That’s the Spirit: Christmas Festivities in Downtown DC

What better place to celebrate the Christmas season than in our nation’s capital?

Downtown DC is bursting with holiday spirit throughout December. With so many of these Christmas sights and festivities within walking distance of Farmers & Distillers, we would love to be your home base for food and drink, and periodic respite, as you explore all of the holiday wonder that downtown DC has to offer.

A sampling of Christmas in the capital – all within a mile or so from Farmers & Distillers – to help get you planning your next few weeks and weekends:

National Treasures Brimming with Christmas Spirit

  • Don’t miss the National Christmas Tree! Walk over to President’s Park on the White House Ellipse where you & yours will not only find the National Christmas Tree, but also trees decorated with handmade ornaments from 56 of our U.S. states and territories. With nightly musical performances, this free, awe-inspiring holiday wonder is open daily from 10am-10pm throughout the holiday season, with the tree lit from 4:30pm-10pm.
  • Deck the halls while visiting the Library of Congress where a beautiful Christmas tree awaits in the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building. Throughout December, open Mon-Sat from 8:30am-4:30pm, visitors from around the globe flock to this landmark, which is decked out for the holidays.
  • From the giant lit wreaths that greet you to the decorated shops and the holiday model train display to the Norwegian Christmas tree, Union Station is a holiday festival destination for travelers and DC residents alike.
  • Visit the U.S. Botanic Garden to get your fill of holiday exhibits such as their holiday-inspired model train and showcase of poinsettias, as well as holiday concerts that fill the air with cheer. Open now through January 1st daily from 10am-5pm.

A Winter Wonderland & Great Shopping

  • Want to find plenty to explore and get some holiday shopping done? Head on over to 10th & H St NW where you’ll find the CityCenterDC in full holiday form. Look up as you walk Palmer Alley to discover the magical Dream Closet Installation of 400 holiday ornaments suspended from above. On display through February 28th. And from December 7th-9th, don’t miss the Winter in Washingtonice exhibit, featuring some of DC’s most iconic monuments whittled from 50,000 pounds of ice. It is as amazing as it sounds. CityCenterDC also has great holiday shopping.
  • Unique, downtown DC Christmas shopping at its best is, of course, the 14th Annual Downtown Holiday Market. Shop local from 150-featured regional artisans and craftsmen and their jewelry, pottery, paintings, and textiles. Find something special for everyone on your Christmas list at this DC holiday market located on F Street between 7th & 9th Streets, NW, in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery. Open daily from noon-8pm through Sunday, December 23rd.

Downtown DC Holiday Fun: Dance, Music & Theater

  • Not one but two holiday shows are heading to DC’s Capital One Arena this month. The HOT 99.5 Jingle Ball concert hosts Shawn Mendes, The Chainsmokers, G-Eazy, Meghan Trainor, and more. And a rock opera festival of sounds for the ages, Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s The Ghosts of Christmas Eve makes its way back to DC this year, much to the delight of many.
  • Ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future abound at DC’s historic Ford’s Theatre annual presentation of A Christmas Carol. Now through December 30th, your & yours will be dazzled by this holiday production of Dickens’s Yuletide classic starring acclaimed actor Craig Wallace as Ebenezer Scrooge.
  • For the perfect DC December night, don’t miss The Washington Ballet’s famous The Nutcracker, showing now through December 28th at the Warner Theater.

 Visit us at Farmers & Distillers as you take in all of these spirited Christmas events and sights in downtown DC. We are centrally located on Massachusetts Ave. in downtown DC’s Mt Vernon Square neighborhood, just a hop, skip, and a holiday jump near some of the best Christmas fun DC has to offer. As always, a reservation is recommended.

A Perfect DC December Night

Enjoying The Washington Ballet’s spectacular performance of The Nutcracker is a great way to add a little more Christmas spirit to this year’s holiday season. For many Washington, D.C. area residents and visitors, it is an important annual tradition.

