Though your only brushes with the law include a speeding ticket and a slap on the wrist for jaywalking, Villains Tavern can still be your new hideout when it opens tonight.
Restaurateur and interior designer Dana Hollister (Bordello, 4100, Brite Spot, Cliff’s Edge) has lent a steampunk touch to what once was a rundown sandwich shop. A centuries-old salvaged bar top, antique ironwork, and rich red and dark wood interior take lofty ceilings to the sinister side while swinging vintage chandeliers add Hollister’s signature hint of swank. But it’s the 1,600-square-foot open-air patio complete with bar, stage, church pew seating, and shuffleboard — all illuminated by candles and Edison bulbs — that makes it one smooth criminal.
Plot your next move over freshly juiced libations like the Poison Apple (green apple juice, vodka, and bitters over shaved ice — gratis opening weekend when you mention DC) and the Cerberus (Cachaça, white peach puree, and pineapple). Or pair any of the 28 draft beers served in iced jar tumblers with one of twenty shots for $8 (the Lagunitas IPA with Plymouth gin is a sinful match). Steal away with a few small plates like the summer farro salad or the grilled cheese with cave-aged cheddar and tamarind chili. That ought to be illegal.
Villains Tavern, 1356 Palmetto Street, at Santa Fe Avenue, Downtown (213-613-0766 or villainstavern.com).
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