H Street Life

Argonaut’s new patio enclosure.

It’s not quite summer yet, but the clarion call of outdoor dining and drinking can be heard loud and clear. Thankfully, the H Street NE Corridor boasts many options for those seeking such amusement.

CrossFit DC Opens at 1365 H Street

H Street's newest (and largest, at 4,500 sq ft) gym recently opened its doors. CrossFit DC (http://crossfitdc.com) was founded on 14th Street NW in 2005, as the District’s first CrossFit affiliate. The H Street NE space is the owners’ second location. CrossFit DC focuses on “strength, power, metabolic conditioning, and body control.” The H Street location has classes for beginners, as well as personal training, and offerings for more advanced athletes.

Impala Opens on H Street NE

The long-awaited Impala Cantina y Taqueria (1358 H Street NE, http://impala-dc.com) is now open. They are still tweaking their menu; so expect some degree of variation early on. They are currently serving dinner every day, and weekend brunch/lunch.

Trinidad Garden Tour & Social June 7th

Those who have never attended the Trinidad Garden Tour might be forgiven for wondering how a simple tour of local gardens in the tiny neighborhood of Trinidad could possibly take all afternoon. The truth is that this is more than a simple garden tour. While it is great fun to see a multitude of gardens that run the gamut from just getting started to truly impressive, it’s also a chance to meet new neighbors, and to socialize with those you already know. By custom, we begin with a garden party at a certain house on the corner of Montello and Morse. While not required, or expected, it is not uncommon for garden hosts to offer visitors refreshing beverages and nourishment along the way.

Argonaut Gets a Restyled Patio

The patio at the Argonaut Tavern (1433 H Street NE, http://argonautdc.com) has long been a neighborhood favorite. In a recent tweak, the owners have enclosed most of the patio in a large partly retractable greenhouse-like structure intended to protect diners and staff from rainy weather and cold temperatures.

Opera on Tap at Vendetta

Does the idea of enjoying opera music in a casual setting appeal to you? If so, you might enjoy Opera on Tap (http://www.operaontap.org) at Vendetta (1212 H Street NE, http://vendettadc.com). The group Opera on Tap seeks to broaden the appeal of opera music by stripping away the pretension and letting people enjoy the music in a low cost and relaxed atmosphere. For a mere $10 suggested donation, you can savor two and a half hours of live opera music performed by emerging artists. This happens roughly once or twice a month on Mondays. Monday is also $1 slider night (sausage, meatball, or chicken marsala, with a two drink minimum). Happy hour runs from 5-8 P.M. and features $3 PBR, $4 prosecco and Peroni, and $5 house wine. Also of note, is First Responder Night at Vendetta. Every Thursday, First Responders (police, firefighters, etc.) pay half price for burgers, enjoy happy hour prices all night long, and get $4 Fireball shots.

Bardo Opens Indoor Space & Gearin' Up DC Joins the Fun

The popular outdoor brew-pub Bardo (1200 Bladensburg Road NE, http://bardo.com.au) just got a little more fun with the addition of an indoor space they can use during inclement weather. The new indoor area boasts ample seating in a rustic setting. Two trophy heads decorate the otherwise simple space.

In other exciting news, owners (and brothers) Bill and Andrew Stewart hope to be back to brewing their own beers (they previously did so at Bardo Rodeo and Dr. Dremo’s) very shortly. I’m told they have only a few things to do in preparation for their final pre-brewing inspection. Once that is out of the way, the brothers need about two weeks to brew, and two weeks to ferment before some Bardo originals appear on the menu. I’m talking about brews like: Chuck Brown Ale, Dremo Tibetan Sasquatch strong ale, and XOXOX oaked IPA. They do currently serve one very impressive barley wine called White Lightening, a keg of which spent the past fourteen years in the capable hands of a friend. It will set you back $45 a pour (includes a commemorative glass), but I can honestly say that it is the best beer I’ve ever tasted.

For those who haven’t yet ventured up Bladensburg Road to Bardo, I suggest you do so posthaste. Bardo boasts outdoor seating for 500, and cornhole games aplenty. I’ve yet to wait in line to play a round. There’s an outdoor projector with which they frequently show old movies, and plenty of space to toss around a Frisbee if you are so inclined. When the mercury drops, they light up the fire pit. There’s a quite affable resident mutt named Bardawg, who roams the property freely. He leads the makeshift pack of pups whose visiting owners enjoy a beer while watching the dogs romp around.

Adding to the scene at Bardo is the newly established association with Gearin’ Up Bicycles (http://www.gearinupbicycles.org). Gearin’ Up Bicycles is a DC based non-profit that seeks to empower and employ young adults from underserved communities. They sell low-cost used bikes and perform all manner of bike repair and maintenance at affordable rates.

For more on what’s abuzz on, and around, H Street NE you can visit my blog http://frozentropics.blogspot.com. You can send me tips, or questions at elise.bernard@gmail.com.

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