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Red Rocks Soft Opens on H Street, Grand Opening Sept. 4th – Check Out the Retractable Roof in Action

by Prince Of Petworth August 28, 2013 at 10:30 am 26 Comments

1348 H Street, NE

Last week we learned Red Rocks would have a grand opening for their new H Street location on Sept. 4th. In June we took a preview tour and had a good idea that the largest restaurant on H Street was gonna be pretty sweet. Absolutely 100% confirmed. Last night they soft opened with a friends and family party – have a look at the finished space and especially the retractable roof:

2nd floor with retractable roof open

Lots more photos after the jump.

first floor bar

looking down from 2nd floor catwalk

2nd floor

retractable roof!

roof deck

roof deck bar

more than just pizza

2nd floor awesomeness

Photo tribute to the original Red Rocks at 11th and Park Rd, NW

  • Anonymous

    Wow, that retractable roof is pretty wild! Do any other restaurants in DC have that feature?

    • The space formerly known as Tabaq on U St has one

    • Anonymous

      Did Red Rocks really think that they needed to spend lots of money on a retractable roof to attract diners? If so, that doesn’t say much for how much they trust their food to bring in crowds.

      • Anon x2

        Jealous much?

        • Anonymous

          Well, duh! 😉

      • oh come on. so if a restaurant spends money on an appealing design aspect their food is immediately suspect? give me a break.

      • Anonymous

        I was thinking the opposite. They must have a lot of faith in their food if they can spend all that money on a retractable roof!

      • That Man A

        They didnt spend a dime on the roof… Evolve property management did lol

        Red Rocks wasnt even the origional business that was going to occupy the space

        the rent is high lol
        but the spot is nice as well

    • Jack Rose has one, though it’s just a manual one (I think they use a long stick or device to move the panels off the roof)

  • Anonymous

    Honestly, looks pretty awesome.

  • love red rocks! jealous that the coheights location is nowhere near this awesome. might have to make the trip just to check out the retractable roof.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. This place looks awesome.

  • SF

    Holy balls this looks awesome! It was a long wait for that location to become something but I can’t think of a better result. They did it right.

    So glad they changed that awful blue tile on the front bay windows!

  • Anonymous

    Cool space. Not a huge fan of their pizza, not at the CL location anyway. Anyone know if they are tinkering with their menu at this new location – or will it be identical?

  • CornholioDC

    They went big on this space! Cannot wait to check it out.

  • Carla

    The retractable roof was put in by the people who were the originally intended occupants. Their plan fell through, so Redrocks got this roof in the deal!

  • I’ve never been to the Columbia Heights location, but the two pizzas I had at the Red Rocks in Old Town were a sloppy, sad mess. Here’s to hoping this one improves on that experience significantly, since it will be nice to have a real alternative to &Pizza (who I love) in the neighborhood on the occasions I want something good to drink to go along with the pie.

    • Santos Boliviera

      I like H&Pizza as much as the next guy, but it irks me when it’s compared to a pizza places. I don’t think their product qualifies as pizza per se; they have a conveyer belt instead of an oven. It’s more of a glorified flatbread. Red Rocks would essentially be offering a different product

      • It’s very different, which is precisely why I’m hoping they do well!

    • Sarah

      A slightly “soupy” center is an indication that the pizza is actually cooked in the authentic neapolitan style. A good source on what to expect of a neapolitan pizza is …


      from the page…
      “Neapolitans seem to like their pizzas with this ‘wet’ center. That means that in some of the more authentic Neapolitan pizzerias, you might not even be able to pick it up. You’ll have to use a knife and fork.”

      Maybe its not your cup of tea, but it is definitely neither sad nor sloppy.

      • Sarah, I’ve had excellent Neapolitan pizza, at Pupatella for example. RedRocks version was nowhere near that quality in terms of cooking execution.

  • Thanks for all of your comments! We are so excited to become a part of the H Street community – the menu at this location will be similar to the one at our Penrose Square spot in Arlingon on Columbia Pike which you can check out via our website, although there are sure to be some changes as we get everything fine-tuned.

    We have a wonderful staff, awesome space and (we hope!) a great product you will be back for! We sincerely want this to be a success not just for RedRocks, but for H street as a whole! We look forward to working with other local businesses to make that happen. Stay tuned to our facebook page for the latest news and don’t hesitate to drop us a line to let us know how we’re doing at any of our locations.


    Spencer Thanhouser
    General Manager
    RedRocks Columbia Heights

  • We went last night. Here’s my overall impressions.

    The space itself is very nice. Like most everywhere that does the exposed brick/hardwood everything/and metal everywhere though it’s extremely loud, especially if you’re sitting up top, and only amplified by the excessively loud music. I’m not one who cares about noise in a restaurant usually, but I know lots of people who will ding a place for it, so fair warning to those folks. Another weird thing that might turn some people off is the catwalk dining area, which shakes quite a bit with any amount of foot traffic. Again, not a concern for me if I was still doing reviews, but I could definitely see it making some diners a bit queasy. The most annoying aspect really seems like something easy to fix, and that was that the air conditioning was on full blast throughout the whole space. I’m usually hot in almost all restaurants, but I needed a sweater in here.

    On to the food… We started with the Brussels sprouts and meatballs al forno. The sprouts were good (coming from someone who generally dislikes them), but contained virtually none of the advertised flavors (or visibility) of anchovy and chiles. They were pretty much just loaded up with garlic. The meatballs were much better, although the limp untoasted bread served with them seemed somewhat pointless. If you’re going to put it there then liven it up some please. The first pizza we ordered was the boar sausage, which comes with smoked buffalo mozzarella and roasted artichokes. The sausage was nice, and I really liked the smoked mozzarella, but the artichokes completely ruined the pizza and made it inedible. They were 1) entirely too large, containing a good bit of the artichoke that should not be eaten, and 2) cooked for so long that they became like leather strips. We had to send this back and just get a Toscana pizza to go. This was much better, although somewhat one-note in flavor.

    The beer list is pretty good, and priced mostly in-line with other DC establishments. They’ve also got a decent cocktail list with nothing over $10. I went for the Smoke and Mirrors which is a Ketel martini with a Laphroaig rinse. It was well made (despite using vodka instead of gin, a pet peeve of mine) but only filled half the martini glass, a pretty surprising underpour for the most expensive drink on the list.

    Service was great, and they comped us for the poorly made pizza that had to be sent back. I really want them to do well, but for the time being I’ll be sticking with &Pizza for my cravings until they get the kinks worked out.


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