Roofers Union Reborn: A New Chapter for the Iconic Adams Morgan Destination

When Roofers Union, the beloved multi-level bar and restaurant on 18th Street Northwest in the vibrant Adams Morgan neighborhood, shuttered its doors last November, the proprietors of nearby Code Red saw an opportunity. Nik Namdar and Natalia Alexander, the dynamic duo behind Code Red, quickly seized the chance to breathe new life into this iconic establishment.

A Seamless Transition: Preserving the Essence

Recognizing the potential of acquiring a turnkey operation, the Code Red team strategically purchased all the furniture, fixtures, and secured a 15-year lease for the space. Within just two months, they reopened the doors, maintaining the essence of Roofers Union while introducing a fresh perspective.

Namdar and Alexander undertook a thoughtful revitalization process, including a fresh coat of paint, a state-of-the-art sound system, and a new stage on the main floor. Their goal was to strike a balance between preserving the beloved elements of the original establishment and introducing new, exciting features to keep things interesting.

Elevating the Dining Experience

One of the key priorities for the new owners was to elevate the dining experience. They brought on board Executive Chef Jose Molina, who also oversees the kitchen at Namdar’s acclaimed New Heights restaurant in the charming Woodley Park neighborhood, recently added to the prestigious D.C. Michelin Guide.

While maintaining the American-style cuisine that Roofers Union was known for, the menu has been completely revamped, showcasing Molina’s culinary prowess and commitment to quality. Namdar emphasized their passion for stepping up the game when it comes to food, drinks, and exceptional service, drawing inspiration from their partners’ backgrounds in the hospitality industry.

Crafting Cocktail Experiences

The first level of Roofers Union, formerly known as the Agave Room, has undergone a transformation into a “Cocktail Lab.” This intimate space now serves as a playground for mixology, featuring a diverse range of meticulously crafted cocktails that transcend the traditional tequila and mezcal offerings.

“Given the intimate nature of the space, we’re really focusing on creating an experimental and hands-on experience, with a bit of flair thrown in,” Namdar explained. “Our goal is for everyone who visits Level 1 to walk away with a newfound appreciation for the creativity and craftsmanship behind each unique beverage.”

Preserving Local Music and Entertainment

Recognizing the significance of Roofers Union as a venue for local cover bands, the new owners have embraced this legacy. Twice a week, the main floor comes alive with the sounds of live late-night cover bands, providing a stage for talented musicians and ensuring that the spirit of live entertainment remains a cornerstone of the establishment.

A Commitment to Community and Growth

The acquisition of Roofers Union has not only revitalized a beloved landmark but has also contributed to the growth of the Code Red family. With the addition of this new venture, their staff has more than doubled, now employing around 45 full-time employees, further solidifying their presence in the Woodley Park and Adams Morgan communities.

While the transition has been seamless, Namdar and Alexander acknowledge the significance of the original Roofers Union and its 10-year legacy under the leadership of chef-owner Marjorie Meek-Bradley. They express a desire to host Meek-Bradley at the revamped establishment and hear her thoughts on the new chapter.

With a respectful nod to the past and an embrace of the future, Roofers Union stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of the Adams Morgan neighborhood and the power of reinvention. As the doors reopen, a new era begins one that promises to captivate both longtime patrons and newcomers alike.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *