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Republic Restoratives' Dissent Gin. Photograph by John Robinson.

Good afternoon,

The overturn of Roe v. Wade rocked DC last week, right down to the restaurant and bar scene. Because this is Washington, local business owners were quick to launch a flurry of promotions supporting abortion rights and access. Sticky Fingers Diner sold “keep your laws off our holes!” doughnuts. Cocktail bar Jane Jane donated 100-percent of its Friday night sales, totaling $7,500. And Ivy City distillery Republic Restoratives begins selling bottles of Dissent Gin today. (Among many, many like-minded specials and events.)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how the food and drink industry no longer hesitates to get “political.” Frankly, I think that’s one of the legacies of the Trump era. In the not-so-distant past, restaurateurs were often wary of doing anything that might be perceived as picking a side of the aisle. One of the sacred tenets of hospitality is serving everyone, after all. But in the norm-breaking Trump years, many felt the issues at stake—immigration, public health policy, and yes, reproductive rights—were too important not to address with their platform, however small. In many circumstances, customers too demanded to know where the businesses they patronized stood on newsy issues. And in DC, the overwhelming majority of those customers are liberals. So here we are with abortion-rights cocktails.


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What else is new:

KETCHUP: I know, I know—there were truly more significant takeaways from Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony to the January 6 committee yesterday, but forgive me if the thing that stuck in my mind was the image of Trump throwing his lunch and “ketchup dripping down the wall.” There’s actually a lot to say about the ex-President and his favorite condiment, so here’s a history. (One takeaway: the whole thing about Trump eating his well-done steak with ketchup may not be entirely true.)

FESTIVAL SEASON: Whether you’re into barbecue, blueberries, crabs, or tequila, there’s a festival for everything this summer. Here are 14 big food events worth putting on your radar.

COMEBACK: When Mandalay closed in Silver Spring last fall, the region lost one of its only destinations for Burmese food. A welcome update: the restaurant will reopen in the same location next month with a pick up and delivery-only menu. More details here.

TAKE A BREATHER: Need a mental health break right now? My colleagues Jessica and Maggie have compiled a list of great places in the DC area to escape the doomscolling, whether it’s a cat cafe, a serene hike, loud concert venue, or comfort food destination.

CRITIC CHAT: Looking for last-minute 4th plans? Need a dinner rec? Chat with critic Ann Limpert Friday at 11 AM. As always, you can leave questions in advance here.

That’s all for this week. For more food news, follow me on Twitter and Instagram. You can also reach me at

—Jessica Sidman, food editor (@jsidman)

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