Four-star restaurants are fabulous, as are high-end watering holes staffed by master mixologists. But you know what’s even better sometimes? A great dive. Throw in a few baseball games on the tube and some made-in-America beers on tap, and you’ve got a winning recipe for the kind of place where everybody really does know your name.
And that’s just the kind of bar the new Ivy and Coney, located in Washington, DC’s up-and-coming Shaw neighborhood, seeks to be. A dark, smallish pub that pays homage to the Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs and locally beloved Washington Nationals, Ivy and Coney not only allows you to chuck your empty peanut shells on the floor, it encourages it.
The spotlight's on dogs at Ivy and Coney — Photo courtesy of Ivy and Coney
Still months away from Major League Baseball’s springtime opening day, the bar’s owners (three Midwestern expats and a local) haven’t completed their rooftop deck yet. They have, however, unveiled a bar-food menu that’s heavy on ballpark basics and light on snobby, highfalutin bites.
Crave a Detroit-style Coney dog and some cold Stroh’s to wash it down? No problem. Ivy and Coney has you covered. Prefer your dogs “dragged through the garden” (a.k.a. served Chicago-style with lots of onions, tomatoes, peppers and relish) instead? No problem. Want to catch the latest White Sox game while you nosh? Problem.
When you're done reading, head inside for a beer — Photo courtesy of Ivy and Coney
That’s because, despite its Chicago ties, Ivy and Coney has eyes for just one Windy City team: the Cubs. Which means that, during the season, its TVs will give priority to the Cubs, along with the Nats and Tigers. Sox fans are still welcome, of course. They’ll just need to occupy themselves by crying in their beer.
Stronger drinks are available, too, although not that many. Ivy and Coney’s barebones list of spirits includes just a handful of the usual suspects, such as vodka, gin and tequila. (Being a shot-and-a-beer kind of place, there’s Jameson, too.)
Jeppson's Malort, a Chi Town favorite — Photo courtesy of Ivy and Coney
Cracker Jacks, Utz potato chips and those aforementioned peanuts round out the menu, which is further proof that Ivy and Coney is more about good times with good friends than it is about phonebook-size menus and froufrou cocktails du jour.
And that’s what makes it so perfect for DC, a buttoned-down (and pent-up) town if ever there was one, full of too many worker bees who won’t jump off the hamster wheel until they’re sequestered out of a job. To them, Ivy and Coney says, “Come on in. Have a beer. Relax. But shut up about the White Sox.”