Food & Drink

El Rey Offers a Drop of Golden Sun

Hit the latest spot from D.C.’s bar brothers

el rey!

Taco ’bout busy.

Two years ago, brothers Eric and Ian Hilton, who co-own several nightspots (Brixton, Marvin, and Chez Billy among them), set their sights on the empty lot next to Dodge City.

Finally, their South of the Border joint, El Rey, opens its doors — and its retractable glass roof.

Think of the space, fashioned from eleven shipping containers, as an all-weather beer garden. Hop on a stool in the enclosed bar area, or venture out where it literally opens up. When the weather is chilly but dry, suspended heaters keep the atmosphere toasty enough for margaritas.

Soak them up with eight kinds of tacos ($3-$4 each), which Dominican-born chef Jorge Pimentel serves in paper-lined baskets. Add guac, queso fundito, and napkin-necessary elote.

With a takeout window serving snacks one hour after the bar closes, it’s an ideal stop before, after, or after-after the 930 Club.

What comes after last-call tacos? That’s nacho problem.

El Rey, 919 U Street NW, between 9th Street and Vermont Avenue (202-506-6418 or elreydc.com).

Photo: Patrick Onofre / Courtesy of El Rey

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919 U St NW
bt 9th St & Vermont Ave
Washington, DC 20001