Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Airedale opening soon: whiskey soft serve, Monte Cristo sandwiches, schnitzel, more

UPDATE: It's now open!

I've written a few times about the Airedale, the new European gastropub coming to 14th Street NW just south of Spring Road, where Mad Momo's was before. The other day I saw a few folks working there and they invited me in to tell me more.

It turns out they were the co-owners, Ben Jordan and Baback Salimi. Ben is a former schoolteacher and Baback worked at many bars and restaurants for years, most recently the great Quarry House in Silver Spring (which is owned by the same folks as El Chucho on 11th Street.) Ben described it as a family business, as his dad and brother are also partners.

They said they plan to open this month, which means pretty soon, and showed me around the space, which looks great. The idea is to make a neighborhood bar and restaurant where you can come by, hang out, have some food or a drink or watch a game. As I've written before, it's a European gastropub, and they filled me in on more details, which is mostly (but not wholly) German and Belgian: schnitzel, poutine, fish and chips, a Monte Cristo (deep fried sandwich with Lambrusco wine jelly, which apparently no one on staff can resist) and a Belgian sandwich called a mitraillette (which means "machine gun") consisting of a burger, pork sausage, Belgian mayo, ketchup and topped with pommes frites (Belgian fries) in a long bun. Sounds amazing.

They also planned to have brunch as well -- some similar items, plus more traditional brunch fare and specialty brunch cocktails.

They'll have 16 taps, with 15 beers and a prosecco, which means they can make a lot of champagne cocktails. The beers would be half set (DC Brau and Breckenridge IPA were some ideas) and half rotating depending on the season plus a house-made Radler with beer and grapefruit juice. There would be a strong cocktail program plus happy hour deals like $1 or $2 off draft beers.

And another cool item: they have a softserve ice cream machine and have been perfecting an Old Overholt whiskey soft serve -- the idea is for it to have a bit of a taste of the whiskey, but not too much. It would be the equivalent of a shot. I'm excited to try it.

And being a European pub, they plan to show soccer, such as the German Bundesliga and English Premier League, Formula One and European MotoGP motorcycle races, and even the Eurovision Song Contest. There wouldn't be a certain team affiliation, and they planned to have the sports packages for those games, plus a number of nice, big TVs (I saw some already, they were pretty impressive.)

The inside has changed a lot as well -- they replaced all the furniture, many with hand made wood tables and benches, and added seats in the front window space, which was formerly a kind of weird lounge, plus more seating in the upstairs, which seems a lot more open (they removed some of the drop ceiling, exposing wood beams and such.) It's a really nice interior with nice fixtures, much more airy and light than Mad Momo's.

The back beer garden area upstairs has more shade, and they revamped the bathrooms and bar areas as well.

They do have a music permit, but said it would be slowly ramped up. Ben did mention some Oktoberfest specials as well, which I'm excited about.

In short, it sounds like an awesome idea, and somewhere I'd go frequently. It seems like a great addition to the neighborhood, and stay tuned for more info on the opening dates!

The Airedale is at 3605 14th Street NW.

1 comment:

  1. It opened on the 19th. They had a soft opening on the 18th, and I asked the guy at the door when they were opening and he said, "tomorrow."


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