Pop-ups and events are in full swing around D.C., and this selective guide includes everything longer-term pop-ups and one-off events.
Casa Kantuka Pop-Up
The Deal: D.C.’s popular Bolivian speakeasy Casa Kantuka makes a surprise appearance across the Potomac River with a five-night August run below Ambar Clarendon. Sibling duo Carla and Juan Sanchez, who grew up in the Bolivian capital of La Paz, originally debuted Casa Kantuta last summer with a month-long residency in Adams Morgan. Their color-soaked cocktail lounge, which is expected to announce a permanent location soon, pops up in Ambar’s stylish basement bar formerly known as Baba. Bar director Luis Aliaga, who also leads the drinks program at Roy Boys, has Bolivian and Venezuelan roots. Cocktails go heavy on singani — a muscat grape-based brandy and national spirit of the South American country. A fiery “Angry Llama” built with tequila, jalapeño syrup, singani, and llajua hot sauce returns alongside a crop of new Bolivian-themed cocktails to try. The sparking wine-topped “Bufeo” pays homage to the country’s beloved pink-colored river dolphins. Casa Kantuka’s throwback soundtrack includes hip-hop hits of the early ’90s — when the Sanchez family immigrated to the D.C. area — mixed with Reggaeton, Cumbia Villera, and traditional Bolivian tunes.
Dates: Sunday, August 7 (8 p.m. to close) and Wednesday, August 10 to Friday, August 12 and Sunday, August 14 from 6 p.m. to close.
Where: In the lower level of Ambar (2901 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va.)
Cost: Cocktails are $14; chilled Rujero Singani shots are $12; and Bolivian wines are $13 by the glass and $45 by the bottle.
The Deal: D.C.’s annual tiki bar crawl returns for its sixth year — and the first in full capacity since the pandemic — with 10 participating bars in the mix (McClellan’s Retreat, Truxton Inn, Barrel, Archipelago, Service Bar, The Green Zone, Bar Charley, Tiny Tiki, Last Call Bar, and Tiki on 18th). Starting Friday, August 5, guests can buy a treasure hunt-style map and collect a stamp for each participating bar they visit. Guests who collect all 10 will receive an invitation to an end-of-the-trail luau on Sunday, September 11. Brian Nixon, general manager of McClellan’s Retreat and Truxton Inn, started the month-long Tiki Trail treasure hunt in summer 2017 and had 200 participants in 2019.
Where: Guests can buy a Tiki Trail map at any participating bar for $20, with half of proceeds going towards Another Round Another Rally.
Dates: Friday, August 5 through Monday, September 5
Hook Hall’s Summer Skate Pop-Up
The Deal: The Parkview bar and event space flips into a giant roller skating rink on Saturday, August 6. Created in conjunction with LinkUpDC, a family-friendly event (2 p.m. until 7 p.m.) includes roller skating, lessons, face painting, games, DJ Lanlan and DJ Mari, and ice cream floats, plus cocktails for adults, That night (8 p.m. to 2 a.m.) a “Safari En Blanc”-themed skating party plays up Hook Hall’s summer safari theme, inviting guests to dress in white with a touch of animal print. DJ Prodigy special drinks will be offered.
Where: Hook Hall, 3400 Georgia Ave NW
Dates: Saturday, August 6
Cost: Skate tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for kids under 18. An all-day pass is available at $35 for adults. Skate rentals are available.
The 2022 Citi Open
The Deal: D.C.’s historic tennis tournament, held annually in Rock Creek Park since 1969, just unveiled its star-studded culinary team for 2022. World Central Kitchen founder José Andrés will serve Spanish flauta sandwiches from his Pepe food truck, while Maryland native Nicholas Stefanelli will prepare arancini rice fritters and lasagna “alla norma” with eggplant and tomato basil from his Michelin-starred restaurant Masseria. The week-long tournament that averages 72,000 attendees also welcomes local favorites Duke’s Grocery, Roaming Rooster, South Block, King Street Oyster Bar, and Oro Pizza, plus dessert offerings from Dolcezza, Georgetown Cupcake, and Ice Cream Jubilee. Moët and Kim Crawford will spearhead the bar programs. On the court side, competitors include three-time Grand Slam champion and former World No. 1 Andy Murray and 2022 Wimbledon finalist and 2019 Citi Open champion Nick Kyrgios.
