Bracket Room: From Superfruits to Senor Frog shots

July 16, 2013

Remember Bracket Room, the female-friendly sports bar that former "Bachelorette" and "Bachelor Pad 3" star Chris Bukowski plans to open in Clarendon? We got a press release and a copy of the menu yesterday. Here's what you can expect when the place opens in August at 1210 N. Garfield St., previously home to Burapa Thai.


After the French Martini shooter eased past SoCo and Lime in the Elite 8 of Bracket Room's shooter tournament, I really thought it could go all the way. (Courtesy of Bracket Room)

Don't call it a sports bar for ladies
Back in January, the initial press release about Bracket Room promised it would have a "modern and female-friendly ambiance." A rep for the project told Washingtonian that "Chris is redesigning the way the sports bar is perceived with hip, female friendly, modern, fresh food and drinks with a twist." Cue much eye-rolling.

Strangely, the words "female" and "women" are absent from the new press release, which focuses on the gluten-free and vegetarian items on the "tantalizing menu," the "titillating wine list" and the "64 featured shooters," which will change every year during March Madness.

Anyone hungry for "The Bachelor's Superfruits Plate"?
The press release explains how Bukowski and partners Jeff Greenberg and Nicole Pettitt spent months searching for "some of the most fantastic foods and drinks and seeking-out the best chefs in the country in order to create a dynamic menu with dishes to please every palate."

Uh huh. What you get is a mishmash of entrees and appetizers, from "seabass in a bag" and "Philly cheese steak egg roll" ("Direct from the streets of Philadelphia and Beijing") to lamb lollipops and "The Bachelor's Superfruits Plate." Here's the menu description: "Freshest seasonal superfruits, always made with the freshest of local fruits."

They're definitely trying not to be your typical deep-fried sports bar. There's a "superfood salad" with chilled quinoa and "evoo," and the tomato-soup-and-grilled cheese platter, called Soup and Comfort, arrives with the crust sliced off. But if you want honey BBQ baby back ribs or buffalo wings, they'll have those too, with 15 different dipping sauces.

The most promising thing: They'll have chicken pot pie, BBQ pulled pork pie and apple pie dessert from the neighboring Pie Sisters shop.

"I'll have Sex on tap"
To go along with these snacks, there's Sex, a sparkling rose from Michigan, on tap. And 18 other wines by the glass, including Skinny Girl moscato and Cupcake prosecco. Cocktails run the gamut from the Sexy Bellini (with the draft rose) to a peach martini and strawberry margarita, and sangria made with three different kinds of local fruit. Prices (mostly $9-$10 for cocktails, $6-$11 for wine) are average for the area.

"Steamed bao buns and a round of Tootsie Roll shots for my friends, please"
Most of the menu, though, seems to have been lifted from one of those "Big Book of Party Shots" collections that's always among the remainders at Barnes and Noble. There are 64 shots available, 63 of which are $6. The exception is the Gummy Bear, which is made from cherry vodka, peach schnapps, pineapple juice and Sprite, and costs $3. It was chosen as the winner of a "shooter bracket" during March Madness, and as such will be $3 until next spring. It beat out such tough competitors as Liquid Cocaine (Jagermeister, Goldschlager, Rumple Minze) the Bazooka Joe (Irish creme, banana liqueur, blue curacao) and the Cinnamon Toast Crunch (Bailey's and Fireball). You'll find all those favorites you thought were hi-LAR-ious when you were on college spring break: Silk Panties, the Alabama Slammer, the Jolly Rancher and a number that I can't mention without getting in hot water with my boss.

It sounds like a place for a girls' night out, or pregaming. But are you going to want to go watch a football game here while consuming rounds of Irish Frogs?

Fritz Hahn has written about bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. A product of Prince George's County public schools, Fritz majored in journalism at the University of Maryland and lives in the District.
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Stephanie Merry | July 16, 2013