When Kraken Axes owner Anna Valero took a hard look at the massive Park View space where she and business partner Steuart Martens were operating an axe-throwing bar, she ultimately didn’t think tossing blades was the best fit. Instead, the event planner envisioned a huge tavern and party venue—max capacity is 1,300—with room for full-size shuffleboard courts and ping pong tables, rotating food vendors, and “the ultimate backyard” beer garden. The result is Hook Hall, which is now partially open.
Currently the indoor bar area is up and running for evening drinks and games, but in the coming weeks, Valero plans to roll out an all-day roster of amenities and activities. Local company CoWork Cafe will have space for its members, while neighbors and families can stop by in the morning and afternoon for Vigilante coffees, pastries, and sandwiches from Alexandria-based bakery, Bread & Chocolate. Valero, who runs Taste of DC and other events, intentionally built a caterer and vendor-friendly space instead of installing a full in-house kitchen. Eateries like Rockland’s Barbeque and neighbor Sunrise Caribbean Restaurant will provide dishes in the beginning, while startup businesses will take over food service for three month stretches in the future.
In addition to a 40-foot bar indoors, the outdoor space (opening soon) will have its own lengthy drinking platform with 32 drafts for beer, wine, cider, and spiked seltzer. Guests can gather around long picnic tables or relax in Adirondack chairs on the astroturf lawn. Channeling a Vegas pool vibe—minus the pool—the team installed ten private cabanas outfitted with lounge furniture, privacy curtains, and individual minibars stuffed with drink mixers, M&Ms, and other snacks. They also channeled Vegas, or at least Reno, in price: the private booths must be reserved with a $500 beverage-only minimum. To ease sticker shock, consider filling your cabana to max capacity (15 friends) and splitting the tab (around $33 each). Live music and DJs are slated for evenings.
A more egalitarian (and kid-friendly) way to chill out: an ice cream bar. Patrons can purchase pints—whether you fancy local creameries or good old Ben & Jerry’s—and head to a DIY toping bar loaded with sprinkles, crunchies, caramel, fudge, and cherries. It all falls into the Captain Hook theme of Hook Hall.
“I just love pirates,” says Valero of the name, which nods to Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. “That idea of never growing up spoke to the kind of place I wanted this to be.”
Hook Hall. 3400 Georgia Ave., NW; 202-639-4339.