The Berliner opens today near the historic Georgetown waterfront in the space formerly occupied by neighborhood mainstay Malmaison. To celebrate its launch, The Berliner is giving one complimentary beer to the first 100 guests who visit tonight.
Billed as a scratch-made wurst and beer hall, The Berliner is the latest concept from D.C.-based The Popal Group, the family-run restaurant group behind Cafe Bonaparte, Lapis Bistro (a recent Bib Gourmand honoree), Lapop, and the former Napoleon Bistro.
The 4,200-square foot restaurant and event space is located in one of Georgetown’s last original warehouse spaces on Water Street and features three bay garage doors and an industrial chic décor that includes stadium-style seating, communal tables, a ping pong table and a family photo wall.
Inspired by family ties and modern Berlin comfort food, the menu includes Bavarian classics such as bratwurst, schnitzel and homemade pretzels with beer cheese, in addition to modern fare such as kofta kebabs and falafel. The Berliner will also feature 24 beers on tap with a variety of domestic, international and seasonal brews ranging from larger producers to to smaller German breweries rarely found on U.S. menus.
The Berliner spotlights the decade-long sausage-making expertise of Chef Mike O’Brien, with a menu that includes six styles of sausages — three of which will rotate throughout the year. O’Brien was formerly the chef at three of the world’s top-rated beer-focused restaurants: Mikkeller Bar (San Francisco), The Trappist (Oakland) and The Monk’s Kettle (San Francisco). He has also worked at popular D.C. eateries The Salt Line, Cityzen, Birch & Barley and Churchkey.
”It’s not every day that culinary talent, conceptual ingenuity and a historic venue converge in one setting,” says owner Omar Popal. “The Berliner undoubtedly upholds President John F. Kennedy’s famous line declaring us all Berliners at heart.”
The Berliner, located at 3401 Water Street NW, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 11pm and on Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm to midnight.