Midwesterners find a Slice of Home at Ivy and Coney

Business Briefs

Ivy and Coney co-owner Josh Saltzman. Photo: Alexander Padro, Courtesy Shaw Main Streets.

If you aren’t from Chicago or Detroit, you won’t immediately “get” the name of Shaw’s best-known dive/sports bar, Ivy and Coney (1537 7th St NW, second floor), a tribute to the two cities. “Ivy” stands for the vines on Wrigley Field’s center field fence and represents the Windy City. “Coneys” are Coney Island-style hot dogs, which are popular in Motown.

Co-owner Josh Saltzman opened Ivy and Coney in 2014. After relocating to the District from Chicago, Saltzman and his business partner Chris Powers, from the Detroit area, said they missed the “corner bar culture” of the Midwest and wanted to open a classic neighborhood bar that reminded them of home.

“It’s the most self-serving bar that has ever been opened,” Saltzman said with a chuckle. “It resonated with lots of other people looking for the same experience—a place to enjoy Midwestern-inspired fare and watch favorite sports teams play.”

The menu is comprised of Chicago and Detroit favorites, including Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches, Detroit style pizza and Lafayette-style Coney dogs. Per Saltzman, their “no frills” approach continues on the drink menu, which does not include cocktails, but does include Chicago’s notoriously bitter Malört, a selection of Midwestern style beers and local options. The bar features a covered deck with a retractable roof.

Saltzman is grateful for the community’s support. “It was pretty immediate when we opened; we were immediately busy,” Saltzman explained. “It’s been a lot of fun just getting to know people throughout the years.”

He said the bar has “two personalities. From Sunday through Wednesday, it’s a classic local neighborhood hangout. Thursday through Saturday, the crowd skews younger, toward the “20-somethings.”

But Ivy and Coney’s big nights are when the University of Michigan plays. “For the Michigan games, it’s nuts,” Saltzman said. “If you’re not watching the Michigan game, don’t be there during the Michigan game. It’s on every TV and every single person there is going to be in maize and blue.”

Ivy and Coney is open Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday, 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., Saturday, 12 p.m. to 3 a.m. and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. Visit ivyandconey.com for more details.