Red Rocks Pizzeria to Open on H Street NE

H Street Life

Red Rocks Pizzeria is coming to 1348 H Street NE. Photo: Elise Bernard

The temperatures may be dropping, but the H Street NE corridor remains hot. The long awaited 360°H Street (http://360hstreet.com) mixed use development is on schedule to open this spring. That development features 215 apartments and a Giant grocery store. This month brought two major pieces of restaurant news. One is that the massive space at 1348 has found a new tenant in a local gourmet pizza place. The second revelation is the reincarnation of Bardo Rodeo along a largely desolate stretch of Bladensburg Road NE.

Red Rocks Pizzeria to Open on H Street NE

Red Rocks Pizzeria (http://www.redrocksdc.com) recently announced plans to open a third location at 1348 H Street NE. The pizzeria, which has its first location in Columbia Heights, specializes in Neapolitan style pies. You can expect thin crust pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven. They profess a strong dedication to fresh and locally sourced ingredients. This commitment extends to making many of their own cheeses, and curing their own meats in house.

The space is impressive in scale. It’s owned by Evolve Property Management (http://evolvedc.com, 1344 H Street NE), which is located in the same block. It’s actually a couple of properties combined. That makes it a huge space, that totals out around 7,000 square feet.

Continuing a popular trend along the H Street NE Corridor (and the District more generally) Red Rocks plans to add a rooftop deck with seating and a bar. According to the Prince of Petworth blog (http://www.princeofpetworth.com), which broke the story, Red Rocks will likely open in spring of 2013.

Massive Brewpub Headed for Bladensburg Road

The former owner of Dr. Dremo’s and Bardo Rodeo recently announced plans to open a huge brewpub in the 1200 block of Bladenburg Road NE.  According to the liquor license application, Bardo will accommodate around 350 patrons total. Just under 100 of those seats would be inside, and the rest would be part of a huge outdoor beer garden.  For those unfamiliar with the aforementioned establishments, they are somewhat legendary in the area. Bardo Rodeo was purportedly one of the largest brewpubs on the East Coast. It always had several beers on tap, no bottled beers, no wine, and no liquor.  Bardo Rodeo inhabited a former car dealership, and boasted a jukebox built into an old car.

Dr. Dremo’s offered patrons a laid back experience. The walls were decorated with vintage pieces, and Christmas lights. Games of darts, pool, and shuffleboard could all be had. Like Bardo Rodeo, Dr. Dremo’s also featured a large outdoor space.  It’s often been pointed out that it served a very diverse clientele, and that this contributed to the relaxed atmosphere.

This is big news for Bladensburg Road NE. Though that stretch of Bladensburg is home to Jimmy Valentine’s Lonely Hearts Club (http://www.jimmyvalentineslhc.com, 1103 Bladensburg Road NE), it currently offers little else beyond a Denny’s, assorted carryouts, liquor stores, and used car dealerships.  There’s been much talk about how to extend the economic revitalization up from H Street NE, and this could be a huge step in that direction. Based on people’s reactions (both online, and off) to this news, I’d say that Bardo is likely to become a destination bar pretty quickly.  The food will be simple, microwave nachos, and whatever they throw on the outdoor grill.

Obama Dines at Smith Commons

Twitter was all abuzz about a special very important visitor coming to H Street. It began with a lunchtime tweet from Sticky Rice (1224 H Street NE) “VIP on hst today during lunch. No hst parking for now.” The speculation started immediately. Could another spot along the H Street NE Corridor really be about to get the Obama bump mere months after he dined at the newly opened Boundary Road (http://www.boundaryrd.com, 414 H Street NE)? Tweets flew around with speculation that whoever it was would be dining at Smith Commons (http://www.smithcommonsdc.com, 1245 H Street NE). Might it be another VIP? Journalists offered that we wouldn’t know for sure until a white tent appeared. It would take a few hours, but that eventually happened, sealing the deal. No word on what President Obama ordered, but the presidential visit is sure to bring a steady crowd of new visitors to Smith Commons. The dinner was part of the Dinner with Barack series, and the president’s companions were six voters from battleground states.

Introducing Local Nights at the Pug

Local bar the Pug (http://thepugdc.com, 1234 H Street NE) recently launched an intriguing new event. Every Wednesday the Pug will feature a different special guest from a local food or drink producer (both brewers and distillers). The inaugural visitor was from Three Stars Brewery, and the Pug had two of the Three Stars brews on tap. The idea behind this new endeavor is to highlight the Pug’s commitment to local products. Did you know that all ten of the bar’s draft lines are produced within 250 miles of H Street NE?

Chicken and Rice Offers More Than Its Name Suggests

The name Chicken and Rice (813 H Street NE) doesn’t reveal much about the fare on offer. From the words alone it could be nearly any sort of cuisine. As it turns out, Chicken and Rice serves Indian food. They specialize in a variety of curries (not all of which involve chicken), and the early reviews are positive. They also cater.

For more on what’s abuzz on and around H Street 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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