Whiskey bar

New Barrels & Amps Company Brings Whiskey Bar Ambience to Georgetown Square

Barrels & Amps plans to host live musical events often.

It was a right-place-at-the-right time scenario for Mark Thompson, owner of 600 Degrees Pizza, and couple Dina and Karl Meixsell when they decided to open Barrels & Amps, a whiskey bar in the heart of Georgetown.

Barrels & Amps opened on September 7 at the corner of Austin Avenue and Eighth Street. The project was envisioned by Thompson, who said he was only looking for the right place to make it happen. Then he met Dina, who owns the building with her husband, and the three decided to go into business together. They also brought in Thompson’s son Jerry as executive chef and the company’s fourth owner.

“The stars have aligned,” Dina said.

The left side of the business has a 65-foot bar lined with liquors and 75 beers on tap. A small scene, the first of the two planned, is in the right corner. The business is also adorned with knick-knacks that Mark says pay homage to the building’s history, including the words “Oak Street” written along the parquet floor – the former name of Eighth Street.

“It’s going to be a fun place,” Mark said. “The bottom line is that everyone who walks through the door feels like part of the family and is ready to have some fun.”

Dina added that the name of the company expresses the vibe customers can expect.

“When you think of the barrels, you think, ‘Yeah, good things to drink’ and the amps, it’s like, ‘Yeah, great music,’ Dina said.

The business is only partially completed, with plans to add an expanded area with a second bar and second stage. Against the windows, which face Austin Avenue, will be a broadcast studio space for live radio broadcasts, Mark said. The expanded space is expected to open by the end of the year.

In the future, the company also plans to expand by adding a rooftop bar, but that’s two to three years away, Dina said.

Jerry, as executive chef, has developed a menu of high pub fare that customers can enjoy with their drinks. Menu items include duck wings, Moonshine Mac ‘N Cheese, and pork belly sliders.

“What you see is what you get here,” Mark said. “There is no mask here. We’re going to bring back that old-school whiskey bar vibe.

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