From the Forum – Bring a popup beer garden and playground to Petworth!

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Bring a popup beer garden and playground to Petworth!

“I’m no entrepreneur, so I’m putting this out there in the hopes that a person with real business sense can run with it.

I live in Petworth, which is fast becoming THE PLACE for young families. The parents in these families love to day-drink because, come 7pm, the kids are fast asleep. This concept perfectly lends itself to a beer garden. Now that summer is here, what we really need is a beer garden that includes a playground. Can someone make that happen?”

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54 Comment

  • Oh man, a beer garden like Dacha in Shaw or Garden District (formerly the Standard) on 14th St, would simply kill it in Petworth. I don’t know about the playground part, but just being family friendly is good enough for me. In my mind, southern Petworth and North Columbia Heights are ideal locations.
    Imagine a place like Stoney’s, DCSmokehouse or Maketto! They’d be so successful.

    • Neither Dacha or Garden District is particularly family friendly given they are absolutely packed on weekends.

      • So, you’re looking for an unpopular beer garden?

        • No one goes there anymore. They’re too crowded.

          • Dacha and Garden District are cool beer gardens, but you’re right. They have gotten so popular that they’ve generally become to crowded to go to. At least for me. I’d love a similar concept, but with more space in Petworth though.
            How about that old warehouse on Kansas Ave by the Shell on Upshur? Plenty of green space too!

        • “Dear Santa PoP’ville, please bring me a beer garden no more than a 3 block walk from my house! One with a play ground, internationally sourced craft beers, excellent kid-friendly food, modern design, but also very affordable prices. But please don’t let it be too popular. Also include a dog park for my 4-legged “child.” THANKSSSSSSS!”

          • Can all the profits from this magical beer garden go towards helping starving refugee children, so that when I am getting plastered while my own small child hangs unsupervised from a nearby jungle-gym, I can feel like I am helping the world be a better place.

  • Was just over in rosedale and saw a sign at the park inviting come one come all to a house BBQ. We could start a rotating house backyard beer & bbq party right here in Petworth!

  • I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see this. Unfortunately I think there would be a ton of opposition from the same whiners who don’t want the new building on Upshur, don’t want the funeral home on GA replaced with apartments, and don’t want lights on the E.L. Haynes field. There’s also a lot of pearl clutching from churches and some neighbors about beer drinking, although the same people seem quite all right with open air crack and heroin sales.
    I really hope people realize soon that higher density and more local businesses will lower crime and make the neighborhood nicer for everyone. It’s a lot harder to sell crack and shoot people with impunity when there are neighbors out enjoying the afternoon with young children at a pop-up beer garden.

    • “and don’t want lights on the E.L. Haynes field.”
      Please don’t get me started on these people. I wasted about 90 minutes on Wednesday writing increasingly irritated emails on this subject.

    • +1

    • DC really messed up with EL Haynes. That site would have made for an incredible outdoor mixed use area, with outdoor cafes, bier gardens, fountains. My kids literally cried when they tore out the old field for the soccer turf.

      • Yeah – I mean, having a school occupy an empty building that used to be a . . . school? That’s nuts. And what kind of school wants to have a usable athletic field? Selfish jerks! It should have been a beer garden!

        • Although, it might have been worth it to see the faces of the people who were horrified that there might be a couple of lights at the field when they were told that it’s going to be a beer garden. I’d have paid money to see that.

      • Unfortunately, despite how much sense it would make, commercial would NEVER work there since the DC Zoning Board as a very strict “we never consider any imaginative changes ever” policy.
        The part of the E.L. Haynes agreement that prohibits the renting of the field though is what really pisses me off. Petworth has plenty of vacant lots for vagrants. It would be hugely helpful if they rented this field to bocce/soccer/kickball leagues. That would bring a ton of people into the neighborhood who will be on the lookout for violent crime, and would support more business on Upshur and Georgia. A unused field is a crime magnet and a well used field would be a safety beacon. These NIMBY’s are literally promoting violence and the drug trade near Sherman circle.

    • You really think there are people who are “quite alright” with open air crack and heroin sales?

      • I think the same people who pearl clutch about a few bars also walk by open air drug markets (which are typically funded by neighborhood burglaries and muggings) and not do sh*t about it.
        Frankly very few of the long time residents of Petworth seem to really have the will to deal with people that sell drugs. On our block there are several older people with responsible adult children. None of the adult children want anything to do with the neighborhood and will sell their parents’ house when it’s time, all because of a few houses. The others simply keep to themselves.
        The best way to make the neighborhood safer for everyone and keep long time residents in the neighborhood is to add density, add lights, add commercial activity. Unfortunately a few crazy whiners carry a lot of weight at ANC meetings. I understand some of these people have felt disenfranchised most of their lives and now are afraid of change in the neighborhood, but the way to fix that is not to sh*t on everyone else.

      • Yep. Same people that throw their beer cans in the street day after day. Same people that walk over take-out boxes in front of their houses day after day. Same people that throw out their bottles filled with Lord knows what under their cars day after day.

      • These are the people who thought that a school field, where elementary schoolers play, should still be able to be used as a dog park. Seriously. Logic is not their first language. I wouldn’t put anything by them.

  • Yes please! Love this idea!

  • I’d like to see something like this on Kennedy Street. Once DDOT finishes their streetscape project between 2nd and 3rd, this would be an ideal location.

  • Drunk parents + little kids running around. What could possibly go wrong?

    • Seriously. I get weirded out every time I go to a beer garden and see little kids running around. IT’S AN ADULT PLAYGROUND. FOR ADULTS.

