Ice Patrol

American Ice Co. specializes in hot sauce and cold beer

With no prominent signage or even sidewalk lights, the new American Ice Co. is easy to overlook.

But once you step inside, the month-old bar has enough infectious energy, stellar drinks and flannel-clad locals to feel like a long-running Washington establishment.

Named for the converted ice warehouse it occupies, American Ice–with its exposed bricks and creaky booths–keeps its approach deceptively simple. The menu is short: Platters of chopped pork shoulder ($12) and juicy slices of turkey ($11) are the only main courses, but both are smoked over low heat and served under tangy barbecue sauce (with habanero hot sauce available on each table for extra kick).

Supplement the mains with ample sides, including the easy-to-devour house pickles ($4), a mix of sweet bread-and-butter slices along with salty dills and searing jalapeño peppers.

As an extra dose of Southern charm, the bar serves generous pours of draft beers and wine in Mason jars. They're a fun added touch, but don't overlook the canned beers, which include the British Old Speckled Hen ($9) and Dale's Pale Ale ($6).

The space is handily situated behind a large front patio. There's plenty to enjoy about American Ice Co. now, but we're already looking forward to beer and barbecue out front on balmy summer nights.

American Ice Co., 917 V St. NW (at Florida Ave.); 202-758-3562 or facebook.com/pages/American-Ice-Company