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High-End Cocktails Coming to Columbia Pike

by ARLnow.com — November 9, 2011 at 3:08 pm 6,416 94 Comments

The Washington Post’s Going Out Guide has today’s scoop that mixologist Todd Thrasher, Northern Virginia’s king of cocktails, will be opening a new bar within the already-announced Eamonn’s: A Dublin Chipper restaurant on Columbia Pike.

According to the Post, the 30-seat bar — named ‘TNT’ — will feature original cocktail creations and a sort of global cocktail “greatest hits” menu. TNT and Eamonn’s is expected to open around the beginning of spring.

Interior construction on Eamonn’s is currently underway. The restaurant and bar will be located at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Barton Street, on the ground floor of the new Penrose Square apartment building.

  • Novasteve

    Do Clarendouches live/go to Columbia pike?

    • drax


      • Glen Danzig

        My eyes!

    • Clarendouche


    • doug

      I remember douche being the wittiest possible insult back in 7th grade. Those were the days.

  • Craving Cafe

    Great … still can’t get an expensive Latte, but we’ll be able to get an expensive fancy cocktail.

    • PikeMan

      You can get a great latte today right across the street at Rappahannock Coffee.

      • Josh S

        It may be a latte, but it ain’t great.

        Nonetheless, it is local, it is non-chain, it has true regulars, etc. A true neighborhood joint, and I go there often.

        • PikeMan

          well, ok, i’ll grant not great – but the OP actually only specified “expensive” so should still meet their needs. they can always tip more if it’s not expensive enough. :)

        • SARL

          Yeaaaah, I have to chime in on agreeing that while I’d love to love and support Rapp … it’s not going to happen, given the quality (I am too spoiled from Murky/Northside relatively close by when I feel like going out for coffee!). I don’t see a very bright future for that “true neighborhood joint” unfortunately.

          It is a crazy time to be living on the Pike during its “revitalization” … definitely sad to see some of the character slip away. I gotta admit though, I am pretty excited about having a good go-to place for cocktails. I have struggled to find a good place in Arlington otherwise. Anyone have suggestions?

          • FrenchyB

            Have you tried any of Eric’s drinks at Old Arlington Grill?

          • SARL

            Thanks for the tip – I will soon!

          • MC 703

            LA Bar is exceptional for a bourbon and ginger or a Sam draft

        • Craving Cafe

          Have you been to Rappahannock’s? They are mean and the coffee (even though locally owned) is not great. Give me a chain without attitude over local snobs and rube behavior any day.

          • Josh S

            They are many things at Rappahannock, but they’re not mean. Certainly not particularly friendly, with the notable exception of Paul, but not mean.

            The coffee itself is fine, I think, but none of them have really been trained to make espresso drinks. Of course, Murky did set the bar very high. If Rappahannock could make espresso like Murky does, I’d be bankrupt.

    • bringmetheyuppies

      Never go there . the coffee stinks. Would love a Starbucks SOMEWHERE on the pike!

      • Glen Danzig

        This is the problem with Arlington. We have enough Starbucks.

      • Brandon C

        Yes, we need to have more coffee that tastes like burnt ass.

  • Novasteve

    I don’t make it to S. Arlington Much. Is this the same building as the new Giant?

    • Josh S


  • veeta

    best. news. ever.

  • John Fontain

    Nothing says pretense like the term ‘mixologist.’

    • Novasteve

      We they have to appeal to all of the snobs and “pre rich” here in Arlington.

      • Post Rich

        What about those of us who are “post rich”? Do we get something even better than a mixologist? ;)-

    • Glebe Roader

      What ever happened to “bartender?”

      • Novasteve

        That’s not “sophisticated” enough for the clientele they’re hoping to attract.

      • zzzzz

        Note the words “original cocktail creations.” He’s not just a bartender.

        I’m not much of a drinker, but I’m really looking forward to having Eamonn’s so close to home.

      • G Clifford Prout

        Went the way of “war fighters” instead of soldiers.

        • Clarendude

          … and “went missing” instead of “disappeared”.

    • Todd T.

      Don’t worry John Fontain I am only a bartender not a “Mixologist”


      • John Fontain

        Ok, then I’m there!

    • Joe

      The more accurate term is “craft bartender”.

