Thursday, August 14, 2008

What will Meridian Pint be like?

Owner John Andrade asked and answered this question on the Columbia Heights listserve:

Located at 11th & Park, The Pint, as I've come to nick name it, will be 2 levels. The street level will be very much restaurant/bar similar in casualness to Commonwealth Gastro Pub with an open style kitchen. We'll offer great food, a casual groove, 25 beers on draft and no bottles or cans, plentiful wines and yes, an outdoor seating area. Beers will be diverse including cask conditioned as well as the occasional gravity poured, firkin. There will be 2 "idiot boxes" since I do enjoy sports and I believe few things go better than quality beer while watching some football. Certainly not a sports bar, just some back ground.

The basement level will be equal in size and will have both a separate entrance and internal connection. The downstairs will have a more playful personality and will carry the name "The Joint Chiefs" while still serving the same food and beverages. There will be 4 8ft. billiard tables, to be rented by the hour, shuffle board, another bar and a spacious lounging area with the ability to section off for private party/receptions. A ping pong table top will be available for covering 1 billiard table for those interested.

Scheduled opening is based on 3DG's renovation of the building but for now I'm hoping for spring of '09.

That's it in a nut shell.
Sounds pretty awesome to me. I've wished Wonderland had TVs so I could watch games in the past. Anybody else have an opinion? Some people are opposed to the place.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

what is their connection to commonwealth? i don't think i want another place like commonwealth in the neighborhood. isn't that an odd thing to say?

Anonymous said...

i forgot to add that it sounds more like a neighborhood sort of hang out than commonwealth which is what i am craving so this is one i am looking forward to.

Anonymous said...

i just read the comment from someone opposed to this (the link on the page). there was some debate going on over commonwealth about whether it is actually a neighborhood place or whether it is simply contributing to the gentrification of the neighborhood more than anything. my observation of commonwealth is that it is not a neighborhood place and i am not sure how and if they will be giving back to the community. we all have to be responsible consumers, i guess, but what responsibility should these restaurants have?

Andrew said...

good point, anon 3. you could argue they shouldn't have to do anything, but at the same, why not? From what I've heard of the Meridian Pint owner, he plans to sponsor a running club and stuff like that. I hope to interview hiom soon.

Anonymous said...

andrew, i am looking forward to reading that interview. i was actually trying to say that the restaurants in the neighborhood should do something. my apologies if my comment did not make sense. i absolutely thing that since they are a part of the neighborhood, they should directly give back to the neighborhood. i went to commonwealth and was turned off by the fact that they seemed to be a big restaurant simply trying to make money off of the neighborhood. they had a nice mission statement and they may be giving back to local farms, but i will not patronize it further unless i hear that they are giving back to the neighborhood. and by neighborhood, i am not talking simply of the sort of people in the area that can afford to be their patrons. i think restaurants, as any business, have a social responsibility to contribute. i am interested in hearing how meridian pint plans on doing this and i hope that commonwealth, since he was so nice to mention them, will follow suite. i noticed that the meridian pint is taking suggestions from the neighborhood before they even open, which i think is a great start. i cannot recall commonwealth doing the same.

fourthandeye said...

I would venture to guess that Andrade only mentioned Commonwealth to provide an example of a Gastropub. It's simply a reference point for what kind of food and beer a gastropub serves. Other than both being gastropubs there isn't a connection between Commonwealth and Meridian Pint.

Anonymous said...

i hope meridian pint does not try to oversell the whole 'gastropub' concept like commonwealth did. i am hoping for something a little more down to earth.

Anonymous said...

if i may ask, andrew, why the interest from you and other blogs, in interviewing john andrade and not jamie leeds, who i think, from reading the press, is thinking commonwealth is the same sort of 'neighborhood gastropub' concept? i think i know the answer as i type, but it is interesting...

fourthandeye said...

@Anon 8:21 - I think Andrew has seen that Andrade has had a sit down interview with PoP before and know he's receptive to these types of exchanges. What's your hypothesis?

Anonymous said...

thanks forthandeye. i remember seeing that quite a while back. though it does seem like jamie leeds sticks with bigger press, i don't think she would say no to a chat with neighborhood bloggers. i was thinking along the lines of...she gets enough press...or andrade looks like he is doing something more unique than just building a restaurant and at least geared much more to the neighborhood with his running clubs and environmental mission. maybe a sort of dual interview would be fun. i mean they are similar concepts on the outside...beer, good food, game tables of sorts if you include the chess tables and such at commonwealth, both say they are committed to being neighborhood places and sustainable, both live in the neighborhood...
do you really think it is just because he gave pop an interview?

Anonymous said...

