Food and Drink

First Look: Pound the Hill

Photo courtesy of
‘Pound the Hill’
courtesy of ‘Samer Farha’

Nestled within the cozy confines of a turn-of-the-century Pennsylvania Avenue row building, lovingly restored by Karl Johnson and his co-owners, lies the newest addition to the Capitol Hill neighborhood, coffee shop and world bistro, Pound the Hill. Sporting an exposed brick and timber scheme and original plaster ceilings, Pound the Hill evokes a decidedly urban feel perfectly suited to its DC environs.

In complementary contrast to its historic interior, Pound the Hill has incorporated modern decor and technology to transform their space into one uniquely tailored to its intended purpose. The rows of red and white cups and mugs and similarly-colored staff attire reflect the restaurant’s DC heritage, while sleek granite counters and exposed wood floors convey a sense of efficiency and speed, two elements that are enabled by the wireless iPad-based POS system that allows the baristas to roam the store to remotely take orders and process payments. All these elements seamlessly combine in a stunning visual chemistry that transports visitors to the store away from the bustle of busy Pennsylvania Avenue.

Much more after the jump.

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Food and Drink, Night Life, We Love Drinks

We Love Drinks: Commissary

Very Berry Smoothie, Commissary

I had high hopes for Commissary, the new bar/coffeehouse/restaurant hybrid near Logan Circle. Positioned at the perfect midway point between my house and the Y, I had visions of stopping in beforehand for a cappuccino, or afterwards to unwind with a tall pint of pureed berries. And indeed, the smoothies at Commissary are delicious, especially the Very Berry – a purple garden in a glass. But as far as being able to call it my new third place, well, not so much.

Part of the EatWell empire responsible for Logan Tavern, Grillfish, and The Heights, Commissary replaces Merkado Kitchen – but apart from a paint job and the addition of a floating lounge in the center, retains the open design and high industrial ceilings of the former. The concept appears to be aiming along the lines of the popular Busboys and Poets. But there’s something lacking here. I can’t quite figure out why it leaves me cold, but after three visits, I’m not anxious to return.

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