Maxwell Park Navy Yard Is Becoming a Cocktail Bar With Late-Night Party Vibes

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The wine bar has closed to make way for Trouble Bird, opening in February.

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Maxwell Park Navy Yard closed to make way for cocktail bar Trouble Bird. Photograph by Caroline Frentz.

Just like us, Maxwell Park wine bar wants a fresh start for the new year. Owner Brent Kroll quietly closed the Navy Yard location to focus on his Shaw flagship and make way for a new chapter by the waterfront with barmen/partners Andrew Hurn and Justin Cara-Donna. The duo, who first started working together at Columbia Room (RIP) and most recently mixed drinks at downtown hotspot Silver Lyan, are launching a late-night cocktail bar in February: Trouble Bird. 

“The name comes from our favorite bars—like that place is trouble, you’ll never want to leave,” says Hurn.

As for bird? “It’s the opposite of early bird,” says Cara-Donna. “The aim is the feel of a late-night party vibe. It’s the ‘fuck it’ energy.”

Navy Yard, which is big on sports bars and low on cocktail nooks, could arguably use some more places to sip a Sazerac (and also middle finger energy). The team plans to keep Maxwell Park’s ethos—reliable classics alongside fun seasonal themes—and revamp the space to  make room for groups. The design inspiration, they say, is “your punk grandma’s living room.”

“Something that’s cozy and disarming and moves between high-energy and low-key with finesse,” says Hurn. 

Trouble Bird barmen Justin Cara-Donna (left) and Andrew Hurn (right). Photograph courtesy of Trouble Bird
Trouble Bird barmen Justin Cara-Donna (left) and Andrew Hurn (right). Photograph courtesy of Trouble Bird.

Both bartenders cut their chops at finer-drinking spots that aren’t afraid to play (cue Columbia Room’s LIITs and Silver Lyan’s fancy Jello shots). At Trouble Bird, you might sip a swizzle-inspired cosmo or a Scotch-based pina colada—though the likes of a frozen cocktail, boilermaker, or good dirty martini are always on offer. Hurn says their first seasonal theme, “Breakfast for Dinner,” is all about “winter flavors and stuff that will warm you up from the cold.” Think, if you can, of an everything-spiced Sazerac or flap jack-inspired concoction with brown butter tequila and buckwheat bitters. 

Actual food is still in the works, but the general idea is “elevated late-night carbs”—somewhat similar to the lineup at Kroll’s new Shaw “fizz bar,” Pop, which dishes up fried treats and Detroit pizza. A late-night food menu will be available alongside drinks, and the place plans to be open until 1 AM most weeknights and 2 AM on Friday and Saturday. 

Curious? Get a taste at Maxwell Park Shaw on Thursday, January 5. Trouble Bird will pop-up from 6 to 11 PM with $12 cocktails and Shaw’s existing late-night menu. 

Trouble Bird. 1346 4th St., SE.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

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