The entrance to Bardo Rodeo in Arlington as it looked in 1997. (Khue Bui/The Washington Post)

If you lived in the D.C. area in the 1990s, you remember the pioneering Arlington brewpub, which filled a former Oldsmobile dealership on Wilson Boulevard near Court House. It was hard to ignore: The car crashing through the front window, the indoor sandbox, the totem pole out front.

At its peak, Bardo Rodeo was one of the largest brewpubs in the country, and one of Arlington’s most popular bars. (Eventually, Bardo evolved into the sushi-centric Ningaloo and Dr. Dremo’s Tap Room before closing in 2008 to make way for a condo building.)

Last Friday, Bardo founder and brewer Bill Stewart Jr. filed an application for a liquor license for Bardo, a brewpub slated for 1200 Bladensburg Rd. NE, a few blocks north of H Street. (Prince of Petworth has photos of the former barber shop and the empty lot where Bardo is slated to go.)

Stewart, who left the D.C. area for Australia in 2007, will be running the place with his younger brother Andrew, and he’s game to resurrect the offbeat Bardo experience. “Everything’s going to be the same,” he says. “Same recipes, same equipment. I put all the brewing equipment in storage before I went overseas for six years.” Expect old favorites like the Imperial Stout, the Dremo Strong Ale and the Chinook Pale Ale to make their way back onto taps.

The application is as quirky as Bardo and Dremo’s were. Stewart lists the tavern’s expected cuisine as “microwave nachos” and an “outdoor BBQ grill.” That grill will come in handy: Bardo wants to have 251 seats outdoors, and only 98 inside. Stewart isn’t filing for an entertainment permit, so there won’t be live music or DJs — a disappointment for anyone who loved the annual Elvis birthday parties with dozens of impersonators.

The only question is how long it will take to get the new Bardo open. The site “is a vacant lot, so basically we’re going to build from scratch,” Stewart says. “We have to get a building permit as well as a liquor permit, and I have no idea how long that will take. Once we have those, we should be able to open in 3 to 4 months, but it all depends on the [Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, which issues building permits].”

Bardo’s liquor license hearing is Dec. 3.

The application:

Licensee: Bardo, LLC

Trade Name: Bardo

License Class: Retailer’s Class “C” Tavern

Address: 1200,1212, 1214, 1216 Bladensburg Rd., NE

Posting Date: October 5, 2012

Petition Date: November 19, 2012

Hearing Date: December 3, 2012

Notice is hereby given that this applicant has applied for a license under the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Act and that the objectors are entitled to be heard before the granting of such license on the hearing date at 10:00 am, 2000 14th Street, N.W., 400 South, Washington, DC 20009. Petitions and/or requests to appear before the Board must be filed on or before the petition date.


New Tavern, Brewpub with microwave nachos, outdoor BBQ grill for Summer Garden.

No entertainment at all. T-Shirt sales. No other goods and services. No dance floor. Total number of seats inside is 98, Summer Garden with 251 seats, and a total Occupancy Load of 349.


Sunday through Thursday: 11am – 2 am, Friday and Saturday: 11 am – 3 am