At Last – All Souls Patio Opens (with limitations) in Shaw!

by Prince Of Petworth June 13, 2016 at 10:22 pm 36 Comments

8th and T Street, NW courtesy All Souls

From an email:

“We worked long and hard with our ANC reps to reach a settlement agreement that would be beneficial to both the neighborhood and the bar. There are only a few items that will really affect people. The first is that we will have limited hours. Monday through Thursday 6pm-10pm (until school is out for the summer then we can open at 5pm – this is actually an ABRA rule when a bar is located across from a school), Friday 6pm-12am, Saturday 4pm-12am and Sunday 4pm -10pm. We’ll probably open earlier on weekends if there is a demand.


The next item is that we agreed we would have a seated only patio. There was a concern about this space being a densely populated “beer garden” on the residential side of our building. So we will have a limited number of seats (33) and will only serve seated patrons, but we’ll have table service to make it easier for everyone. The patio will be non-smoking. This will prevent our indoor patrons from coming outside to hang out and smoke. So we will ask everyone to smoke outside in the front of the building where we have provided a smoking pole for cigarette butts.


We have also agreed to not have speakers or any type of music playing outside and will ask patrons not to play any type of musical devices. This will help keep the noise level down.
Finally, there will not be dogs allowed on the patio. First, we are asking people to enter the patio from the inside of the bar. This enables us to control the crowd (and noise to a degree) and to maintain a wait list when the patio is full. As much as we love dogs, we can’t have them walking through the bar. Also, sometimes dogs and people don’t get along so well. In order to ensure everyone’s comfort and safety (both dogs and humans) we are asking our guests to leave their pets at home.

We are excited to finally have outdoor seating 16 months after we started the process to obtain all the necessary permits and permission. While we will be open, we have not yet completed our vision of what the patio will become and in the upcoming months we will continue to make improvements and changes to the space. We hope to add another window on the side of the building, an awning to cover some of the tables, fans, heat lamps and additional lighting.

We do want to thank everyone who supported us, helped us out and worked so hard to make this happen.”

  • This is a win in pretty much every regard. Bonuses for the added trees, and no dogs or smoking allowed.

    • Cleveland Park runner

      A win that it’s finally happening. A ridiculous loss that it took 16 months to make it happen.

    • FridayGirl

      +1. I love how courteous they are being about the no-smoking thing. (I’m always surprised when places DO allow patio smoking, and I make it a point not to go back if it can be helped. This is a big draw for me.)

  • Accountering

    They can thank Dacha for all of the problems. Dacha lied left and right, so the neighbors gave these guys a hard time. I don’t blame them, but glad to see All Souls opening.

    • JohnH

      I wouldn’t call them problems. This is still a very residential area. The fact of the matter is that noise travels pretty easily on city streets and quite frankly, I’d probably be annoyed with them being open til midnight if I lived in a row house around there (whether I had to work the next day, etc.).
      Having a seated patio only is a good solution to problems arising. But I’ve had times where neighbors were hanging out with a group of 10 in a house across the alley from me and it can be a lot louder than you think.
      So I wouldn’t call them problems as much as being courteous to your neighbors. Dacha did a BAD job from the get go in terms of relations with those around them and the whole neighborhood resents them now.

      • neighbor

        Those are all good reasons why the restrictions make sense. Not good reasons why it took 16 months to get there.

    • Green Monster

      Yeah, the neighbors got behind Dacha, and got burned for it. When other neighborhoods were protesting patios, we were submitting testimony on their behalf to DCRA. At some point the owners decided that extra money was worth putting their neighbors and earliest supporters through hell. People give Washington politics a bad name, but I’ve never been witness to a dirtier campaign or lack of integrity.
      Things are ok now, but any bar coming to the area that runs into problems can thank Dacha’s owners. They really put a pro-business neighborhood on the defensive.

  • SaraEP

    Very happy about this! Dacha became such a sh*tshow bro fest which is a shame because it was lovely when it first opened. Or maybe I’m just old. :)

    • Dan

      Maybe I’m old, too. I went there Friday for the first time to see what the hype was about, and it was peak-bro in there. Maybe it’s the style, but I found the beer to be quite warm, as well. I like the setup at All Souls–no flying elbows from standees while I’m enjoying a beer on the patio!

      • JohnH

        The only thing with All Souls is a lack of food. I understand their problems with having that ability – but I think it will always keep down their business. It can be nice as it doesn’t really get horribly crowded, but at the same time I don’t find myself having a strong urge to go there much myself (and it’s one of the closest bars to me).
        I do think it will inherently prevent people from “squatting”/gathering in groups and staying for hours and hours….eventually someone’s gotta get hungry!

      • DCDuchess

        I thought Dacha started out as a gay friendly beer garden. And now its a bro fest full of college students?
        That sounds like a big swing in clientele….

        • Philippe Lecheval

          It simply reflects the changing demographics of DC. They aren’t exactly busing these people in from Fairfax.

