Democracy Dies in Darkness

Going Out Guide

Going to Nationals Park? Several new restaurants and bars just opened in the area.

May 4, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Taco Bamba chef and owner Victor Albisu brought Taco Bamba to Chinatown on April 6. (Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post)

The return of baseball season led to a series of restaurant openings around Yards Park and the Navy Yard neighborhood in April, but those weren't the only major arrivals in the Washington area.


All-Purpose Navy Yard: The second location of All-Purpose — which Tom Sietsema named his favorite restaurant in D.C. in his 2016 Fall Dining Guide — serves deck-oven pizzas, “Jersey-style” eggplant parm and whipped ricotta on a riverfront patio across the street from Nationals Park. 79 Potomac St. SE. 

Declaration Navy Yard: Joining the crowded dining scene near the ballpark is a second outpost of Shaw pizzeria Declaration. The new, larger location has bar seating on the patio and a menu that encompasses pizza, meatball hoagies and Philly-style cheesesteaks. 1237 First St. SE.

Aslin Pop-Up Beer Garden: Aslin's juicy IPAs and tasty sour beers have made it one of Virginia's most talked-about craft breweries. Through July 8, the Herndon-based Aslin will host a pop-up beer garden at the corner of First and N streets SE, across from the Nationals Park parking garage, on Nationals game days. Beyond a selection of five or six canned Aslin beers, the small lot features long tables, a food truck and portable toilets in a gravel-covered lot. It's a simple space, but it's proved to be popular. First and N streets SE.

Due South Dockside: The last of the three Opening Day arrivals is a satellite location for Due South, located on the Yards Park boardwalk. Look for beers, frosé — that's a frozen rosé slushie — and wings right on the water. Yards Park Riverwalk. 

[The Bullpen is back, Aslin and pizza arrive: A look at what’s new around Nats Park for 2018]

Taco Bamba: As reported last month, chef Victor Albisu has split the former Del Campo space into two units: the fourth installment of his Taco Bamba chain and the forthcoming fine-dining restaurant Poca Madre. At Taco Bamba, expect a hard-rock soundtrack and tacos such as the Drunken Master, made with kung pao shrimp, and the Sid Vicious, which pairs fried cod and salsa macha. 777 I St. NW.

[Taco Bamba: Delectable flavors from a chain that doesn’t behave like one]

Yard House: With more than 100 beers on tap and dozens of television screens, Yard House should be one of the busiest pregame spots near the Capital One Arena. Local craft breweries are featured on the long draft list, but the equally long menu is all over the place: Nashville hot chicken and poke nachos and Korean wings and lumpia? If it reads like a chain, that's because it is: Yard House, which arrived at Springfield Mall in 2014, is owned by the same company as Olive Garden and the Capital Grille. 812 Seventh St. NW.

Dog Haus: The California haute dog chain's first East Coast location offers a selection of gourmet, all-natural hot dogs and sausages served on King's Hawaiian rolls — items include the Old Town, a bacon-wrapped dog topped with caramelized onions, chipotle aioli, cotija cheese and pickled jalapeños. (Burgers, veggie dogs and corn dogs are also options.) 7904 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda.

True Respite Brewing: Gov. Larry Hogan cut the ribbon outside True Respite Brewing on April 13, welcoming the Rockville brewery to Montgomery County's growing beer scene. The man crafting the Belgian-style ales and smoked stouts is Kenny Allen, a veteran brewmaster who previously worked at Virginia's Old Dominion, Old Ox and Mustang Sally breweries. 7301 Calhoun Pl., Suite 600, Rockville.

Oath Pizza: Navy Yard is facing a pizza war, with locals All-Purpose, Declaration and Wiseguy opening locations in the neighborhood. Joining the fray is Boston's Oath Pizza, which prides itself on “sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients.” This is the second Oath Pizza in the region, after last year's opening in the Mosaic District. 110 M St. SE.

Tastemakers Food Hall: Founded by the owners of the Captain Cookie food truck, Tastemakers includes a commercial kitchen for mobile vendors and food start-ups, a cocktail bar called Benjamin's on Franklin, and a food hall with vendors including Bullfrog Bagels, Taqueria del Barrio and Alchemist Coffee. 2800 10th St. NE.

City Winery: The sixth location on the national City Winery chain fills the former Love nightclub with an on-site winery, a 300-seat concert hall, a full restaurant and private rooms. Two rooftop decks are slated to open soon. 1350 Okie St. NE.

[Skip the road trip: These new wineries are right in D.C.]

The Patio at Momofuku: The newest idea from restaurateur David Chang is a Saturday-and-Sunday-only patio that serves peel-and-eat shrimp, crawfish and clams by the pound, washed down with pitchers of Natty Boh, glasses of rosé and frozen slushies. (Raw or roasted oysters, chilled crab fat noodles and smoked trout dip are also on the menu, but this place seems designed for getting your hands dirty.) 1090 I St. NW. 


Goodie’s: The tiny Clarendon pizza spot, which offered pepperoni or cheese slices to late-night crowds, closed April 7.

Glen’s Garden Market: The Shaw location of Glen’s pulled the plug on April 9. The original Dupont market remains open.

Pete’s New Haven-Style Apizza: The original Pete's in Columbia Heights has closed. It will be replaced by a Wawa.

RareSweets: The purveyor of cakes, cookies and coffee — one of the few local businesses at CityCenterDC — closed April 23. “It’s not making economic sense for our business model,” owner Meredith Tomason told Washingtonian.

Church and State: The church-themed cocktail bar above H Street NE's Atlas Arcade served its last drink on April 30. The bar, owned by Wisdom founder Erik Holzherr, is getting a revamp after seven years, “taking the best parts of C&S; and melding it with something fresh and fun,” according to an announcement. A new theme will be announced this month.

Read more:

It’s finally warm! These new rooftop bars are the perfect place to celebrate.

Tired of the Smithsonian? These small, quirky museums are worth a visit.

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for The Washington Post's Weekend section since 2003, but he also writes about a variety of local entertainment topics.

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