The weather’s so warm you don't need a coat, and any restaurant or bar with more than a couple of chairs outside is going to be packed at happy hour tonight. With that in mind, here are three patios that I’m looking forward to scoping out.
The gorgeous H Street NE lounge and restaurant has a large rear patio that can hold 35 to 45 people, according to managing partner Miles Gray. It’s a bit of a work in progress right now -- a 10-foot extension with banquettes and room for dinner tables is coming in the next week or so -- but it’s worth a visit if you find yourself on H Street tonight. Get there between 5 and 7 for “Smith Hour,” which features $5 draft beers, wines by the glass and premium mixed drinks (i.e., Jim Beam or Smirnoff instead of no-name spirits).
This year’s hot bar trend is shaping up to be the German-style beer garden: there are several in the planning stages around town. First to open: standard — no capital letter needed — which opened in the former Garden District space at 14th and S last week. It’s a small building with a handful of seats inside, so the real draw is the huge patio. Choose from six draft beers, which start at $5.46 for a half liter of Hofbrau lager, Scrimshaw pilsner or Kostritzer schwartzbier, or upgrade to a full liter mug for double the price. Doors open at 6 p.m.
If you want to watch March Madness outdoors, there are a number of street-level patios outfitted with high-def screens, including Lou’s City Bar and Penn Quarter Sports Tavern. But I’ll still take Cleveland Park Bar and Grill’s roof deck, which has multiple TVs, a full bar and tables if you’d rather catch up with friends instead of stare at a screen. It reopened this week, but it will close when the cool weather returns (a k a this weekend).