Before Tail Up Goat opened in Adams Morgan in 2016, the restaurant’s owners had a vision for what the dining room would be like. “We thought Tail Up Goat would be a little more casual, but it wound up being more fine dining,” co-owner Jill Tyler says. “Tail Up Goat has evolved into more of a destination,” thanks to accolades including a Michelin star and a three-star review from Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema.
So when they began looking for a location for their second outlet, they had something different in mind: “A little more raucous, a little more casual — an easier place to drop in for a quick snack,” co-owner Bill Jensen says. “We like the idea of being a little less formal and a little livelier.”
After checking out multiple buildings in the neighborhood, Jensen, Tyler and co-owner/chef Jon Sybert found their ideal spot just around the corner, in a new development at 1777 Columbia Rd. NW — “the building is where the Payless Shoes used to be” Tyler says — across from the Line Hotel.
At Reveler’s Hour, which will open next summer — “D.C. permitting permitting,” Tyler jokes — the bar will be front and center, with a larger choice of draft beers, vermouth cocktails and a “fun and irreverent” selection of wines by the glass that might be based around a certain grape varietal or favorite movies. It’s “not a wine bar as such,” says Jensen, who serves as Tail Up Goat’s beverage director. Instead, it’s “Whatever strikes our fancy. We want to have fun with it.”
The bar area will be larger than Tail Up Goat’s, with more high-top table seating for drop-in guests. (Those who don’t want to take chances will be able to make reservations for the dining room.) The name comes from a line in an ode by the ancient Greek poet Anacreon, who, Jensen notes, “was famous for his drinking songs.”
Of course, “dining and drinking will always be equally important,” Jensen says, so they aren’t playing down the kitchen. Sybert’s pastas have impressed critics at Tail Up Goat, and guests at Reveler’s Hour can expect a choice of six to eight pastas, plus antipasti and “seasonal vegetable plates” that will complement the less-formal atmosphere. The new location also offers the potential for nightly specials — “Monday might be burger night, Tuesdays might be fried chicken,” Tyler says — and brunch, a meal that Tail Up Goat has never offered. “We’re just excited to focus on new things, like a bar scene,” she says. “We always choose to dine at bars when we go out.”
And those kinds of options, Jensen says, are the point of Tail Up Goat’s expansion: “By virtue of having two spaces, people can choose the experience they want,” whether that’s a more formal dinner at the original restaurant or a casual drinks-and-antipasti date at the newcomer.
Reveler’s Hour, 1777 Columbia Rd. NW. Expected to open in summer 2019.