Biergarten Haus, the popular H Street beer garden, temporarily closed on February 14th for renovations. When it reopens the week of March 7th, Barred in DC has exclusively learned that many things will be quite different, not just the new sign that was installed earlier this year. The pleasant, convivial beer garden atmosphere that has been a fixture since May 2010 remains out back (both on ground level and the roof deck), but patrons will see many new things including the following:
- A new upgraded menu (owner Aaron McGovern told Barred in DC expect the menu to be sort of a cross of Brasserie Beck and Old Ebbitt Grill – think steak, fish, French dip sandwiches, though some German favorites will remain).
- German beer will move from essentially 100% of the taps to 25% of taps, with American craft beer (so yes, there will be IPAs on draft)
- New tap system and draft lines. Nitrogen so that growlers (which will be for available for sale) can be filled properly.
- A completely renovated main bar area (see pic below, new flooring and many other features)
- A new 50(ish) seat dining room (“The Lodge”) with fresh cocktails where the rarely-used bar next to the ground floor beer garden was previously located. Includes stone fireplace. There will be elk antler light fixtures
- A few private cabins (air conditioned if needed with their own TVs)
- The upstairs “Elk Bar” will be open daily with regular weekly event/programming, trivia will move here on Tuesdays, live musical act (cover tunes) already booked for every Wednesday for a year. Possibly trying to attract Formula 1 groups and other supporters groups
- New tables built around trees in the ground floor beer garden (at least one has already been built)
- Renovated bathrooms
McGovern said that while the spot has remained successful, he thought it needed to evolve to continue it to be successful – noting the proliferation of beer gardens in DC since it opened 12 years ago. He recognized that some regulars and fans may be skittish when they read about these changes, he thinks they’ll be happy when they see how it ends up.