Let’s take a peek inside Morris American Bar, a new cocktail bar located in the heart of Shaw. Naturally, I was excited to try the spot for a few reasons: my last name is Morris, it’s a new bar in Shaw, and the décor looked highly instagrammable.
I have an affinity for sky blue—having Argentina and Chapel Hill in my blood, as well as a love of all things playful and retro. So, I was utterly charmed by the space, which is a whimsical, floral blue-and-white space that’s reminiscent of a ‘50s era Mad Men kitchen. It comes as no surprise that the space was designed by Maggie O’Neill, local female artist, entrepreneur, and co-founder of Swatchroom, a design + build company behind many popular restaurants.
Is this Seat Taken?
Sadly, the bar is not named for yours truly, but for Morris Sheppard, a U.S. Congressman considered the father of Prohibition in the early 1930s. The bar comes from the owners of the Sheppard, who clearly struggled with something creative to name their second bar.
David Strauss is the owner and bartender behind both concepts—he was previously at Founding Farmers and Mini Bar. David was on-hand when we visited, and could not have been more amenable.
The cocktails are crafted by hand right in front of you—and they’re damn delicious. We both loved the R.B.F, a Rye cocktail crafted with Amaro Abano, Maraschino Absinthe, lemon and grapefruit. The Winter was a crispy & cool tropical beverage that makes you want to escape winter to a Jamiacan beach. Served in a high ball, this cocktail was made with Jamaican rum, All Spice Dram, lime, ginger, and soda—it was simple yet beautifully executed.
The only downside? Right now, Morris is just a bar—no food to be found. But, there were some complimentary warm, salted nuts placed on the bar in front of us. Just in the nick of time, too, we were getting mighty tipsy from all those cocktails.
Morris is the perfect place to go for cocktails with your girlfriends—the space is absolutely adorable. It’s also cozy enough for after dinner drinks with your boyfriend—and a great choice for a date.
Morris American Bar
1020 7th St., N.W.
Morris is open Monday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to midnight;, Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 2 am.