Two days ago, Garden District owner Tad Curtz was sitting on the beach in Tulum, Mexican with no immediate plans to return to Washington. But as he checked the weather forecast on his phone, he saw DC was in for unseasonably warm temperatures this week. He called his team, booked a last-minute flight that arrived last night, and is now preparing to reopen his winter-dormant 14th Street beer garden at 5 pm today.
“Sometimes this time of year it’s snowing still,” Curtz says. “But it definitely is not snowing right now.”
Garden District will serve a shortened menu this weekend with burgers, grilled cheese, fried chicken sandwiches, and sides. The barbecue will be available next week when there’s more time to fire up the smokers. Also stay tuned for the return of dollar (or six for $5) doughnuts made and served along the sidewalk.
Now in the beer garden’s seventh year, Curtz says all of his kitchen crew and most of his front-of-house employees will be returning the season. Some veterans will help out this weekend until the beer garden has time to fully staff up.
“I would have loved to stay in Mexico. I was having a really great time,” Curtz says. “But it’s actually fun and exciting to be open again.”