Drive down 14th Street NW on any nice day and you’ll see standard. You know, the big patio full of happy people? Once you’ve experienced it, you understand. Visiting standard feels like sitting in your friend’s backyard – your friend with the best barbeque in town who happens to have 33-ounce supermugs of delicious beer.
Former home of the Garden District, standard puts the small space to good use. The bench-style seating is able to accommodate large groups or multiple small parties. Though cozying up to strangers on the Metro might not be comfortable, it works here. Everyone is there for the same purpose: to relax and enjoy their time outside in a city that too frequently has them stuck indoors and on trains.
It is fitting that this garden shoppe turned beer garden has become such a popular neighborhood spot, considering it was the brainchild of two friends from the neighborhood, Dave Rosner and Tad Curtz. gI loved this spot when it was the Garden District,h said Curtz, a self-proclaimed bean cooker.gThirty minutes after the lease sign went up, I made the call and put down a deposit.
The young duo knew they wanted to do a Bavarian-style beer garden with great barbeque. The beers rotate, but tend to include favorites like Bells Two Hearted Ale, Hofbräu and some seasonal surprises that you won’t find at many other bars.
“We wanted this to be a relaxed spot where the neighborhood can come together to relax at the picnic tables and enjoy great bbq and beer,h said Rosner, the number cruncher and business mind.
The brisket and pulled pork are smoked upstairs. The recipe comes from years of barbeque research. Curtz has been known to jump in a car for a week-long trip to Texas in the name of barbeque. He’s done it a few times.
The smoked and grilled menu offers sandwich options for under $8. For an additional $4, sides like hot pretzels, Carolina coleslaw and Mexico City-style grilled corn round out the meal and make for a good snack to complement the flavorful beers.
The beer garden has been consistently busy since opening in March 2011, but the summer’s extra nice days have meant record capacities. In August, expansion will allow for even more beer guzzling. They’ll be every day of the week instead of just six and the second fenced-in area will allow for an additional 35 seats.There are even more incentives to keep the neighbors coming back.
We are trying new things every week – from curry wurst to Kölsch and our sidewalk donut stand, beamed Rosner, who bikes to work. Ride your bike to standard!
Careful. The bike racks get crowded.
Standard: 1801 14th St. NW, Washington, DC; www.standarddc.com
What the people are saying:
“Even when you have to wait to sit, it’s still worth it.”
“The crowd is pretty hipster, but not so hipster as to deter the rest of us from showing up. The food is so well done. I like the casual atmosphere.”
“We definitely do not have enough beer gardens here. It’s just so nice to be sitting outside drinking substantial, good beers.”