The Nationals open their 2017 postseason against the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park this weekend, with games Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Whether you have tickets or just want to experience the playoff atmosphere, the bars and restaurants around Navy Yard are extending hours, tapping new beers and offering specials before the game — and encouraging ticketless fans to stick around and watch the action on big screens.
On Wednesday from 6:30 to 9 p.m., there's a free Halloween-themed “Haunted Pep Rally” at Nationals Park, with a “Zombie Zone” on the concourse, trick-or-treating for kids, a DJ, food trucks and “special guests.” Here's a look at what else's going on before and during this weekend's games:
Bardo: The brewpub will open at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with $7 pints and $21 pitchers of its house beers. For those who want to hang out at the riverside tables during the game, co-founder Andrew Stewart says they'll play the radio broadcast over the sound system and are “working on getting a signal to show the game on TVs.”
Bluejacket: Bluejacket is moving the party outdoors with a grill, a bar and TVs on its Tingey Street patio. In addition to a special food menu, they'll feature several beers, including the German-style light lager For the Company and the new Pattern Skies Hefeweizen and Picnic Beer, a double-dry-hopped session IPA.
The Bullpen: The Bullpen's long-term future may not be certain, but it's going to be a destination for the playoffs. Gates open at 4 p.m. Friday and 1:30 p.m. Saturday, with live music before and after both games. (The Bullpen is all-ages before games and 21-and-over after 9 p.m.) Those who don't have tickets can stay and watch games on a 20-foot LED jumbotron screen with sound. Beers, wine and frozen drinks are $5 from the beginning of the third inning through the end of the seventh.
Due South: The Southern-style restaurant, which opens at 11 a.m. for home games, will offer its usual menu, including happy hour with $5 selected draft beers, house wine, rail drinks and snacks from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays. All games will be shown with sound, and the bar will also pour Devils Backbone Earned Run Ale, the easy-drinking session pale ale that, until now, was only served inside Nationals Park.
Gordon Biersch: Head brewer Travis Tedrow is adding a new beer to the brewpub's lineup this Friday: Singles Trapp, a Belgian single made with Chimay yeast and Czech Saaz hops. (Unfortunately, the bar doesn't offer happy hour on gamedays.)
Justin's Cafe: The neighborhood's original pre- and postgame Nationals hangout, Justin's is still a draw for happy hour, which lasts from 4 to 8 p.m. on weekdays. All four craft beers are $3 from 4 to 6 p.m., rising to $4 from 6 to 7 p.m. and $5 from 7 to 8 p.m. Rail drinks start at $4, and house wines are a flat $4 from 4 to 8 p.m. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. daily.
The Salt Line: Located directly across the street from Nationals Park's First Base Gate, the Salt Line — one of Tom Sietsema's top 10 restaurants — toasts the start of the playoffs with the White Stone Oyster Company shucking fresh oysters and Budweiser that was shipped from the brewery that morning, as well as a DJ, beginning at 4 p.m. The outdoor bar opens at 11 a.m. Saturday, with more oysters and fresh Budweiser, beginning at 2 p.m.
Whaley's: It may not be summer any more, but Whaley's is keeping its waterfront rosé garden open as long as the Nationals remain in the playoffs. Ten different rosés, as well as cocktails and frozen drinks, are available beginning at 5 p.m. on weekdays and noon on weekends.
And finally, if you're rooting for the other team, Ivy & Coney has you covered with $3 Chicago Dogs during games, plus and $3 “Old Style-ish” beer. Owner Josh Saltzman promises that “shots of Malört shall flow as plentifully as the tears of Nats, just slightly more bitter.”