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RFK Beer Is Here to Stoke Excitement for Upcoming Food Hall

A new beer marks the start of the epic multi-functional project taking shape next to the Anacostia River

RFK Untapped, a collaboration between Events DC, artist Maggie O’Neill, and Atlas Brew Works, is released this week.
Events DC/official photo
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

To drum up interest around RFK redevelopment efforts, which includes erecting a smorgasbord of new dining, entertainment, and recreational additions next to the former Washington Redskins stadium, D.C. planners just released a new IPA called RFK Untapped with Atlas Brew Works.

The local artist behind the colorful can is Maggie O’Neill, the co-founder of restaurant interiors firm Swatchroom (Morris, Wilson Hardware) who looked to L’Enfant’s iconic street design for inspiration.

The beer’s limited release this week coincides with the recent groundbreaking on multi-purpose recreational fields — the inaugural piece of RFK’s Southeast revitalization plan — scheduled to open in March 2019.

The public can get a first sip of the beer at the Curbside Cookoff scheduled for Friday, October 26 in Southwest and DC Beer Fest on Saturday, November 3 at Nationals Park.

Events DC CEO Gregory O’Dell tells Eater the food hall piece, dubbed A Market Hall, is in its “preliminary stages” and solicitations are out to get potential concessions, hospitality, and grocery partners on board. Its arrival next to Kingman Park is still a few years out.

“We envision it’ll be a robust 60,000-square-foot kind of facility that will house light retail and food and beverage components,” he tells Eater, adding there could also be community-run gardens on site.

He likens Market Hall, projected to be packed with lots of local players, to international destinations like London’s longtime food and retail mecca Borough Market and “amazing squares and offerings” in Barcelona.

While he says it’s “too premature” to say whether the food hall will be anchored by one or a few restaurants, that could be an option — similar to The Slanted Door’s prominence inside San Francisco’s famed Ferry Building along Fisherman’s Wharf.

The ripe development site, situated next to the now-vacated RFK Stadium, will also see a sports and entertainment complex, three pedestrian bridges, and a memorial come to life over the next five years as part of its $490 million short-term vision along the banks of the Anacostia River. The “challenge,” he notes, is completing extensive regulatory and environmental processes required to develop on the federal land.