Budding chain Mission’s new Navy Yard location won’t have much much in the way of food this weekend, but customers will be able to fill up on a specialty beer the group developed with local producer DC Brau.
The owners of the homegrown Mexican restaurant are racing to pull together just enough of the multi-story establishment (1221 Van Street SE) to accommodate all the MLB All-Star Week enthusiasts already pouring into town. Co-founders Fritz Brogan and Reed Landry (Mission Dupont Circle, Hawthorne) remain dead set on opening by noon on Saturday, July 14 — even though walls needed painting and furniture was still arriving on Thursday, July 12.
“We’ve been here every night this week,” Brogan says of the ongoing effort.
Still, the duo insists that all four bars — one which claims to be D.C.’s longest — will be fully functioning by Saturday. There’s 16 draft lines at each: 10 for beer, three for wine and prosecco, and three for margaritas and cocktails. One of the beers will be exclusive to the new Mission location: DC Brau’s “Dos” beer, brewed specifically for the new restaurant. There’s also the usual suspects in play, like Dos Equis and Pacifico. Limited food options will also be available.
The partial opening coincides with other huge sporting events: the opening of D.C. United’s new home, Audi Field, as well as the World Cup finals.
Design firm Streetsense transformed the two-story space into a mini Mexican village. Expect lots of candle-shaped lights, curved doorways, colorful mosaic tiling, bull skull art, warm brown tones, and sleek cement flooring. Patrons will instantly be reminded of the original Dupont Circle location, thanks to similar string lights hovering over the downstairs bar, as well as Mission’s signature caps lock-lit logo displayed vertically upon entry. Inside, there’s over 8,000 cubic feet of tap lines, as well as 600 feet of wraparound balcony space, and 50 tequilas — ranging from “rare to approachable,” per Brogan. The team went with 18 bathroom stalls — twice as many as code required — to help speed up beer-induced bathroom breaks; the idea is to give pre-gamers an alternative to waiting in long lines at Nationals Park.
There’s also a huge painting of a tequila bottle being poured next to the downstairs bar, which Team Mission expects to be the star of many booze-fueled photo ops. The main dining room, with its own bar and balconies, shares the second floor with a 150-foot bar that stretches across the space. A minimum of nine bartenders will man the massive drinking hub at all time, says Brogan, and more bartending stations could be added. A fourth bar sits in the private dining and event space. There, a private door accessed from a stairwell can be used by VIPs and those requiring private security. Balconies overlooking Nationals Park can also be rented out for a more intimate evening.
The cavernous drinking den will also be a guaranteed respite from the summer heat.
“We put 66 tons of AC in,” says Brogan.
During the first week, expect select tacos, appetizers, and entrees. Starting Monday, July 23, its full menu — a replica of the one found at the Dupont location — will join the lineup.
Status: Scheduled to open at noon on July 14. 1221 Van Street SE; website.
Scroll down to peruse the opening menu and to see into the evolving space: