Food and Drink, The Hill, We Love Food

First Look: Boxcar Tavern

Photo courtesy of Tricia Barba

I went to Boxcar Tavern the first day (night) it opened – just two days before the New Year. When staring in from the outside it was impossible to see just how crowded it was, but upon opening the door, the excitement surrounding the new establishment was tangible. There were a lot of people (think standing room only) and it was loud and lively.

Boxcar Tavern is Xavier Cervera’s fifth restaurant on Capitol Hill. His empire includes Molly Malones, Lola’s Barracks Bar & Grill, and Senart’s Oyster & Chop House. With just one glance, those accustomed to dining on the Hill can tell whose baby Boxcar is. It has that “Cervera look.” The restaurant, situated right next to Tunnicliff’s Tavern on 7th Street SE in the old Petite Gourmet space, is long and narrow, filled with maple and marble decor. From the entrance, to your left is an elegant bar that stretches almost there entire length of the restaurant and to your right begins an endless row of small booths. Basically, it looks like Senart’s, just a bit darker.

Another similarity to Senart’s is Executive Chef Brian Klein, who is now running Boxcar’s kitchen.  The menus look the same physically as well; content-wise, Boxcar actually serves a Seafood Lasagna – my favorite dish at Senart’s before, sadly, it disappeared.

Continue reading

Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Lola’s on 8th Street To Bring Games Your Way


Photo Courtesy Lola's Barracks Bar & Grill

If you’re a regular at Lola’s Barracks Bar & Grill, known for its exposed brick walls, good service, and slightly older crowd, you might not have to be cramped into the narrow first floor much longer.

That’s because pending construction permits, the bar might soon be two floors taller and more fun. The second floor will have a 30-foot-bar and the third floor will be a game room. They’re brainstorming games right now that include at least one pool table, darts, shuffle board, foosball, and ping pong. I vote ping pong.

Shawn Case, one of owner Xavier Cervera’s employees, tells me that part of the left wall could be torn down for the staircase, but that the look will stay the same. He says the “change” will be one welcome by regulars, but he also hopes it will also bring new customers into the bar.

“Xavier really sees the need for something like this on the Hill,” says Case. “We want people to keep coming here after work, relax some, and play pool.”

If you’re on the Hill and looking for a good game room right now, try The Pour House at 319 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.

Lola’s Barracks Bar & Grill is located at 711 8th St. SE. The closest metro is Eastern Market Station (Blue/Orange Lines). For more information, call 202-547-5652.