Lyman’s Tavern is Going to Be Ridiculously Awesome, Opening in March by Red Derby

by Prince Of Petworth — February 18, 2014 at 10:22 pm 49 Comments

14th and Quincy Street, NW

Last we checked back in December we knew good things were coming to Lyman’s Tavern coming to the former laundromat space next to Red Derby. Well I got to take a peek over the weekend and holy cow this place is looking sweet. I haven’t been this excited about a new bar since, well, Red Derby opened. I’m happy to say it’s looking like Lyman’s will be a worthy neighbor to the Derby. This is another real deal non pretentious neighborhood bar. The space is dominated by a huge wooden bar. In the back there will be a little stage for music and three pinball machines. In the way way back is a small kitchen. And the best news – they open in March. Stay tuned for an exact date.

They didn’t want me to spoil the surprise by posting photos but here’s a little tease showing the corner of that sweet bar:


  • Anonymous

    So awesome. Is it named after the character from the early Garfield comics?

    • Anonymous

      I’d like to think there is a button on the bar, that when hit, you hear over a bunch of speakers “DOOOOONNNNAAAAA!”

    • rockandroar

      It’s named after the owner’s grandfather, who I can assure you is not a cartoon character.

  • Anonymous

    This is something to get excited about! Full kitchen! Yes!

  • dcreal

    Man those bar seats seems far apart.

    • Anonymous

      that might be by design so people can squeeze in between to get other drinks at the bar while others sit. actually smart because i hate creeping behind people to get drinks

      • Anon

        But then people who are sitting together at the bar constantly have people squeezing between them to order drinks.

        • I doubt they are anticipating ChurchKey level crowds…

    • Best not think too deeply on the spacing of the stools – this a tiny shot that doesn’t properly show the bar.

    • ash

      You’re right, they do. And I find that awesome!

  • I love the wood bar. I wish more neighborhoods could afford to have places like this, where the rent doesn’t prohibit them from providing an old school communal bar feel.

    • That Man A

      I concur

  • Anonymous

    I live around the corner and am ridiculously excited for them to open!!!

  • That Man A

    Also looks like they will have some sort of outdoor bar through that wndow

  • Anonymous

    Traditionally tavern’s only sold beer and wine, and were not licensed to sell spirits. The word tavern doesn’t seem to mean the same thing anymore tough.

  • wobber

    I visited a couple weeks ago and took a short tour. They have two roll up doors, one in front and one on the edge of the bar on the side of the building. They are also planning on having wrap around patio seating and eventually a roof deck sometime next year.

    • rockandroar

      They have no plans for a wrap around patio, or a roof deck. I took a tour with the owner, and this was made very clear to me.

  • I live next door

    I live right next door at the Twin Oaks apartments. I cannot wait for this to open. I’m half tempted to seek a job tending bar.

    • Anonymous

      yea also kinda craving to get back to the service industry.

  • textdoc

    Are they going to paint the graffiti’d exterior wall?

    • graf rocks

      Hopefully not, it adds character!

      Also makes for an easy descriptor (I’m at the place with the cool graf on the side!)

      • This particular graffiti is kind of trashy looking, but I would still say screw it and keep it.

  • The Real Jason

    What type of clientele are they aiming for? The Derby was originally frequented by hipsters but it now more of a neighborhood joint. I hope this place has a jukebox. I don’t like being regulated to the sounds of the Derby bartenders/DJs.

  • Anonymous

    We do not have a full kitchen and we have no plan for a roof deck. Thanks! See you all soon!

    • saf

      Can you explain why the barstools are attached to the floor? I never understand that decision.

      • Anonymous

        No food???

  • Dave

    Wonder if the name comes from pinball legend Lyman Sheats?

  • OK, I am already cringing as I expect a smackdown to ensue . . . . but as a father for the rest of my life, will this place be a place I could bring my kids – at least sometimes?

    • The Real Jason

      I’ll never understand why people think dragging their screaming youth to bars is a remotely good idea for anyone involved.

      • Anonymous

        Tavern probably equals no kids unless you happen to go in the afternoon… I agree Petworth/upper 14th need more kid/family friendly places. For the life of me, I don’t know why people aren’t opening some casual type eateries or ice cream joints… Its all ethnic or high-end food or bars. There is a huge family/kid friendly populace just waiting… and waiting… and waiting…

        • Because it’s more profitable to sell alcohol.

        • saf

          First, I hate all the code words. Second, why aren’t “ethnic” places “family friendly?”

          Third, if you think there is a market, open it yourself, or find someone to talk into opening it.

          • Anonymous

            What are “all the code words” you are referring to?

          • saf

            In this case, “ethnic” and “family friendly.”

            Everything is in some way ethnic. Say what you mean.

            Family friendly – you mean kidcentric, right? Say so. I have a family. It just doesn’t involve children.

          • Anon 1:19

            OK, what ethnicity are hamburgers, french fries, salads, and chicken fingers? And family doesn’t just involve adults either; reasonable to assume it covers both – and I believe “family-friendly” means suitable for both adults and kids. You are engaging in some real pointless nitpickery here.

          • saf

            No, not pointless. I think people really do use the words that way and should be aware of it.

        • gotryit

          There are plenty of places that can also cater to families with kids – and do quite well. Meridian Pint brought coloring pages for the kids, drinks for us to celebrate, and food. They also got a big tip for accomodating. It really doesn’t have to be either-or.

          • Anonymous

            Really?? We were there recently with friends who have an infant, and Meridian Pint said they don’t allow babies.

          • saf

            They don’t allow babies down cellar. Babies are all over the place on the first floor.

          • gotryit

            This was late afternoon at an outdoor table on a day of freakishly nice weather.

          • When we were there for the PoPville happy hour there were at least 2 babies present.

      • Anonymous

        +1,000. This is why you don’t have kids. There are a lot of things you have to sacrifice when you bear offspring.

    • Just go at 5PM and ignore any odd looks you get. If it’s a tavern they’re required to serve food, so it’s not strictly a “bar”.

      • See above link for basic guidelines.

    • Anonymous

      My (unofficial) rule is that you can be there until 6pm at these vaguely bar/pub/restaurants that have cropped up all over DC.
      After that, leave with the kids and let the adults take over.
      Unfortunately, living in the big city means less amenities for kids and families. The vast majority of people in these areas do not have children and that’s who the local proprietors are aiming at. They’d be foolish to do otherwise, considering rents and cost of doing business. Families spend less per person and require more work to service.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, there will be a small kitchen.

  • Andrew Christenberry

    What’s with all the “don’t bring your kids to the bar talk”? It’s offensive. I live around the corner from Red Derby and the soon to be Lyman’s Tavern, been in the neighborhood for 13 years. My wife and I had our first girl in ’07 and our second in ’11. There were not too many places to go to do anything at night in our hood when we were sans kids. Slowly, and now not so slowly, places were/are cropping up everywhere. At the same time, the number of young families in the area began to increase rapidly. As places are becoming more “hip”, people with families are finding themselves shunned for “getting out”. What’s with this? I should be able to go out with my family, have some drinks, enjoy a decent meal, and MAYBE even listen to some live music. And if it’s all within walking distance…even better. So chill out. I’ll get my gals home by 9ish and you all can party on into the wee hours of the night. And you should, I did it too not long ago. By midnight…you won’t remember I was even there.


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