Weekend Round-Up: March 4 and 5
When D.C. United return to action against Sporting Kansas City this Saturday, March 4, it won’t be just another home opener—it will be the Black-and-Red’s 22nd and final home opener at RFK Stadium. United will be working hard to kick off the 2017 season with a win and push toward another Audi MLS Cup Playoff appearance — something United and Sporting have both experienced in the past.
The two clubs will meet this weekend for the 54th time since Major League Soccer’s inception in 1996. In addition to being one of the league’s oldest matchups, United-Sporting is also one of Major League Soccer’s most competitive matchups. The Black-and-Red have a slim head-to-head advantage over their fellow founding member, leading Kansas City by a record of 21-20-12.
This Saturday’s match will kick-off at 7 p.m. and single game tickets start at $20.
After the massive success of the holiday-themed Miracle on 7th Street pop-up experience, Drink Company’s James Beard Award-nominated Mockingbird Hill and Southern Efficiency have been transformed into Cherry Blossom PUB (Pop-Up Bar) — and this is the opening weekend.
Draped in pink, Southern Efficiency features handmade cherry blossom “branches,” thousands of origami cranes, maneki-neko — Japan’s world-famous lucky “waving cats” — and a stunning mural print of iconic D.C. artist Maggie O’Neill’s classic painting “Flynn’s Jefferson Memorial.”
At Mockingbird Hill, nostalgia reigns supreme in the form of the beloved Super Mario Bros., with the entire bar dedicated to the Mushroom Kingdom, from animatronic piranha plants peeking out of green pipes to glowing mystery boxes and a special corner reserved for super villain King Koopa. Despite their differing decor, the two bars are connected via newly opened doorways between them, opening up a flowing, festive space for even more patrons to enjoy.
Cocktails from senior bar manager Paul Taylor pay homage to the theme, too, including drinks like the “King Koopa Cup,” a mix of Japanese whiskey, Genmaicha “popcorn” tea and ginger syrup with a lemon “crown;” and “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Smaller,” made with vodka, mandarin orange, pomelo and apricot soda.
Classic Japanese bites like gyoza, seaweed salad and a katsu sandwich from Chef Evan Scarlatelli are also on the menu, alongside Japanese sake, beer and whiskey offerings. In addition to the themed food and drinks, guests can expect a Mario Kart contest and bartenders wearing red caps and overalls for the duration of the Cherry Blossom PUB, which will stick around through April 15.
The Cherry Blossom PUB at Mockingbird Hill and Southern Efficiency is open 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Troy, also known as The Gay Traveler, is a well known travel and food writer. His has been a regular contributor to a variety of outlets including National Geographic, Travel Channel, DCRefined, CBS Local, and Metro Weekly. He also appears on local Washington news outlets as a travel expert.