Bar Pilar and Raven Arts

Bar Pilar’s expansion to the second floor of their building is putting Raven Arts, which has long been on the second floor, out of a space. How cool is it that they are teaming up together to open a new art gallery across the street in the old L&N Thrift Store location.


They yet to-be-named gallery that will incorporate the a working art studio and framing business (what Raven Arts does now) and add a formal art gallery and education space. Sounds pretty cool. No expected opening date as of yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

Bar Pilar

Well this is great news. Prince of Petworth reports this morning that Bar Pilar has a liquor license application to expand to the second floor of their building. I love Bar Pilar, but tend to go there on weekdays for dinner and drinks because it tends to get insufferably crowded on weekends – this will make the bar/restaurant much more tolerable when busy. Great news!

Bar Pilar, on 14th street

Bar Pilar, on 14th street

Bar Pilar is perhaps my favorite bar in DC (that might change when I finally go to the Gibson though). I especially like it on a weekday night, when it isn’t too crowded, I can talk to the bartender (I don’t know her name, but she’s always there when I go and while it took her time to warm up to me, I think she likes me now), peruse the ever-changing menu, and enjoy the company of whomever I’ve gone to the bar with.

I know that there has been a lot of criticism of Bar Pilar’s menu after it went from well-done comfort food to something more fancy. First, it was two years ago, let’s all move on. But listen, more importantly the food they serve is so good. Whatever I get there, I’m always blown away. On my last visit, the roasted beef sandwich with demi-glace sauce was AMAZING. Unfortunately, their most recent menu isn’t up on the website, or the dish I had was a special add-in, but if it’s on the menu, order it. Even when I ordered chicken there, which I don’t usually get at restaurants because it’s so normal and blah, their braised chicken was out of this world.

Bar Pilar is consistently rated as one of the best places to get a cocktail, but if you didn’t know to ask, you probably wouldn’t know. The thing to do, is to go on a Tuesday night, early, get a seat to enjoy the interesting, unusual creations of mixologist (don’t you hate that word?) Adam Bernbach.

Sure, it can get crowded with suburbanites looking to have a cool night out in DC on the weekends, and no, the service is nothing approaching good, but at its heart it’s a neighborhood place to swing by and have a great drink and bite on random night.

A regular feature in which I spotlight local businesses.