GW HATCHET — Inside Georgetown’s new 7,000-square-foot beer hall
A new underground beer hall in Georgetown offers spacious, large-group seating along with tabletop games and a variety of draft beers on tap.
Church Hall, located at 1070 Wisconsin Ave. NW, is a massive game bar that opened late last month, providing 16 flat screen televisions for watching sports, board games and various options for shared plates. The company that owns the new beer hall, Tin Shop DC, runs several other establishments with game bar elements in the District, including Penn Social in Chinatown, Franklin Hall on 14th Street and the pool hall Buffalo Billiards in Dupont Circle.
Bryan Wynkoop, the marketing director for Tin Shop, said the newest spot was under development in Georgetown for years. He said they chose the space because it was a good fit for the student population and the 9-to-5 workers of the Georgetown Waterfront who needed a neighborhood bar after work.
“It’s a great place to go with a large group of friends,” Wynkoop said. “If you want to go on a date and sit on one of our sofas next to the fireplace and kind of cozy up, it’s right for that as well.”
The 7,000-square-foot hall is located below a staircase from the Georgetown Park shopping complex and seats more than 200 people. Long wooden benches house 15 people on each side of the space and the other side hosts large black leather sofas. With other smaller tables and plentiful bar stools, you’re guaranteed a spot for friends to hang, drink or break the ice. The atmosphere suits a communal, chatty crowd, most of whom have large Stein glasses of lightly foamed beer at their tables.
The high ceilings hold exposed chrome ventilation pipes and light bulbs girdled in iron, hanging just above the long tables and back bar. An extravagant chandelier sits juxtaposingly between two sofas and its light reflects off the mismatched wood paneling and silver walls mottled in splatted black paint. This chic industrial look is contrasted by the 16 flat-screen televisions playing different sports.
The entrance space has a bar to order food and drink, with another busier bar at the end of the hall. The upstairs loft space – which opens at 4 p.m. on most weekdays – also hosts a gritty vibe with an overlook of the space, grated railings and a third bar.
“Whatever type of vibe you’re feeling or night you want to have, we kind of have different areas for you,” Wynkoop said.
If you’re a beer connoisseur, you will be astounded by Church Hall’s selection of rotating and fixed drafts that come in three sizes: short, pint or liter. The fixed drafts can be ordered in pints for $7 to $8, but to get the fancy liter glass it’ll cost $14 to $16. The rotating drafts can only be ordered in one size and cost from $7 to $10.
The rotating draft elderberry ($10) was in the smallest glass they offer. It tasted sweet and mild, a berry-red mead with a higher alcohol content level than most other drafts offered. Afterwards, I needed a dry pint of Lagunitas ($7), but should’ve opted for a $14 liter.
If you’re more of a cocktail person, Church Hall has two draft cocktails for $10. For the same price, order frozen alcoholic beverages like the matcha almond milk latte slushie, which sounds like drunk deception in liquid form. Those with more refined palates can try red, white, sparkling and rosé wines for $7 to $10, while the less refined toss back $7 rail drinks.
The space offers happy hours Monday through Friday at 4 to 7 p.m., offering $2 off all drafts, rail drinks and wines.
The food menu offers upscale alternatives to your standard bar fare, including vegetarian nachos ($9), burgers ($11 to $15) and chicken tenders ($10). The loaded french fries ($8) had melted cheese whiz with bits of bacon sprinkled on top. It was gluten-free and tasted like the world’s cheesiest potato skin in each crunchy bite.
The Reuben sliders ($12) come in twos, but you’ll be fighting over the last bites in the same way you would a game of Connect Four.
Despite the 21+ age restriction, Church Hall’s selection of tabletop games will awaken the competitive child in you, and its variety of surfaces for eating and drinking will allow you to play games like giant Uno anywhere in the bar.