Where: Rock Creek Park Tennis Center, 5220 16th Street NW
When: Saturday, July 30 through Sunday, August 7
Cost: Score tennis tickets here.
Federalist Pig Summer Pop-Up at Hook Hall
What: Federalist Pig, Adams Morgan’s Bib Gourmand-designated eatery known for its Kansas City, Carolina and Texas-styled barbecue, sets up shop at Park View event space and beer garden Hook Hall all summer. Culinary director and pitmaster Rob Sonderman will offer ribs, brisket plates, sandwiches, wings, and sides. Offerings include chopped brisket with queso dip and tortilla chips; smoked garlic hummus with pita chips; and barbecue sliders. To expand outdoor dining at its own Adams Morgan home base, FedPig will also debut a new 48-seat patio space on Saturday, June 25 (1654 Columbia Road NW). Construction on a second brick-and-mortar Federalist Pig just started in Hyattsville.
Where: Hook Hall, 3400 Georgia Ave NW
When: Hours are Wednesday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday noon to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday until 9:30 p.m., with happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Friday.
Shipgarten in Tysons
The Deal: The Tysons Biergarten crew activates a cluster of shipping containers into four summer pop-ups: Tysons Biergarten, Waffles & Tacos, RollBär, and Salamati. The sprawling setup features five bars pouring 100 beers from around the world; 60 bourbons, whiskeys, tequilas; and spiked slushies. There’s also a dog park, DJs, and games like cornhole and giant Jenga.
Where: Shipgarten, 7581 Colshire Drive, Mclean, Va.
Dates: Opening Friday, July 15
“Eats and Beats” at Thirsty Crow
What: Columbia Heights Malaysian hit Makan kicks off a new guest chef and DJ series in its basement bar Thirsty Crow on Mondays this summer. Look for a panini party with Makan’s own James Wozniuk; chicken-fried coq au vin sandwiches from Guy Cross; and African soul food from Trea’onne Allen. Rotating pop-ups each week also include Thai noodles, cocktails from Al Thompson, tacos, and more.
Where: Thirsty Crow, 3400 11th Street NW
When: Every Monday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., with DJ Eskimo hitting the tracks at 7 p.m.
Summer Songwriter Series at Boundary Stone
What: The Bloomingdale pub hosts live and original music acts every Thursday this summer. Eli Waltz will open each night, followed by original artists spanning all genres. Chef David Bacot’s full menu and drinks are available throughout the night.
Where: Boundary Stone, 116 Rhode Island Avenue NW
When: Every Thursday this summer from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (free to enter)
Mandarin Oriental’s “Fridays Fried & Uncorked” & “Magic Pig Roast”
What: Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. near the Wharf and the National Mall debuted special weekly dining pop-ups for both hotel guests and locals. On Thursday nights, Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Moosah Reaume is hosting a “Magic Pig Roast.” The name is inspired by a tale of culinary lore that Chinese immigrants to Cuba brought a special method of roasting a whole pig for hours within a box called “Caja China.” That name “Caja China” means magic or something mysterious, and Chef Moosah will use this method to roast pork every week. Then on Fridays, stop by for bubbles and fried chicken. To kick off the weekend, the hotel’s “Fridays Fried & Uncorked” series combines Korean fried chicken with sparkling wine.
