The Washington Post

The Lot at Union Kitchen: Music, beer and food trucks at D.C.’s newest pop-up festival

Live music, beer and food trucks add up to a great Saturday evening. The Lot at Union Kitchen, which launched Saturday at Third and L streets NE, has all three in spades.

The Lot is run by the team behind Union Kitchen, which rents commercial kitchen space to food truck operators, caterers and start-up businesses. They turn the Kitchen's asphalt parking lot into a low-key neighborhood version of Truckeroo Saturdays from 5 to 10 p.m.

Sam McCormally of Paperhaus and Ugly Purple Sweater performs his solo set at the Lot at Union Kitchen. (Photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)

During Saturday's debut, members of local rock group Paperhaus performed for an audience seated at tables – well, rolling kitchen carts – topped with flowers and citronella candles. The Something Stuffed food truck served up spicy bowls of sweet potato noodles, mushrooms, cilantro and pork or chicken for $5. Other booths offered $5 cups of vegetarian chili or gourmet ice cream sandwiches, while a bar poured $5 wines by the glass and plastic cups of DC Brau served straight from the keg.

Union Kitchen co-founder Jonas Singer says that each week will feature "two different dinner options and a desert item," prepared by different members of Union Kitchen. He says the price point will be similar, with food priced between $5 and $8. "We're trying to keep it affordable," Singer says. This week has a barbecue theme, with South Carolina 'cue from the new Altis BBQ, plus a veggie option so no one's left out.

The concert series, which will run through Nov. 2, features a wide range of D.C.-based acts, including electronica quartet Brett (Saturday), R&B singer Jay Hayden (Sept. 28), and indie-folkies Pree (Sept. 14). Music begin around 6 p.m. and there's never a cover charge. "We want people to be able to just walk in and hear some great local music," Singer says.

The laid-back vibe at the Lot at Union Kitchen feels like a neighborhood block party instead of a loud, crazy festival. (Photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)
Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.



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