around the “end of September or early October” and will reopen this weekend.

In addition to the 24 draft beers on tap, D.C. Tap House will feature “signature smoking chalices,” which are 40 ounce cocktails served in a large chalice with dry ice smoking from the drink. The regular cocktail menu will have 16 drinks named after popular names in the District, Johnson said.

The new bar will also change their weekly drink specials, according to their website. The former Sign of the Whale Tuesday night specials of $1 cans of beer and $5 Fireball shots will be replaced with $3 draft beers, $4 well drinks and $5 house glasses of wine Monday through Friday.

D.C. Tap House’s new space also has a raw bar featuring oysters on the half shell, shrimp and a complete renovation inside with a new floor, bartop and renovated bathrooms.

Johnson said D.C. Tap House hopes to become a “fixture on M Street” and attract more people in D.C.

“It was more us coming to age to what modern D.C. nightlife culture is and what people really want,” she said. “I believe it was a long time coming.”

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