Want to power up your drinking experience? In DC's Shaw neighborhood, you can go to a Super Mario-themed pop-up bar, decorated with warp pipes, question blocks, and all kinds of power-ups. and drink cocktails like the "It's a Me, Amario" and the "I'll Call Yoshi!"
The Super Mario bar is just one half of the Cherry Blossom Pub Japan-themed pop-up bar. One room over, you'll find yourself in very different setting. Decorated with cherry blossoms, paper cranes, and maneki neko cats (those Japanese cat figurines with the bobbing arms), the cherry blossom-themed half of the pop-up is a much more traditional take on Japanese culture.
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Sure enough, the cocktail menu is divided in half: cocktails that go with the Mario theme and cocktails that go with the cherry blossom theme. According to Paul Taylor, the senior bar manager, the split menu seeks to give people a taste of both Japanese culture and, in honor of Mario's fictional heritage, Italian culture.
In the back, you'll also find the King Koopa area, where things take a dark turn. A large, 8-bit Bowser painting will stare angrily at you under red lights while you drink your cocktail. He's got a fireball at his side, and not the whiskey kind. You'll also be glared at by a giant, spray-painted ghost. Also, watch out the Thwomps hanging out overhead.
The Cherry Blossom Pub is occupying the space of Mockingbird Hill, a bar that specializes in sherry and tapas, and Southern Efficiency, a neighborin whiskey bar. For more info on this hybrid pop-up, you can check out the Cherry Blossom Pub's website.