Where: Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C., 1330 Maryland Avenue SW
Dates: Magic Pig Roast every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays Fried & Uncorked every Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Morris American Bar’s Tiki Pop Up
What: Starting with paper drink umbrellas, Morris American Bar is going for a total tiki makeover for its outdoor bar this summer. The swanky Mount Vernon cocktail bar’s tiki-inspired pop-up starts on May 31, and the rum and gin-fueled drinks will flow throughout D.C.’s sweltering summer. Fruity options at the tiki bar include a reimagined strawberry daiquiri and a cocktail called For Pete’s Sake made with Caravedo Torontel pisco, Cherry Heering, hibiscus liqueur, and bitters. Look for fun glassware and mugs too, like peacock-shaped cups.
Where: Morris American Bar, 1020 7th Street NW (reserve here)
Dates: Tuesday, May 31 throughout the summer
Details: Combining theater and dining, Whimsy has dropped at the St. Regis. With two tables accommodating only 32 guests per seating, this theatrical dining experience includes a five-course menu from executive chef Andrew Roche. The room transforms with each course and diners experience perching in the treetops, floating among the stars, and sitting on the ocean floor. The experiences are vibrant with music and interactive opportunities. Tickets are $195 per person inclusive of a preselected five-course menu with the option to add on wine pairings.
When: 6:30 p.m. seatings each Tuesday through Saturday beginning March 9
Where: The St. Regis hotel, 923 Black Lives Matter Plaza NW
Details: Cinder BBQ’s new Mexican breakfast pop-up brings tamales, enchiladas, huevos rancheros and huevos con chorizo, pozole, and chilaquiles to Petworth, according to Petworth News.
Where: Cinder BBQ, 800 Upshur Street
When: Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon
Details: Chef Ed Hardy, who recently closed Rogi pierogi stand, is back with a meatball (and other round foods) pop-up conveniently located in the former Rogi space at Chefscape at the Village at Leesburg. Everything on the menu is in ball form, such as Eastern shore hushpuppies with Old Bay and lobster cream; Italian meatballs; Swedish meatballs; arancini, bourbon balls, and cake pops.
Where: Chefscape at The Village at Leesburg, 1602 Village Market Boulevard SE #120, Leesburg
When: Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to closing until further notice.
Details: Michele’s in the Eaton Hotel is taking lunch for a test spin with New Orleans style sandwiches and tarte flambée available for pick-up. The salty, briny muffuletta, created at Central Grocery in the 1800s to satisfy hungry French Market vendors, receives a layer of aioli in addition to olive mix, cured meats, and provolone at Michele’s. Fried cauliflower lands on chef Matt Baker’s version of the po’boy while Old Bay anchors it in this part of the country. There’s also a shrimp roll, a lamb French dip, and a short menu of tarte flambée. Order here.
Where: Michele’s in the Eaton Hotel, 1201 K Street, NW
When: Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Details: Joining Andy’s Pizza, Donburi, Twelve Twenty Coffee, London Chippy, and Empanadas De Mendoza in the food hall space on the third floor of Tysons Galleria, this Ghanaian pop-up and regular at farmers markets is popping up with a “pan-African soul” menu featuring customized rice bowls topped with proteins like stewed oxtail and sauces like Ghanaian hot pepper sauce.
Where: Urbanspace Food Hall, Tysons Galleria, Third Floor, 2001 International Drive, McLean, Virginia
When: Opens in early March
Details: From husband-and-wife team Michael Turner and Alexandra Bookless Turner (and named for their daughter), naturally unleavened pan pizzas made with mid-Atlantic grains come with pepperoni, sausage and peppers, four cheese, as well as an all-cheese white version with chile flakes, garlic, and honey drizzle. Add on a kale Caesar or a slice of cajeta cheesecake for the full deal. Details on ordering and payment here.
Where: Pick-up is in D.C.’s Trinidad neighborhood. Exact location will be shared upon order confirmation.
When: The pop-up returns once a month with dates announced on the website and Instagram.
