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Cantina Marina Brings Shiner Beers, Frozen Custard to Two New Wharf Eateries

Cantina Bambina, Pearl Street Warehouse are scheduled to open next month

Ongoing construction at the mile-long Wharf complex.
Photo by Warren Rojas / Eater DC

Seasonal watering hole Cantina Marina is scheduled to go away next month. But its spirit will live on at snack-friendly Cantina Bambina and diner-ish Pearl Street Warehouse, the two new hospitality ventures the Cantina Marina crew expects to unveil during grand opening weekend at the Wharf.

Fans of the perennial happy hour spot should be delighted to know that its affinity for Texan beers and finger foods is carrying over to the new ventures still taking shape within the massive renovation of the Southwest waterfront.

Co-owner Nick Fontana describes Cantina Bambina, which will reside on Transit Pier alongside the box office for mega-concert hall The Anthem, as a family-friendly concession stand and leisurely drinking spot.

A map of Phase 1 of The Wharf redevelopment.
Illustration courtesy of The Wharf

The ground floor will deal in assorted quesadillas (think: barbecue chicken; spinach-mushroom; strawberry-banana) served in a sleeve for on-the-go dining. There will also be coffee, bagels, potato chips, and other grab-and-go standards designed to satisfy passersby as well as those being ferried to and fro on water taxis.

One major departure: the burgeoning restaurant group is giving frozen custard a go. Expect chocolate, vanilla, and swirl along with “a few toppings.”

Up above, Fontana says Bambina will have a 1,600-square-foot rooftop bar sporting a few tables. “Go up there to see the view, and maybe enjoy a drink,” he says. The tentative beverage roster includes favorites from the Shiner family of beers, some Mexican imports, and margaritas.

Down the road at Pearl Street Warehouse, Fontana says the plan is to serve breakfast and lunch out of the “mini-diner” at the entrance to the music hall, which should accommodate around 30 to 40 customers. The menu is projected to feature gourmet sausage patties — he mentioned Thai turkey, Italian, lamb, and duck as current contenders — deployed in various sandwich configurations. Other daytime options include biscuits and gravy, tater tots, and fruit cups.

Come showtime, or once Pearl Street proper closes to all traffic (4 p.m., nightly) and transforms into a music-filled pedestrian plaza, Fontana says Pearl Street Warehouse will begin serving shareable dips, skewers, and other bar fare. His team is working on securing Shiner Light Blonde on tap, and is amassing a list of “American whiskeys” for those in need of something stronger.

Cantina Bambina and Pearl Street Warehouse are currently projected to open on Thursday, October 12.

Cantina Marina

600 Water St SW, Washington, D.C. 20024 (202) 554-8396 Visit Website