Food

Hook Hall’s Cherry Blossom Pop-Up Bar Is the Most Floral Place to Sip This Spring

The Park View beer garden embraces the blooms.

Hook Hall transforms into a cherry blossom pop-up bar for spring. Photography by Evy Mages

The cherry blossoms may be fleeting—and access to the peak Tidal Basin blooms limited—but you can still immerse yourself in pretty, floral pinkness at Hook Hall through spring. The indoor/outdoor Park View bar has swapped its wintertime “viking village” theme for a “celebrate the blossoms” motif with imported cherry trees, Japanese-inspired tea houses for private parties, and Japanese-inspired food and drink.

Semi-enclosed private areas can be booked for larger parties. Photograph by Evy Mages

Similar to pop-ups past, the large outdoor space includes a mix of semi-private, weather-protected areas and al fresco garden tables with fire pits for cool weather that can be reserved for two to six guests ($15 per person for 2.5 hours). For groups up to six, “tea houses” (cabana-like structures that are open in front) are decorated in faux blossoms, equipped with fire pits for cool nights, and come with the option of special food and drink package (reservations start at $125 for 2.5 hours). There are also larger areas for parties of up to 18 with distanced seating arrangements.

Cherry trees line the bar. Photograph by Evy Mages

And of course, there are Japanese-inspired floral cocktails like a Sakura Spritz with Roku gin and elderflower liqueur. Food for brunch and dinner is a mix of beer hall fare—behold, a two-pound pretzel—and themed eats like miso-glazed wings, barbecue pork buns, dumplings, and a fried chicken katsu pizza. 

“Tea Houses” are outfitted with swings and fire pits. Photograph by Evy Mages

Apart from themed pop-ups, Hook Hall owner Anna Valero has continued her efforts to help industry workers during the pandemic with Hook Hall Helps. The program that launched over a year ago provides free meals, supplies kits, and other services to struggling hospitality workers, and has drawn the support from Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, who recently visited the space with Mayor Bowser.

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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.