88 Comment

  • unzipped and waiting.

  • WOW. Gorgeous, exceeding my expectations which were high. A lot of character especially considering it is a totally new place. Very, very stoked.

  • Oh, and just checked the menu. Looks fantastic! Love the comfort food with a twist vibe. If the quality is there, this place will be packed to the gills — the prices are very reasonable.

    (I was hoping for fried green tomatoes as an appetizer, that would fit in well, but SO many tasty-sounding things to choose from — indeed, my only concern is that with such a large and varied menu, it may be tough to execute everything consistently). I am already looking forward to my first hung-over chili omelette.

    • The Chili omelette idea came from a diner I used to frequent when I was a teenager in St. Louis. It was Irv’s Grill and Good Food, and it was the ultimate in greasy spoon. The waitresses still had beehive hair-does, worn without irony. This was the 1980’s mind you, and it was definitely something else. Irv’s served something they called a Nightmare, which was, of course, a Chili omelet.

      I think the fried tomatoes is a great idea, but that would be a late fall item, after the tomato season. Perhaps a fried tomato quiche…?

  • Wow, looking great. Think the goal of June will make it?

  • You had me at marinated seitan kabobs and Oliver ESB…. Seriously can’t wait!

  • There are some definite communist elements to that mural. Who do you think you are? Diego Rivera?

  • I’m loving the non-pretentiousness of the menu. Not that I don’t like places with fancy food, but it’s refreshing to see this sort of menu coupled with a fantastic beer list. I hope the food is really good.

  • Props for the vegan options–looking forward to that veggie sandwich! A solid (and not overly pretentious) beer menu. Hooray for Sam Adams!!

  • agreed. if food and vibe is good, this place will do fantastic.

    man…three years ago all we had was pollo campero.

    I love CH kool aid

  • The pics do look sweet. And most beer prices are reasonable, but $4 for PABST? I guess the point of going to this place is to drink the good stuff and not buy PBR, but still that is highway robbery. I love the stuff, just not for $4.

    There need to be more beer places like this in DC

    • Just think of it this way: the pretentious d-bags who drink PBR ironically are subsidizing your decent beer selection. If paying $4 for a PBR even crosses your mind as a good idea you deserve to get ripped off. That is all.

    • while i am a huge fan of beer, i think DC is getting pretty well populated with good choices for beer spots. so while i appreciate this opening, i wouldn’t say there “need” to be more like this.


      birra paradiso
      brickskeller (with reservations)
      red derby
      granville moore’s

      i’d say that all of those places have pretty great beer selections (some of them stellar).

      and you can still get a pabst for 2 bucks at the derby.

      • And you can add…

        Brasserie Beck
        The Big Hunt
        The Saloon
        District Chophouse
        And coming next week… Biergarten Haus!

        • Only in DC would a mere 14 spots count as “well-populated.” I don’t know about you, but I like to be able to turn around when visiting a bar. The more places for people to go to, the more comfortable the whole beer bar scene will be.

          • I don’t disagree that more bars, especially neighborhood pubs with nice tap selections, will be welcomed. But they’re coming.

            Plus don’t take off the cuff listings as literally the only choices we have. There are dozens more. Maybe we’re not NY, Portland, Chicago or San Francisco when it comes to a wealth of bar choices, but I’d say we’re fine. One problem is that the going out community in DC tends to travel in herds to the latest hyped place – just go to the bars they left behind.

          • @JS described my point about more locations. I love when new places open, and I go to all the places mentioned, but more, especially like this neighborhood bar, is always better.

            I also agree with @anon that other are nicely subsidizing the better beers which will be offered at great prices.

            When I want cheap beer I will pay cheap prices. Those that come to places like this to drink cheap beer do deserved to get ripped off.

          • DC has less than half a million people in it, further limited by drinking age, select neighborhoods obviously have less than that. 14 or so is more than enough.

          • @Anonymous1:13: Just because there are only ~500k residents in DC, doesn’t mean that a LOT of suburbanites will come in to partake of the good beer bars.

