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Granite City's First East Coast Location: National Harbor

Granite City [Photos: Official]

Next up for National Harbor: a brewery.

Granite City Food & Brewery, based out of Minneapolis, will open next spring at the development.

The restaurant and microbrewery will be located at the corner of American Way and St. George Boulevard, in the ground floor of The Esplanade apartments. There are locations across 14 states; this will be location 33 for the chain.

The restaurant will have seating for 300 people, with an open kitchen, big patio, private dining and a brewery on site (open for tours). They expect to have about 16 450-gallon tanks on site, explained CEO Rob Doran. Granite City uses a trademarked brewing process they call "fermentus interruptus," where they start the process at their brewhouse in Iowa and finish it onsite. They'll have growler fills at the National Harbor location, too.
Some of the menu items at other locations of the brewery include various salads, steaks, bar food and comfort food items like meatloaf. Flatbreads and soups such as a beer cheese offering are particularly popular, Doran says. They also have a separate gluten-free menu. "Unlike some other breweries we pay equal attention to the food," said Doran. Average check price is about $16-17 per person.

The company also owns Cadillac Ranch, which also has an outpost at National Harbor. That location is poised for a $1 million renovation this fall which will include an enclosed patio and other enhancements (they'll probably close for about a week in October to wrap up the work).

The D.C. area may see more locations of Granite City if it takes off; Doran can see the market sustaining three or four locations. "i'm an enthusiast, obviously, but if i weren't [involved'], I'd be a customer," he said.
· Granite City Food & Brewery [Official Site]

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