When owner Peter Bayne's wife first saw the space that would hold Church Hall she thought it had the arch of a cathedral. The unique, slanted shape of the 7,000-square-foot beer hall scheduled to open next Wednesday in Georgetown comes from the fact that it's nestled underneath the ramp to one of the city's most annoying parking garages. Bayne, who grew up in D.C., remembers taking the brass escalator down from Wisconsin Avenue to the food court that once had a Benihana.
There’s something about Big Chief, the cavernous New Orleans-themed bar in Ivy City. Maybe it’s that the warehouse-like space is so massive (7,000 square feet!) that it rarely feels annoyingly crowded. Maybe it’s the cheap tallboys — or the fact that most people come in having already imbibed at one of Ivy City’s distilleries.
This beer-focused, watering hole, carved out of the historic Manhattan Laundry Building in the U Street Corridor, brings a self-service approach to the drinking scene, flanking its bar with ordering kiosks, and serving its creatively topped sausages and Frito pies from a walk-up window. Long wooden tables fill the exposed- brick, industrial space that's outfitted with salvaged artifacts and flea market finds. There are two lounges as well.
This 5,600-square-foot newcomer isn’t your Opa’s beer hall, though tenets of the classic setup remain: namely, good food and big beers. A list of nationally representative beers is available mostly by the pint or liter (except for the high-octane stuff), which can be properly paired with grilled sausages such as spicy chorizo, Thai pork and kielbasa, available “naked” or “dressed.”