            That said, I think the number available is comfortable, and while I welcome expansion, I wouldn’t call it an unmet need. And I think comparisons to NY or SF are indeed retarded, based on the relative size of those cities.

  • I knew John would do this right. Also, please hook up plenty of bicycle and motorcycle parking out front – talk to DDOT now if you haven’t already.

  • can’t wait to see the finished mural – communist, or not. Maybe he’s channeling Diego Rivera, which is not a bad thing at all!

  • Quincy St Neighbor

    I cannot wait! The place is coming together very nicely!

  • Yum, grilled polenta and wilted arugula… I’m in love! An excellent addition to the neighborhood-I hope they make the June date!!

  • Oliver’s ESB on cask for $5 all day long.

  • mmm, smutty ipa on cask… beer menu looks good to me

  • where are the tvs? the world cup is around the corner. I am also expecting Wifi so i can work, drink and watch the games.

  • $12 hamburger. $10 chicken salad sandwich. Seriously? There better be alot bourbon in it.

    • Seriously? You can make a hamburger at home for half that! 6 oz. of good meat is only around $3.00, plus another $2.00 for bun, condiments, lettuce, tomato, fries etc. Unless you factor in the cost of your labor – say 15 min. at $20.00 ah hour, so that’s another $5.00. And someone to clean it all up and wash your dishes – oh get a cheap illegal and it could be only another buck! So your home hamburger saves you a dollar! Well done.

      And chicken salad sandwich – dang – if you buy labor abusive ecologically ruinous cheap chicken parts for 69 cents/lb. and cook it and cool it and chop it and buy all the other ingredients, and also add that $5.00 of labor (unless you’re earning more than $20.00/hour) why you might save a dollar there too!

      Good thing you don’t also have to pay rent, electric, gas, insurance, health insurance, fica etc. construction costs, architects, painters or taxes.

      PBR at $4.00 a pop! They’re half that price in most bars in Kingston Arizona! And you could buy a whole six-pack for a couple of dollars more and drink the whole thing while slouching in your underwear on your craigslist futon watching Deadliest Catch season 11.

      Please please stay away! I don’t want to meet any of you there.

      • With a cranky attitude like that, I don’t think anybody wants you there, either.

      • With you on the food costs, but the $4 PBR thing just screams out for ridicule. Especially if you can get Bell’s or Olivers (on cask!) for $1 more. $2 PBR? Yes. It’s cheap beer and that’s a cheap price. $3 even. But when good beer is available for $1 more in the same establishment? Please.

        • At first, I thought you meant, ordering a PBR in such an establishment screams out for ridicule. With which I totally agree.

          Then I realized you meant it in the sense of, “Dude! $4 for a PBR! That’s, like, a TOTAL ripoff!”

          Take a hint from the posters downthread: no children in the bar, please.

          • No, I meant interpretation #1. Ordering PBR in a bar that serves real beer because your d-bag friends “discovered” it is bad enough, paying $4 for it should be grounds to revoke your drinking permit.

      • Thanks for this. Made my day.

    • Hi my name is Ruby and today is Tuesday… we should go on a date?

  • Just blood open already! I’m glad the paper is finally down so I can peer in whenever I pass by.
    Will say again – the place has just a tiny bit of a Victorian steampunk feel, and the new mural adds to that.
    Counting down the hours!

  • I am hoping the TV’s are focused more downstairs, which will have a different vibe.

    No worries re: a “communist” mural — it includes a huge American flag, as of last night!!!

    Hopefully the two huge vacant buildings on the other side of that block will get going soon. How sweet will that stretch be once the park is finally renovated, those two buildings are occupated rather than vacant eyesores, and the space next to CH Coffee (is that plan dead? that space is cursed, I swear) gets some sort of retail going. I really help the construction on the red brick building begins soon, the buyer seemed very motivated and spent a ton of dough, that is for sure …

  • appears stroller accessible. nice.

