Founded three decades ago by a group of friends that simply wanted barbecue, jazz, and a place to sit, Red Hot & Blue grew from its original Arlington location to the robust chain it is today, spreading southern flavors and hospitality to the north. As hickory smoke wafts from kitchen grills, chefs slather sweet barbecue sauces and massage dry spices into ribs, pork, and brisket slow roasted for hours until melty and tender. The sound of classic blues tunes drifts from speakers, and the paraphernalia of the genre's greatest talents bedeck every inch of the walls, from instruments wielded by famous hands to the rock on which Mamie Smith stubbed her toe before emitting the world's first blues croon.:m]]
Hours Monday: 11:00 AM - 12:00 AM Tuesday: 11:00 AM - 12:00 AM Wednesday: 11:00 AM - 12:00 AM Thursday: 11:00 AM - 12:00 AM Friday: 11:00 AM - 2:00 AM Saturday: 11:00 AM - 2:00 AM Sunday: 11:00 AM - 12:00 AM Happy Hour 4pm-8pm Monday-Friday
To get a sense of The Greene Turtle's commitment to the neighborhood, one need only sit at the bar and look up. Dozens of mugs hang above the counter, emblazoned with the pub's logo and a unique number—each one belongs to a recurring patron. The Mug Club awards its members with draft-beer discounts and other specials, but more importantly, it allows loyal patrons to feel as though they own small slices of the venue without tattooing their names on the bartender's arm. This sense of shared familiarity is what fuels the entire franchise, which refrains from calling its locations "restaurants" in favor of friendlier terms: gathering places, communities, havens.
Many of the locations contribute more than mugs to their districts. Staff members who participate in the annual Tips for Tots program donate the entirety of one day's tips to a nearby Toys for Tots initiative, and Tuesday Funds for Friends events benefit local organizations. These efforts have been chronicled by press sources such as Food and Drink magazine, with features that liken The Greene Turtles' philanthropic generosity to the generous portions of comfort food that leave the kitchens.
From cheeseburger sliders and flatbread pizzas to handmade lump-crab cakes, the offerings on the menu embrace barroom traditions along with ingenuity. The steak and chicken entrees arrive with classic sides of green beans and yukon gold mashed potatoes, whereas the eastern shore mac ‘n’ cheese updates a comfort staple with chopped bacon, lump crab, scallions, and Old Bay seasoning. Diners can enjoy their meals by the glow of private flat-screen TVs—there's one in every booth—or beneath one of many larger televisions broadcasting sports games throughout the venue.
The head baker of Bree's Sweet Treats may be young, but that doesn't mean she's inexperienced—Bree has been baking from scratch since she was 5 years old. Taught by both of her grandmothers, she grew up fueling a passion for crafting sweet treats. In 2011, she and her mom, Charmaine, opened Bree's Sweet Treats, where that passion burns hot and helps to bake made-from-scratch cakes, brownies, and pies.
Bree and the staff concoct more than a dozen cupcake flavors, from cinnamon french toast dolloped with maple-syrup ganache to classics such as her personal favorite, strawberry. They slice four types of brownies and plunge lollipop sticks into cake pops, the latter of which are made in any cupcake flavor to form portable treats that are perfect for a walk home or a sprint away from a sandstorm. The bakery-and-delivery service also has a storefront location to better provision guests with sweet-potato pies and goods to stock cookie jars.
At Hollin Hall Pastry Shop, master saccharin sculptors craft a bevy of baked delights, from European pastries to carefully composed cakes and hand-rolled truffles, which have earned them a slew of accolades. Quell sweet teeth with layered cake slices ($3.50) such as the vanilla bavarian, layered with seasonal fruit; the german chocolate, filled with coconut and pecan filling; or the raspberry chocolate marquis, infused with pixie tears and friendship. Those seeking to mix snacks with sips can pick from an expansive selection of pastries, tarts, and truffles ($2.50+) to pair with coffees, lattes, and cappuccinos ($1.40–$4). The shop also offers an array of breakfasty treats, such as fresh muffins ($1.85) and warm, flaky croissants ($1.65–$1.95) who can never remember a birthday.