The Ale House Columbia had planned on opening before Thanksgiving, but after a few construction setbacks, the owners said they hope to open on Dec. 10.
"We're looking to open on Dec. 10," said co-owner Justin Dvorkin. "And we're shooting for that Friday [Dec. 14] to have a kick-off celebration."
The exterior of the restaurant looked nearly complete last week, as workers adjusted the sign over the front entrance. Inside, the restaurant was still a work-in-progress. The bars were built, the dividers were up, but there was no floor, televisions, tables or computers.
Dvorkin said those additions will be installed quickly once the floor is done, which a worker was installing on Tuesday. He said the whole building has been re-constructed, including a brand new kitchen.
"From the roof to the floors, we had to replace everything," said Dvorkin. "We even had to replace the plumbing."
The restaurant, which is located in Dobbin Center just off of Rouse Parkway, has already hired more than 100 staff members, but are still hiring hostesses and servers. Jaun Valdez, the former executive chef of the District ChopHouse, has been placed in charge of the food.
"The food is going to be great stuff," said Dvorkin, who described the style as comfort food. "We want a relaxed atmosphere, but people will be very happy with the quality of the food."
As Dvorkin walked through the restaurant last week, he pointed out the 50 taps behind the main bar, the private party area, the mounts for flat screen televisions, the divider that allows families to go straight to the dining section without passing through the main bar and the outdoor patio section—complete with window access to a third bar and in-ground gas lines for outdoor heaters.
The restaurant has three total bars, all of which will include 30 taps for the beers they have on draft, according to Dvorkin. He said their most popular beer at their sister location in Baltimore ( Pratt Street Ale House) is their own Oliver Breweries beer, which they brew in Baltimore. As a result, the main bar in Ale House Columbia has extra taps (50) so bartenders don't stack up pouring one popular draft beer.
In addition, they'll have three cask conditioned beer taps.
"Our brewmaster is from Coventry, England and he likes to push cask beer as our speciality," said Dvorkin.
The bar will have NFL Sunday ticket, NBA League Pass, a college football package and MLB Extra Innings, so it will have the ability to show a wide range of games.
"We'd also buy the NHL league pass, if they weren't locked-out," said Dvorkin, who is a Washington Capitals fan.
On Tuesday, Dvorkin said he was "psyched" to open the restaurant.
"Weekly construction meetings are fun," said Dvorkin, "but I'm ready for weekly happy hours."
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