Six years after debuting in Shaw, Takoda Restaurant & Beer Garden unveils a sophomore D.C. location directly across from Nationals Park on Thursday, June 9.
The 7,000-square-foot millennial magnet (1299 First Street SE), nearly twice the size as the original, replicates the layout in Northwest with a second-floor space and third-story rooftop that fast-growing Better Hospitality Group (BHG) calls the biggest in the neighborhood. The cashless new venture offers room for 385 patrons across both floors.
“We have lots of loyal Takoda Shaw patrons who live in Navy Yard. Now they have one at their doorstep,” says BHG CEO Ryan Seelbach tells Eater.
BHG executive chef Julio Estrada brings over Takoda’s top-selling tots, boneless chicken wings, six types of sliders, and a cheeseburger starring a seven-ounce short rib and brisket blend patty. A handhelds section also includes barbecue chicken, pulled pork, and roasted portobello sandwiches and a Buffalo chicken wrap.
Starters like a fried pickles basket, truffle fries, and fish and chips are also part of a late-night weekend menu, with a new takeout window dedicated to orders (11 p.m. to 1 a.m.).
Coming out of COVID-19, Seelbach says his new BHG bars put a priority on big, year-round outdoor spaces. Its months-old Boardwalk Bar & Arcade on the Wharf features a lengthy patio and breezy, wraparound bar. Waterfront wine bar Easy Company will pop on an airy, fountain-framed morsel of the Wharf this summer.
New menu drops include a trio of salads (chicken Caesar, spicy chicken, and a taco salad in a fried tortilla shell). Other Takoda firsts include a build-your-own burger option and happy hour seven days a week (in Shaw, it’s just Tuesday to Thursday).
Back by popular demand is Takoda’s “WAP” shooter, which was released in Shaw in unison with Cardi B’s smash hit song of the summer. The comeback shooter, which was ahead of the curve with now-hot blue Curacao, also features rum, passionfruit, ginger, mint, lemon, and lime ($8 each or $39 for six).
Eight frozen drink machines on-site are charged with whirling two types of spiked slushies: BHG’s ever-popular frose (rose, vodka, strawberry, peach) and a “Rum Bae” (rum, pineapple, strawberry, coconut, lime). The latter is an ode to decades-old Florida resort Rum Bay, where the BHG senior team stayed during a retreat this year.
Navy Yard’s bottomless brunch goes live right away this weekend, with a 90-minute time limit for mimosas and three courses ($53), from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
A 24-line draft system dispenses 16 mostly-domestic beers and eight cocktails, which includes BHG’s greatest hits (the Takoda mule, Boardwalk mojito, and Cortez margarita). There’s 24 lines on the roof and 48 around its second-level bar.
A daily happy hour (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) includes $3 sliders, $7 Old Bay tots, and beers, wines, bubbly, and rail, tap, and frozen cocktails ($6-$9).
Hours kick off weekdays starting at 4 p.m. and weekends at 11 a.m. for brunch. Takoda plans to stay open Monday to Wednesday until 10 p.m. or 11 p.m., Thursday until midnight, Friday and Saturday until 2 a.m. and Sunday until 10 p.m. During Washington Nationals home game days, Takoda plans to open earlier and stay open later.
Seelbach says Takoda’s Shaw and Navy Yard neighborhoods share the same core customer base.
“There’s a lot of young residents in both who want to be in walking distance of entertainment and great bars and restaurants,” he says.
Takoda Shaw, open in 2016, kicked off the group’s D.C. expansion streak that included taco-and-tequila bar Cortez in Shaw, and Boardwalk bars in Penn Quarter and the Wharf.
“Other than my actual family, Takoda is my most valuable asset. I’m extremely excited to launch my second baby, so to speak,” says Seelbach.