      A bartender is anyone employed to mix alcoholic drinks; no particular skill is implied in the term. However, a “craft” bartender is more akin to a bar chef, someone who doesn’t just mix drinks, but creates them as well. The word “mixologist” isn’t one that craft bartenders are particularly fond of; it seems to have been foisted upon them by the public.

  • Andrew

    Nowhere near a metro :(

    • Tabby

      ART 77 from Court House/Clarendon

      • Novasteve

        Something tells me that the types of people who go to place with a “Mixologist” aren’t the types who take busses.

        • veeta

          Wrong–I am one of many who are not snobs about transportation, but are snobs about what they ingest. I’ll be walking, but whatevs.
          I feel sorry for people who think the metro is acceptable but the bus is not. The bus is far preferable.

      • veeta

        Plus ART 45 on weekdays, and 41 and 42 are really not that far. Plus metro 10B and probably more.
        There are thousands of metro accessible bars in the area, but the neighborhoods around the Pike deserve some quality places too!

        • FrenchyB

          Yep, plenty of bus options from the Orange line. Definitely saves me some cab fare, at least on my way out to the bars.

  • Bob

    Yes because if it’s expensive it must be good.

    • John Fontain

      I had some ‘high-end’ cocktails at Circa in Clarendon a couple of months ago. I’m talking $10 to $14 a drink. One tasted like orange gatorade mixed with vodka. The others were equally un-noteworthy. I could have made equivalent drinks by pouring random ingredients from my fridge into a glass.

      I can’t believe people buy these kinds of drinks on a regular basis. I surmise that people ‘like’ them because they think they are supposed to and because they feel cool drinking an expensive drink.

      • ArlingtonChick

        Go to Spiders on Fridays during HH (before the hipsters) and you will find decent, 4$ cocktails. That are delicious.

        Todd Thrasher creates highly alcoholic, and not so great cocktails that are overpriced. I’m not a fan of his stuff (I find him to be a bit too pompous and not very nice).

        • Joe

          He’s actually a really nice guy, and very UN-pompous, but he isn’t just a top craft bartender; he’s also the general manager of Restaurant Eve, the sommelier, and a part-owner in the Restaurant Eve group.

          How he manages to juggle all of his duties and also be a devoted husband and father is impressive to me.

          To call all of his drinks “highly alcoholic” and “not so great” is to do him a disservice. He has won international cocktail competitions, taught seminars at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, and influenced many other talented bartenders.

          His drinks are also fairly priced. Just as with restaurant food, you aren’t just paying for the drink, but for the privilege of drinking it within that establishment.

          • John Fontain

            “Just as with restaurant food, you aren’t just paying for the drink, but for the privilege of drinking it within that establishment.”

            The privilege of drinking it within that establishment?

            Wow! Just wow!

          • Josh S

            It doesn’t take much thought to see what he meant.



          • John Fontain

            If he meant that, he could have said it. Instead he said ‘privilege,’ as if we should feel honored to be allowed to give our money to the proprietor.

        • Todd T.

          Ok I cannot believe what is being said by some truly negative people on this board. I am from Arlington went to Randolph Elementary, Thomas Jefferson Junior High, and Wakefield High School. I am so excited to the neighborhood where I used to ride my bmx bike through when I was a kid! Now I am lucky enough to be able to open a little restaurant and this is the first thing I read? We are opening a little restaurant and a little bar that is it hopefully going to put some money back into the county where I lived in for 27 years! I hope all of you nice people will come and visit! I will see you in mid March behind the bar in the back of Eamonns a Dublin Chipper.


          • Joe

            The County is lucky to have you doing this, Todd.

            To anyone who prejudges either you or Eamons and TNT, I say that they should give you all a chance; the naysayers will be in for a pleasant surprise.

            The restaurant and bar will have something for almost every taste, and not be out of place on Columbia Pike.

            Anytime Arlington gets a destination-worthy restaurant or watering hole, Arlington wins. The same people who will patronize Eamons and TNT are the same people who would take the same money to D.C., and now they won’t have to.

            These places will be creating jobs and generating tax revenue. Why are some people so afraid or resentful of them coming to Columbia Pike? They will be good neighbors.

