A new culinary-focused cocktail bar and neighborhood gathering place, Radiator, will open off of the 14th Street corridor in spring 2016, adjacent to the new Mason & Rook Hotel at 1430 Rhode Island Ave NW in Washington, D.C. A classic cocktail bar, Radiator’s drinks selection will focus on a carefully curated range of whiskeys and off-the-beaten path spirits, lovingly crafted classics, and a discerning selection of local beers and wines. The kitchen, led by Chef Jonathan Dearden, formerly of Ardeo + Bardeo, will complement the beverage program with soulful, rustic dishes that span snacks, sharable plates and large-format signature items. Classic bar service will be a Radiator calling card, with the bar trading modernist smoke and mirrors for perfectly executed classics and barkeeps who know your drink after your first visit.
“The stuffy fine dining experience is fading into the past,” Chef Dearden says. “Radiator is a classic, unfussy bar, but our goal is to blow you away with both the drinks and the food by using first-class ingredients and execution. Great cocktails call for great food, and that makes a bar space like Radiator a surprisingly ideal spot to show off a more contemporary approach to dining.”
Radiator’s name is a nod to 14th Street’s rich automotive past—once a home to many mid-20th century car dealerships and auto repair shops— and that history will be carried over to the design, with garage door-inspired walls and industrial accents. The large, 57-seat bar area includes a communal table and a comfortable lounge space decked out in rich woods and leather, and a 23-seat lounge area includes several nooks where small groups can gather. The space will be outfitted with playful diversions and games, such as backgammon, dominoes, checkers and chess. During warmer months, guests can enjoy a 50-seat patio featuring a large fire pit and a shuffleboard court under a retractable mesh overhang. The space is being designed by D.C.’s award-winning GrizForm Design Architects with an eye toward craftsmanship, ranging from large checkerboard floors to vintage car parts to displays of rare whiskeys.