brr

ChurchKey, 14th Street near Logan Circle

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In case you missed it: Click.

Ahhhhh.

saw it yesterday and meant to post - another hopefully great addition to that neighborhood - DC has undergone quite the transformation in the last 5-10 years for beer lovers from just Brickskellar to RFD (admittedly far from perfect), Birreria, Beck, Rustico, the Reef etc etc

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What's the word on this place?

I've seen a lot of movement/work being done there over the last couple of weeks, but no signage yet.

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What's the word on this place?

I've seen a lot of movement/work being done there over the last couple of weeks, but no signage yet.

Aiming for August/September, I believe.

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Aiming for August/September, I believe.

We were at Rustico 3 or 4 weeks ago and I chatted with Greg about progress on the space; he mentioned a Labor Day opening specifically, but obviously that depends on 1,000 different things. A couple nuggets from what I recall:

  • The upstairs will be the bar space with a majority of the taps (and up to six (6!!) beer engines :lol: ) with the ground floor functioning more as a proper restaurant.
  • Upstairs may have more of a limited menu due to kitchen logistics (everything will have to go up and down the stairs)
  • Pizza ovens are definitely in the plans.
  • Greg really wants to focus on service, something that it sounded like he thought was missing in many local watering holes in the District (he lives just up the street from the new space). I guess you could read that as a jab at a certain grandfather of the D.C. beer scene, but he also indicated he wasn't going to hire condescending, cooler-than-thou hipster kids to sneer at his customers.

I am ridiculously excited for this place.

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[*]Greg really wants to focus on service, something that it sounded like he thought was missing in many local watering holes in the District (he lives just up the street from the new space). I guess you could read that as a jab at a certain grandfather of the D.C. beer scene, but he also indicated he wasn't going to hire condescending, cooler-than-thou hipster kids to sneer at his customers.

I am ridiculously excited for this place.

I am so happy to hear that he is paying special attention to service. Too many places that could be good downtown are ruined by service staff that either don't have a clue or think it's their job to look down at you to make the place have a certain "feel".

If Greg delivers good, friendly bartenders, pretty good food and a comfortable atmosphere, he will be getting my money often. I also cannot wait for this place to open.

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I am ridiculously excited for this place.

I second (third?) that. I live in the neighborhood and love the idea of a relaxed place with some outdoor space! I just sent the Sietsema link to my S.O. who I think will be pacing outside of the place til it opens....Sounds like it could be a great addition to the neighborhood.

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Bummed to see the date pushed back, but it's not unexpected. October can't come early enough!

Signed,

"Dupont beer geek" :lol:

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Latest word on the street indicates a 1Q 2009 opening, that's about as specific as I can determine.

My mantra: "It will be worth the wait, it will be worth the wait, it will be worth the wait"

Seriously. If this place lives up to 25% of my expectations it will be worth the wait.

Serenity now!!

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Serenity now!!

I feel like Frank Costanza over here... "SERENITY NOW! SERENITY NOW!"

Any firmer idea when this place is gonna open up?

Alex

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I feel like Frank Costanza over here... "SERENITY NOW! SERENITY NOW!"

Any firmer idea when this place is gonna open up?

Alex

Someone told me that they heard March and I laughed at them. I walk by the space at least 3 times a week and, for the most part, the inside looks exactly the same as it did in June of last year. Still a mess of pre-construction debris, and they still haven't even taken down the Dakota Cowgirl or Ramrod signs off the front!

My mantra now is "I'll believe it when I see it." :P

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...they still haven't even taken down the Dakota Cowgirl or Ramrod signs off the front!

I never made it up there, but I like to think that "Titan's Ramrod" made the Blue Oyster look like Chuck E. Cheese. They used to run a special night for "Bears, Otters, Cubs and Wolves," and even my gay friends couldn't reach consensus on the definition of that demographic.

Dakota Cowgirl, however... that place is happily in the rearview. Bring on Birch & Barley.

Alex

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Someone told me that they heard March and I laughed at them. I walk by the space at least 3 times a week and, for the most part, the inside looks exactly the same as it did in June of last year. Still a mess of pre-construction debris, and they still haven't even taken down the Dakota Cowgirl or Ramrod signs off the front!

