"Wait 'til next year!" was the perennial cry of Brooklyn Dodgers fans, but it also could serve as the motto for those who want something to eat or drink near Nationals Park. Every year, we hear that a handful of new places will be opening at some point during the season, but the neighborhood never seems to hit critical mass.
In 2013, it might.
Gordon Biersch will open at First and M streets SE at 10 a.m. on Monday, which is opening day. The brewpub, which has room for more than 200 patrons indoors and a patio with seats for 85 more, will have six to eight house-made beers on tap, plus five rotating draft selections from such local breweries as DC Brau, Mad Fox and Loose Cannon.
Right down the street, Park Tavern also is aiming for a Monday opening. Run by Xavier Cervera, the man behind Molly Malone’s and Lola’s on Barracks Row, Park Tavern will offer outdoor seating at Canal Park with food from chef Steve Rosenthal, a veteran of Cafe Atlantico and the Green Pig Bistro. (Expect the bar scene to be just as lively as the dining room, if not more.)
Bluejacket, the brewery and restaurant from the team behind ChurchKey and Birch & Barley, is targeting an early June opening at the Boilermaker Shops and will be joined by a branch of sister restaurant Buzz Bakery.
Also coming to the Boilermaker Shops in June: a branch of the popular Portuguese chicken restaurant Nando’s Peri-Peri.
Closer to the water, New York chef Michael White plans a summer opening of Osteria Morini at the Yards’ Lumber Shed. This is the third Osteria Morini opened by the former James Beard Award nominee; the other restaurants, which feature the cuisine of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, are in New York and Bernardsville, N.J.
The Fairgrounds, which renovated the area across from the center field gates over the winter, will again have live music on game days and at a series of summer festivals, including the second Trillectro Festival on Aug. 3. The popular Truckeroo food truck festival returns April 19.
Kruba Thai, which opened in November on Water Street, across from Yards Park, also is worth a visit after a game if you’re a fan of generously spiced Thai food.