The Green Zone: Unforgettable Nights with Middle Eastern Influence in Washington, D.C.
By: Yidan Fan/Arab America Contributing Writer
Washington, D.C. is an international city full of people from different cultures coming from all over the world. In D.C., you can always find wonderful places to encounter unique experiences from other parts of the world. If you are interested in Arab and Middle Eastern culture, there is a place you have to visit in Washington, DC – The Green Zone!
Invite your friends to spend a night at the Green Zone where there are unique craft cocktails, beautiful music, and a good possibility that you will leave with unforgettable memories of the Middle Eastern culture.
From Pop-up to Home in Adams Morgan
The Green Zone is a Middle Eastern cocktail bar located in Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C. It is named after the International Zone in Baghdad and is a way to denote that this is a safe space for people to be themselves. It started as a pop-up bar on the ground floor of 14th Street Northwest’s Black Whisky and initially existed as a pop-up for four years. The Green Zone is a passion project by Chris Francke. Working as a World Bank employee by day and Middle Eastern mixologist in the Green Zone by night, he had hoped to convert his passion project from pop-up to permanent establishment one day. Loved by many customers, his dream has come true.
In 2018, the Green Zone finally found its permanent home in Adams Morgan and opened it’s doors to the public on July 26. Famous for the neighborhood’s international array of cafes and restaurants, now, Adams Morgan also has a fitting place for Middle Eastern culture with the introduction of the Green Zone. Different from the previous small pop-up in the kitchen, the new location has two floors and is the perfect combo. Downstairs is meant to have more of a laid-back lounge vibe, while upstairs is a place to dance to Middle Eastern and Latin beats over the weekend. Other than the amazing craft cocktails, the Green Zone also offers a menu of dishes heavily inspired by Lebanese street food, such as “real deal” Lebanese falafel fried to-order with pickles, tomatoes, fresh herbs, and tahini or chicken wings tossed in lemon, za’atar, garlic, and sumac.
Mixology with Middle Eastern Flavors
The Middle Eastern world may not be famous for cocktails, but the Green Zone will totally change the situation. The Green Zone offers modern craft cocktails and mixology with the flavors of the Middle East, giving customers amazing drinks like the Saz’irap, Lebanese No.1, Janissary Corps. and the most popular drink – Mint Lemonade & More.
The owner Chris Francke is the person who brings all the incredible flavors to Washington, D.C. from the Middle Eastern world. As an Iraqi, he often visits his Iraqi family in Lebanon and mixes the rare ingredients from Lebanese markets into his craft drinks at the Green Zone. He worked as a World Bank contractor and then the passion for craft cocktails turned him into a full-time bartender and bar owner. During the four years as a pop-up on 14th Street Northwest, he has created over 100 unique recipes and brought some of them to the Green Zone’s new home in Adams Morgan.
Enjoyable Nights with Middle Eastern Culture
The Green Zone is a place full of Middle Eastern culture and music. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, there were plenty of music events held at the Green Zone. They have Arabic and Middle Eastern music DJs every Friday and international DJs every Saturday. The two-story building has roughly 30 seats on both levels. You can enjoy the Middle Eastern featured drinks in the first-floor patio, while the upstairs Club de la Résistance hosts events like queer Arab nights, free dabke classes, and DJs from across the globe.
As a famous spot for Middle Eastern culture in Washington, D.C., other than the customers coming for the unique craft cocktails, the Green Zone also attracts a good number of customers who don’t drink. The Green Zone considerably designs an amazing non-alcoholic menu for them. The special menu includes mint and cucumber lemonades and the Qamareddin and a Half, a sparkling apricot soda, alongside fresh-squeezed juices and Turkish coffee. The frozen cucumber lemonade has become really popular among the customers for summer.
The Green Zone
Address & Contact:
Open Tues-Fri 5-10pm, Sat & Sun 4-10pm
2226 18th St NW
Washington DC, DC 20009
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