Johnny's Half Shell Unveils New Patio

During this long hot summer, a shady spot to unwind, sip chilled drinks, and scarf some local seafood is Johnny’s Half Shell–near Union Station--which unveiled its recently enhanced patio. Owners John Fulchino and Ann Cashion have shelled out $135,000 updating the 95-seat, 1,000-square-foot space, defined by 30-foot high marble columns draped by weather-proof ivory curtains. Red velvet curtains accentuate a 14-foot-long copper-topped bar. In case of early autumn chill, guests may warm themselves at a stone fire pit as they lounge in chocolate-brown wicker furnishings. Tables are crafted from reclaimed 100-year-old oak. Planters overflow with perennials and annuals.

             For Johnny’s menu, James Beard award-winning executive chef Ann Cashion taps fresh, sustainable seafood, plucked mainly from the Chesapeake Bay and Gulf Coast. To complement the fresh fare, mixologist Dan Searing has added ten new libations, concocted with spirits distilled stateside: Dancing Pines Milk Punch (bourbon, Stonyfield Farms whole milk, simple syrup and Rum); Negroni Cynar (gin, sweet vermouth, and Cynar, an artichoke aperitif), Climate Change (vodka, grapefruit and cranberry juice). Imported house wines are just $5.

            Johnny’s is hosting a Blue Crab Summit Friday and Saturday, September 21-22. Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Price is $60 per person (tax and gratuity not included). At the crabby blowout, guests may crack into five large St. Michaels Maryland Blue Crabs prepared “Texas style” and served with local corn-on-the-cob, potato salad, choice of a pitcher of beer or two glasses of rosé wine. A cash bar, additional crabs and extra sides will be available. The crab menu will be the only item available those two evenings.

            Open daily, Johnny’s Half Shell is at 400 North Capitol St. NW. For reservations or additional information call 202-737-0400 or visit Johnny’ssister restaurant, Taqueria Nacional is adjacent, but will move to 14th St. NW this fall. Open daily for breakfast and lunch, this little place is a gem. For updates call 202-737-7070 or

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