A sure sign that Spring is on the way: Standard reopens Friday at 5 p.m.

The Standard Standard, an outdoor barbecue-and-beer garden at the corner of 14th and S streets NW, reopens for the season on March 1. (Photo by Astrid Riecken for The Post)

The popular barbecue joint/beer garden hybrid closes every December, because the vast majority of its seats are outdoors at long communal tables. But on March 1, Standard will awaken from its hibernation to serve smoky brisket, buttermilk onion rings and liters of German beer.

What to expect for 2013? Chef Tad Curtz says there are "no grand plans, other than we're excited to be open again." But he did let a few items of news drop: The popular lobster rolls, which were only served on Sunday afternoons last summer, will return. You'll be able to try them on Friday, and then again every Sunday.

There's been a slight shakeup on the taps, with the return of the strong, dark Celebrator Doppelbock. And Curtz will again be smoking whole pig heads, which customers need to call ahead to reserve. (You can start calling and asking next week, he says.) Perhaps the hottest news: Seven new heat lamps have been installed on the patio. With temperatures dipping below freezing this weekend, you might need them.