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Clarendon’s The Spirits of ’76 to Open in the ‘Next Few Weeks’

A new bar steeped in Americana and rustic patriotism is slated to open soon in Clarendon.

The Spirits of ’76 will open its doors at 3211 Washington Blvd over the “next few weeks,” according to owner Patrick Doody. George Kennedy, former general manager at Georgetown’s former Rhino Bar, is partnering with Doody to open the bar.

When the hangout finally opens, it will be a “small, intimate, cozy neighborhood bar” that specializes in whiskey and American comfort food like Maryland crab cakes and meatloaf, Doody said.

“We’re going to be heavy on bourbons and ryes. Definitely feature your old fashioneds and your manhattans,” Doody added. “All of your well-known and well-liked American standard cocktails will be made at the bar.”

Though the patriotic bar will be decked out in stained wood, exposed brick and a big American flag, Doody also plans to hang photos of Johnny Cash, JFK and Elvis Presley on the walls.

“In the bar, the decor will be presidential,” he explained. “A lot of Americana pop culture, as well.”

Doody, a veteran of next-door O’Sullivan’s, said he hopes The Spirits of ’76 can become a place where Clarendon residents will gather on a regular basis.

To achieve that goal, Doody said he’ll book local musicians and partner with local organizations. He’ll also pour drinks behind the bar and manage the business most days of the week.

“I believe in the neighborhood,” Doody said. “I’m trying to break the trend of smaller local places that have been shutting their doors.”

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