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Published January 13, 2010

Parlor Trick
Home Is Where the Bar Is

UD - Mocha LoungeThe weather outside remains frightful, so there's something to be said for the warm confines of your apartment.

Which is why you're looking for a place just like it, but with more bartenders—named Victor, if possible.

Bridging the gap between home and away: Darnell’s Bar, a cozy neighborhood parlor in Shaw, soft-open now to fill your under-the-radar nightcap needs.

When you step inside the corner row house, you might think you've stumbled into the first floor of your eccentric uncle's mansion—the one with the fully stocked bar. You'll notice the coffee bar and the short-order stove, the paintings and bench seats along the windows. But you'll want to head to the brick-lined back-room bar to grab a seat at one of the low couches. (Nightcaps shouldn't be enjoyed any other way.)

Over the next month, look for the addition of all-day espresso service and a small-plate menu of comfort foods like jerked chicken, catfish fingers and lamb chops. For now, you won't find any science-project cocktails or rare Belgian brews here. What you will find is the aforementioned Victor whipping up all manner of martinis—and if you ask nicely, he just might boot up his Wii at the corner TV, should you want to challenge your date to a game of virtual bowling.

Don't worry—she'll let you win.
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