Holy Smokes! Bardo Brewpub “plans to open a two acre, multi use, riverfront location with an on site brewery, next to Nationals stadium”


From a press release:

“Just one year after Bardo Brewpub resumed brewing operations following a fifteen year hiatus, the NE DC brewery announced plans to open a two acre, multi use, riverfront location with an on site brewery, next to Nationals stadium.

Bardo is seeking to raise some of the funds needed thru an indiegogo campaign. With a twist. The brewery is offering groupon-style discounts on beer at the new location. “Our Living Social and Groupon promotions have been huge successes,” stated Bardo Brewpub’s Andrew Stewart, “we thought we would try it on our own via this fundraising platform”. “We have enough cash to do a bare bones build out”, added Bardo head man, Bill Stewart, “but the last time we opened before the permanent bathrooms were built and it was not well received.”
The indiegogo campaign can be viewed here. [Ed. Note: The goal is an ambitious $200k]

Initial plans call for riverfront seating, a sculpture garden, outdoor films over the water, DC’s largest dog park, an on site bicycle shop designed to interface with the location on the metropolitan branch trail, and a large outdoor space designated for activation by the local community in the form of farmers markets, swap meets and assorted community events.

Bardo Brewpub’s location in NE DC is, for now, the largest beer garden in the city. A newly renovated interior boasts one hundred year old pine floors, brick walls and early century, tin, press plate ceilings. A wide variety of GABF award winning house brews are available in pints and pitchers as well as growlers. Bardo is 100% dog friendly every day with 15,000 square feet in our beer garden to roam off leash. Located at 1200 Bladensburg rd NE, Bardo has cornhole, big screen movie viewings/sports and is available for private parties/fundraisers, large and small.

Bardo Rodeo operated in the 90’s as the largest brewpub in the country. The 22,000 sq. ft. former car dealership included 900 indoor & 700 outdoor seats as well as a 25-barrel brewhouse. As one of the first bars in the Clarendon neighborhood in Arlington VA, Bardo brewed 4000 kegs a year and enjoyed thousands of visitors each weekend.

The decision to put the brewery in storage for more than a decade proved a fortuitous one. Bardo head man, Bill Stewart, had been living overseas for years when his brother, Andrew, convinced him to come back stateside a start making beer again. “I didn’t know craft brewing had become cool again. We rode the last wave, we decided to jump on this wave.” Bill stated.”

52 Comment

  • justinbc

    “outdoor films over the water”
    Say what?

  • this sounds incredible.

  • I drove past there on Saturday and noticed that construction has begun on at least some of the permanent structures associated with that development (office, residential, retail, etc.). So I would guess that this brewpub is going to be very temporary.

    • There’s only one of the I think 4 buildings that’s under construction right now on that site, and I don’t think there’s a timeline on the other 3. So it’ll be here a while, probably. Just in time for large tailgate fans too, since this could very well be the last season for the Fairgrounds before JBG starts developing that site.

      • What? I guess I’ve been living under a rock, I didn’t know Fairgrounds was going away. That’s so surprising to me, it’s so successful! Are they going to replace it with anything?

        • Yeah, a huge building that’s going to generate much more revenue than baseball season tailgaters.

        • The District is planning to develop almost every bit of land it has. Typically, they will build 12-14 story offices and condos with retail on the ground floor. Often the District will give this land to developers at rock bottom prices. The District has budgeted about 90 million dollars to prep McMillian Park before they sell the park to developers for 27 million. Isn’t that a sweet deal for 25 acres? In NoMa, they forgot that people like parks and have budgeted 50 million to turn the railroad under passes into parks and playgrounds.

    • palisades

      What? Why would they ask for $200k and invest who knows how much else in a temporary site?

      • Another article said they got a 5 year deal, so it won’t be that temporary.

        But also, they are planning on raising that $200K via crowdfunding like that ridiculous cat cafe did.

        Why would they care at all how much they are investing when it is all being given to them by gullible internet donors who are getting neither equity in the business nor any actual return whatsoever besides some token trinkets. 4 pints of beer (most likely 12oz false bottom “pints” anyway) for a $20 donation? Considering a wholesale keg of PBR costs about $60 that 4 pint “return on investment” cost Bardo about $1.45, meaning for every $20 “investment” some idiot gives this campaign, Bardo just got a $18.55 “loan” that never needs to be paid back.

        Honestly it’s genius on the part of Bardo and all these other businesses that are starting via crowdfunding, but it’s a sucker’s deal for anyone who actually donates money. You’re looking at a -84% rate of return if you “invest” $20 in this scheme.

        • palisades

          Ha I’m very aware of the stupidity that is crowdfunding, I was just confused why so much money would be put into something temporary.

          • Because it’s not their money. What do they care if it is temporary if it is free money given to them with no need to repay it?

