Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Preview of Meridian Pint: planned to open in June

Meridian Pint, the bar and restaurant coming to the corner of 11th and Park, has been in the news lately, with pieces on PoP and the Post. On Monday, I stopped by to see how it's going and to talk with owner John Andrade, who said he hopes to open in June.

Meridian Pint will occupy the first and basement floors of the building, about 6,000 square feet total. The first floor will have a long bar, tables, booths, and a few TVs, while the downstairs will have billiards tables, shuffleboard, more seating, and a lounge area with a small stage and DJ booth. The downstairs, which is quite large, is aimed to "cater to a bit of everything." Although there are TVs, Andrade said it definitely isn't a sports bar, just that he likes having something going on in the background. He hopes to be open for the World Cup, for example.

In between supervising construction, Andrade, who called himself a big beer fan, said the primary focus will be on American craft beer. "Too many places these days are trying to cater to global niches," he said, noting that the U.S. has a huge and still growing craft beer movement. "And it's American -- there's a lot to be said about that. Not the mention the benefits to the environment" of buying locally.

He'll serve beers from the mid-Atlantic region and elsewhere, mentioning a recent scouting trip to the Charlottesville area's breweries, wineries, and distilleries. There will be 25 beer taps and no bottles or cans.

He also plans to use locally grown ingredients for the food, which is to be moderately-priced, good American casual fine dining with some international influence. There will be brunch on the weekends starting at 8 or 9 am.

Andrade, who also owns Asylum in Adams Morgan, plans for the spot to have retro 1920s-40s styling, and there will also be outdoor seating facing 11th Street (pictured). He's trying to use as much reclaimed lumber as possible from the old grocery store that was in the location, some of which will be the bar surface, plus other DC furnishings from places like the Brass Knob in Adams Morgan.

The second floor of the building was originally planned to be the offices of 3DG, the architectural firm that designed the building, but they have since backed out. Rumor at PoP's site is that Vegetate, the vegetarian restaurant formerly in Shaw, may be looking at the second floor.

In all, I'm really looking forward to this place. There's really nothing like it in the area, and having a few TVs and some good beers sounds great to me. Andrade has other plans for the spot as well, most of which he wants to remain a surprise. One thing he did mention is organizing bicycle trips to local (or farther away) breweries.

Meridian Pint's website is here, and there are updates on their Twitter and Facebook pages.

Pictured below is about half of the basement. Andrade asked that I not take pictures of the upstairs so it's a bit of a surprise, but a photo from earlier in the construction is at PoP.


  1. How could the upstairs possibly be a surprise? The windows are uncovered--I check the process daily.

  2. Sooooo looking forward to this place. I don't quite check the progress daily - more like once a week, and it's still too slow!!! Too impatient for this thing to open.

  3. I would assume Andrade knows what he is doing from successfully running Asylum for many years, but this place seems way too big for its location.

  4. I heard from someone who is going to be bartending there that it will be opening in March. At least that's what the owner told him. I'm thinking he wants to keep expectations low in terms of an opening date due to the myriad delays thus far.


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