          • Resident

            Ignore the olds and curmudgeons. They will likely complain that the fish and chips arent as cheap as Long John Silvers also. They do not represent the majority of us that are happy to see the drastic, recent improvements to our neighborhood. I can’t wait for Eamonns to open.

          • veeta

            +1. Negative commenters are not the clientele. Welcome to the neighborhood–you are a most welcome addition (returnee)!

          • jack

            Don’t let the prejudging negatives get you down, Todd. It’s just the nature of the internet. If you look at ANY story about a restaurant on this site, someone ALWAYS say “This place sucks. X is better.” Looking forward to trying your place out, and glad to see you on the Pike!

          • John Fontain

            I personally welcome new restaurants like yours. Good food and drink in a nice setting (and with blasting rock and roll) is a great addition for the community.

            The negativity you are sensing, at least in my humble opinion, is because many people have had more than their fill of the “high-end,” “farm-raised,” “locally-sourced,” “artisan,” “sustainable,” “slow food” marketing drivel that seems to accompany many of these new establishments.

            In this case, the drivel didn’t come from you but was hoisted upon you. Apparently unfairly so:

            From the WashPost: “So I approached Todd Thrasher, cocktail innovator at Restaurant Eve, PX and the Majestic, in Alexandria, about what I jokingly called “The Bar Chef at Home.” Thrasher laughed and said, “Bar chef? Come on, dude. I am a bartender.”

          • Josh S

            Ooo! Oooo!

            What in the heck is a “Dublin chipper?”

            I’m as tolerant and welcoming as the next guy, but that does sound a bit pretentious.

            But I’m willing to be convinced that it’s not.

          • doug

            ha ha – hilarious stuff people. If I didn’t know better, I’d say all the negative comments are a sophisticated and ironic parody. Couldn’t have been done better if it was on purpose.

            “I hate new things. I hate nice things. Grumble grumble. When I was a kid we used to…yadda yadda.”

            And…a Dublin Chipper as a pretentious name? Give me a break – a “chipper” is staple for regular folk in Ireland and UK. Eamon’s is an upscale take on this commonplace and blue collar dining option. Get over it.

            And you like the Pike the way it was? Really? Do you eat at the Sports House Grill or El Rancho Migueleno? Cuz I don’t see you there. You’re over at OAG complaining about the rap music I think.

            I’m not in favor of all the changes here…but a fish and chips place with fancy drinks? Sure, why not. I like fish. It beats an empty parking lot…and that’s what used to be here.

          • zzzzz

            I find most of the comments on this blog to be negative. These people are never happy. Personally I am thrilled by this news. I’ve been wanting to try Eamonn’s since it opened but never seem to make it to that neighborhood. I will definitely visit the Pike location. And I’m not much for bars these days but will probably wind up trying TNT, too.

          • dugs53


            Don’t get discouraged. The majority of these posts are not local people from the neighborhood. I have lived across the street from Eammons for 15 yrs now and am thoroughly looking forward to meeting you and the rest of the staff.


      • novasteve

        That’s why I despite this area. Full of snobs out showing off rather than enjoying themselves.

        • Glebe Roader

          You seem to like nothing about Arlington. I’m not going to say, “If you don’t like it, you should move.” That’s too easy. But, I DO have to wonder why you live in a place that you despise. (Note: this is not a question. You do not have to respond.)

  • The Dope of South Arlington

    I wonder if this will decrease public drunkedness in the area.

    • Glen Danzig

      You mean in Clarendon?

  • Arlingtoon

    Is this going to be an Arlington branch of that great chippery on King Street in Alexandria? Sure hope so — that place is great, but I’ve had trouble getting a seat and it’s a little far to go for a piece (or two) of fish.

    I’ll stick to my own cocktails at home, however.

    • Joe

      Yes, it is. The Arlington sibling of King Street’s Eamon’s, A Dublin Chipper.

  • Manda

    Booooo!!! Aren’t we in a recession? People are struggling to have roofs over their heads, and the Pike is proud to claim a “high-end” bar? I am so sick of the yuppies already infiltrating the Pike. I moved here 8 years ago when it was a liitle El Salvadorian neighboorhood and it’s so sad to “regular folk” getting pushed out for retail. I can barely afford my rent now and am afraid that my building is going to get bought out to serve this new community. The new Giant is so expensive taboot.
    P.S. Bangkok 54 has awesome, regular-priced cocktails.

