Steampunk has its roots in fantasy and science fiction literature, but it has morphed over the years into a lifestyle movement that includes fashion, culture, music and art that highlights steam-powered machinery.
The hotel, as well as the lounge, pays homage to telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell, who inspired the names for both venues. Walking into the late-night destination, a guest can see the influence of Bell's time, with brass pipes meandering across the ceiling and a black and bronze color palette throughout.
Yet the steampunk theme is mixed with posh accommodations such as crystal decanter light fixtures and privacy drapes in the parlor area.
One of the many craft cocktails at The Alex — Photo courtesy of The Alex
Thankfully, the venue is located inside a hotel – never drink and drive, people – because the craft cocktail menu is not to be missed, with a number of new drinks and interpretations of others.
Try Mabel's Martini, a citrus cocktail tribute to Bell's wife of 45 years that features Campari and Domain de Canton. Or sip on The Last Word, a Prohibition-era drink made with Nolet's Maraschino, green chartreuse and lime juice.
For those who prefer different libations, the menu at The Alex has a great selection of beer; red, white and sparkling wine; Scotch; bourbon; rye; and cognac.
Small plates are served for dinner, so order one or more dishes to share with friends and family. Nosh on crispy truffle fries, jumbo shrimp cocktail, shrimp and pineapple bites or black Angus beef sliders.
Sample the kale Caesar salad, or munch on rustic flatbread. If you're looking for more of a larger dish, then check out the grilled flat iron steak, teriyaki-glazed salmon or the roasted Amish chicken breast.
Evening hours at The Alex are Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and then Friday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight.
A night filled with tasty drinks can lead to a serious craving for good food when the sun creeps up over the horizon. Breakfast is served at the venue from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. daily. So refuel by choosing from a number of hearty dishes, including Alexander's cinnamon French toast, the Agb breakfast wrap or the three-egg omelet.
To get to The Alex using the metro, travel to the Foggy Bottom station.