            Build it with other people’s money, clean up for 5 years, and cash out with nothing to pay back.

        • Wouldn’t this be more like a CSA, but with a specific amount of beer as opposed to a variable amount of vegetables? It’s not really an investement, but prepaying for a product that you want. You won’t be able to go to Bardo’s and buy that PBR for $1.45. It’s cheaper to drink beer at home, if that’s your goal. And, if Bardos is giving their “investors” a price break on the beer, there would be a discount to the investor that might just save some money in the end!

          • I’d imagine that you wouldn’t be getting PBR at all with any of the reward levels…you’d get Bardo beer. A pint of craft beer is well worth $5 in my book, so 4 for $20 seems very reasonable IMO.

        • When’s the last time you expected an ROI for a beer purchase? People get $5 pints and a chance to contribute to a place that they might like to hang out. Makes a ton of sense to me.

    • Should be there (barring unforeseen circumstances, like FLOODS) until after the S Cap St bridge is moved and finished. Then the rest of the development will proceed, and temp beer garden will be gone. so could be a looong time.

  • Want. I want this.

  • If I remember correctly, there were plans for a beer garden at this site last year, but the ANC blocked it. I wonder if the Bardo folks have secured neighborhood buy-in?

    That said, this looks sweet and I hope it can be up and running before the baseball season is over.

    • justinbc

      Considering how many permits are going to be needed for something of that scale, and the fact they don’t even have all the money for it yet, I wouldn’t plan on it coming this baseball season.

    • By “Kiddie Playground” do they mean kiddie-style playground for drunk adults or an actual, no joke, playground for kids inside the perimeter? Sounds like something the church lady types will loose their minds over.

      • Sandbox . Tonka Trucks and Kiddie stuff, just like in the old Arlington location. Maybe some climbing bars, swingset.

        • Hmm. Never went to the old one. Not a parent, but the idea of kids old enough to use a playground running around a two acre adult theme park with a bunch of 20 somethings trying to recreate spring break seems not cool somehow.

          • Apparently times have changed. When I was a kid, only the worst degenerates would drag their kids to the bar with them, but nowadays that sort of thing is strangely acceptable, and even organized with kiddie happy hour events and such. I don’t get it, but I don’t have kids, either.

    • ANC seems to be okay with it, in general. Wants more details before final ok.

  • I wonder if the creators are aware of the drug/crew connection of calling it “yellow brick road”, like Lincoln Road NE off of North Cap is known as.

    • I think the much-more-obvious connection to the Wizard of Oz trumps whatever small-time drug gang connection cross-town.

      • When I moved onto Lincoln a few years ago I learned that it was not a ‘small-time’ reference at all… many friends, colleagues, and acquaintances referred to it as such, with varying levels of approval or disdain. For me it’s a minuscule connection to my home. There is no place like it.

    • I am assuming the crew are big Elton John fans?

  • April fools a couple days early?

  • Will their beer get better? I really like Bardo in general, but the beer always tasted “off” to me (like they decided to make everything a sour beer without saying so). Sounds like a fun idea, though.

    • KSB

      Their beer is absolutely terrible. And I’m not a beer snob by any stretch! I’m in the “I’ll believe it when I see it” camp on this endeavor…

    • Beer that tastes sour but isn’t supposed to be a sour beer is a telltale sign of contamination, as a result of sloppy sanitation practices.

    • I thought their beer was acceptable at the $4 price point. Now that they’ve raised it to $6– yeah, not really worth it. It’s just not on par with serious brewery offerings.

  • beer garden AND a play ground? yes please.

  • Sounds great. Am I the only one skeptical that they can pull together permits and neighborhood support for all those various elements (booze, dogs, kids, etc)?

  • Did anyone else read the new Washingtonian issue (April 2015) that says developers want to make the Southwest waterfront area the “new Georgetown”? I shook my head a bit at that until I read further. They’re planning three new hotels, 200,000 square feet of retail, and a new club owned by Seth Hurwitz of the 9:30 Club, along other things. Also the 11th Street bridge project. Apparently the first phase of the waterfront buildout is scheduled to be done in 2017, so what we see now is only the beginning of the beginning. I’m sort of convinced that a “new Georgetown” there could be possible.

    • justinbc

      Yep, except it will actually have a Metro stop as well.

    • Where will they find the oppressive historical review board that flips their shit over Apple asking for too much glass for their store front? Plus, it takes several hundred years to have the perfect balance of decay and pretentiousness that Georgetown has achieved.

      • justinbc

        Oh don’t worry, there will be plenty of righteous gentrifiers who have fake outrage about “forcing” out those who lived there before them.

  • I’ll sink some money into this fundraising once they finish what they promised over at their dump on bladensburg and make the beer not taste awful.

  • Is there an award for the most hipster architectural plans of the year? If so, this has to be a contender.

Comments are closed.