Farmers & Distillers is a short distance away from the historic downtown Warner Theater that now hosts what has become DC’s most celebrated local ballet performance. Joining us for a bite before the show is a great way to extend your holiday fun. Or, perhaps even better, stopping by afterwards for a drink, dessert, and some time to talk about this amazing, classic storytelling, and DC-centric dance performance, may make for a perfect DC December night.

At Farmers & Distillers, our inspiration has always been George Washington. Evident across our restaurant, from our menu to our art, our love for our first president and all of our founding fathers and farmers is relevant to us every day, but it is also a great connection to this iconic, DC version of The Nutcracker.

While The Washington Ballet has been performing The Nutcracker for decades, in 2004, the company premiered a new, all-American version by then Artistic Director Septime Webre, designed just for Washington, D.C. The audience is transported back in time to a Georgetown mansion where party guests include Frederick Douglass, John Paul Jones, Harriet Tubman, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, with General Washington as the heroic Nutcracker.

And where better to extend your DC holiday celebrations with this particular take on The Nutcracker other than Farmers & Distillers?

We hope you will join us. Please be aware reservations are recommended, but not required. Tickets to this unique take on a holiday classic, DC’s very own The Nutcracker, are available online.

 

 

Ho Ho Ho! Holiday Shopping & Celebrating in DC

The holiday season is well underway, and there is great news for holiday shoppers. Downtown DC has some of the best Christmas shopping in the entire DMV. DC’s Downtown Holiday Market was named one of the 20 Best Christmas Markets in the U.S. by TravelMag.

And guess what? This renowned annual market is only a short walk from Farmers & Distillers. It’s hard to beat a fun-filled, festive holiday shopping spree followed by tasty holiday cocktails and a scratch-made meal.

Shop local this year and pick up many unique holiday gifts from the 14th Annual Downtown Holiday Market. Hundreds of distinctive holiday gift items including jewelry, pottery, paintings, and textiles will be offered by more than 150 regional artisans, crafters, and boutique businesses of ethnically produced goods. You’re sure to find a special gift for everyone on your Christmas list.

Located on the F Street sidewalk in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery between 7th & 9th Streets, NW, this unique shopping village is open every day from 12-8 through Sunday, December 23rd.

Explore the market, check off some boxes on your holiday list, and then come celebrate at Farmers & Distillers. You can check off one last holiday gift here with us too. Our Founding Spirits gift boxes are available for purchase throughout the holidays. We are open every day throughout this year’s holiday season.

Ho ho ho!

Food Fight To Support DC’s Central Kitchen

On Thursday night, our Farmers & Distillers culinary team joined chefs from across the DMV for DC Central Kitchen’s 15th Annual Capital Food Fight.

Our very own Chef Richard and Chef Eric served our famous Ahi Tuna Bites to the delight of guests attending this festive, annual fundraiser at the Anthem. With many other food choices, including other takes on tuna, guests kept coming back to our table and telling us that we were their favorite.

Capital Food Fight, founded and chaired by renowned Chef José Andrés, is DC Central Kitchen’s signature fundraising event. The event draws over 1,000 guests to taste offerings from over 80 of DC’s best restaurants, while watching four local top chefs compete in a live, onstage battle hosted and judged by the biggest names in the culinary world. In addition to Andrés, Spike Mendelsohn of Good Stuff Eatery, Washington Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman, Food Network’s Tregaye Fraser, and Tom Colicchio, of Top Chef fame and Executive Producer of the documentary, A Place at the Table, were among the judges.

Farmers & Distillers also participated in the fundraiser last year. In addition, Farmers Restaurant Group regularly delivers food supplies to DC Central Kitchen direct from our farmer owners, the North Dakota Farmers Union.

Celebrate DC Cocktail Week With Us

Each year, our team awaits DC Cocktail Week. Sure, it’s a great chance for us to gather guests around our bar for a special, weeklong event, but we also get to celebrate the talents of our team and share this event with the more than 60 other participating local bar and beverage teams from across DC’s dynamic restaurant and bar scene.

From Monday, November 12th through Sunday, November 18th, we invite you to come by Farmers & Distillers to see what our team has crafted especially for you.

A week of handcrafted cocktails perfectly paired with small bites. We start with our scratch-made, Savory Beignet and pair it with our The American cocktail, a modern take on traditional Irish Coffee. Served hot or cold, this specially crafted cocktail features our very own, pot-stilled and barrel-aged Founding Spirits American Whiskey with an amaro cream finish. Find this pairing only at Farmers & Distillers for just $15.

Gather your friends and family for a great pre-holiday event and celebrate DC Cocktail Week with our team at Farmers & Distillers. Come to the bar and stay for dinner. We won’t disappoint. We always recommend reservations if possible.

One of DC’s Best Joins Trash Summit on Plastic Pollution

A small team from across our company took a day away from our offices and award-winning restaurants to join other local policy makers, business leaders, advocates, and community members to participate in an all-day, annual Trash Summit at George Mason University.

Led by the Alice Ferguson Foundation, this year’s focus was seeking “Business Solutions for Plastic Pollution.” Co-owner Dan Simons was part of the opening panel, moderated by Michael Berger of Elevation Burger, and discussed the ins and outs of operating a sustainable restaurant company for over 10 years.

Tweets from @aliceferguson throughout the day pointed to the lively and informative conversations, including Dan’s discussion on “the delicate relationship between mission and profit,” which creates opportunities such as “the responsibility and gift of educating customers on going straw-free.”

As DC’s Best New American Restaurant, we work hard to not only serve scratch-made, delicious food and drink, but also to preserve the beauty and health of our great city, which includes helping to educate our neighbors on everything we know (and do) to operate more sustainably.

Our Last Straw, the non-profit we launched over the summer, hosted an information table to share more about our efforts to build a coalition of restaurants and other hospitality-oriented businesses, local government agencies, NGOs, and community members to eliminate plastic drinking straws throughout the DC region.

“Even though small, plastic straws contribute to the plastic problem across the world,” said Dan Simons. “We see straws as an important gateway to eliminating other single-use plastics and an important part of our sustainability efforts, both within the walls of our restaurants and far beyond.”

Erin Chalkley, our Construction & Development Project Manager and LEED Green Associate, who helps us build and manage our waste systems, including running regular waste audits, also led two roundtables on waste reduction in restaurants.

Participants expressed considerable interest in what we’ve learned in more than a decade of running sustainable restaurants, which are LEED certified and have earned 3 Star Green Restaurant Association certifications, as well as additional accolades, such as our most recent Near-Zero Waste Award, one of two recent GRA award wins.

This all-day meeting created much opportunity for continued learning for our team. We are grateful to the Alice Ferguson Foundation for a lively and informative day of education, networking, and outreach. We are looking forward to a productive future working closely with their Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative, including participating in this annual Trash Summit.

Joining DC’s Biggest Annual Tennis Competition

Farmers & Distillers is joining DC tennis fans at the city’s annual Citi Open next week.

This year’s Citi Open includes a special 50th Anniversary Kickoff party on Friday, July 27th from 7pm-10pm at the Rock Creek Tennis Center, where we will be serving one of our guest favorites, FF’s Glazed Bacon Lollis. Our Founding Spirits team will be mixing up our Farmer Jon cocktail. Tickets for the kickoff party are available here.

Founding Spirits is the spirit sponsor throughout the weeklong competition, from Saturday, July 28th– Sunday, August 5th, where we will be mixing up our specialty cocktail, the Founding Spirits Mule (mint, ginger, lime, FS Vodka), as well as other cocktails made with Founding Spirits Vodka, Founding Spirits American Whiskey, and Founding Farmers Rye Whisky.

Expert mixologists from Farmers & Distillers are also hosting a special tailgate mixology contest on Friday, August 3, from 6:30pm-9pm. Striving for the best classic Tom Collins, Farmers & Distillers will be competing with bartending friends at Service Bar, The Salt Line, Colada Shop, Archipelago, and Copycat Co.

Tickets for the competition or any of the special events are available here.

