The nightlife team behind a crop of popular Clarendon bars will expand to Navy Yard this spring with the opening of The Cove, a cabana-covered hangout on the banks of the Anacostia River that makes its own booze.
B Social Hospitality (The Lot, Rebel Taco, Roll’d, Pamplona, Clarendon Pop-Up Bar) just claimed the prized patch of Southeast waterfront land that formerly housed Bardo Brewing, a dog-friendly, no-frills beer garden covered in wood chips (25 Potomac Avenue SE). The sprawling, one-acre setup that shut down during the pandemic had room for 750 alfresco drinkers at a time.
The Cove plans to put Bardo Brewing’s soaring silver barrels back to work and make its own lines of hard seltzers and craft beers, B Social Hospitality co-founder Christal Bramson tells Eater. The Nationals Park-adjacent bar is scheduled to open in April, or around the start of the Washington Nationals’ 2022 season.
The Cove, situated next to Solace Brewing Company’s brand new D.C. taproom, adds to a growing waterfront neighborhood that sports front-row views of the newly completed Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge.
The Cove’s 45,000-square-foot, all-outdoor setup is twice as big as The Lot, its landlocked Arlington counterpart that turns three this summer on the site of a former used car dealership. The Lot is filled with tiki and container bars, food trucks, tented sandlots, a rooftop lounge, and areas for cornhole and jumbo “bucket” pong.
Being right on the water, the shared tropical theme is a little more believable at The Cove, which will also carve out room for yard games, cabanas, and fire pits to go along with scenic seating, cozy furniture, and multiple bars slinging its seltzers and beers and classic and tropical cocktails. A food program is TBA.
The Cove also will be a year-round operation, with heaters, igloos, and tents during colder months and a Christmas pop-up garden during the holidays. Across the street from The Lot, the team turned the storied Clarendon Ballroom space into a new nightclub with bottle service, DJs, and rotating themes like Miami Vice. The brand’s Rebel Taco truck recently expanded to D.C. with a tequila-driven outpost on U Street NW. More projects are on the horizon for 2022, the team tells Eater.
The Cove will tentatively operate from 4 p.m. to midnight on Monday to Friday (and starting at 11 a.m. on weekends), with a 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. happy hour during the week.
Dive-y Bardo relocated from its Trinidad brewpub to Navy Yard in 2017 and used its tanks to make beers like an IPA, brown ale, porter, stout, and imperial stout, among others.
While on-site brewing and cornhole will live on at The Cove, it’s unclear whether Bardo’s iconic shipping container bathrooms — where men’s urinals are made of repurposed kegs — will stay or go.