Brookland Booming Vol. 22 – Steel Plate Opens Today!

3523 12th Street, NE

Brookland’s Finest, Smith Public Trust and now Steel Plate – Brookland is on a hell of a roll! From the owners:

“After nearly a year of work, Steel Plate is finally ready for action…

Doors open today Wednesday, June 25. Come in and say hello!

Starting today and for the first few weeks:

– Our hours of operation will be from 5pm to midnight.
– The kitchen will close at 10pm Sunday – Thursday and 11pm on Friday and Saturday.
Happy Hour is offered Monday – Friday, from 5 – 7pm.

Now, we know that things won’t be perfect immediately, so as our neighbors and first guests, please help us work on anything that might need improving. We ask for all feedback, comments, suggestions, and – of course – patience as we smooth out kinks in our system. As a preemptive apology for any errors on our part, we’ll be offering a 20% discount on all checks (with the exception of happy hour) until this coming Sunday, June 29th. Your support will help whip us into operational shape!

We are so excited to be here in Brookland… We’ve already met some awesome folks and can’t wait to meet more of you. And again, thank you in advance for all your support over the past year. Now, come on in, cozy up at the bar and toast with us.

The Crew at Steel Plate”

Have a look at the opening menus:

Steel Plate Drink Menu (PDF)

Steel Plate Menu (PDF)

Upstairs seating

More photos of another incredible transformation after the jump.

downstairs bar with owner Diton Pashaj attacking the artist, Sean Hennessey, who did the awesome Steel Plate front door sculpture (photos below)

downstairs booths


upstairs bar

more downstairs seating





July 2013:


56 Comment

  • aside from the $6 Yuengling, the menu looks solid and the space looks great — wish this was in my hood!

  • Is “camel summer sausage” what I think it is??

  • $4 for PBR and Natty Bo cans is ridiculous, even in DC.

  • This is a real asset to Brookland. Diton is a good business owner and really cares about his community. Bloomingdale loves what he did at Rustic!

  • hahah looks cool but yeah – 6$ yeungling is a joke (if that is actually the price) what is that a 400% markup?

  • KSB

    This sounds harsh and I know that, but if $4 PBRs and $6 Yeunglings keep people away who don’t want to pay those prices, than even better for Brookland. It won’t become a college hangout and people coming to eat meals and have a few drinks will have a better shot at enjoying themselves. I can’t wait to try this place!

    • It doesn’t sound harsh, just uninformed and brash. Boundary Stone has cheaper prices and it’s not a college bar, and people seem to eat there and enjoy themselves with those who like cheap canned beer. What a poor insinuation to make.

      • this strip is waaay closer to CUA than boundary stone. just a bit of info for you

        • I was using Boundary Stone as a neighborhood bar/restaurant equivalent for price comparisons. Thanks for the information though, I totally thought Boundary Stone, even though it is a block away from me in Bloomingdale, was closer to CUA.

    • +1 — Some people will complain about everything.

    • brookland_rez

      Agree $6 for Yeungling is ridiculous, but so is DRINKING a Yeungling period, especially since they have an array of quality craft beers for just a dollar more (which is priced about right for DC).

      • You are making their point. The Yuengling should be $4 or max $5 which would make it $2-3 cheaper than the craft brews. Oh an also they might want a different beer than you’ve decided choose for them.

        • brookland_rez

          I agree the Yengling should be cheaper, I just don’t care since Yengling sucks and I won’t be drinking it. I agree with K. If you’re looking for $10 pitchers of Yengling, this is not the place to go.

          • +10000000

          • Yuengling is a perfect go-to if you want an easy drinking beer that isn’t Miller/Coors/Bud. This is a widely held belief among those who enjoy craft beer.

          • or, you know, people that simply like yuengling. they do exist, despite your upturned nose.
            go in next month and ask them what beer they sell the most.
            i’ve asked at rustik. guess what the answer was?

          • I love Yuengling, so I’m not sure how you got some snob vibe from my post. Easy tiger.

          • anon, just because i posted after you doesn’t mean i replied to you.

          • brookland_rez

            Anon, I love beer and I’ve had plenty of PBR and Yengling in my time. It’s just not good beer. Saying it’s better than Bud is like saying Burger King is better than McDonald’s.
            There is a widely held belief amongst PBR and Yengling fans that they are easy drinking beers and that all craft beers are bitter double IPA’s, when in fact there are Hefeweizen’s and Saison’s or even Belgian triple’s that are just as easy drinking and actually taste like something (other than water).

          • yes, we all have opinions.

          • brookland_rez

            Yes, we do. And if you go to a restaurant that has better beer options and order a Yengling, you deserve to overpay for it.

          • i think the part about opinions is going over your head.

    • I personally don’t see the point of even serving PBR or Yuengling if you are going to charge that much for it.

      • brookland_rez

        Agree, usually budget minded beer drinkers usually go for PBR or Yengling in dive bars. I think in the case of Steel Plate, they’re targeting people that just don’t know good beer. Budget minded, dive bar fans are not the target demographic here.

  • As a new Brookland resident, definitely looking forward to trying this place!!

  • I’ll ask the question that will make some cringe and others nod in agreement: is it kid friendly?

    • KSB

      I hope so! Will likely be bringing my crew there as opposed to reserving it as just a date night option (but it’ll be that too, I hope.)

    • It better be kid-friendly, or they’ve locked out a huge percentage of the likely patrons from the neighborhood.

  • brookland_rez

    Looking forward to trying this. I just went to Smith Public Trust the other night and I’m happy to report that they have a solid lineup of craft beers.