A.i. Pop-Up Event Series
The Deal: Nü Androids’s multi-sensory project pops up in a 12,000-square-foot Northeast warehouse through the spring, complete with well-known EDM DJs, activations, custom light shows, LED music visualizers, and art installations. Healthy 4you Juicebar slings fresh-pressed cold juices, pastries, and Neapolitan-style pizzas with a cauliflower crust option. Look for a curated cocktail list named after the featured headliner’s tracks.
Dates: Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. (upcoming lineup here)
Where: A.i. (2101 New York Avenue NE)
Cost: Tickets are $20 to $35 per person
The Deal: The old home of The Sushi Bar is rotating pop-ups until a new, permanent restaurant for the space is announced this spring. Tiki, from former Mango Mike’s owner Mike Anderson, has given the space a bamboo-laced facelift now that Joy on the Avenue Christmas pop-up has moved out. No word yet one the bar’s menu, but the mangorita had a huge following at Mango Mike’s. [ALXnow.com]
Where: 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue
Dates: Opens the week of January 23
A Presto! Italian Foods
The Deal: From veteran Tune Inn bartender Stephanie Hulbert-Sargent, Rammy-nominated A Presto! Italian Foods celebrates the kind of Sunday dinner she grew up eating in New Jersey with her Italian family, according to Washington City Paper. Named for Hulbert-Sargent’s maternal grandfather, family is the name of the game with several dishes are named for family members. Mama Sue’s meatballs, lasagna, chicken Parmesan, and Sunday gravy all make appearances on the rotating menu. Reservations available here.
Where: Bullfrog Bagels upstairs space (317 Seventh Street SE)
Dates: Thursday through Sunday nights from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Balangay Pop-Up at Bullfrog Bagels
The Deal: Filipino chef Wing Villarias sets up shop at Atlas District’s Bullfrog Bagels three nights a week with an a la carte dinner menu featuring classics like lumpia, crispy pork belly, fried calamari with squid ink, vegan pancit, and fried chicken adobo.
Where: Bullfrog Bagels, 1341 H Street NE
Dates: Open for dine-in and takeout Thursday to Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Cost: Dishes start at $8
Kennedy Street Tacos
The Deal: Chef Jaren Morrow’s taco Tuesday residency at neighborhood dive Jackie Lee’s features a menu of crunch wraps, quesadillas, burritos, taco salads, and pick-your-own proteins.
Where: Jackie Lee’s, 116 Kennedy Street NW
Dates: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Tuesday
Cost: Tacos and dishes are $6-$10 and sides (tostones, beans, rice) are $3 each
The Deal: San Lorenzo chef Massimo Fabbri debuts a lunchtime pop-up showcasing the sandwiches his mom used to make him in Tuscany. On the savory side, a 10-inch baguette comes with mortadella and caprese. Another option has 18-month prosciutto di Parma ham, burrata mousse, crushed tomato, and 12-year-old Balsamic. A “sweet” section served on a round brioche bun include Nutella ricotta with strawberries and hazelnuts and “Vegano” with fresh figs, mint, and fig jam. The menu will also feature four salads and a soup of the day.
Where: San Lorenzo Ristorante + Bar, 1316 9th Street NW
Dates: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday
Cost: Sandwiches run $10-$14. Orders will be available through DC to GoGo, Doordash, Grubhub, Uber Eats or via pickup at San Lorenzo via phone (202-588-8954).
The Deal: D.C.’s acclaimed barbecue outfit Federalist Pig debuts a weekend mobile kitchen in Hyattsville while waiting for its brick-and-mortar location to open on the same lot. Offerings include dry rubbed and slow-smoked turkey breast and pulled pork, jalapeno cheese sausage links, meaty “sammiches” and family-style meats and sides.
Where: 5504 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, Md.; order ahead for pickup from the food truck here.
Dates: Wednesday to Sunday starting at noon
Carryout and delivery.
