Public Option – Soft Opening

public option

You will probably remember an old announcement from last year on the Insider that RIA NE is getting a brew pub (see post here). Well, it has finally opened…sort of.

The Public Option, located at 1601 Rhode Island Ave NE, has had a soft opening recently. Owner, Bill Perry, made headlines last year when he declared that he wouldn’t allow his servers to accept tips but instead would pay them a livable wage (around $15/hour). This has been a tavern/brew pub that has been in the works for some time.

So what can you expect? Here’s from Bill directly:

The basic idea remains the same: we are a brew pub/neighborhood tavern.  The focus will be on craft beer in a casual/cozy environment.  We will serve light, healthy fare, maintain early hours and hope to attract patrons from the neighborhood.
We have several beers we’ve brewed on tap, in addition to a couple from other DC micro breweries.  We also have some more standard beers, a small wine selection, and basic/old-school cocktails for those who are not fans of craft brew.  Our kitchen is not yet open.  But we are providing munchies (for free) such as pretzels, nuts, etc.
When the kitchen is open (early November is the plan), we will have a few flat bread options, some bratwurst/sausage plates, and some sides such as roasted fall veggies.  We are refining these now, and trying out samples on willing patrons in return for feed back.  We have also talked with a few local chefs about doing guest appearances and providing “specials.”  But that’s still a little way down the road.
Currently we are open Friday (3:00 – 7:00), Saturday (noon – 9:00), and Sunday (noon – 7:00).  We started with slightly different hours, and will probably keep refining the schedule based on when there seems to be interest.  (Since we don’t have TV’s, Sundays during football season may prove to be pretty dead, for example.)  Eventually we’d like to be open two more days and expand these hours a bit.

In addition to their website going live (see here), here are some photos of the menus and the location.

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