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The West End Will Soon Have a Cuban Rum Bar and Cerveza Garden


by Tierney Plumb  Jul 22, 2019


Cuban murals by Nicolette Capuano will line the walls at Casta’s Casta’s [official photo]

A local hospitality entrepreneur and a Cuban cigar maker are teaming up to open a new rum bar and cerveza garden in the West End before the end of the summer.

Casta’s is expected to debut by early August at 1121 New Hampshire Avenue NW.

The indoor-outdoor venture comes from Vinoda Basnayake, the nightlife guru behind a newly formed hospitality firm called Versus, which operates Shaw cocktail spot Morris American Bar and underground lounge Heist in Dupont Circle. Arian Castañeda, the Cuban-born owner of Castañeda Cigars, is partnering on the project.

An in-the-works menu calls for Cubano sandwiches and yuca fries alongside rum-heavy cocktails like pina coladas and mojitos.

Versus beverage director Doug Fisher will spearhead the cocktail program. At Morris, his seasonal drinks menu currently includes a Caribbean mule and a Coconut Conference made with rye, bourbon, apple brandy, cognac, coconut, and bitters.

D.C.’s existing lineup of Cuban options includes the classic Mi Cuba Cafe in Columbia Heights, Little Havana nearby, and Colada Shop (Sterling, Logan Circle), which is expanding with another locationat the Wharf this fall.

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