A conspiracy-themed basement drink parlor is planned to open in Summerhill

The bar from Jake Karmin and Judy Ho, formerly of Hand in Hand, is planned to open on Georgia Avenue next year or in early 2020

Outside Conspiracy

Courtesy of Jake Karmin

Raise a glass to crop circles, aliens, and the Illuminati—Jake Karmin, former general manager and bartender of the now-closed Hand in Hand bar in Virginia-Highland, is opening a conspiracy-themed basement drink parlor in Summerhill. Together with Judy Ho, also formerly of Hand in Hand, Karmin will open the aptly named Conspiracy in late 2019 or early 2020.

“I was looking around Summerhill and there was a little basement with low ceilings. It puts you in a secret, clandestine state of mind,” Karmin says. “But it’s not going to be a speakeasy. We’re not confined to a certain era.”

The Georgia Avenue space’s metal entrance door, cinderblock walls, and concrete floor add to the sense of mystery. And Karmin—who’s been fascinated by conspiracies since he was a child—says the sparse space provides an opportunity to refresh the specific conspiracy theme from time to time. He envisions redecorating the bar and redesigning the drink menu for themed months such as Harry Potter, Elvis, or the X-Files.

Courtesy of Jake Karmin

The cocktail menu will be the main focus with classic cocktails like Sazeracs, negronis, and old fashioneds, as well as unique drinks that incorporate house-made tinctures and syrup. There will be a large wine list and six local beers on tap. Karmin plans for the bar to be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 5 p.m. until midnight or 1 a.m.