“The hammers start swinging on Monday,” he says. Construction of the new space -- including making room for those draft beers and enclosing the staircase between floors -- will take four weeks “if everything goes well,” Andrade says, and six weeks “if there are problems.”
The dungeon-like basement, a favorite of punks, bike messengers and off-duty bartenders for the better part of two decades, will remain the way it is. And even though there’s barbecue on the street level, the downstairs menu, with its vegan offerings, will be exactly the same.
Andrade is also the owner of Meridian Pint, the year-old Columbia Heights beer bar, which is running out of space to store and refrigerate kegs. The staff is set to double the size of the Pint’s cold room next week, but to do that, they’re going to have to turn off the cooler -- and all 27 taps -- for at least four days, starting on Monday.
Not to worry, though: Beer manager Sam Fitz promises that “three to five” English-style cask ales (which don’t require the same level of cold temperatures) will be available each night, and until work is finished, prices on bottled beers will be slashed and an extra-large selection of canned brews will be available.