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Tiki TNT

Washington, D.C.
Bar
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The Wharf
Washington, D.C.
Coming in late 2017
Not yet open, coming soon!

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Tiki TNT

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Humuhumu’s description

Tiki TNT is a new tiki bar coming to Washington, D.C.'s The Wharf complex, as part of Todd Thrasher's new Potomac Distilling Company operation. It is expected to open in late 2017, perhaps in the fall. Thrasher will be distilling his own rum onsite; Tiki TNT will be one of several adjacent bars operated by Thrasher.

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March 5, 2019, 9:31 AM
I detect a trend.

I really wanted to like this place; it's at a great location and the vibe is kinda cool... not real tiki, but still cool. But the reality is the place is pretty bad.

Food is pretty good, but the drinks are awful. I've been 3 times now hoping the first two were flukes from a rough opening. Sadly that isn't the case. The bar's emphasis is on high volume production for their drinks. From their bar set-up to the requirements for servers/bartenders in their job postings, they want experience with high volume production.

The high volume priority has ruined their drink quality as they prep pre-made misers for each of their "tiki" drinks. So, for a jet pilot, they add ice to a glass, pour in the mix and pour in the rum... Voila, drink presented. 4 attempts at a Jet Pilot, 4 failures, three of them so sour it makes your eyes close. When asked about the pre-made mix, the bartender presented it as a bonus feature! You won;t find a well crafted cocktail at this place.

My overall impression of Tiki TNT is that it's the type of place that killed Tiki in the 70's & 80's. It seems to be aiming to be the McDonalds of the tiki world. I wish they would change the name because anyone unfamiliar with tiki culture and tiki drinks will go here and say "Meh... this isn't so great, those tikiphiles are idiots."

T**i TNT bears no resemblance to any decent tiki bar on earth.
January 20, 2019, 9:04 AM
Ok so real talk, I'm genuinely excited for Potomac Distillery, which isn't open yet. However, Tiki TNT is open, and that's been...disappointing.

Don't let the name fool you, this isn't a tiki bar. It's the bar attached to a rum distillery. If you've ever been to a distillery, you've experienced this place. Just imagine rum instead of whiskey, and bamboo trim here and there.

So fine. How's the menu? The food is great. Loved everything we ordered, and they have Spam musubi, which is a treat around here.

The drinks tho? So at Todd Thrasher's other joints like PX, Eve, Vermillion, etc. the cocktails are generally not great. I've never been angry about any of them, but I've also never ordered more than one of his concoctions.

The signature drinks at Tiki TNT continues that tradition of "It's fine."

I'll add one exception. The "What I Want You to Be Drinking Today" is excellent. It's basically a grapefruit Old Fashioned made with El Dorado.

However the classics like the Missionary's Downfall and the Three Dots and a Dash? They're *bad*. Aggressively terrible. Don't order them.

(DC protip: You can get a genuine Donn Beach Missionary's Downfall packed with blended mint at Farmers Fishers Bakers in Georgetown.)
January 11, 2019, 7:48 AM
I think much has been said about the drinks so I won't repeat those remarks, but I would like to reemphasize the issue of atmosphere. There are two bars inside the building, the first of which is a more intimately lit setup, though it is right by the door so your tropical escape can easily be interrupted by newcomers or just a reminder of the world outside. It's hard to get a stool at this lower bar as well.

The second bar falls even farther from tiki atmospherics. This bar has very high ceilings and a crew of black t-shirt wearing "mixologists" running the bar in a frenzy. The crowd seems to be a young, raucous combination of happy hour enthusiasts and awkward first dates. My bartender was really friendly and chatted with me a bit about the drinks, but most others (there were like 7 people behind the bar) ignored me entirely while they shuffled from corner to corner slinging frozen rum and cokes served in hollowed out coke cans. The bar faces the kitchen so I constantly felt uncomfortable, like my stool might have been in the way of servers. There was also a flatscreen TV high up on the wall to the left of the bar. This is a MAJOR problem. That detail absolutely tanked any appeal for me. It's not a tiki bar, but simply a cocktail king's folly, co-opting tiki trends in a haphazard stab at mass market consumption. This bar alienates true tiki fans while assuming uninitiated patrons care about nothing more than having a drink with an umbrella in it.
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