    • UGH. Read closely: Do Not Bring Your Children To A Bar.

      • Man, me and my three toddlers are sooo there; hell, I might just knock my wife up again tonight just so I can bring a fourth and teach you the difference between a restaurant that seves beer and a bar.

        • No, I think you are confused on the difference.

          Red Rocks Pizza, the Heights, Ruby Tuesday: Restaurants that serve beer.

          Wonderland, Red Derby, Looking Glass Lounge, and from appearances of it, this place: bars.

          • Funny, I see scads of kids in Wonderland all the time. What’s up with that?

          • That’s parents being too cheap to hire a babysitter and taking their kids to a bar. Which is fine, as long as they realize that an environment focused on drinking may not be what most would consider “kid-friendly” as far as noise levels, crowds, etc.

          • Perhaps it would help to clarify if you could come up with a definition other than “Places I Frequent (bar) vs Places I Do Not Care For (restaurant)”

            I’ll start: if you’re seeing braised kale, and wilted arugala on the menu, it’s a restaurant. If you see misogynistic artwork posted on the wall, and the bartender has a suppurating facial sore, it’s a bar.

            This whole, “TGI Fridays, bar; Ruby Tuesday, restaurant” thing is a bit too fuzzy.

          • In my mind a big distinction is the level of table service. At a restaurant you go in, sit down, and are served a meal and then leave.

            Here, it looks like (although to be fair we won’t know for sure until it’s open) people will come in, some will order at the bar, and many will stand around, move about the room and socialize.

            Also, the fact that it’s called Meridian PINT is a clue.

          • Two quick things:

            First, I’ll eat my hat if there’s no table service for your “Double-Cut Brined Pork Chop with Rhubarb Hard-Cider Sauce and Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Braised Kale”. Seems extremely unlikely.

            Second, there are plenty of places that are easier to take a kid than a pub/restaurant if you want free babysitting. What’s difficult is finding a substitute for an informal dining and social space to teach kids how not to be little shits in public.

            Parents aren’t going to take ’em to Citron partly because of the expense, but mostly because it’s quite formal. Parents *will* take them to this joint, or the Reef, Wonderland, Argonaut, etc… because such taverns have generally been about pulling the stick out of one’s butt.

          • “you have a baby! … in a bar?!” – legally blond

            who cares if the guy brings his kids to Meridian Pint! Some people have kids and should not be ostracized for it. Why are you so against it? Will it really change your experience at the bar?
            I doubt he will have his kids there very late when any heavy drinking happens.

          • @Dr Pangloss:

            You probably see scads of kids at Wonderland because they actually promote it by having a “baby happy hour.”


        • Three toddlers? Dude. You should’ve stopped while you were ahead. That’s the real problem here. It sounds like you fathered two or three too many. Having babies means that you can no longer go out drinking like you did back at Dartmouth. It’s a sacrifice that it seems more and more people are having a hard time coming to terms with these days.

      • Anon 12:05: did your parents ever bring you out in public or were you always left home?!? Meridian Pint is not a bar, it falls under pub. Columbia Heights is also an increasingly young family-centric neighborhood. You will see kids at Commonwealth, Social, Wonderland, Red Rock, Room 11, Meridian Pint.

        UGH. Get over yourself.

      • Please don’t procreate. Thanks.

    • Maybe, but it’s a bar, not a family restaurant.

    • troll much?

  • Outdoor seating?

  • Aside from the high-profile beer-centric places mentioned above I think DC has made some real strides in general craft beer availability. 8-10 years ago it was all you could hope for that a bar would have a “micro” like Pyramid or Red Hook along with the general BudMillerCoors offerings. Now visiting some newer places opening up it’s not uncommon to see a pretty good selection in bottles or on tap. Recent experience on H St tells me that Bell’s, Dogfish, Butternuts among others are regularly available in half a dozen or so places; I think that’s progress.

  • Freshly chromed beer taps glahrghahah (imitating Homer Simpson salivating noise)

  • I would double-check with any colonial historians who read this blog, but I believe cask ale arrived in America before pizza.

