A Big Outdoor “Winter Wonderland” Pop-Up Is Opening in Shaw

HalfSmoke debuts a distanced outdoor patio, breakfast through dinner.

The winter wonderland pop-up bar at HalfSmoke. Photography by Rey Lopez

As DC prepares for a shut down of indoor dining this week, one restaurateur is going all out outdoors. HalfSmoke owner Andre McCain will debut a huge al fresco “winter wonderland” pop-up today at his Shaw restaurant with socially distanced seating for 100 guests. The patio is set with 12 heated and ventilated igloos for two-to-six that can be reserved, breakfast through dinner, as well as open-air picnic tables.

Igloos can be reserved breakfast through dinner. Photograph by Rey Lopez

Guests can order items from the sausage-centric HalfSmoke menu, popular breakfast sandwich pop-up Butter Me Up, and the new virtual pizza kitchen Get Social. McCain also plans to serve outdoor food and drinks from a rotating roster of pop-up concepts. The first: Morning After Next, a new breakfast and brunch venture from McCain and chef Bart Hosmer. The carb-heavy menu is divided between breakfast bites like shrimp and grits, several styles of decadent pancakes and hashes, and “everything else” (i.e. a funnel cake-fried chicken sandwich). Drinks are equally embellished—think a bloody Mary loaded with fried garnishes (french fries, tater tots) and a cheeseburger slider. There’re also new festive drinks like hot toddies and a Malibu-coconut “Jack Frost.”

Cinnamon toast crunch pancakes from the Morning After Next pop-up. Photograph by Rey Lopez

For small parties renting igloos there’s a $50 fee, Friday through Sunday, otherwise they’re free. Staff and customers can say whether they’re comfortable interacting inside the igloos (which have raised safety concerns), or if they prefer no-contact service outside. The igloos also have moveable flaps for more ventilation and air flow. For those dining outdoors, heaters and blankets (available for $20 each) provide warmth.

An extra-loaded bloody Mary. Photograph by Rey Lopez

Due to new regulations on when businesses can serve alcohol, the winter wonderland will operate on the early side, serving patrons daily from 8 AM to 10 PM.

The idea is, how do we make the most out of the time we have? Do something fun on the earlier side that’s still compliant.”

Winter Wonderland at HalfSmoke. 651 Florida Ave., NW

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.