Ich bin ein Berliner? Restauranteur Omar Popal sure hopes so!
His new scratch-made wurst and beer hall The Berliner (3401 Water Street NW) has replaced Malmaison on Water Street in Georgetown.
The latest concept from The Popal Group, the DC-based family-run restaurant group whose Parisian style crêperie Cafe Bonaparte continues to draw crowds alongside their Afghan-inspired Lapis Bistro (a recent Bib Gourmand honoree)and Lapop, The Berliner tempts with Bavarian favorites like bratwurst, schnitzel and homemade pretzels with beer cheese — in addition to unique additions like kofta kebabs and falafel — all while it boasts 24 beers on tap, including pours from some smaller German breweries rarely found on U.S. menus.
Chef Mike O’Brien offers a six-style rotating sausage selection accompanied by signature touches like housemade condiments.
“This is a full service restaurant and the menu is really exceptional,” said Popal.“It’s not just a place to come drink, though we hope people will come do that, too.”
The design of the large — and often loud — Malmaison location didn’t necessitate too much of a change. Décor is minimal and slightly industrial. Three-bay garage doors will likely open in warmer weather, making it an authentic (almost)open air beer hall. New, and of note, are a photo wall of Popal’s German ancestral ties. Graffiti artists Michael Pacheco and Rodrigo Pradel have also created unique murals for the newly branded space.
Who doesn’t crave some gourmet German comfort food?! If early reviews are any indication, this new Georgetown watering hole may just prove that we are all Berliners at heart after all.
The Berliner is open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 11pm and on Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm to midnight.
*Images credit Travis Vaughn Photography // TravisVaughn.com