The sweet sounds of Capitol Hill bar Resonant Head.
A resonant head is the bottom “head” of a drum that responds or resonates when the batter or top head is struck. It’s a term that musicians may recognize instantly, but doesn’t always resonate (sorry) with nonmusicians. The name of Capitol Hill’s newest bar and music venue, at 400 SW 25th St., borrows the term and then extends it as a metaphor for what owners hope to be for the historic district.
Co-owner Price Fischer said that he’d like Resonant Head to be that sounding component for the Capitol Hill neighborhood. “We love this neighborhood, so much so that (co-owner) Gage [Pabst] and I moved here a few years ago. We’ve wanted to have a venue for a long time, and we love the placement of Capitol Hill in the city.”
Resonant Head has leaned successfully into its venue status — booking multiple shows per week thanks to talent buyer Patrick Glueck — and now the focus turns to building its bar crowd. “We’re open to the public as a bar every night, except Mondays, when we don’t have a show,” Glueck said.
The ownership group includes the four owners of Old Blood Noise Endeavors, a guitar pedal company in the same building. Of the nine partners, seven are musicians, and they bought the entire building, including the original Oklahoma Opry. Although they have phased plans for the space, the venue/bar is first priority.
Food will follow, but Fischer said they want to create a menu that doesn’t compete with their neighbors. For now, they’ll focus on pop-ups and food trucks. Bar snacks are available every day it’s open.
The cocktail menu is divided into Faves and Standards, with the latter being classics like a margarita, Negroni, daiquiri, old-fashioned, etc. The faves are mostly well-executed riffs on popular cocktails, but they do dive a little deeper into craft bartending with a delicious clarified milk punch and a gin cocktail that makes mezcal more approachable.
Steavey’s Kneezeys is a riff on the Bee’s Knees, a Prohibition-era cocktail that relied on honey to tame the often bitter, cheap gin that was widely available at the time. For the Resonant Head version, the cocktail still utilizes honey but adds mezcal to tame the light fruitiness, and Strega liqueur amps up the aromatics and herbaceous quality of the cocktail. The craft is obvious in balancing Strega’s intense star anise flavor and mezcal’s liquid smoke notes with the gin, lemon and honey.
The house beer is Resonant Head Lager from Stonecloud — Glueck used to work at the brewery. Local options abound, including Prairie Wolf gin in the cocktail, Clubby seltzers and beer from Stonecloud and Lively. There are also zero-proof options, as well as a verdita, which can be added to the lager for a nice punch-up of herbs and heat.
The bar is open on nonshow nights 3-11 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday and 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.