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Posted at 05:00 PM ET, 06/14/2012

Early look at Kangaroo Boxing Club

KBC partners Peyton Sherwood, left, and Trent Allen show off a pair of boxing creatures carved by Sherwood’s girlfriend, Julia German. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)
Three of the five partners of Kangaroo Boxing Club — KBC for short — were already getting into the spirit of their forthcoming barbecue joint this past Sunday afternoon. They were popping open beers and punching up old 12-bar blues tunes on the jukebox in anticipation of, one day, kicking back for real at their 60-seat neighborhood spot; for a group of guys who are just days away from debuting KBC on June 19, their attitude was as relaxed as. . . well as cold beer on a Sunday afternoon.

In a sense, owners Josh Saltzman, Trent Allen and Peyton Sherwood were just test-driving the place, which they hope will serve as a laid-back gathering spot for their Columbia Heights neighbors and those looking for a respite from the trendier-than-thou eateries that hold sway in the District.

Located in the former Acuario space at 3410 11 St. NW, KBC already has a lived-in sensibility, which is quite a trick given the owners had to renovate the entire structure, most of it through their own sweaty efforts. It’s as if the guys know how to manufacture instant history and personality.

Check out more photos of Kangaroo Boxing Club after the jump.

Sherwood, Allen and Saltzman, with their requisite KBC branding iron. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)

The owners built the bar themselves, based on a frame from the old Acuario restaurant. “We got creative with the trim from Home Depot,” says Sherwood. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)

Saltzman points out that the KBC exterior signage is still a work in progress. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)

The structure behind the bar is actually a 1930s-era fireplace mantel, which used to reside in a Greek steakhouse in Arlington, once owned by the KBC landlord’s father. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)

The enlarged photos on the wall are public domain snapshots of Washington from the 19th and 20th centuries. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)

German’s process for her boxing-animal sculptures, says Sherwood, is to look “at the piece of wood and [take] away anything that doesn’t look like a kangaroo or doesn’t look like a warthog...It’s actually the first time she has done anything this small.” (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)

German carved and stained this T-Rex boxer, and others, from these simple blocks of wood. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)

There are a handful of these lights affixed to the walls at KBC. Made from old Singer Sewing Machine boxes, the lights riff on an idea in David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest” novel in which companies can buy advertising rights for specific years. “We came up with the idea of doing D.C.-based ones,” says Josh Saltzman. Engraved in the bullet-proof glass of each light, there are initials that stand for, among other things, the “Year of Mambo Sauce” or the “Year of KBC.” (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)

Among the dishes on chef Trent Allen’s menu: house-made pastrami with carrot soup and Guinness/caraway mustard. The pastrami, I should note, melts in your mouth, thanks to the fact that Allen smokes the brisket for 16 hours. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)

Pastry chef Laura Saltzman, Josh’s younger sister, created a couple of desserts that could make the KBC menu: Margarita pie with tequila and lime and a peanut butter cookie with smoked dulce de leche. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)

By the way, the owners say they will welcome any food truck to park right outside their door. “It’s a free-market society,” says Josh Saltzman. “If they pay the meter, they can park out there.”

Further reading:

* Kangaroo Boxing Club to debut June 19

* The real story behind the Kangaroo Boxing Club name

* PORC truck to open a restaurant in Columbia Heights

By  |  05:00 PM ET, 06/14/2012

Categories:  Chefs | Tags:  Tim Carman

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