Red Derby Roof Deck Opens – It Does Not Disappoint !

Photo by MJ, first ever Red Derby Roof Deck opening 10/22/10

We’ve known for a couple of years that Red Derby (located at 14th and Quincy St, NW) was looking to get a roof deck but excitement began to build in earnest when permits were filed this past June. As some know, I was sick as a dog last week but I started receiving emails Friday night about the Derby’s deck opening and at that moment I fully recovered. Special thanks to MJ for sending some photos and sending the very early word. Also thanks to all the other readers who sent in word about the opening.

As some will note, it is a bit unfortunate that the deck opens just as cold weather is coming however, this weekend was beautiful and when I checked it out on Sat. I also spotted some heaters. So unless we get a crazy winter like last year, I’d say it’ll be open for a while. And of course next Spring is absolutely going to kick ass.

One of the best bars (if not the best bar) in DC just got way better. Lots more photos after the jump.

Climb towards the light.

The view

The bar

Opening night from MJ

Deck facing 14th St, NW

Deck facing rear alley

49 Comment

  • had a combo tonight on the deck. It is pretty nice, it was full of people, too. Being two blocks away from the bar has always been nice and will hopefully remain so. It will be awesome as long as the weather stays nice.

  • ANC 4C supported this and has gladly supported license applications for this great, neighborhood spot. We took another vote to support their license renewal earlier this month.

    Neighbors, please keep an eye out on license renewal applications for places you like. Talk to the managers and owners, and be sensitive to the concerns of those who live right nearby.



  • Does anyone know if the roof deck is dog friendly? Either way this is great news!

  • AWESOME!!! can’t wait to check it out!

  • arrrghh! still no taps? I like the Red Derby, but this is sometimes a deal breaker for me. If I’m in a wine mood, then we’ll go, but normally, I’d just love a draft beer up on the roof… canned beer just doesn’t do it for me, despite the huge selection.
    otherwise, hurray for them! nice addition to the neighborhood.

    • I bet they’d pour it into a glass for you, if you ask nicely.

    • Even if you could get a draft beer on the roof, it would probably have to be in a plastic cup (roof deck laws). So I’m guessing that would probably annoy you too.

      • I’m not all that uptight, kids. I’ve enjoyed many, many a “glass” of draft beer at the Reef’s rooftop bar (in plastic beer mugs) and never complained.

        It’s just my preference. You don’t have to agree, so chill.

        • +1 pretty clearly TaylorStreetMan is expressing his understandable preference for draft beer over canned beer, not his hatred of plastic cups or cans as beverage containers.

    • Taylor – I’ll chime in here to back you up…I can ALWAYS taste the difference between Guinness on tap vs. Guinness from the can (even the “draught” can)…and the pour just isn’t the same either.

      That said, The Derby offers me a selection, neighborhood dive atmosphere and prices(!) that I can’t really find elsewhere in this end of city. Therefore, in the interest of having the occasional Pork Slap or Moo Thunder, I’ve never really been bothered by the lack of taps….It kind of build on the neighborhood dive charm.

      Plus, I’ve got Meridian Pint now if I really need a pour… 🙂

      • I too am a tap-to-glass beer guy, TSM. So I just have one or two at The Derby on my way home sometimes. I don’t mean to be snarky when I ask you to “suck it up” and come slumming at The Derby with us every once in a while.

        • you got it. I’ll see you there!

          I am a bit of a beer snob, but I’ll calm down about it. I can always drink whiskey!

      • yeah, I totally agree the selection is awesome. close to my house, cheap, good selection, friendly neighborhood joint…and now, rooftop! lots of great things about the place.
        so, maybe I can split my time: Meridian Pint when I really need the suds, and Red Derby when a can will do fine.

        This whole thing reminds me of Steve Martin in The Jerk “He hates cans!”

    • in case you haven’t noticed, that’s their “thing.” there are a bazillion other bars to get draft beers. these guys have made a name for themselves by scouring the earth for interesting canned beers. lowers overhead cost and complexity significantly.

  • this place sucks!!!!!!!
    (i base this on the fact that it is not close to my house)

  • will there be high chairs on the roof deck? I’m assuming I won’t be able to roll my stroller up there.

    • +1 Good question. I wish they had baby formula on tap instead of in little bottles.

      • great idea. i wish they had baby formula on a hose with nipples that could be carried all over the bar.

        do they have diaper service at the bar?

  • Bear

    Very excited that this is open! Are they serving food on the deck too, or just drinks?

  • I had brunch up there Saturday morning, and it was both tasty and lovely. Sunny day, warm breeze, toasty tots and boozy morning – ideal.

  • Those are some ratty lookin’ barstools.

  • Is that Chris Elliott in the green shirt in the first photo?

  • I had brunch up there on Sunday and they were totally overwhelmed. Took 1.5 hours to get a 3-person order delivered, they closed the kitchen at one point, service was nice enough but my god, it was painful. Opening weekend + beautiful weather + publicity = anticipate big crowds and staff up accordingly. Happy to go back for drinks, but won’t be looking for a meal there again anytime soon.

  • I doubt anyone seriously goes to the Derby for their cuisine. Anyways, The deck is nice but considering this is the East Coast and an arctic tundra is looming, the timing could have been better.

    • Brunch was so packed they had to shut down the kitchen? Sounds like a lot of people go to the Derby to eat, Jason.

      • Desperation will do that. Outside of Slop House chinese takeouts and pupusas there are not many dining options around that area.

    • sounds like jason has never had a BeLT with avacado while sipping $2 harvey wallbangers

  • Worst pop-up ever.

  • +1 for brunch…mmmmm tots

  • Oh, the view from the deck is wonderful: drunks, crappy store fronts, and the best of all: the brothel across the street. These hipsters do appreciate the good life. Can’t wait to move to Cleveland Park.

  • I am a frequent Red Derby customer for food and drinks; the deck is great! I will be there on many many more occasions! Best buys for your money, all around.


  • Neighbors behind Red Derby have voiced concerns with the noise level

  • We talked with the owners they have taken care of the noise issue..It was not the roof it was trash being taken out late.Thank you Sasha

  • really love the derby brunch!!

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