  • So, I guess I started a ruckus.

    I think we need a new post on what types of establishments are OK for taking little ones.

    Our baby can be noisy. So I don’t want to take him someplace quiet and ruin the ambiance.

    But I don’t intend to take him somewhere crowded or late, or have more than a drink or two when he is with me and my wife.

    I also want to pretend to be an adult sometimes and get out of the house.

    So – If some early afternoon on a Saturday this place is pretty quiet, shows soccer, has wifi, has nice, expensive beer, and my little guy is in a relaxed mood, I would be happy to wheel him in beside a booth and have a bottle of my own and chat with my wife while he drinks his.

    And I don’t think that’s morally unacceptable or likely to ruin the atmosphere for others.

    • Don’t bother trying to defend yourself on here. We’ll likely be there with our kid, too, and I’ll happily tolerate the open scorn of any PoP comementors who happen to be there at the same time.

      • Prince Of Petworth

        I can also do a special PoP happy hour for those with kids if there is enough interest.

      • As someone who has no interest in having my own kids, I’ve got to say – I think it’s beyond cool to see folks carrying their kids into places such as Asylum. Makes me think – that kid’s going to be cool.

    • I don’t think most people would have a problem with that. But it’s also about your expectations – if you go there to find that sitting next to you is a group of guys yelling expletitives at the TV because their team is losing or just generally acting rowdy, you shouldn’t be shocked. Because you’re at a bar, not a family-friendly restaurant.

      But going early I’d think you’d avoid that most of the time.

    • I don’t think they have TVs, but Two Amy’s in Cleveland Park was made for you. It is overrun by families with small children, so you won’t have to worry about disturbing others.

      Unlike much of DC’s new yuppie parent set, you sound like you’re responsible and courteous in regard to taking your kids out with you. I wish there were more young parents around here who didn’t act like the whole world should revolve around them just because they’ve decided to procreate.

      • Early on they were advertising the opening to coincide with the World Cup. I am looking forward to sitting in the basement, sipping good craft brew and watching Futbol!

    • I’ll be here with my kid too.
      In neighborhoods, parents bring kids to bars. That’s the way it works.

  • Just what I want in DC…North Arlington.

    • Just what I want in DC…a pessimist transplant.

      • Stephanie, I’m afraid to say that ~98% of PoP commenters are pessimists, transplanted or not. It’s bloody depressing, really, which is why most of the time I don’t bother reading the comments.

  • I think there’s a bar seating to table seating ratio that could resolve the ‘is it a bar or a restaurant’ question. (The bar looks very long…like ChurchKey long) In the same way, the number of people standing near the bar v sitting at a table will also help define the space. The basement will be a bar for sure, while the ground level will be defined by who it attracts. We’ll have to wait and see.

  • Well as a Washingtonian (born and raised) I would expect a bit more from the Asylum co-owner John Andrade,It’s a cookie cutter NOVA brew pub nothing more.If you’re really lucky maybe they’ll build a costco across from your house..

  • Wow people. Is there anyone else on here that feels like letting the place open before we pigeonhole into something it might not be? As far as I have read this place is a communist run, baby hating, brewpub sports bar. Again, IT IS NOT EVEN OPEN YET! Last time I checked a neighborhood bar caters to the clientele in their NEIGHBORHOOD. From what I can discern they are trying to do that with a bar area and restaurant space. I know you can’t make everyone happy but DAMN people. As for you Sarah, growing up in Mclean and going to Langley does not make you a washingtonian. You also seem to know a whole lot about NOVA brew pubs…..message? I’m sure John, from Asylum, is crying at night for not meeting your expectations but I have a sneaky suspicion that this is a scenario you commonly find yourself in. Just sayin’…..

    • I completely agree – a lot of these comments are putting the cart way before the horse. Everyone just needs to calm down. Give them a few more weeks to get things up and running, and then if you want to make entitled, snarky remarks, you might actually have something to base them on.

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