Last night, Tony Hudgins and his crew welcomed a few VIP’s to celebrate its recent opening in style. However, you’re not going to find a framed Ovi jersey on the wall here — The Gryphon is challenging your typical DC sports bar to step up its game. This gorgeous new spot, with its leather club chairs, animal skulls on the walls, and unique antler chandeliers makes for an atmosphere more polished than your average sports bar. At The Gryphon, you can enjoy watching The Masters, March Madness, or a Nats game on any one of their 31 flat screen TVs while sipping a cocktail served up by one of their excessively attractive bartenders. That said, in an environment like this doing anything but slowly sipping a scotch on the rocks seems out of place. If smoking cigars inside were legal, you’d do it here.
If perhaps you’ve moved on from fried chicken fingers and a plastic ramekin full of ranch as your go-to bar snack, try Executive Chef Joeseph Evans’ Korean short rib tacos with Siracha mayo or crispy fried oysters with a hot-maple sauce. My favorite treat of the night, however, were the short ribs and grits. If there weren’t so many people there I would have kindly requested the waiter seat me in a dark corner and leave the tray.
The name—The Gryphon—is apropos. A half-bird/half-lion type of an establishment, this place somehow combined ‘upscale gastropub’ and ‘sports bar’ perfectly. If you and your gang decide you want to watch the game like you were in a Ciroc commercial, this is the spot.