The Deal: Shilling Canning Company chef Reid Shilling enters the ghost kitchen game with a sandwich-centric menu filled with nostalgic favorites like an elevated “McReid” spin on the McDonald’s McRib. The “E. Lombard Street Corned Beef” piles hot corned beef and mustard on house Jewish rye. Chivito — the national dish of Uruguay and now a D.C. favorite — features wood-fired beef, Virginia ham, applewood smoked bacon, egg, roasted red peppers, chimichurri, garlic aioli, onion, and more on a house bun.
Where: Delivery via DoorDash, GrubHub and UberEats; also available on-site at Shilling during happy hour (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) Wednesdays and Thursdays. 360 Water Street SE
Dates: Open Wednesday and Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday and Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cost: Sandwiches start at $14
The Deal: Shaw sausage bar HalfSmoke debuted virtual kitchen Butter Me Up (breakfast sandwiches, coffee, tea, and cocktails) during the pandemic, served 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
Where: 651 Florida Avenue NW (carryout and delivery)
Pizzeria Pop-Up at Anafre
The Deal: Prolific restaurateur and chef Alfredo Solis decided his seafood restaurant Anafre doesn’t lend itself easily to takeout-focused pandemic times, so he’s flipping the Columbia Heights spot into a Mexican-inspired pizzeria pop-up. That means pies like a Chile Relleno pizza topped with blistered jalapeño, Oaxaca cheese, and sour cream, or a pizza starring grilled chicken and mole poblano. Besides the nine pizzas, familiar menu items are still available for Anafre fans too (like the popular seafood nachos).
“I love our concept at Anafre and we had so much great momentum before the pandemic, but it just isn’t as sustainable as our other restaurant concepts,” Solis said in a press release. “In trying to see the brighter side of things, I’ve been wanting to spread my wings more and showcase some of the skills I’ve picked up along my chef journey. I’m proud to be a Mexican chef but that doesn’t mean I can only make Mexican food.”
Where: Anafre; 3704 14th Street NW
Dates: Anafre’s pizza pop-up will be open throughout the duration of the pandemic. Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday from and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday to Thursday. Order takeout online and indoor and outdoor seating are available on a first come, first serve basis.
Cost: Pizzas are $10 to $14
Pho Joint at Duke’s Grocery
The Deal: Duke’s Grocery in Foggy Bottom debuts a pop-up centered around the beloved Vietnamese soup. Pho Joint fills bowls with protein options like brisket, eye round, meatballs, chicken, or a combo of the above. “The Duke’s family all enjoys pho regularly, so a few weeks ago we took a stab at it ourselves using a family recipe,” says managing partner Daniel Kramer, in a statement.
Where: Duke’s Grocery (Foggy Bottom): Pho Joint & Toddy Bar; 2000 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Dates: Pho is available for dine-in, takeout and delivery via UberEats, Caviar, GrubHub and Doordash.
Cost: Pho bowls are $12-$14 and cocktails are $11-$12
The Deal: Chef Fabio Trabocchi’s new pop-up dinner series stars produce and meats sourced from Rappahannock County’s Chancellors Rock Farm. The eight-course menu at the Michelin-rated Italian restaurant rotates frequently, depending what’s in season. Customers can choose from two savory dishes and dessert, or opt for the chef’s personally curated menu.
Where: Fiola, 678 Indiana Ave NW
Cost: $225 per person; reserve via Tock
Officina x Via Umbria
The Deal: Chef Nicholas Stefanelli’s three-level Italian complex on the Wharf teams up with Via Umbria, Georgetown’s go-to market for Italian goods. The pop-up adds Officina’s breads, wines, and preserves to the mix, along with hot prepared foods, fresh pastas, butcher products, and specialty meats and cheeses. It’s available for takeout or delivery, or customers can book a timed shopping slot to maintain social distance.
Where: Via Umbria; 1525 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Dates: Starting Wednesday, June 10; Wednesday to Friday (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Saturday and Sunday (9 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
Cost: The pop-up also features nightly two-course meals for two ($70) with rotating mains like lasagna bolognese and braised beef short rib.