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7 New Outdoor Drinking Spots to Try Now
Plus two more on the way.
Summer is technically over, but someone forgot to tell the weather (shh): This weekend promises clear blue skies and temperatures climbing into the 80s. Take advantage of these last balmy days and check out a new bar or restaurant’s outdoor space. Our roundup includes three that have opened just this week, with two more on the way soon.
Shaw’s newest beer garden is only three days old and entirely no-frills: There’s more standing room than seats—which consist of four picnic tables—and indoor space is nonexistent (no to food, yes to portable toilets). But don’t expect PBR; mugs and handsome glass boots can be filled with half and full liters of German or Belgian beer from a dozen taps. Look for a more extensive buildout come winter. 1600 Seventh St., NW; 202-524-8790.
El Centro Georgetown
The sister restaurant of El Centro on 14th Street debuts Friday in the former Third Edition space. Remember the tiki bar behind the old watering hole? Now it’s an attractive brick-walled patio, complete with tables for feasting on new menu items such as guacamole made tableside, mahi-mahi tacos, and fajitas. Drinkers will find a variety of infused tequilas in flavors like watermelon-cucumber and peach, as well as classic frozen margs. Check back in on Monday for a full preview. 1218 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-4100; richardsandoval.com/elcentrogtown.
Mike Isabella’s Greek spot debuted in early July, and outdoor seating was just added for a W Street patio. Tables are first come, first served and require some level of dining, but don’t feel like you need to go the whole hog (or goat, in this case). Post up with a gin-spiked lemonade, order a few apps and spreads (we love the taramasalata), and enjoy the last summery evenings. 2201 14th St., NW; 202-234-5000; kapnosdc.com.
The latest restaurant addition to the Merrifield development boasts a 36-seat patio outside the Italian eatery. Order an Amalfi cocktail—a refreshing mix of bourbon, limoncello, and strawberries—and some house-made burrata with grilled zucchini, and channel the Mediterranean. Love dogs? Bring your pooch on Tuesday from 4 to 5 for happy hour with half-price pizzas and $5 glasses of wine and draft beers (regular happy hour runs 5 to 7). 2727 Merrilee Dr., Merrifield; 703-573-2161; ovvioosteria.com.
RedRocks on H Street
RedRocks just debuted the fourth location of its pizza chainlet on H Street this week, and it’s the biggest yet. Head to the top of the three-story eatery, which features an indoor-outdoor bar and a 75-seat roof deck. The full menu is available—a mix of popular dishes from the Columbia Heights flagship and new items, like pasta with clams—as well as plenty of brews and spirits for the drinking crowd. Even better: happy hour every day from 5 to 7 with discounts such as $1 off drafts, $5 wine and Prosecco on tap, and snacks like $4 meatballs.1348 H St., NE; 202-621-7300; redrocksdc.com.
Top Chef alum Timothy Dean recently opened a sibling to his Largo burger spot in NoMa. One of the best features: a front patio that’s nearly the same size as the 65-seat eatery. Order beers, wine, and specialty drinks at the counter with a light snack of chili-rubbed wings, then claim one of the umbrella-shaded tables. Cocktail servers will refresh your glass. 250 K St., NE; 202-546-2433.
Tonic at Quigley’s
The building that houses this George Washington University campus tavern may be historic, but the spacious garden patio is an August addition. Look for plenty of promos such as Tiki Tuesday, with $5 tiki cocktails and seasonal drafts, and half-price wine on Wednesday. The sidewalk cafe has also been spruced up with a retractable awning and ceiling fans. 2036 G St., NW; 202-296-0211; tonicrestaurant.com.
The funky new spot from the team behind Jackie’s and El Chucho opened Thursday and is set to debut a sunny, yellow-fenced back patio in the coming weeks. The 30-seat yard will be perfect for sipping affordable (read: under $10) tiki drinks, including on-tap Mai Tais. 1825 18th St., NW.
You may be sipping rare French vino in a sweater when the pop-up wine bar by the Chez le Commis crew debuts on September 29. The Union Kitchen parking lot will transform into an al fresco wine garden at least once this year (possibly twice, depending on weather), but expect more regular sessions come spring 2014. 1100 Third St., NE; vindechez.com.
See also: 23 Great Bars With Outdoor Happy Hours