To anon @ 7:31
I have no idea where your ideas are based from in regards to Commonwealth "giving back to the neighborhood". They are not a non-profit, they are a restaurant interested in turning a profit (like any other restaurant). I work at Pete's and have met and talked to Leeds several times and she is certainly a formidable entrepreneur. By "giving back to the community", what are you looking for a business to do? They already pay property and sales taxes that go to the local and federal gov't which go into paying for local services. If you're just bitching because Commonwealth is an "expensive" restaurant, well then continue fearing the face of gentrification. It's coming, it's here, and I'm glad it's bringing great new food and restaurants to the neighborhood. (btw, Commonwealth is at the base of an apartment complex with a min. rent of $1700, what do you expect for the restaurants below it, McDonalds?)

Anonymous said...

to 9:17
touchy, aren't we?
first, i was not suggesting that jamie leeds is not an entrepreneur. nor was i suggesting that commonwealth does not need to turn a profit. i understand the building is expensive and probably the reason they could not sell the units.
it is very narrow-minded of you to think that for a restaurant to give back to the neighborhood they would have to give away all of their profits.
your entire comment is narrow-minded. look around and you will find plenty of businesses that manage to be very profitable and give back to the community in which it is a part.

Anonymous said...

who ever said that making a profit and doing good for the community could not go hand in hand? and i mean paying more than just taxes.

there has been alot of bitching going on about prices at commonwealth AND i hear alot of bitching going on about the price of pizza at pete's. but i do not think that is what this thread has been about. i do not think that price has anything to do with a business contributing back.

so what is the problem anon 9:17 of the idea of a business contributing back to the wealth of the community, which in fact, is what is written on the menu at commonwealth?

Anonymous said...

i know jamie leeds, at least with hank's, has done a lot of charity and fundraising over the years. they are, granted, for mostly the big name, standard charities and organizations that you see other restaurants contribute to, but it is nonetheless better than many and certainly better than nothing. good for meridian pint if they are looking to give back to the community in a different and possibly more creative way.

pauper said...

i'm going to venture to say that one or more of these anonymous comments is from dcdirewolf...ugh...he/she can't be escaped

people, it's a business and a business opens to make money...that doesn't mean that they won't give back, but i'm incredibly tired of constant pissing and moaning going on about the businesses that open up in the neighborhood...chances are, commonwealth and "the pint" will give back...it's just good business...but your going on about how they have to is just ridiculous...if you want to live in a socialist society, i think there are some over in europe

Mr T in DC said...

Besides paying taxes, keeping their share of the sidewalk clean, and contributing to the vibrant street life of a neighborhood, restaurants and bars "give back" simply by hiring staff and providing jobs.

I also detect a whiff of "DCDireWolf" in some of the anonymous comments, ever the internet troll, trying to rile things up.

Andrew said...

Anons - I actually didn't see the PoP interview with Andrade, doh. I want to interview Andrade because like somebody said, it sounds like a new place, a neat neighborhood bar, and there's already been a lot of coverage on Commonwealth.

Also, if people could please enter some kind of name instead of being anonymous, it would make it a lot easier to respond.

Anonymous said...

interesting discussion. it is interesting how two business people are hitting the press in a different way. it is great to see that andrade is planning on doing something different for the community. not to suggest that leeds is not or will not. i find it intriguing that leeds has made it a point to write on a blurb in the menu that they are for the 'common good of the community' but has not discussed, as far as i have seen, what they plan on doing for the community other than providing a place to get food and beer. i get the feeling some of you will say that it is a business so that is all they have to do, but it is written right on the menu that they are for the community, so i am hoping and looking forward to hearing of the ways they are going to contribute to our neighborhood rather than say, setting up a food tasting booth at a share our strength event, which is what so many places do. not dissing SOS, but i think there are other places in the neighborhood that leeds and andrade could help fundraise for. leeds has three restaurants so you can expect her to participate in big events. it is good for her business. but i hope she takes a more creative approach in this neighborhood. same with andrade. go ask leeds' publicist.

new to ch said...

was not sure who some of you were talking about with this dcdirewolf, but went on the pop discussion of meridian pint...
i don't think dcdirewolf's opinions are all wrong. it seems that in the end we all care about making our neighborhood safe and clean with a diverse set of businesses that contribute as little as possible to the gentrification of the neighborhood. i see nothing wrong with that unless someone wants to enlighten me.

Anonymous said...

why on earth do people expect every restaurant to "give back" to the neighbhorhood? Are the dry cleaners, D'vines and Radioshack all supposed to give back? I think that is a problem when everyone expects a business to be a charity. Most small businesses fail in the first five years anyhow, so why are you expecting so much from them. If you think the price is high, don't eat there. Some folks are fine paying $8.00/beer and guess what? they will eat and drink there. Its called a market economy. We need a range of restaurants. Nothing on that menu appeals to me but I still welcome it in the neighborhood so we have a range of food and price points. People need to get over the government hand out, business charity mentality that permeates this neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

cuz they, both leeds and andrade, sell that in the press. if they are going to sell it in the press to get that sort of yuppie crew to feel good about coming to their places, then they need to stick to their word and do something for the community.

and historically, restaurants were about nourishing a community. they still are.

read the blurb...commonwealth is actually the one that is making themselves sound slightly socialist.

