Kid-Friendly Beer Garden Planned for NoMa Lot

by Andrea Swalec February 10, 2015 at 11:15 am 1,613 1 Comment

(Updated at 9:10 a.m. Wednesday) An overgrown lot just west of the NoMa Metro station may become Wunder Garten.

Three locals are planning a pop-up “community beer garden” with German and Austrian brews, European food trucks and possibly a playground, they said at a community meeting Monday night.

“We want to create a large grassy area for people to throw a frisbee,” Allon Pultuskier said. “During the day, we hope young parents will bring their kids.”

Wunder Garten would be created on 8,000 square feet of now-vacant space at 150 M St. NE, through an agreement being finalized with the developer Stonebridge.

Pultuskier and his partners — wife and consultant Biva Ranjeet, and Christopher Lynch, co-owner of L’Enfant Cafe in Adams-Morgan — first spoke with Stonebridge about the beer garden last summer but plans stalled. The notion got new life when outdoor goods company REI, which will open a store in nearby Uline Arena, began inquiring about possible spaces for free classes and promotional events, Pultuskier said.

“That really invigorated the idea,” he said.

Full of “beer benches,” Wunder Garten would be open from early afternoon to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Pultuskier proposed to the liquor license committee of ANC 6C. The team is looking at how to level the space full of gravel and weeds and install a tent that would contain noise.

“It’s already a little bit noisy there. We don’t want to add to that.” Pultuskier said, referring to the pop-up as a “quiet beer garden.”

The Wunder Garten team is aiming to open the space in mid-April and would be able to stay at least through Sept. 1.

Two or three “European- or Bavarian-centric” food trucks would park in the lot, said Pultuskier, a Munich native who works in marketing. And “high-end Porta-Pottys” would serve as restrooms.

“It will look like a pop-up park,” Pultuskier said, noting the team is looking at whether the space can be dog-friendly.

ANC committee chair Drew Courtney responded positively to the tavern license request and said the ANC will help coordinate a meeting with residents of Flats 130, the residential building just west of the proposed beer garden.

“This seems like something we’re going to be able to move forward on,” Courtney said. “Everyone we talk to says this is something we desperately need in the community.”

The full ANC 6C board will weigh in at its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday.


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