Big Bear Expanding Outdoor Patio in Bloomingdale

1700 1st Street, NW

Already pretty big but super popular so very good news. I’m guessing it’ll wrap around onto 1st Street? From a liquor license placard out front:

“Requesting expansion of sidewalk café seating from #38 to #99.”

Sidewalk cafe hours are listed as Sunday through Wednesday: 7am-10:30pm and Thursday through Saturday: 7am-11:30pm.

1st and R Street, NW

rear looking east toward 1st

19 Comment

  • oh man, they need this. we’ve stopped going because we can never find seating.

  • increasing seating capacity without increasing bar and food capacity will just make a bad situation worse.

  • Mixed feelings. On the one hand, it is always crowded so it will be great to alleviate some of that. On the other hand, it’s very cozy and that’s part of it’s charm. I trust they figure out a way to expand without losing the coziness their customers love.

    • Agreed. It used to be such a cool spot. Now they’re just turning into a capitalistic wh0re. Still gonna support them though as this is the only outdoor patio in a four block radius.

      • What do you mean they are turning capitalistic? Not to geek out, but isn’t paying money for fancy coffee and bourgy grilled cheese capitalist to begin with? Not that I’m complaining–I love Big Bear, and I am excited for extra seating. But what do you think has changed?

      • They are running a business, not catering to your bougie needs, and it makes sense to capitalize on the opportunity for increased revenue.

        Also, Rustik, Boundary, and Aroi all have patios.

        • So does Bacio and Uncle Chips and Shaw’s Tavern and Bistro Bohem in the other direction. So yeah, plenty of patios.

          That said, I hate when people get mad at businesses for “selling out” or trying to make more money. Sure, maybe you were there in the beginning and helped the business get its feet wet, but why should someone not try to maximize profits? I am willing to bet that person wouldn’t turn down a raise at work…

  • It’s a lovely spot – and the food is good, but the service is pretty spotty. They’re going to have to up their game to pull this off.

  • Awesome. We had stopped going because the weekend morning rush is so ridiculous, but sort of rediscovered it during weekday evenings, and the dinner menu is fantastic. Agree on the need to ensure service is maintained.

  • Were I a neighbor, I’d probably oppose this. They’re going to nearly triple their outdoor seating capacity? Where?

  • This is great news. These are terrific neighborhood folks and they deserve all the popularity they get.

  • While I’m more than happy for Big Bear, I can’t imagine they could more than double their seating without getting rid some of the awesome plants/gardens outside that gives it it’s quaint charm.

    • Yeah, it looks like they are going to rip out all their plants to build in more seating. That’s the only way they can triple their outdoor capacity.
      However, it doesn’t appear that they are increasing their service/kitchen capacity. So expect even longer waits for your food and beverages.

  • Hmm…it already takes forever to get your food (their kitchen is so tiny). Even when you go in to order something to go you sometimes wait up to 25 minutes. This makes me a little nervous…

  • The R St residents are going to love this… Get your popcorn ready for the next BCA meeting.

  • good spot. wished they upped their coffee game.

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