May 24 update: The New York Avenue Beach Bar’s Tom Brown says they’ll open for the first time Friday, May 25, at 5 p.m. Just in time for Memorial Day weekend.
The beach just got a little closer to downtown Washington. New York Avenue Beach Bar took delivery of 70 tons of sand this morning — sand the owners were told comes from near Ocean City. There’s now a layer of sand about three inches deep spread across the former Warehouse Theatre parking lot, which is a lot bigger than you’d think. (See photo above; the surface area is about 5,500 square feet.)
While exact opening details aren’t set in stone — there’s one more licensing hearing to go before the frozen drinks can start flowing — you may get your first chance to check it out this weekend.
Frozen margarita and daiquiri machines will sit atop thatched tiki-style bars, and you’ll also be able to order regular rum drinks and canned beer. (If you want fancy cocktails, the Passenger is around the corner.) As at the beach, no glass bottles will be allowed.
Adirondack chairs and umbrella-shaded picnic tables have been set up in the sand. A large jet ski will be used as a prop in a Beach Bar photo booth — BYO camera phones — and a lifeguard chair is also on the way. Also installed: A large trailer with portable toilets. But these are the posh kind, with granite countertops and central air conditioning.
If you’re coming straight from work, there will be a shoe/bag check (optional!), and you can also buy a pair of cheap ($5) flip-flops to wear in the sand. (Our office is decidedly split on the idea of taking off and/or checking shoes at a bar.)
For those worrying about the sand, the owners say they’ve got adequate drainage for rain (and cleaning), and there will be a special fence keeping sand from blowing away down the street. We’ll see what happens when the first big thunderstorm pops up.