Rachel Sergi has been crafting cocktails in the Washington, D.C. hospitality scene for 25 years— and for some big names to boot. “I’ve worked as a mixologist with several Kimpton Hotel properties, Jose Andres’ restaurant Zaytinya, and as a beverage director at Jack Rose Dining Saloon, to name a few,” she says. While these venues from her résumé all lean upscale, today Sergi finds herself in a much more lowkey environment, serving as general manager of Last Call, a hip but unassuming bar in the Union Market District.
Opened in October 2019 in a space that housed a cafeteria in the 1940s, among other concepts, Last Call is the brainchild of Gina Chersevani, a prolific bartender in her own right who also owns the mobile bar Suburbia and the soda shop and bar concept Buffalo and Bergen. “I first met Gina when she was a bartender at Penang in Midtown D.C. around 2002, so we’ve known each other for over 20 years,” Sergi says. “In spring 2021, while I was working at The Next Whisky Bar at The Watergate Hotel, Gina reached out to meet up and asked me to join the Last Call team, promising me a great job and a new beginning.”
Sergi refers to Last Call as “a dive-ish bar with a cocktail problem,” which was part of the appeal for her. “I love the laid-back atmosphere and no-frills approach at Last Call—we make great drinks in an unpretentious environment,” she says. “Our vibe is approachable, fast-paced, and fun. We even have a Ms. Pac-Man arcade machine, a personal favorite of mine.” Last Call’s drinks menu certainly reflects the lighthearted environment, complete with Jell-O shots ($3), shot-and-a-beer combos ($8-$10), a carbonated Old Fashioned served on tap ($8), and playful original cocktails ($6-$13) like Sergi’s New Jack Sling ($11), featuring Sipsmith gin, Sorel liqueur, Bols triple sec, pineapple and lime juices, house-made grenadine, simple syrup, seltzer water, and Angostura bitters, and her Baby Yoda ($6), comprising 1One vodka, Midori melon liqueur, pineapple and lemon juices, and house-made grenadine. “I’m most proud of is seeing the relaxed and safe atmosphere our staff provides our guests on a daily basis,” Sergi adds. “Our neighborhood regulars have truly become friends at Last Call.”