New Takoda sports Navy Yard’s largest rooftop bar

Six years after its Shaw debut, Takoda Restaurant & Beer Garden is unveiling a second DC location directly across from Nationals Park on Thursday, June 9.

The 7,000 square foot Millennial Magnet (1299 First Street SE), nearly twice the size of the original, replicates the Northwest layout with second-floor space and a third-floor rooftop that the fast-growing Better Hospitality Group (BHG) calls the largest in the neighborhood. There is room for 385 customers on the two floors.

“We have a lot of loyal Takoda Shaw customers who live at Navy Yard. Now they have one on their doorstep,” BHG CEO Ryan Seelbach tells Eater.

BHG executive chef Julio Estrada brings Takoda’s best-selling tots, boneless chicken wings, six types of slider burgers and a cheeseburger with a seven-ounce prime rib and mixed brisket patty. A pocket section also includes barbecue chicken, pulled pork, roasted portobello sandwiches and a buffalo chicken wrap.

Entrees like a basket of fried pickles, truffle fries and fish and chips are also part of a late-night weekend menu, with a new take-out window dedicated to orders (11 p.m. to 1 a.m. ).

Coming out of COVID-19, Seelbach says its new BHG bars are prioritizing large open outdoor spaces year-round. Its months-old Boardwalk Bar & Arcade on the Wharf has a long patio and an airy, wraparound bar. The Easy Company waterside wine bar will pop up on an airy, fountain-framed piece of the quayside this summer.

Takoda’s rooftop will remain open year-round.
Daniel Swartz for Takoda

New menu drops include a trio of salads (Chicken Caesar, Spicy Chicken, and a Taco Salad in a Fried Tortilla Shell). Other Takoda firsts include a build-your-own burger option and a seven-day-a-week happy hour (at Shaw, it’s just Tuesday through Thursday).

Back by popular demand, Takoda’s “WAP” shooter, which came out on Shaw last summer in unison with Cardi B’s hit song The Returning Shooter, which was ahead of the curve with the now-hot Blue Curaçao, also includes rum, passion fruit, ginger, mint, lemon, and lime ($8 each or $39 for six).

Eight on-site frozen drink machines are tasked with swirling two types of spiked slushies: BHG’s ever-popular frose (rose, vodka, strawberry, peach) and a “Rum Bae” (rum, pineapple, strawberry, coconut, lime). The latter is an ode to the decades-old Florida resort town of Rum Bay where the BHG senior team stayed during a retreat this year.

Navy Yard’s Bottomless Brunch goes live immediately this weekend, with a 90-minute time limit for mimosas and three courses ($53), from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

A 24-line draw system dispenses 16 mostly local beers and eight cocktails, including BHG’s greatest hits (the Takoda mule, Boardwalk mojito, and Cortez margarita). There are 24 lines on the roof and 48 around its bar on the second level.

The shiny new Takoda Navy Yard incorporates and updates design elements from the original, like creeping ivy on the walls.
Daniel Swartz for Takoda

A daily happy hour (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) includes $3 sliders, $7 Old Bay toddlers, and rail, draft, and frozen beers, wines, bubbles, and cocktails ($6 to $9).

Schedules start on weekdays from 4 p.m. and on weekends at 11 a.m. for brunch. Takoda plans to stay open Monday through Wednesday until 10 p.m. or 11 p.m., Thursday until midnight, Friday and Saturday until 2 a.m., and Sunday until 10 p.m. During Washington Nationals home game days, Takoda plans to open earlier and stay open later.

Seelbach says the Shaw and Navy Yard neighborhoods of Takoda share the same customer base.

“There are a lot of young residents in both who want to be within walking distance of entertainment and great bars and restaurants,” he says.

Takoda Shaw, opened in 2016, kicked off the DC Group’s expansion streak that included the Cortez taco and tequila bar in Shaw and Boardwalk bars in Penn Quarter and the Wharf.

“Beyond my current family, Takoda is my most treasured asset. I’m extremely excited to be launching my second baby, so to speak,” Seelbach says.

An oval-shaped central bar on the second floor has 48 tap lines.
Daniel Swartz for Takoda

A second-floor take-out window sends out late-night snacks.
Daniel Swartz for Takoda

Takoda is about a 30 second walk from Nationals Park.
Daniel Swartz for Takoda

Takoda Navy Yard features a mix of bar seating, high tables, and bright blue booths.
Daniel Swartz for Takoda

Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement