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.

Smith Commons

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.

Cleveland Park Bar and Grill

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).