Behind the Bar: May 2017
May 1, 2017 @ 12:00am
By Monica Alford and Trent Johnson
Spring has officially sprung, marking every dog owner’s favorite time of year when they can finally drink outside with their pups. We caught up with folks from three famously pup-friendly spots in the DC area, and even got to meet a few of their four-legged regulars.
Lead Bartender, Radiator
On Tap: What’s new at Radiator?
Sarah Rosner: With the Radiator team taking over the Mason & Rook rooftop this spring and summer, it’s been so fun to work together on pop-up cocktail menus.
OT: Tell me about one of your most daring cocktails.
SR: We did a duck fat-washed Angel’s Envy à la duck l’orange cocktail for our “A Radiator Story” Christmas pop-up. It took forever to get it right. I could taste the duck fat for weeks, but we finally got it down.
OT: What new ingredients have you been playing with recently?
SR: Vinegars, clarified cocktails and always fresh herbs.
OT: What adjectives would you use to describe Radiator’s libations?
SR: For Radiator’s spring cocktail menu: bright, spicy, clean. For the Mason & Rook rooftop pop-up: cocktails, dreams, sugar.
OT: What cocktail would you recommend to someone adventurous?
SR: Try an obscure spirit like the Eddie Would Go with Okolehau. Okolehau is a Hawaiian spirit made with ti root and sugar cane, and it tastes somewhere between the tropical, caramel, sweetness of rum and the earthy funkiness of tequila.
OT: What makes Radiator a dog-friendly location?
SR: Kimpton has always been pet-friendly. It’s a huge part of our brand. The front desk always has dog treats on hand, and we have dog beds available. Many of our staff have dogs as well.
OT: How does the pup-friendly factor impact your customer base?
SR: When you have a dog, you want to take them with you to places to maximize your time together. The patio at Radiator provides that option.
OT: Does anyone on the Radiator team have a pup that you’re particularly fond of?
SR: Our server, Divinity Bailey, has Banjo, and they are both the best.
Citrus (orange, lemon, lime)
Berries (strawberry, raspberry)
Radiator: 1430 Rhode Island Ave. NW, DC; www.radiatordc.com
Owner and GM, Lyman’s Tavern
On Tap: Why did you decide to make Lyman’s dog-friendly?
Kevin Perone: We’ve been dog-friendly since we opened. Bubbles [his pup] helped supervise the build out as well. I think every patio should be dog-friendly considering they’re family.
OT: What are the canine perks of Lyman’s?
KP: We like dogs a lot, and have plenty of water bowls. We love making new furry friends.
OT: What is Bubbles’ best personality trait?
KP: He just loves everything. He loves people and other dogs, sniffing…you know, dog stuff. His ears are super expressive.
OT: What’s the vibe at Lyman’s?
KP: We’re a neighborhood corner bar with two patios and a lot of pinball machines. It gets busy up here on the weekends, and it’s nice not being down in a crazy corridor.
OT: Walk me through your drink menu.
KP: We have cheap beer, cocktails [and] a large whiskey menu. [We have] $2 draft PBRs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, and we always have a few frozen drinks too, from Moscow mules to piña coladas.
OT: Best brew currently on tap?
KP: We always have a DC Brau on tap, and we’re really stoked [about] Hellbender’s kölsch right now.
OT: What do you recommend for the non-beer drinker?
KP: Frozen drinks! It’s always a party when you’re drinking boozy slushies.
OT: Any fun events coming up this summer?
KP: We have a bunch of pinball tournaments through the summer, and I’m sure we’ll have some fun patio events as well.
Moscow Mule Slush
Barritt’s Ginger Beer
Lyman’s Tavern: 3720 14th St. NW, DC; www.facebook.com/lymanstaverndc
Manager, Samuel Beckett’s
On Tap: What makes Samuel Beckett’s a traditional Irish pub?
DM: We are an independently owned Irish pub, and the owner Mark is very proud of the fact that he has created a pub which reflects a pub in Ireland. All of the pub came from Ireland (the flooring [and] light fixtures), and we have a large staff (including myself) from Ireland.
OT: What can customers imbibe?
DM: We offer a great selection of imported and craft local beers. We have a very large selection of Irish whiskeys, scotch and bourbons. We also have a very large wine list, which is unusual for an Irish pub. Plus, we have great happy hour cocktails.
OT: Name a few of your favorite beers currently available.
DM: I think my favorite beers at the moment, other than the steadfast Guinness, would be our Eggenberg Pils or Crabbie Irish Man, [which is] Crabbie’s Ginger Beer from Scotland with a shot of Jameson in a tall glass over ice. We also have Stiegl Radler for those hot days!
OT: Best food/beer pairing available?
DM: Our lamb shank marinated in Guinness with a pint of Guinness.
OT: Why is Beckett’s a great spot for pups?
DM: The owner Mark [Kirwan] is a big dog lover. He owns a 68-pound English bulldog, Ted. He is a lunatic who is striving to be the laziest dog in the world. We love dogs and are very involved with Dogma [Bakery] and the Arlington County Rescue Society. We have the largest patio in Shirlington, so we can accommodate lots of dogs and their owners.
OT: Any dog-themed events or other perks?
DM: We serve dog treats and line our patios with watering bowls filled with ice for our favorite friends. We also hold happy hours for the rescue league and for the Irish Wolfhound Society.
OT: If you were a pup, why would you want to hang at Beckett’s?
DM: The care and attention that the staff and management give you, and the fact that Shirlington is like a dog mecca.
Guinness & Yellow Spot whiskey
Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub The Village at Shirlington: 2800 S. Randolph St. #110, Arlington, VA; www.samuelbecketts.com