April 24, 2018, I took a short but sweet trip to Japan. I didn’t necessarily spend $$$ on plane tickets or had to cull out my vacation time either. Instead, I parked my car inside a garage by CityCenter DC ($10.00 evening rate) and took a short uber ride to Drink Company’s Cherry Blossom Pop-Up Bar located on 1843 and 1841 Seventh Street, NW, Washington D.C. For this mini excursion, I wore my Anne Taylor, black and white stripped dress, and basic blue flats.
The bar first opened up March 1 and ends its run April 29, 2018. This floral-lush- haven full of Japanese-inspired cocktails attracted a steady crowd during its first run. When the shop first opened up in March, attendees purchased $20 tickets in order to bypass the long lines. If residents wanted to save cash but grab a spectacular drink, many would go to the bar on a Monday, Tuesday or a Wednesday—lines were non-existent on those days.
The bar decor was indicative of the blossoming relationship between Japan and the United States and of the many reasons why DC resident flock to the tidal basin every year—to see beautiful cherry blossoms vibrantly welcome Spring into the area. I noticed that one-thousand paper cranes adorned one wall facing the more lush-side of the bar. Naturally, I figured guests can make a wish because making 1k origami cranes yields but one, sweet, wish according to Japanese tradition.
Moreover, around 90,000 individual paper and cloth blossoms inhabited the ceiling, the sides, and certain cross sections of the pop-up bar. Once attendees decide to meander farther than the entrance of the bar, a garden wall covered with pink yellow,purple and white flowers hug the top lining of wall and a leafy, astro-turf blankets the rest of the wall. Fluttering, cloth-like, butterflies around globular orbs of light make a spectacular impression– especially when you take the perfect selfie.
Having eye-popping decor is one thing, but it’s all about the drinks by the end of the day.
The drinks are more than just food coloring and a lonely red cherry topped in a small glass. Beverages available to try range from English tea with a shot of vodka, miso-infused rum with coconut, sake, Japanese sodas and Japanese beers. Of course, the ever-so popular Maneki Neko Tiki mugs were brought back this year as well as cocktails such as Chu-hi, and the I Call Yoshi which transformed in 2018 into the Alpha Predator, Godzilla drink. The drinks, much like Spring, represent a time for change.
If you are feeling a bit hungry after downing a couple cocktails, there a wide-range of Food items to try such as Japanese snack cookies, gyoza dumplings, Katsu, and soybeans snacks.
Once you walk past the manga-lined wall, you see an anima-tronic Godzilla that blows colorful smoke in the air and makes robotic screeches. I swear if that Godzilla was alive, it would easily eat me in one bite. Artist Andrew Herndon designed this cinematic masterpiece, fyi.
The bar to the right of Godzilla, evoked a Japanese alley-way vibe with strewn lights, cryptic decorations and late night street cuisine. Drink Company named this bar Tokyo’s Memory Lane.
The Cherry Blossom Pop-Up Bar was made up of 2-3 bars. Each bar represented an instagram-worthy shot for patrons. Despite the $20,000-$30,000 shelled out on this bar thematic scheme, pop-ups were created to instill a sense of curiosity and wonderment for attendees– much like a new restaurant opening up but without a heftier price tag.
When the Miracle at 7th street first opened up (this bar, much like the Cherry Blossom Pop-Up Bar, overtook Mockingbird’s space) I was floored with the drinks, attention to pop-culture, and the shrine devoted to all things “Stranger Things”. With this incarnation, I am even more enchanted with Drink Company’s eye for detail and erudition for knowing so much about the relationship between the U.S and Japan.
The next Pop-Up bar theme will cover the royal marriage between a Hollywood actress and a crowned prince, May 19, 2018. The Royal Marriage Pop-Up Bar is opening up May 4, 2018 in honor of the upcoming nuptials between Megan Markle and Prince Harry. I know I am extremely excited about both the bar and the upcoming wedding!
About Drink Company
Drink Company is based in Washington D.C. and owns the Spirited Award-winning Columbia Room, and PUB (Pop Up Bar). Well known for showcasing the Miracle at 7th Street, Super Mario, Game of Thrones, Cherry Blossom and Royal Wedding (May 4, 2018) pop-up bars. Feel free contact this award winning company here.