Anticipated for weeks, L’Annexe Cocktail Bar opened on Wednesday, Oct. 9, in the former space of Unum, and before that, Mendocino Grill, at 2917 M St. NW.
Within hours, neighbors stopped by to congratulate co-owner Fady Saba and his wife Joanna and say hello to each other amid a festive aura of mixed drinks and small plates. The menu includes scallops or ribeye skewers, cheese and charcuterie or tabour and labneh. With years of experience in Beirut, Paris and D.C., restaurateur Saba named Andrew Markert chef and Mick Perrigo beverage director. Infused cocktails are a specialty — sarsaparilla, a Georgetown favorite, among them.
Driftwood from the Potomac River banks hangs over the bar, and a metal outline map depicts part of the nation’s capital in the main dining room. In the back lounge is a comfortable library — all the hardback books selected by Joanna Saba, with several personal favorites, whether author Henri Troyat or poet Kahlil Gibran.
The zinc-topped bar is inviting, along with two tables in the front, where door-length windows are open to the M Street sidewalk. This stylish bar is an annex to the larger next door restaurant — formerly Maxime Bistro and the Guards — owned by the same group, still under construction.