        • Anon

          I don’t think it’s college students as much as the just out of college crowd that’s too cool for the Clarendon scene. (Gay bros is definitely a thing, btw.)

        • I think you just described Logan Circle. And Dupont Circle before that.

        • DM

          Actually, it started out just as a regular beer garden. Then it became a gay-friendly beer garden. Then a bro-friendly beer garden.
          The natural progression of gentrification.

          • JohnH

            I’d currently describe it as a gay-bro-friendly beer garden.

    • JohnH

      Became? It still is.

      • Truxton Thomas

        But it wasn’t when it first opened. So it became what it is now.

        • OP Anon

          I had my birthday at Dacha the very first weekend it was open, thanks to blog posts from The PoP alerting me about the opening. It was pretty much only small groups of gay men with their dogs and a few families that lived in the surrounding blocks (with small kids in tow). Waaaaaaaaaaay different vibe than today. That first autumn was quite lovely and very chill. The place blew up when they opened the next spring and added a bit more infrastructure.
          The dogs that I’ve seen at Dacha in recent years look miserable – way too crowded and noisey for a pup that just wants to chill out.

          • Different dogs enjoy different environments, just like people. Many owners don’t really take that into consideration though, so you definitely wind up with anxious looking dogs there on the regular. I don’t think it’s quite as bad as people make it out to be, at least not on a nightly basis. There are still plenty of relatively chill evenings, but for sure the weekend is nutso. The PoP HH we did there was actually quite nice.

          • OP Anon

            Yeah, I should clarify that I was talking about bringing dogs there on the weekend. A random Tuesday or Wednesday evening at Dacha are usually quite lovely for both humans and dogs (same rule applies to Adams Morgan, too).

          • JohnH

            I mean I understand what you’re saying – but a lot of places open “quietly” especially when they are a bit out of the way – it doesn’t mean they were ever hoping to keep it that way. 14th Street used to be way more “neighborhood” crowd and now it is a destination that people from MD, VA, etc. to go out.
            There’s always been a lot of younger gay gays (including bros) in that area so the fact that one of the FEW bars in that area became a hangout for them isn’t really far-fetched…

          • JohnH


          • anonymous

            I wish the term bro- would be retired.

          • anon

            Why? Are bro guys being oppressed?

          • Tsar of Truxton

            I take my dog there even though I know she won’t love it because it is good exposure to crowds. What is scary and/or stressful eventually becomes normal.

        • Anon

          I bet Anonymous @11:59 doesn’t even lift any more. :-/

      • SaraEP

        Yes, that’s my point. It was great the first few months after it opened and then fArlington took over. Ha, sorry, I know that sounded like such a DC snob comment. Oh well. ¯\_(ツ)_/

  • Anonymous Shaw Dweller

    Will the owner of All Souls please provide an update on the orange awning install. This awning was sold to the community as part of the package and will add a needed aesthetic touch to the barren dark gray wall.

    • Read

      “We hope to add another window on the side of the building, an awning to cover some of the tables, fans, heat lamps and additional lighting.”

    • siz

      yeesh, they were letting the neighborhood make requests about the non-functional design of the place? some of us like the dark gray walls.

      • Also in Shaw

        +1, that seems like a completely absurd demand.

  • Kingman Park

    Might need to get some umbrellas out there. That’s a very sundrenched corner no?

  • BeerDweller

    Wow! Is it Trumpism that is affecting everyone? So much anger. So much discontent with what seems like everything! Dacha was gonna be sold to the 11th largest brewery in Germany. That would have brought a total shitshow to Shaw….LEGALY. Instead Dacha installed extensive sound mitigation measures. AND THEY CLOSE AT 10:30!

    I am a frequent Dacha customer. So here is my two cents for those who are not frequent Dacha visitors:

    Fridays – tend to be younger crowds. And yes commuters from VA who work in DC frequent Dacha like they do any other establishment in the city. Since when y’all become so uppety?! Its probably safe to say that most of you came out of suburbs at some point as well!

    Saturdays: from 11 till about 2pm there are tons of families with kids and lots of neighbors. Unfortunates who continue to keep a grudge against Dacha obviously stay at home. The crowd is 80/20 straight/gay for most of the evening.

    Sundays: 80% gay. Once again, if you are just angry and vile then no words can persuade you otherwise. Permanent discontent with everything is in your blood and I am very sorry for you and those unfortunate souls who have to share time and space continuum with you.

    Unhappy dogs!? – Haters gonna hate. #dogsofdacha on FB and Instagram for y’all who are sane people.


    P.S. Super happy for All Souls!

    • JohnH

      The point is the damage has been done. They became out of control and didn’t do things they were promising or even made an effort to be neighborhood-friendly. They were focused on $$$$$$. If they were respectful from the get go, they probably wouldn’t be seen in the negative light now. It’s hard to fix damage that’s been done, unfortunately.

      • Fraser

        How so? I’ve noticed it’s much quieter and makes for a more pleasant experience.

        Given the changes that were implemented I can’t see any reason for ongoing grief.

        What damage is hard to fix exactly?


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