Vermillion is an undiscovered hot spot — apparently opened two years ago but totally new to me — just down the block from other Capitol Hill bars Barca and Grey Gallery. In fact on the surface it’s similar to Grey Gallery in that each is styled to be an art gallery and bar/restaurant. Though on all of my visits to GG I felt like they missed the mark. A rotating selection of art all around but too stark to be somewhere I wanted to hang out for any period of time.
At Vermillion, on the other hand, you walk right into the gallery but there is no dining or drinking to be had in that space. But keep going, and you’re rewarded with a nicely dim, high-ceilinged, exposed brick hideaway. The jukebox is loaded with old school blues and R&B, and the ceiling-height horizontal wine racks are part storage and a larger part décor. Chalkboard menu, (faux?) fireplace, bar-top Darth Vader head and two ancient Macs on the shelves behind the bar complete the interior. Nothing stunning, I suppose, and I didn’t try enough of the food to figure out if that’s what I’ll be coming back for, but I’ll definitely be coming back.
I love that it wasn’t overrun in the way of other places I walked by on a recent typically busy Thursday night. Nothing like finding a hidden gem in bar-crowded Capitol Hill.
[Photo courtesy of Tamara Childress]