      • Family friendly pubs with outdoor tables and kids play areas are common in England.

        • And Germany, and Austria, and lots of other places, and are becoming more common here in the US. Besides, I figure it this way: If the owners of the place want to welcome families, then all of the finger wagging in the world makes no difference anywhere, except maybe on this blog. And even then it’s only good for a view into the puritanical mindset of some people. I’m also guessing that the people most upset about this are people who can’t hold their liquor and assume that everyone else is the same. Not everyone goes to a beer garden to binge drink.

          • It’s only going to change when “drinking outside” is no longer seen as a novelty. In other words, the demand for outdoor drinking is waaaaaaaaay higher than the supply of venues in which to do so in DC. Young childless drinkers way out-number families who want to grab a casual pint, so these places are going to take on more of a “bar vibe” from the outset. The only way to change this is to make alcohol licenses cheaper, easier, and faster to get so many places can open and offer drinks.

    • +1 Exactly, not very promising situation or business idea (especially from a legality standpoint). Get a babysitter or drink on you porch if need be…

    • “The parents in these families love to day-drink…” really made me uneasy.

      • lol, me too. It almost sounds like a thinly veiled way to say “we’re complete alcoholics”

      • Save your sanctimony for after you’ve had kids. It’s a family neighborhood, it’s reasonable to have a few bars/gardens where young parents can have a beer in a family friendly environment with their young kids. My kids see crack sold on the corner, I don’t think dad having a beer while they play is going to corrupt them. We’re not talking about taking kids Tom Tom or DC Eagle for christ’s sake.

        • Having a beer while taking care of a kid is verboten? I’d have never gotten through the toddler years otherwise!

        • I have a kid. That doesn’t mean I have to be comfortable with a blanket statement about how young parents “love to day-drink.” I didn’t pass judgment on the idea. Save your manufactured outrage.

          • I think the outrage kicked off with the “parents drinking around kids make me nervous” comments. Many young and old parent love to have a sip or two (or even three!) when the kids are around, many don’t, and many shouldn’t. Fine either way. But don’t be nervous for other people’s kids. I promise they’ll be just fine at the playground / biergarten.

          • Nah, I’m actually not opposed to the idea at all. It was just the verbiage that I was questioning.

    • This seems to happen at most “kids friendly!” places. Mommy and daddy spend their time drinking at a table and letting the kids run everywhere. It’s unsettling.

  • I believe that liquor license restrictions would make it difficult to have a “pop up” anything that sold alcohol.
    In any event, I am going to go out on a really short limb here and say that most people who patronize beer gardens don’t really want kids to be in them.

  • Sign off on Petworth beer garden/playground hybrid. I’d also support a bar with ball pits/climbing tunnels/slides.

  • so, you just wanna get drunk on a playground…
    if you saw a bunch of dudes drinking 40’s at the playground…i’m inclined to say the reaction would be negative. But when it’s craft beers, it’s suddenly OK to drink in public?

    • Seriously, why are we so puritanical about drinking? Most people who drink do so responsibly. I’m not advocating for drunks running through the streets, but what exactly is wrong with parents enjoying a beer while their kids color / play on the iPad / swing/ play tag / whatever else kids do these days!

      • There’s nothing wrong with it. In fact, last time I checked Wunder Bar was planning on installing a play area. And if the owners are OK with it, there’s really nothing any of the ridiculous prudes can do about it but not go — which would be fine with me.

      • I think it’s because in the US we have such a clear delineation between “bar” (where one goes to solely drink) and “restaurant” (where one goes to eat, brings their family, and also has drinks….but drinks are not the main attraction). I imagine the fault for this lays with the regulatory and licensing apparatus here in the US, which is much stricter and more expensive to obtain an alcohol license.
        In Europe the lines are way more blurred. You have booze pretty much everywhere, so drinking outside isn’t the novelty that it is in the US. And frankly, any beer garden that opens in Petworth is going to turn into a sh*tshow of yuppies day-drinking until they’re plastering. It’s not a fun environment for kids, TBH – just look at Dacha. Same thing will happen to a Petworth beer garden.
        Until the regulatory environment “loosens up” substantially, I don’t see this changing.

    • “if you saw a bunch of dudes drinking 40’s at the playground…”
      Are their children with them? Because that’s a key point in the scenario you’re setting up here. I’d say any adults without children drinking any kind of beer at a playground is no good. With children (*their* children, not someone else’s), then yes, the type of beer comes into play. If they only have someone else’s children, then we’re getting back into sketchy territory though the type of beer is less important.

    • Ugg, here we go with the sanctimonious, puritanical, “if you drink you must be a drunk” BS. Guess what, people drink, parents drink, and that does not mean we are getting drunk and neglecting our children. I will tell you right now that there are a lot of parents who drink discretely in parks and play grounds all the time. Do you really think people are drinking coffee at the splash park when it is 95 degrees out? Nope! It’s mostly some sort of alcoholic beverage discretely masked. Does that mean they are getting trashed? Nope! Does that mean they are irresponsible? Nope!

  • Back patio of DC Reynolds doesn’t count? It’s great!

  • I went to a great beer garden in San Antonio that has a playground. I played on the playground while drinking a beer. It was amazing.

  • Get a couple growlers from Yes organic and come over. My backyard’s big enough.

  • Why would it need to be a pop-up?

  • The amount of pearl-clutching on this thread is giving me carpal tunnel by proxy. I leave it at this: If you ain’t day drinking a glass or two by your 7th toddler birthday party, you’re gonna be one cranky sumbish. My vote: bi-weekly biergarten / splash park pop-up at Old Soldier’s Home grounds. Or my backyard.

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