Location: 715 Florida Ave. NW
Readers’ pick: Chicken + Whiskey
At first glance, Capo Italian Deli appears to be nothing more than a hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop with dedicated customers and late-night hours.
But if you notice groups of people seemingly disappearing through a refrigerator door behind the deli’s register, it’s for good reason: The deli hosts a secret cocktail bar on the weekends that provides a more special night out than a typical bar.
While the bar is not visible from the outside, it is not completely hidden. Anyone can find details about The BackRoom, including photos and opening hours, on its website or Facebook page.
Bargoers can order from the deli’s long list of sandwiches, like the Capo special ($8.95), which includes Italian sausage, salami and provolone, and pair their choice with a specially-made cocktail. The high-end drink menu includes cocktails like “Strawberry Fields” ($14) with strawberry-infused gin, yellow chartreuse, lemon, honey and egg whites.
I couldn’t decide on a drink, so I simply told the bartender my preferences – rum-based, strong and tropical – and he whipped up a delicious concoction with strong flavors of cinnamon and pineapple.
The BackRoom also has a posh interior to match its pricey drinks menu. With a grand chandelier and sleek velvet gray couches and black leather booths, the bar stands out from the neighboring nightclubs and dive bars that line the U Street corridor.
The bar’s playlist includes top 40 hits from popular artists like Ariana Grande and The Chainsmokers, and the open floor plan makes it the perfect place to dance the night away while sipping an impressive cocktail that will certainly pack a punch.
If you’re looking for a cheap place to grab a beer or rail drink, you should look elsewhere. But if you want a fancy, secluded place to celebrate a special occasion – look no further than The BackRoom.