My mantra now is "I'll believe it when I see it." :P

I walked by earlier this week and they had drywall up. That was a recent change.

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The Dakota Cowgirl sign is down.....

...and given the amount of noise, dust, motion and people, I'd say that someone has decided to get this place open. Finally. A month ago, Tim Carman reported a September opening. Seems ambitious.

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A month ago, Tim Carman reported a September opening. Seems ambitious.

The quote in bold is the understatement of the year. There has finally been some activity in the space, but I'd be shocked and awed if this place is open before mid-October to November.

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Today, DC Beer Digest had this:

I highly doubt that I am the only one that has been anxiously awaiting an

update on the Birch & Barley / ChurchKey opening in DC. Heck, they're

slated to have 5 casks and 50 drafts, what beer lovers wouldn't be excited.

And given the history of delays, I would be hesitant to place any money on

an opening date. But while at Rustico for lunch yesterday, I asked our

waiter if there was an update on the status. I was surprised when he said

'yes', they plan to open on September 21st.... not Fall 2009, or sometime in

September but September 21st. I actually called Rustico this afternoon to

confirm and the hostess to whom I spoke was able to verify the opening date.

I haven't seen anything on their website and I know that their chef, Frank

Morales, recently the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, so there are still

plenty of opportunities for further delays, but I'm going to remain

optimistic. If anyone has further details I'd welcome them. Hopefully I'll

see most of you there at one time or another.

I can't vouch for it, but thought I'd pass it along.

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Today, DC Beer Digest had this:.

Saw that, too. This tease has gone on long enough. Maybe if they miss the 9/21 date I'll chuck a brick through the front window. But then that would delay the opening even longer! Damn.

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Today, DC Beer Digest had this:

I can't vouch for it, but thought I'd pass it along.

[is there a link we can give them? I can't find it on Google. (Thanks for the update - NRG is good at playing their cards close to the vest (not that that's a bad thing).)]

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Saw that, too. This tease has gone on long enough. Maybe if they miss the 9/21 date I'll chuck a brick through the front window. But then that would delay the opening even longer! Damn.

I echo your frustration, Ted, as it seems like I've been waiting for this place to open since I moved into the neighborhood a year and a half ago.

I'm not going to resist the urge to do an "I told you so" after predicting that this place would not be open until at least mid-October despite them releasing the Sept. 21 date, as I walked past the other day some definite progress had been made, but with (at the time) 8 days until opening, I laughed to myself at the thought of them being open on their firm, specific planned date. Dry wall was up but no bar, no paint, no decorations, wires everywhere, etc. With inspections and everything else that goes along with opening a restaurant, I again say that I don't expect them to be open and fully up and running before October 15.

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I echo your frustration, Ted, as it seems like I've been waiting for this place to open since I moved into the neighborhood a year and a half ago.

I'm not going to resist the urge to do an "I told you so" after predicting that this place would not be open until at least mid-October despite them releasing the Sept. 21 date, as I walked past the other day some definite progress had been made, but with (at the time) 8 days until opening, I laughed to myself at the thought of them being open on their firm, specific planned date. Dry wall was up but no bar, no paint, no decorations, wires everywhere, etc. With inspections and everything else that goes along with opening a restaurant, I again say that I don't expect them to be open and fully up and running before October 15.

Have no fear, October is a very very very very strong possibility. We are working our butts off in the kitchen, and construction is going on through the wee hours of night. I hope everyone is excited and can't wait till our kitchen can cook for everyone. The Chef, myself and the other Sous are excited as well. Pure bold flavors, great beer, and a great location are key ingredients for success!

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Monday?!?!

Signage is a good (ahem) sign.

Things are in flux, but as of right now, it will NOT be open to the public Monday. But soon ... within a week ...

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Things are in flux, but as of right now, it will NOT be open to the public Monday. But soon ... within a week ...

I know I've been harping on this, but why keep announcing dates to the public if you're really not sure you're going to be open? I don't understand the philosophy here other than frustrating potential customers with the tease of finally opening. I walked by on Saturday during the day and they looked more than a week away, but we'll see.....

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The rule of thumb is "once you open those doors, there is no shutting them once you start".
I believe the "test run" for staff and management was last night. If so, it shouldn't be long now.

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