Pick up a blanket and grab a gingerbread hot toddy - your new favorite Sunday activity is here! In December, Service Bar upped their (already great) brunch game with Ski Lodge Sundays, a new brunch concept that’s all sorts of cozy.
Every single Sunday, Service Bar transforms into an apres-ski paradise, where the vibe is just as warm as the cocktails. From the (faux) animal heads to wool blankets bedecking flannel banquettes, you'll never want to leave your cozy cocoon.
“Since we’re not a restaurant, we didn’t want to do a traditional brunch,” said co-owner Chad Spangler. “After the success of the Beach Bar [their previous all-day Sunday brunch concept], we looked for something with atmosphere, but also appropriate for the season.”
The team landed on this idea after nixing a log cabin theme, among other options. “A ski lodge is a place for socializing and getting together, so it made sense” Spangler said.
Beyond the faux taxidermy staring down from their mounted positions, tiny skiers climb lifts strung festively from the ceiling. Faux fur hangs over each chair, blankets are supplied at every table and bear throw pillows are liberally strewn about. And there’s lots and lots of flannel -- because nothing says cozy and warm like flannel.
Even warmer are the craft drinks (each $10) -- which is where Service Bar really shines -- including two types of hot toddies. The first has an almond tea base, sourced from Capital Teas in Dupont. It’s spiked with Spanish brandy and local Don Ciccio Nocino, a rich and deep walnut liquor. The other is a gingerbread rooibos tea, touched up with a specialty ten-spice blend, and shot through with Calvados, a French apple brandy.
There’s also the appropriately named “Coffee Chocolate Booze,” a spicy, smoky, soul-warming concoction of three types of chocolate, coffee, mezcal and chiles. For those looking to keep their figure bunny-slope-ready, opt for the Skinny Girl Nog.
Soaking it all up is easy over a bowl of filling chilaquiles with pulled duck, and churros with homemade dipping sauce. Of course, the bar’s signature fried chicken is always available, as is the fan-favorite bacon sandwich.
There’s also a new item on the menu, perfect for the chilly temperatures. It’s a rich, brothy chicken soup with dumplings, or as Chef Jerry Zawacki put it, “soft little pillows of buttermilk.”
Replica antique teapots, cups and saucers add character, providing a touch of sophistication while tippling spiked tea late on a Sunday afternoon.
“We’re creating more of a laid-back, relaxing atmosphere with this aesthetic, and want people to have a great Sunday, no matter when," said Spangler. "If you want chilaquiles at 1 AM, we’ll still serve it."
The party, indeed, seemingly doesn’t end: the brunch menu and drinks can be ordered from opening at 2 p.m. through close at 1:30 a.m.
Screw the slopes -- this is where we want to spend all of our winter Sundays!
Service Bar, 926 U St NW, Ski Lodge Sundays run from 2 p.m. - 1:30 a.m.