Hill Country's Backyard Barbecue, which brought live music, Texas beers and smoky brisket to the National Building Museum's lawn last summer, will return on May 1. The popular pop-up will again offer country bands Thursday through Saturday nights with no cover charge, and operate through Labor Day weekend.
However, there are some significant changes: The Backyard Barbecue will only operate Thursday through Saturday from 4 to 9 p.m., meaning no Saturday or Sunday afternoons sipping Shiner in the sun, and no chance of hanging out on a Wednesday after work. (That was my favorite time to go last summer, as your chance of getting a seat on a hay bale was higher than on a busy Friday.) "We looked at the pros and cons of what we did last year," said Hill Country spokeswoman Melissa Gold, "and in July and August, it's really hot out there."
Gold also says that Hill County is looking into adding more bars at the Backyard Barbecue to speed up waits for beer and cocktails, and adding additional games beyond the two corn hole sets that were in continuous use last summer. "We're still shaping what it's all going to look like," she said. Expect more details about the new menu and the concert schedule next month.
One thing that won't be happening this year: Another Hill Country pop-up near Nationals Park. Hill Country's owners applied for a liquor license for a second Backyard Barbecue near the Department of Transportation, but were unable to finalize a deal for the project.