“I realized this important bit about drinking: It has done more for humanity than we often realize, from the origins of agriculture to its role in spiritual and religious ceremonies.”

Derek Brown for Liquor.com's Raising the Bar: Derek Brown.

"Drinks are a conversation with the world - they're about history, nature and people - and all of the things in a cocktail harken back to who we are." 

Derek Brown for Imbibe Magazine's 2015 Bartender of the Year Feature.


Our Vision



We believe authentic culinary products and experiences, including drinks and drinking, are defined by their relationship to the culture and environment where they are made or consumed. They must mean something to their producers and consumers and exhibit characteristics of where they are from. We are storytellers at heart and believe these are the stories worth telling.


We help people discover authentic culinary products and experiences by bringing them to our bars, sharing their stories in the media and even by crafting the products ourselves. We believe that the story of homo ludens (humans as drinkers) is ongoing and that it is our pleasure to be part of it 


We educate people about the need to preserve and share authentic culinary products, practices and producers and how they weave into the framework of our social life and cultural heritage. We want to be advocates for the good life, reminding people that these products and experiences are not superfluous to life. They are often what make life worth living.


Our Mission



We create unique spaces that highlight our vision, offering the highest level of service and hospitality.


We empower our staff and guests with knowledge by telling the stories of the provenance, people and places behind authentic culinary products and experiences.


We create great drinks and food using both traditional and modern techniques, ushering in a new generation of authentic culinary product and experiences.


" I drink for a living."

Derek Brown for The Atlantic Monthly's A Conversation with Derek Brown.




Derek Brown

Derek Brown is a cocktail and spirits writer, spirits judge and owner of acclaimed bars Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich, Southern Efficiency, and the twice James Beard Award-nominated Columbia Room. In the spring of 2015 he was named Chief Spirits Advisor for the National Archives in conjunction with their Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History exhibit. He travels the world learning and teaching about how drinking is an integral part of our culture and values.

While he’s made drinks at the White House, been featured in the Wall Street Journal, drank with Martha Stewart, was recently named Imbibe Magazine's 2015 Bartender of the Year, and was nominated for a James Beard Award among his many accolades, Derek will tell you that his simple greatest pleasure is introducing others to that great Manzanilla Pasada he had eating seafood ocean-side in San Lúcar de Barrameda, or the small production XO Cognac he drank while taking a barge down the Charente with friends.

You can read his articles in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and Entrepreneur magazine, among many other publications; visit his bars in Washington, D.C. and join him in his quest for better drinking by enjoying his favorite dram, a good whiskey.



Angie Salame

Edie Burns
Operations Director


JP Fetherston
Global Trainer



Staff & Associates

Andy Clark
Executive Chef

Kelly Follmer
Operations Manager

Lauren Paylor
Assistant Manager

Paul Taylor
Senior Bar Manager

Eric Hodge
Head of Research and Development

Éamonn Fetherston
Communications and Special Projects Coordinator

Chelsea Heltai
Education Specialist

Travis Croxton
Partner / Oysterman
(Eat the Rich and Southern Efficiency)


"These are things I love, and I had the opportunity - I think any passionate bartender would do the same."

Derek Brown for Imbibe Magazine's 2015 Bartender of the Year Feature.


Mockingbird Hill

Mockingbird Hill is a Sherry and ham bar featuring the fortified wines of Jerez, Spain. These wines, that boast a history of over 3,000 years, range from bone-dry to richly-sweet and are among the best food pairing wines in the world.

They were also the first wines to reach the New World and were once popular in American drinks.



Southern Efficiency specializes in the breadth of Southern whiskey and off the beaten path Southern recipes.

The drink menu consists of a small but eclectic group of whiskies ranging the gamut from traditional Bourbons to whiskey from craft distillers, and a whiskey-focused cocktail menu that includes classic cocktails alongside cocktails on tap.


Eat the Rich

Featuring both local oysters from the Rappahannock River Oyster Company and a Chesapeake Bay-centric menu, Eat the Rich is a tribute to the great oyster houses of Washington, D.C. and Mid-atlantic cuisine. We also serve pitcher cocktails and oyster shooters alongside a playlist of rock--the place is named after a Mötorhead song after all.



Columbia Room

Columbia Room is an award-winning cocktail bar serving classic cocktails and small plates.

Our bartenders offer an intimate experience with the highest level of service and attention to detail. We believe, as cocktail aficionado David Embury once wrote, “a cocktail should stimulate the mind as well as the appetite.”