All-day brunch restaurant – complete with dog shacks – opens on 14th Street

Butter Me Up opens on 14th Street with all-day brunch and canine huts. Photograph by Albert Ting.

Like many restaurateurs, Butter Me Up owner Andre McCain aims to please his neighborhood clientele. At Shaw, the all-day brunch concept serves bottomless mimosas all day for the cool kids. At the Montgomery Mall, a spin-off sells French toast sticks for real kids. And at McCain’s first freestanding Butter Me Up on 14th Street, there are canine huts for childless millennials. The restaurant opens for two- and four-legged customers on Friday, September 2.

The bright restaurant can accommodate 45 people between indoors and outdoors.

McCain noticed that many locals were trotting along with their fur babies, so he built four patio cabanas especially for guests with pets. Humans can sip sorbet mimosas and munch on fancy toast while their dogs – well-behaved only, please – can enjoy shade, water, plush bedding and a menu treats suitable for puppies from local producers. Cabanas will be first-come, first-served to begin with, with reservations available down the line.

Refined toasts are garnished with smoked salmon.

This, however, is not a cafe for dogs. Pet-free pets can head to the 45-seat dining room and patio for breakfast and brunch anytime. McCain launched Butter Me Up as a pandemic pop-up from his restaurant Shaw Half Smoke and says he has sold more than 100,000 breakfast sandwiches – made with local ingredients – to date. A many favorites are on the menu, including the “Feels Like Home” with buttermilk fried chicken, soft scrambled eggs, caramelized onions, dill pickles, smoked cheddar and Sriracha mayonnaise, or the ” Staycation” with eggs, goat cheese, caramelized onions and avocado.

A Breakfast Egg Sandwich from Halfsmoke appears Butter Me Up.  Photo courtesy of Butter Me Up.
Decadent breakfast sandwiches make up a big part of the menu.

If pet owners are one target demographic, the other is: women who brunch. McCain says about 90% of Butter Me Up customers in Shaw are women, and the new Logan Circle space “is designed to meet the needs of multi-faceted women.”

“Women are very active and take a lot of initiative in the morning,” says McCain. “Maybe she’s from the gym. Maybe another day she’ll have a hangover. Maybe she has a child or a pet. We try to be connected to create a place to meet all these needs in a very accessible way.

Ladies who brunch can linger inside.

It may be a broad generalization that women are active morning creatures (but also kind of true?). On the menu, this all translates into post-gym options like acai bowls and smoothies; hangover cures like fresh fruit juice cocktails or French toast sticks; and strong coffee for the parent crowd.

Healthy products include smoothies and acai bowls.

That being said, McCain is ready to welcome customers of all stripes, especially for a “pay what you want” event on Thursday, September 8. Customers can leave whatever amount they feel comfortable with – entrees typically cost $12 to $14 – and all proceeds will be donated to the Washington Area Women’s Foundation.

Butter me. 1409 T Street, Northwest. Open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

food editor

Anna Spiegel covers the restaurant and bar scene in her native DC. Before joining Washingtonian in 2010, she completed the MFA program at the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in New York and St. John, in the US Virgin Islands.

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