Happy Hour:History of DC's Black drinking culture

Sunday / September 20 / 5:00 PM


We’re not saying this is a “Drunk History” workshop… but maybe it is. Join us for a cocktail-making, history-learning session with Andra “AJ” Johnson!

Andra runs the bar program at Seranata, co-founded DMV Black Restaurant Week, and is writing a book about the Black experience in hospitality — so she’s the perfect person to share the history of the Black bar culture in DC and educate us about the racial challenges in the hospitality industry. During the conversation, Andra will also teach us how to make three delicious new cocktails to add to our repertoire.

Along with a ticket, you can purchase a cocktail kit that includes all the ingredients and spirits you’ll need, including flavorings and mixers handcrafted by Andra.

About The Kits

If you choose to buy the cocktail kits, make sure to register by September 13 to allow preparation time. A two-person cocktail kit is $50/kit and contains enough ingredients to make six cocktails. A single-person cocktail kit is $35/kit and has enough ingredients to make three cocktails. Each kit also includes black bean dip and chips (vegetarian, gluten-free, nut-free, and contains dairy).

The cocktail kits will be ready to pick up on Wednesday, September 16, from 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM, at Serenata located inside of the La Cosecha Marketplace, 1280 4th St NE, Washington, DC 20002.

Shipping is not available but delivery can be placed through Skip the Line. Cost is determined by mileage traveled by drivers. Delivery is scheduled and will come at the day and time you request.

If you choose not to buy the cocktail kits, the event tickets are available for purchase until they are sold out or up until the start of the event, whichever comes first.


Date & Time

Sunday, September 20

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM




Andra "AJ" Johnson

Bar director of Serenata/Zumo concept and author of the forthcoming book White Plates, Black Faces

She | Her | Hers

Andra “AJ” Johnson got her start in the restaurant business at a local chain restaurant in Rockville, Maryland. She then headed to DC and became an accomplished barista and bartender, a general manager, an assistant general manager and beverage director, and a managing partner at several popular and fine dining restaurants in the DMV.

In 2018, Andra became a co-founder of DMV Black Restaurant Week. Andra is currently the bar director of Serenata/Zumo concept in La Cosecha, where she renews her commitment to providing exemplary service and thoughtful cocktails each day. Her forthcoming book, “White Plates, Black Faces,” continues her work telling the stories of people of color in the restaurant industry. Currently, she also heads up a cocktail pop up initiative called “Back to Black” that strives to raise funds to donate to overlooked and underfunded charities and organizations in the DC area.


Platform and Prerequisites

This event will be streamed via Zoom. In order to participate fully, attendees should plan to join on the Zoom app via their computer, tablet, or mobile device with enough bandwidth to support viewing video. In order to ensure only those who have registered for the event are able to attend — and to create space for intimate conversations — only those whose display name fully matches the name on our registration list will be admitted from the waiting room. You can find more about joining our virtual events, including how to connect, directions to troubleshoot, and information about our refund policy in our FAQ.

Accessibility and Accommodations

All DCDW events will have real-time CART (live captioning) services. If you need any additional accommodations, please contact us before 9/14 by email, through the provided Google Form link, or by phone. We honor your privacy and no personally identifying information (e.g. your name) is required to request an accommodation.

  • Request an accommodation through this Google Form.
  • Email us at designweek@dc.aiga.org.
  • Call our Accessibility Lead, Josh Kim, by phone at 571-302-1504.

Full participation in this event will require physical mobility to make a cocktail, including assembling ingredients and shaking a cocktail shaker. The host will provide some modifications.

Code of Conduct

All AIGA DC events adhere to our Code of Conduct .

More Information

Built by 100% volunteer power, DC Design Week is an annual celebration of this community, hosted by AIGA DC. AIGA Member On-Sale begins 9/5 at 10:00am and the General Public On-Sale begins 9/10 at 10:00am. 100% of the proceeds from DCDW events go toward future AIGA DC programming and the Design Continuum Fund (DCF) scholarship fund. We believe in fostering the next generation of designers through helping local design-minded and underrepresented students as they pursue their education.

Interested in becoming a member? To gain early access to our most exclusive events and year-long discounts, sign up to become a member today!

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