I Shed a Tear of Joy Tonight

Red Rocks Opens!, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

All the hype is true! Red Rocks Pizzeria opened tonight and I wept like a baby I was so happy. Before I get to the restaurant let me just say that I think RedRocks represents all that is good and positive about development in Columbia Heights and Petworth. I sat outside and witnessed true diversity. There were Latinos, Whites, Blacks, young and old(er) and plenty of babies. I even spotted Petworth’s very own Bill Crandall and family. It almost felt like a community get together. You could just sense how happy everyone was. Like they had been waiting so long for something like this to come along. And it didn’t disappoint. Of course, there were some minor issues that need to be worked out but on opening night it is to be expected and overall I felt that the experience was sublime.

I started off with a delicious glass of Chimay beer which tasted like what I can only imagine beer tastes like in heaven. I ordered the Napoli pizza which came with anchovies, basil and all the good stuff. For 10 bucks it was delicious and plenty filling. But I think it is the combination of great food and great atmosphere that made the experience so pleasant. I honestly feel like that is the type of restaurant people have been dreaming about. And for the first time in a long time our dreams have finally come true. It is simple but classy, cheap but delicious. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

22 Comment

  • I was there too and my party is visible in your interior photo. We were also very, very happy about the good food, atmosphere, and diverse crowd. There were quite a few babies there! I took a bunch of pictures and put them up on my Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/ Hope we end up with more independent, interesting local restaurants here in Columbia Heights and in Petworth.

  • HA! My wife said she saw somebody taking pictures inside and she thought it might have been you! Our guess is that you were sitting outside in the far right corner of the patio with a curly-haired woman. I’m sure you won’t own up to it, but that’s fine. We won’t give away your secret identity.

    And thanks for not getting my wife and I in the outdoor picture. We too like to stay anonymous.

    On a more important note, RRP was great. Lots of different people and everyone was enjoying it. Great beer and food. After they work out the kinks, it’s going to be even better.

  • It is tough to casually take pictures, even with a cell phone. You are right, it was me in the far right corner…

  • Last night at RedRocks was a great example of how much the right attitude matters. As PoP mentioned, service was quite slow and there were some confusion amongst the staff – which is to be expected on opening night. I came in to get a pizza to go. Since it was taking much longer than expected, the bartender offered me free drinks while I waited and didn’t even charge me for the pizza once it arrived! They seemed to be going out of their way to please customers, which is rare in these days of bad customer service.

    I alse echo PoP’s observations about diversity. Lots of different types of people, and everyone was very excited about the place and what it means for the neighborhood. It is classy without being pretentious. Highly recommended

  • We went last night too.

    Pros: Beer list is quite good. Pizza selections were interesting and very tasty. We had a vegetarian and a pesto and they both were very good. Not as good as Radius in my opinion, but good enough to keep me coming back for more in the future for sure. Nice ambiance. Great outdoor eating area and inside it was comfortable and homey. Nice crowd and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The vibe was very very positive and happy.

    Cons: Service was horrible. Chalk it up to first night blues maybe, but it took as about an hour to get our food, about 20 minutes for me to get my first beer and another 15 minutes to get my check/receipt. Although the check part wasn’t so bad because we got to meet some cool neighbors at the table next to us. They ran out of a lot of stuff, some of it quite important such as pizza. Yeah, they ran out of pizza. Not great for a pizza joint. They didn’t have any sliced meat toppings either. The inside also was way too loud. Or maybe I’m too old, but it was hard to have a conversation without yelling over the noise level.

    I figure the service will get better with time and they’ll figure out how to stock the kitchen as time goes on. Overall, good neighborhood spot with above average pizza, but still not as good as Radius in Mt P. I’m glad they opened down the street though, 11th street is going to be a very nice yin to 14th street’s yang.

  • I can ask for more: Do they deliver???

  • Red Rocks please PLEASE please PLEASE deliver!!!!!!
    i haven’t even seen you and i like you already. if you will deliver to Petworth i will fall madly in love!!

  • “Tears of Joy” indeedy! I couldn’t go last night, but will definitely pay my respects this weekend. For me, it’s a great location (just a few blocks’ walk), and hell, Chimay on tap and (allegedly) awesome pizza…. Now THAT’S gentrification I can live with! Whoo!

  • This is my favorite brothel-turned-pizza joint in the city! Highly recommended.

  • Call me a ding-dong, but where is this place?

  • you’re a ding-dong

  • 11th and Park, you can’t miss it.

  • The whole Monkey Family was there, just off-screen to the left. I was so busy chasing the lil’ fella around I didn’t have time to notice any surreptitious blogger surveillance.

  • ate there tonight, loved it. good food and already packed. amazing to have this place so close!! I am shedding a little tear of joy right now…

  • anonymous: Giving you comps like free drinks or free food when there is a mistake or a delay is alive and well in the South, but I had yet to see that in DC (I’m talking to you Domku!). So that’s cool to hear Red Rocks has the proper attitude. Definitely will go there if the Lil’ Gal gives me a kitchen pass.

  • So we went on Friday, 2nd day of business. We expected plenty of growing pains in the beginning. The wait for a table was reasonable and the bar was as crowded as a typical night at Wonderland. However, after keener observation, the wait times for both a table and for drinks was attributable to factors well beyond mere opening night snafus. First, none of the kegs were tapped correctly, so they spewed out nothing but foam. Took an average of 6 minutes to pour one glass of beer. If you’re going to pride yourself on an impressive beer selection, learn to tap a keg. Plenty of people around here who can show you how. Second, after getting a table, we were completely ignored by the wait staff. I mean ignored. Not one soul approached our table in 35 minutes of sitting. We did everything we could to get the waitresses attention. No avail. Even complaining to the hostess led to nothing. I mean we did not even get menus. So after 35 minutes of sitting, we left. We have patience for a new place trying to make it, but only so much. There was no excuse for that kind of service. We’re going to pass on this restaurant for at least a few months until they get their act together.

  • Went. FANTASTIC! I am a borderline atheist, but did praise the God, Jesus as well, Allah, Visnu, and all the higher beings for blessing us with great pizza around the corner! FINALLY! 😀

    Ps. I did personally thank James The Owner as well, as that still seemed to make more sense. 🙂


  • I was there Friday night. I heard they were having some issues with getting started and asked about the kegs and long wait times. In short, it sounds like it is growing pains stuff with new equipment and staff. I’ve been to a bunch of restaurant openings, and you expect some kinks. Well, these guys were really great all things considered. The food is excellent, I mean really excellent, and the staff is crazy nice like they really care about you. I put my money on this former brothel-turned-pizzeria being one of DC’s coolest little restaurants!
    –Mt. Pleasant Guy

  • so both of us were more than ready to shed a year of joy tonight while having a pizza at red rock. but then once we arrived there tonight … a big let down. just a couple of days after opening, red rock decided to be closed for the day because of some brown out according to the note in the window. hope they decide to open next time i drop by

  • Prince: Maybe another topic in all of this? “DC Service, as bad as they say OR worse?” 😉

  • Do they sell by the slice or have personal-sized pies?

  • just personal sized pies. Darn good ones. I keep going back for them.
    –Mt. Pleasant Guy

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