Best in Food 2012: Shandies Under the Stars

When the Hilton brothers opened their English-style pub, the Brixton, they debuted DC’s best outdoor drinking spot.
Kicking back on the Brixton’s sprawling rooftop, overlooking
      DC’s U Street. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Kicking back on the Brixton’s sprawling rooftop, overlooking DC’s U Street. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

It was quite a year for outdoor drinking. A long-awaited roof
deck debuted at Masa 14 (1825 14th St., NW; 202-328-1414), featuring
communal benches, signature sangrías, and a crowd of carefully coifed
twentysomethings who lined up to get in. The New York Avenue Beach Bar
(645 New York Ave., NW; no phone), a summer-only spot, transformed a lot
behind the Passenger into an adult sandbox with beach balls and frozen
margaritas. And El Chucho (3313 11th St., NW; 202-290-3313) offered
Columbia Heights a cozy slice of rooftop to enjoy even more margaritas as
well as sandwiches so messy they arrive with plastic gloves.

Overshadowing them all, though, has been the vast patio atop
the Brixton—a Brit-style pub that opened in July from the brothers Hilton,
the duo behind such sceney spots as Marvin and Chez Billy. With sweeping
vistas of the teeming U Street nightlife, the deck is outfitted with two
bars and draws a refreshingly eclectic crowd—scruffy bearded dudes seem as
comfortable as miniskirted women teetering on high heels. Cocktails are
good but not great (English beers are the best bet), and bartenders tend
toward the aloof. But these facts matter little when you’ve landed a
barstool with a stunning view on the best roof deck in town.

The Brixton, 901 U St., NW;
202-560-5045.

Read more from our Best in Food 2012 package.

This article appears in the December 2012 issue of The Washingtonian.

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