    • South Arlington

      Bring on the gentrification! I hope the Pike is a the new Del Ray once the gentrification comes full force!

      • John K.

        Oh God, no! If you must, keep it at THAT end of the Pike. I’d rather keep my night-time bus-stop muggings and crappy retail out our way than have that.

    • novasteve

      People who are out to show off don’t go to Thai or Chinese Restaurants to go out. Hunan #1 in Clarendon has great deals, but who wants to be seen at a Chinese Restaurant? Welcome to Arlington!

      • CW

        I do!! Hunan Number One FTW!!

    • MC 703

      Is the new Giant more expensive than the old one? Doubt it.
      Was the old Giant AWFUL? It was.
      Did the first El Salvadorans complain about missing the vanishing working class blacks and whites? No way Jose.

    • jack

      Manda, what sort of business would you approve of entrepreneurs spending THEIR OWN MONEY on to open?

  • Manda

    Have you been to the new Giant? Then you know it is more expensive. Even ask the people who work there. Don’t make blanket statements that aren’t true. If you make under $50k a year, this area is getting way out of control.

    • Resident

      Manda, that’s what happens when you live in a nice place. Prices go up because people want to live there. I can’t support a policy that deliberately keeps the area crappy just to appease lower income people. Progress happens and it is making the Pike a better place.

    • South Arlington

      If the new Giant is more expensive than the old one, it’s because 2 years has passed since the old one was open and inflation, increased fuel costs, and increased labor costs have pushed prices up since then. I’ll trade the new Giant with increased selection, better lighting, no awful smell, no brown produce, and an actual butcher counter over the old Giant with 2% lower prices.

  • Tyrone

    No, if you make under $70k, this place is getting way out of control.

  • Manda

    It is shocking that you would call this area “crappy” just because it didn’t have all the bells and whistles it does now. I am all for renovation for the sake of preservation/upkeep but it sounds very elitist to hear you say that in order for an area to be nice/inhabitable the cost of living for it’s residents should increase and that that should be acceptable. I just think it is so sad and materialistic that all of these “high end” shops have to be put here in order for this part of town to seem valuable. It disgusts me to see this much waste when our country/culture is not doing so hot and that I have friends and family struggling just to make ends meet.

  • Manda

    P.S. You speak of lower income people as if they aren’t people. Not everyone can afford this area but are here because the wages are best in this area, at least in my line of work. Everyone deserves to have a home and not be forced to live outside of their means.

    • Resident

      Everyone deserves a home, yes. I’d like a home in Great Falls but can’t afford it. I don’t then go cry that it’s unfair and demand the Government create or maintain an enclave for me that defies the free market.

      And yes Manda, the old Giant was crappy. The old Safeway was crappy. Not having non fast food dining options was crappy. Things are much better now. I have options that don’t require me to leave my neighborhood. The streets are safer. And things will only improve more as time goes on.

      • Josh S

        The old Safeway was beyond crappy, it was downright decrepit.

  • Johnny Utah

    Grand Opening, Grand Closing

    • jack

      I think you’ll be surprised by what can thrive in South Arlington.

      • Josh S

        We’ll see. So far the only new sit down restaurant to come out of these new developments is P Brennans. (Well, and the Lost Dog, but somehow I put that in a different category.) It’s doing OK, but hardly gangbusters. So once Eammons opens and then the Mexican place and isn’t there one other in the works? And they all appear quite large on the inside. We’ll see.

  • Manda

    In conclusion, you can make improvements to what is already the basis of a community without excluding its residents by adding “high end” entities.. Sure, the Giant could have used a renovation but did it have to be placed inside a town square where the overhead is out of control? Does the Pike need four “luxury” style apartments and condos that sit mostly empty and “high end” chain restaurants to make improvements? Don’t even get me started on the trolley. There is or used to be a working class that can exist and thrive in communities with mom and pop retail resources. South Arlington does not need to be a frat-boy-drunk-girl gentrified Clarendon 2.0 to be successful.