Anonymous said...

'the people's gastropub'

i have to agree that it sounds slightly socialit...

Anonymous said...

Why should a private business give back to the community? They provide jobs, pay taxes, and help create a safer environment for all of us. What more could you ask for? I swear...

Anonymous said...

social responsibility. that's why.

though i have to say that jamie leeds is one of the most generous chefs in dc as far as giving her time and money to good causes. i think she will stick with the mission statement of commonwealth and be a good presence in this community.

Andrew said...

I don't want to squelch discussion, but if you could put in some kind of name instead of anon it would make it easier to respond. Doesn't have to be your full name or anything.

no real name said...

i am putting in a comment so that andrew does not feel like he squelched the discussion.

i don't think people are asking for 'charity,'anon 11:39. i think there are people in this neighborhood that are asking for smart growth and a more socially responsible business model that does not entirely focus on money making. there are a lot of creative business models in dc and throughout the country in which profit is made in a socially responsible way. it may not be what you are referring to as direct 'charity,' as in donating money. it may be about providing one slot every year to train a local teen in restaurant work. hell, it may be about using only non-toxic cleaning supplies or not serving beer in bottles. i am happy to pay for the real cost of food. i do not think that is what we are talking about.

what did you have in mind andrew when you asked anon3 'why not?'

as an aside, i am not entirely convinced of why we need another 'gastropub' so close to this newly opened on.

Andrew said...

no real name - by why not i meant if they can afford, sure. it's also probably good for business.

and I'm not sure this is really a "gastropub" - to me it just seems like a neighborhood bar.

no real name said...

i agree andrew that this place does not sound like a gastropub, at least not yet. tho the fact that they mention commonwealth and gastropub...indicates that maybe they are going in that direction.

i think you can create a business model that allows you to afford to 'give back' and not just 'give back' if you can afford to. not sure that makes sense. need coffee.

no real name said...

you should check out andrade's response to blogger's posts on PoP. i have to say that i really appreciate him engaging with the community he is planning on serving. i have yet to see leeds respond to any post by neighborhood bloggers. i use leeds as an example simply because she just opened in the same neighborhood and there was as much talk and discussion of her place. i understand that sometimes these blog discussions get out of hand, but it is refreshing to see andrade engage in the discussion in a productive manner.

The Meridian Pint said...

Hey y'all, it's John Andrade, owner of the soon to be Meridian Pint. So many comments have been floating around Columbia Heights lately about new restaurants and bars that I wanted to add a few comments in hopes of clarifying some confusion.

First of all, when I originally wanted to open a restaurant/bar in CH, I looked at the exact space that Commonwealth is in and even began negotiations on it and the Potbelly space before the building even broke ground. I backed away from the deal when I realized that I didn't want to be in a large apt. building, across from so many franchise establishment. One of the big reasons was the rent, which is literally 50-60% higher than the space I have now.

If you are wondering why Commonwealth and Pete's are sooo expensive, it's not because they wanna gouge the community, it's because their rent is so astronomically high that they have no choice. The fact is, that if you want wonderful dining establishments like Pete's, Commonweatlth, The Heights and, the soon to open, Mediterranean Blue, you're gonna have to pay for it cuz the reality is, they are too.

With respect to giving back to the community, I'm torn as to how to appease everyone. I feel like my direction thus far is the right one but so many folks seem to want more and the reality is, one business can only do so much. I have chosen to take an approach that suites me and that I personally feel is rarely ever given attention; Exercise. Through sponsored group rides and runs I feel like I can influence more of the community than by simply cutting a check to a local charity. While I think that helps too, I prefer to take a more interactive approach. I also hope to bring a bicycle race to CH which I believe would inspire to youth to do more.

"Gastro-Pub"...I've never understood the term nor felt inspired to dine in a place that uses the word Gastro in it's name. That being said, excellent work Jamie Leeds in making it into a word that represents something so good. As for my reference to it in my earlier post, The Meridian Pint has nothing to do with Commonwealth and has nothing to do with the term "Gastro-Pub" other than having quality beer and quality food. I was simply referencing the style of a place in the immediate neighborhood, casual yet stylish, spacious yet quaint, with good food and beer.

Hope I wasn't too long winded. As always, I'm happy to talk to anyone about the future of The Pint.

John Andrade
The Meridian Pint
westcoastin2005@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks John. And don't sweat it ... there are always a few haters who populate the boards, but the vast majority of the community is either neutral or very excited about your establishment. And we all appreciate how actively you participate in these discussions. If the food is good (to me, more than anything, the caliber of the food is what matters) I'll be there at least weekly!