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A Place Called Uniontown

8/17/2011, 9:01 a.m.

A Place Where Everybody Knows Your Name

The fare at Uniontown is simple, and fresh. Sandwiches, salads and appetizers serve as the foundation for a happy hour that features innovative colorful cocktails like the French Maid Fetish, a blend of vodka, pineapple juice and raspberry Chambord; or the Blueberry Cobbler, which takes blueberry vodka, vanilla vodka and blueberry juice and crowns it with a rim of graham cracker crumbs. The website describes Uniontown as featuring a "menu infused with Cajun style cuisine and all natural ingredients. Pairing a natural ingredient menu with a vibrant atmosphere brings an urban inspired ambiance with deliciously fresh foods."

Fifty-seven-year-old musician Medoune from Senegal lives in Anacostia, and said he comes in three times a week, "or until my pocket says 'No'. The food is good, the place is clean and people need to feel like there is some place nice to go, a place for regular people," said the drummer, who spent 18 years working with hometown African dance company, Kankouran, and now works in the schools teaching kids how to drum, along with math and science. "Nothing like this has ever happened here," he said over a plate of wings with sweet potato fries, his favorite along with the crab cakes. "We want more of this."

As Dasher stepped out of the office to check on a ruckus in the dining room, she saw one of her regulars and gave her a big hug. A few moments later, a middle-aged woman in a fur-trimmed coat came in looking for a place to sit, but every barstool and table was full.

Marcia, a resident of Anacostia, sat at her table alone, sipping on a glass of white wine while waiting for her order. "I come in once or twice a week," she said, "I am a resident and I want to support the business. I am really excited about this type of business, and I love the cocktails. You just come here and people know you. It's our own Cheers (the fictitious Boston bar from the television series). It's a nice gathering place for the community, and I am a regular. Definitely!"

Uniontown Bar and Grill is located at 2200 Martin Luther King Ave SE. The now famous Happy Hour is between 4-7 p.m. on weekdays, and the restaurant closes at 9 p.m.