The new Astro Beer Hall goes heavy on the astronaut theme, bringing “Sputnick” cocktails, Pacman, and space odyssey vibes downtown.
The massive two-level beer hall and coffee shop, which opens today, Friday, October 4, at 1306 G Street NW, is a collaboration between the owners of Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken and Tin Shop (the bar minds behind Penn Social, Big Chief, Franklin Hall, Church Hall, and TallBoy).
The 11,000-square-foot space, formerly Mackey’s Public House, was ripe for another bar to slide in. The location makes sense; it’s situated next door to the OG Astro Doughnuts. Along with walls splashed with a “Shoot the Moon” mural, framed sci-fi comics, and an oversized astronaut reaching for a beer in space, the galactic theme also extends into its cocktail list. Names include “Astronaut Juice” and “Sputnick” (riffs on a Mai Tai and Moscow mule, respectively). Classics include Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, Negronis, and gin and tonics.
Along with serving its destination doughnuts and fried chicken, pub fare from Astro’s chef Chris Kujala calls for loaded tater tots, wings, chicken sliders, and salads.
Scroll on for a look inside the psychedelic space:
A separate breakfast menu and full La Colombe coffee service will come online in a few weeks. For now, hours are 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday to Thursday, and until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Weekday happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. shaves $2 off all draft beers, and draft cocktails.
Debut menu items include grilled cheese and bacon doughnut sandwich and a crispy portobello mushroom vegan salad. Entrees include bone-in fried chicken combos, chicken fried steak with sausage gravy and a cheddar biscuit, and family-style meals.
Sauces include buttermilk ranch, rosemary honey mustard, Sriracha buffalo, and a zesty “comeback” sauce that originated in Jackson, Mississippi. Calorie-heavy finales include warm doughnut bread pudding and an ice cream-filled chocolate cake doughnut.
Astro was founded by longtime friends and native Washingtonians, Elliot Spaisman and Jeff Halpern, who used to down doughnuts after hockey games. The purveyors of cakey doughnuts in flavors like crème brûlée also have a Northern Virginia outpost in Falls Church, along with a pair of Los Angeles locations.