The Citi Open, formerly known as the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, has been part of summertime in DC since 1969. Each year, proceeds benefit the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation, which works to improve the lives of DC-area youth, particularly those from lower-income communities, through educational and community-based activities, including tennis. Farmers & Distillers also participated in the kickoff event last year.

Cool Down Your All-Star FanFest Fever at Farmers & Distillers

Great news for everyone heading to Geico’s All-Star FanFest, aka MLB FanFest, starting Friday, July 13th: Farmers & Distillers is within walking distance of the DC Convention Center and a five-minute Uber ride from Nationals Park.

So, come on by. Whether you need breakfast near the convention center, dinner after your MLB Fanfest workout drills, a cool lunch near Nationals Park, a feast of a delicious buffet brunch before the Sunday SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game or the Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, or you just want to swing by and grab a hot cup of our First Bake Blend Compass Coffee with Chef Joe’s house-made special MLB FanFest Donut.

For all of those choices and more, at Farmers & Distillers, we want to be your go-to All-Star FanFest restaurant of choice. And your go-to Nationals Park restaurant of choice.

Why? Because we are super convenient to all of the All-Star FanFest festivities. We are open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend buffet brunch. We have so many menu choices to accommodate friends and families, and even those pickiest of kid eaters. We also have great scratch-made sodas and craft cocktails that make almost everyone happy.

Join us. See if you agree. If possible, we recommend making a reservation.

Walking to the DC Convention Center for The RAMMY Awards Gala

It was a big night for DC’s hospitality industry last night with the annual RAMMY Awards Gala. Our family of restaurants team were delighted to walk a block down the street from Farmers & Distillers to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and join our area’s fashionable restaurant industry foodies, about 2,400 of them, to celebrate the city’s big winners.

We brought along our Founding Spirits team to mix some of DC’s favorite cocktails, including our Cucumber Delight, a light and refreshing mix of our award-winning Founding Spirits Vodka and ginger liqueur, cucumber, cantaloupe, and lemon. As one of our most popular cocktails, also served at Founding Farmers, our Cucumber Delight has quite a fan club. It was the perfect craft cocktail to add to the evening’s celebrations.

In addition, this year’s festivities also included two important no’s for the hospitality industry: single-use plastic straws and Initiative #77. Our parent company, Farmers Restaurant Group, continues to support our employees working to save tips and vote no on Initiative #77.

We have also just launched a campaign to eliminate single-use plastic straws across the DMV. Our Last Straw is seeking partners in the local restaurant and hospitality industry to commit to stop serving plastic straws and make the switch to paper or to no straw at all when the beverage doesn’t need it. We are also seeking personal pledges to #StopSucking and join the movement to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics.

Kathy Hollinger, President & CEO of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, announced the efforts of Our Last Straw, saying we all need to work together to 86 plastic straws starting now, which meant that no plastic straws were used at the gala. She also encouraged restaurants and individuals to take action by joining the Our Last Straw coalition.

What’s A ZooFari?

Last night, Farmers & Distillers joined nearly 100 of the top DC area restaurants and vintners for a premier culinary event in a very unusual setting: the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. In the wild habitats of so many of our favorite resident animals, guests were wined and dined at an unforgettable fundraiser to support our zoo and all of its amazing species.

ZooFari included exotic animal encounters, food sculptors, and a silent auction featuring exclusive paintings made by DC’s famous panda family Mei Xiang, Tian Tian, and Bei Bei. Guests were given after-hours access to the Small Mammal House and the Reptile Discovery Center. In addition to the growls of lions and the calls of orangutans, the evening included live entertainment from the chef that rocks, DJ Chef—champion of the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen— and renowned dance band DC Fusion, as well as classically trained violinist Ben Hoyt.

Part of the ZooFari experience included food and beverage tastings from top DC culinarians. Our Farmers & Distillers team was on hand, hanging with the animals and the animal lovers, while serving one of our house favorites, Crunchy Ahi Tuna Bites. It was a roaring good time.