Restaurants + Bars

Columbia Room

Washington, DC

Client Profile

Streetsense partnered with renowned mixologist Derek Brown to create the second generation of the Columbia Room, a nationally acclaimed cocktail bar that originated in a storage room.

Project Scope

After the Columbia Room’s original location closed in 2014, founder Derek Brown turned to Streetsense to redesign the cocktail bar in its bigger and better-than-ever location in historic Blagden Alley. It was important to Brown that the Columbia Room showcase the cocktail and have an environment atypical from standard bars. To achieve this, Streetsense carried over a distinctive feature from the original Columbia Room — the bar is set down a foot from the rest of the room, putting guests in more comfortable dining chairs and creating a more intimate experience.

To evoke a sense of excitement upon entering the bar, guests are led through several distinct spaces – starting with the outdoor, airy Punch Garden adorned with twinkling lights. Guests are then invited into the Spirits Library, paying homage to the history of the cocktail, where drinks are served à la carte. Beyond the Spirits Library is the Tasting Room, eponymous with the bar itself. Here, a walnut burl bar top is an altar for cocktails, curving gently to allow large parties to see each other as they look down the bar. The compelling focal piece is an intricate glass tile mural inspired by northern European engravings depicting alchemy – envisioned by Brown as the original mixology. Rich in imagery and allegory, The Columbia Room creates a backdrop unlike any other bar.


  • Concept Visioning
  • Construction Documentation
  • Contract Administration
  • Design Development
  • FF&E
  • Schematic Design