Late Escapes

Hank's expands its walls, hours and menu

There's long been a disparity between the many bars along 17th St., and the few places in that neighborhood to find good, casual food.

Now Hank's Oyster Bar has entered the bar-food fray.

Last month, owner Jamie Leeds doubled the restaurant's capacity and added a new bar with its own menu of classic bar snacks.

Instead of feasting on complimentary Goldfish crackers, order fried olives ($5). A hit at her now-defunct CommonWealth, Leeds' olives are plump under their crisp, lemony panko crust.

House potato chips ($5) with pan-roasted onion dip, soft pretzels with beer-laced cheese sauce ($6), and bags of airy, truffle-dusted popcorn ($5) could convince even the most formal diners to subsist on finger foods.

The new menu offers plenty of seafood options, too. Woodsy smoked oysters ($8) arrive in an old-fashioned tin, with crackers or just toothpicks to skewer the lightly charred bites.

Daily selections of oysters ($2) and clams ($1.25) are available on the half-shell with shallot mignonette. They're as fresh as ever: Leeds converted the original bar into a shucking station to keep up with new demand.

With the renovations come expanded hours as well: Hank's is now open until 2 a.m. on weeknights and 3 a.m. on weekends.

Hank's Oyster Bar, 1624 Q St. NW (at 17th St.); 202-462-4265 or hanksdc.com