  • It’s amazing to see such a nice and actually affordable menu.

    • It’s the same fu**ing price as every other DC restaurant that’s opened in the past 3 years. How is this anymore affordable? When did$12 become normal for a GD hamburger?????

      • brookland_rez

        $12 for a hamburger in a sit down restaurant is the going price. Last time I went to 5 Guys, I paid like $10 for a double, fries, and soda. $12 is not unreasonable at all. If your budget is less, it might be possible to spend $6 or $7 at McDonald’s? If I have to pick between $7 for McDonald’s crap or $12 here, $5 is not that big of a deal for me. I’ll pay a little more for quality.

        • McDonald’s hamburgers are $7? Last time I checked they were around $7 for the whole meal with the fries and drink. I’m not advocating for McDonald’s but your comparison is off base.

          • brookland_rez

            Yeah, it’s $7 for the whole meal. Steel plate gives you fries with the burger for $12. Add a couple of bucks for a coke. So it’s twice as expensive as what you get at McDonald’s. Again, I will gladly pay $7 extra for a quality hamburger in a sit down restaurant with good customer service. If you’re that price sensitive, then keep eating McDonald’s crap.

          • but you can’t get a $6 Yengling at McDonald’s

        • How much is a banana? $5?

        • I doubt that many people would be deciding between this place and McDonald’s. At McDonald’s you can pay $7 for a meal and be in and out in under 15 minutes. At this place, you’re paying probably $14-15 for the burger and drink, so probably more like $18 with tax and tip. If it’s like most places, you’ll have a hard time getting in and out in under 45 minutes.

          A more apt comparison might be to another bar or diner type place. At Kelly’s Irish Times, a burger and fries is $7.99. At chain type places like Applebees or Ruby Tuesday, a burger is usually under $10. Down the street at Brookland Cafe, it’s $9. Not to say this place isn’t worth it for the quality, service, and ambiance, but it’s not really correct to claim a $12 burger is the most affordable thing this side of Mickey D’s. If you’ve got a family or eat out often, the extra few bucks do add up over time.

      • If you want affordable, there are plenty of options right there on 12th St. Subway, Brookland Grill, Wings to Go, Murray & Paul’s are all within a few feet of Steel Plate and will be happy to sell you a whole meal of food for under $10. Now, what you mean is, “Why can’t I have everything I want for what I want to pay?” That’s a different story.

  • Wish you success in your courageous endeavor. Genaro Lara

  • Strikes me as odd that none of these new places seem to have signs with their names. Is this a trend or is it just that the places are new and haven’t finished their signage yet?

    Also, does anyone else wonder if these three new places are a little too similar to all survive? Exposed brick, craft beer, reclaimed wood, similar menus. I have to think Brookland Pint (?) will have a similar vibe, too. I hope they all thrive, but feel like they’ll have to carve out particular niches for themselves. And I don’t think all four can stay afloat in the long term while pricing out CUA students.

    • brookland_rez

      I think there’s enough higher income people in the area to support it. You have all the new apartments at the Metro plus people buying up houses in the neighborhood for ever higher prices. People with enough income/wealth to pay $800k+ for a house are not going to bat an eyelash over paying $7 for a beer versus $4. Plus since there’s really nothing in neighboring Woodridge, Langdon, Michigan Park, Edgewood, Brentwood, etc, a significant concentration of restaurants in Brookland with draw in people from those areas that might have otherwise gone downtown or to Silver Spring.
      Having said that, I think something does need to open to cater to the students though, with $10 pitchers, etc.

      • Agreed that there are plenty of folks in the neighborhood and the surrounding areas who can pay for and support all these restaurants, and that number growing quickly. As for CUA students, if the kinds of cars they drive is any indication, I don’t think they have any trouble spending mom and dad’s money.

      • True – not saying the neighborhood can’t support this number of restaurants at this price, just not four restaurants that are (seemingly) so similar in their offerings and vibe.

        • I agree. The weakest of the bunch is probably going to have a hard time surviving not because of price but because of variety.

          • brookland_rez

            If the market decides there’s too much overlap, then I imagine menus can always be changed to add more variety at weaker players.

        • I see your point. I’ll have to walk past Brookland’s Finest, Smith Public, Steel Plate, Little Ricky’s and Brookland Pint to end up at Busboys & Poets, So I’ll probably go to BF the most often and the others based on how much I like them. Of course, if I turn left instead, I’ll just end up at Menomale.

          • Although they all have similar style (industrial chic?), I think it’s still a little early to say that they all have the same vibe. Thus far I’ve been to Brookland’s Finest and Smith Public Trust. The two have some overlapping appeal, but I see as still distinct, bringing different things to the table. Steel Plate seems a bit smaller and more intimate, which I think can change the experience. I think Brookland Pint, while still close, is far enough away (and Busboys) to attract different folks and/or folks at different times. For example, Busboys/Brookland Pint might end up being a good place for me to grab food after a walk on the weekend, whereas I would less likely stop there on the way home for work because of convenience alone.

    • isn’t the front door the sign?

    • “It’s too crowded. Nobody goes there anymore.”
      What’s the point of speculating whether these places will survive or not? The market will tell us.

  • What happened to a Mediterranean menu?!

  • Glad to see more choices on 12th. Design wise I wish they didn’t have to close up the street level so much. It’s always been an interesting building .

  • brookland_rez

    I stopped in yesterday evening and had some of the wings and fries. I enjoyed what I had. Service was spot on, especially given that it was opening day. Looking forward to going back to try some other things.

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