Boundary Stone, Bloomingdale

Earlier this week, I met an old friend for drinks, and given that it was a Monday, our options were limited. We started checking off places, “Just went,” “Nah,” “Closed,” etc., and then Boundary Stone was presented to me as an option.


On an icy-cold Monday, when I froze trying to find the place despite getting a great parking space, my friend had come early and snagged a couple seats at the end of the bar. Interestingly, she’d met a husband and wife who are just about to start an independent coffee roasting company here in DC – I’ll find out some more information about this when I can.

I was adequately warned that Boundary Stone isn’t a threat to win any culinary awards, but, especially given the frigid, windy weather outside, I was there for one reason and one reason only: whiskey.

They had a Willet single-barrel selection advertised on the chalkboard for $9, and I ordered it, and drained them dry – there wasn’t even a full pour left, so my (fantastic) bartender gave me a break on the price.

Wondering what to order next, he told me that Boundary Stone had recently bought an entire barrel from Woodford – 180 bottles worth which were stored in six-pack cases on top of their bar. A little worried about the price, my mind was put at ease when I found out it, too, was $9. (Incidentally, there’s a City Paper article about this here.)

I’m not necessarily the biggest Woodford fan there is, but since they hand-selected their own barrel (and these guys are serious about whiskey), I was comfortable ordering a glass. And a second. And a third. While I tend to steer towards the rye end of the spectrum, at one point I unselfishly said to the bartender, “I have to support my friends,” while selfishly enjoying this smooth, ample, fine Bourbon. One of the glasses was comped.

A little problem became a bigger problem, as I hadn’t eaten all day. The people next to us had ordered several things, one of which was Boundary Stone’s Chili Cheese Half Smoke ($12), the half-smoke itself made by our own 13th Street Meats, and topped with house-made chili and aged Vermont cheddar. Doesn’t this sound like a great sandwich? Well, it was pretty darned good, in a slutty sort of way, and came with a mound of fries. I knew this wasn’t going to be enough food for me, so I ordered a second one, hold the fries – I didn’t get a discount, but I did get offered a substitute (which I politely declined – at this point, I was in chili-dog scarfing mode, and I wasn’t about to let a salad stand in my way).

Okay, Boundary Stone serves not much more than good quality pub grub, but as a bar? Especially as a neighborhood whiskey and beer bar? It’s everything you could possibly ask for. And it’s for this reason that I’m raising Boundary Stone to Italic in the Dining Guide. This is a great local tavern.

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