    • South Arlington

      The economic reality is that to live this close to the city in a non-crime ridden area with good schools, it costs money. The borders around Arlington aren’t walls, there’s nothing preventing people from seeking cheaper housing elsewhere and commuting into work. I scrimped, sacrificed and saved to buy a place in Penrose to be close to everything realizing it costs more for less here. Proximity is an amenity that costs, it’s not a right. Those of us that are invested in the neighborhood are happy to see amenities like more food choices, one of the best grocery stores in the county, and in general, a better looking Columbia Pike.

      So bring on the streetcar, bring on the gentrification, bring on Eamonn’s and TNT, and bring on a gleamingly improved Columbia Pike.

      • JohnB


    • Josh S

      But, it’s privately owned land. And very expensive land at that. The owners of the land do their analysis, they build what they perceive is most likely to succeed and be profitable. No one was going to tear down the strip mall that used to be there and replace it with another strip mall. It just wouldn’t make any sense to do that.

      And while I continue to believe the rents being charged are astronomical and crazy, they are filling up. So they’re not sitting “mostly empty.”

      “There is or used to be a working class that can exist and thrive in communities with mom and pop retail resources.”

      Yes, and before that there used to be farms. And before that forests. But humans procreate. And then congregate. And, increasingly, concentrate. It’s only partly as a result of government policies to promote that. It’s more because of the millions of individual decisions to live and work where it’s enjoyable and advantageous to live and work. Complaining about it is pointless. You might as well complain about snow falling in the winter. It’s going to happen.

  • Glen Danzig

    Right on Manda! Too many robots living in Arlington.

  • Max R.

    WOW!! I had no idea that there was this kind of “class-warefare” happening in Arlington generally or the Columbia Pike corridor specifically!!! For what it’s worth, I’m excited about the revitalization of “The Pike” and all the benefits that come along with it. Regarding this specific article, I’m sure Eamonn’s will be great and I expect to be a regular customer. If it doesn’t sound like your kind of place, that’s cool, but why bash a place that hasn’t even opened?!

    To Todd Thrasher: Try not to let the negative hate mongers get to you. Whenever these kinds of people rear their heads I always remind myself, “Why would I care about the opinions of people that I don’t respect?”

  • Glen Danzig

    Respect? That went out the window a long time ago in Arlington.

  • Gabby

    Geez…Chill out people. I think some of you could use a nice cocktail right about now.

    As a 10-year Piker, I’m happy to see this place open. It’s a locally owned, proven establishment that just adds to the great diversification we’re getting. We’ve got our higher-end (think “new Pike-ish”) establishments — Twisted Vines, P. Brennan’s, 54, Lost Dog, etc. If you’re not into that, we have B&E’s, Sangram, LA Grill, plenty of Latino places, Broiler, Atilla’s, Pedro’s, etc.

    Notice every place I mentioned is locally owned. That’s the best part.

    • JohnB

      Agreed. It’s better than a TGIFriday’s surrounded by a parking lot that you have to drive 15 minutes to get to like they have out in Fairfax.

    • FrenchyB

      Don’t forget Abi’s – great pupusas.

  • Brittany

    Why are people b*tching about upgrading the area? if you dont like it, move!

  • Erick

    Everyone chill!….for now at least……..The pike will not be officially sold out until the Cheesecake Factory moves in……When that happens then you can bitch…that will be the defining “jump the shark” moment when we can all lament……hopefully that won’t happen any time soon….

  • Glen Danzig

    When we have nothing left to give
    There will be no reason for us to live
    But when we have nothing left to lose
    You will have nothing left to use
    We owe you nothing you have no control
    Merchandise keeps us in line
    Common sense says it’s by design
    What could a businessman ever want more
    than to have us sucking in his store
    We owe you nothing
    You have no control
    You are not what you own

    Fugazi – Merchandise

    • JohnB

      That’s deep (sarcasm).

  • Travis

    Wow, lamenting the fact that a nice restaurant is coming to your area? Just don’t get it.

    As a person who just bought a house off the pike, I’m thrilled there are new options for eating and drinking within walking distance, this is the reason I chose to live in an urban environment!

    Also, as a side note, I’ve experienced Mr. Thrashers work at PX in Alexandria and its something special, dont knock it till you’ve tried it.


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