A Shaw neighborhood favorite, Jake’s Tavern (1606 7th St NW) features classic pub food and drinks seven days a week. Co-owner Todd Ciuba always bartended and worked in restaurants through college. While working as PGA tour agent after graduating from Catholic University, he and a chef started a food truck together.
When Ciuba, who also co-owns Black Whiskey in Logan Circle, and his wife saw what is now the location of Jake’s Tavern, they knew it would be “a great spot for a neighborhood bar” and named it after their son, Jake. Jake’s opened in 2019.
“The inspiration was to create a place that people can make their own, have a good meal and an honest drink, meet with friends or make new ones,” Ciuba said. “I’m proud to say it’s turned into our area of Shaw’s neighborhood bar.”
Beverage-wise, Jake’s offers 12 beers on tap, a variety of wines, and house-crafted cocktails. The food focus is elevated comfort food and the menu features many classic bar items including burgers, chicken sandwiches and wings and loaded fries. The house-made tacos are “arguably the best” in DC, he said.
“Our tacos are a hidden gem on our menu,” Ciuba explained. “We feature them every day, but we also have them on special for the obligatory ‘Taco Tuesday.’ We have five or six varieties of very authentic tacos. All the shells are handmade corn tortillas made on site, grilled and served fresh.”
According to Ciuba, the community response has been very positive, and the restaurant has many regulars.
“People have met their boyfriends and girlfriends here and now they’re coming back and wanting to do a wedding reception here, and that’s really exciting. It’s become part of the fabric of the neighborhood, which is both established and growing at the same time.”
The blue and white nautical themed bar also features a back patio with a boat that serves as a bar. Ciuba is planning to open the second floor of the restaurant in 2023 as an event and overflow space.
Jake’s Tavern is open Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday, 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Visit jakestaverndc.com for information on weekly events and specials.