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WK Hearth in Purcellville to launch Hugo cocktail bar

WK Hearth in Purcellville will open a new cocktail lounge next month.Courtesy Photo/WK Hearth
Shifting the focus to showcase “the next evolution of Loudoun,” Wine Kitchen co-owner Jason Miller said “Hugo at WK Hearth” will open in late March as a new cocktail destination in Purcellville.

“This is something we were looking to do for a while and never found the right place, so we decided to do it in WK Hearth,” Miller told the Times-Mirror.

He explained Purcellville was the perfect place to launch this new concept, given the amount of growth in the town and the fact that it is a hub for spirits, beer and wine in the county.

“Wine tourism has changed so much since we started the [Leesburg] Wine Kitchen in 2008, and we wanted to have a place where we could showcase this part of Loudoun as well,” Miller said.

Hugo will feature local spirits from Catoctin Creek Distillery in Purcellville, Mt. Defiance Distillery in Middleburg, and any other places that open in the future, he said.

The space will be adapted with a cozy, cocktail lounge feel on the lower level, Miller said. The upstairs will, for now, remain the same.

The name “Hugo” comes from a 1917 cocktail book ”Recipes for Mixed Drinks” by Hugo Ensslin, which coincidentally was the same year the farmhouse that now houses WK Hearth was built. The book was the last published cocktail book before Prohibition, and Hugo will serve classics of the era.

Miller said one of the features at Hugo will be “spirits flights” where patrons can get three half-ounce tastings of different liquors, similar to the wine flights they offer.

Another option on the menu will be “cocktail flights,” which is three different variations of the same drink, to see how drinks change based on the ingredients.

The menu will feature coolers, fizzes, and unique drinks such as Prairie Hen with whiskey, vinegar, egg, Tabasco, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.

Hugo plans to host the region’s distillers for tastings and seminars.

WK Hearth is known for its local ingredient-rich menu, and the operators plan to introduce a new menu of dishes showcasing the history of the space, with medium-size “sharing plates,” Miller said.

Some new menu ideas include a hand-held rabbit pot pie, wood-grilled sardines on toast, homemade potato rolls with cured Virginia ham, and house-made Fig Newtons.

WK Hearth is the third restaurant from Miller and co-owner Michael Mercer. In addition to the original Wine Kitchen in Leesburg, there's a Wine Kitchen in Frederick, Maryland.

An Apricot Fizz will be one of the cocktails served up at Hugo. Courtesy Photo/WK Hearth

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