Bar Review: The Red Loft

Michael Solem

First destination upon arrival: the Red Loft bar. After being stunned by the closeness of the outfield view, we thought we'd celebrate with some margaritas.

Three drinks: $24. Less than I expected, and though the glass wasn't as generous as we're used to, we're obviously no longer in RFK.

One serious problem: the bar had no tonic water. Have you ever seen gin coagulate in soda? Uglier than the Mets in September 2007.

Next, we sampled the bar cart (yes!) behind our section. My friend Carlotta paid $8 for the Johnny Walker Black.

By Michael Solem  |  March 31, 2008; 11:21 AM ET  | Category:  Michael Solem
Previous: Food Review: Pat's Pizza | Next: Opening Night Ruminations

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I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'D WRITE THIS IN FRONT OF AN ALCOHOLIC!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 31, 2008 11:36 AM

So 3 beers is only $2 less than 3 margaritas? mental note

Posted by: JP | March 31, 2008 11:47 AM

How was the service in the bar? Did it take long to get drinks? How crowded was it when you went in and if you stayed did it fill up?

Posted by: Jay | March 31, 2008 12:23 PM

Mmmm, margaritas. I'm feeling like something fruity

Posted by: Fushezzi | March 31, 2008 12:49 PM

Jeez, Michael, you're replying an awful lot to your own blog post. ;-)

As one of Michael's cohorts (but NOT the one dubbed "Carlotta"), I would say that the bar was not too crowded and the service was good once we got the tonic problem worked out. Of course, the bar was (naturally) the first place we went after arriving about 4:15, and it seemed mighty crowded during a brief glance I took a couple hours later.

BTW, this was the Red Loft (the outdoor bar atop the "Red Porch" restaurant). We didn't go into the enclosed downstairs bar. Even though it was approximately 12 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Which is why tequila was required.

And, the margaritas were comprised of decent (Cuervo Gold) tequila, triple sec and lime water in addition to the sour mix, so the taste wasn't half bad. Wish I could remember the name of the lovely barmaid who helped us, but the tequila seems to have erased it. She was tall, African-American and quite friendly and happy to chat with us. I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of her....

Posted by: Rob | March 31, 2008 1:07 PM

"She was tall, African-American and quite friendly and happy to chat with us. I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of her..."

Will you be "seeing a lot of her" or "seeing her a lot."

OOOOO YEAH!

Posted by: OOOO YEAH! | March 31, 2008 2:19 PM

Hi everybody,

In case your curious about that pour of Johnny Walker, which includes a few millimeters of Carlotta's tears, you can check it out here:

http://gallery.mac.com/michaelsolem/100142

I gotta admit I really liked the Red Loft, and those padded seats on the "Porch" are gonna look very inviting on a warm Sunday afternoon.

Posted by: Michael Solem | March 31, 2008 2:44 PM

The Red Loft was missing Jager and Kaluha, though I heard rumors that another bar in the park has them.

I gotta give a shout out to Sharock (apologies if I misspelled your name!), the bar tender near my section. I'm sure we'll become good friends this year.

Posted by: A Different Michael | April 1, 2008 10:15 AM

Did anyone find the "good" beer?

After having gotten cozy with all the Red Hook, Sierra Nevada and other micro/craft draft brew at RFK, I was very disappointed to find my best option was Bass or Stella Artois. I was probably not looking at the right place.

Posted by: JD | April 1, 2008 2:18 PM

JD,

I didn't notice the draft beer selection at Red Loft (I guess I have an excuse to make a return visit!), but the Base Line Brews near my section (223) only had Stella and Bass on draft (other domestics and imports were available in cans/bottles).

Has anyone noticed what other draft beers are available at Nationals Park, and where they are sold?

Posted by: Michael Solem | April 1, 2008 3:32 PM

I can't wait to try the Red Loft. It looks like a neighborhood hangout, just inside the ballpark. And a little more expensive I guess.

Anyway, I hope it draws in the people who try to go to happy hour before coming to the ballpark and show up in the 3rd inning.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 1, 2008 6:57 PM

The bar mistress near section 223 was named Scirocca.

Posted by: The One and Only Carlotta | April 1, 2008 7:12 PM

Er, I mean, is named.

Posted by: The One and Only Carlotta | April 1, 2008 7:16 PM

Thanks, Princess. And sorry, Scirocca! I'll make it up to you next time with extra tip $$.

In RE: draught beer selections, I too was quite disappointed. Once the tequila (and a subsequent Jack Daniel's I purchased from the friendly Lonnie at the bar behind Section 223) warmed me up, I switched to beer and was quite disappointed to find nothing other than Stella and Bass (and the crap domestics, of course) on tap. I mean, where's the Yuengling? Ain't this the Mid-Atlantic?

Here's an idea, Lerner Family (y'all are too smart not to have SOME staffer assigned to scour this blog and all its ne'er-do-well commenters): This is "the Nation's Pastime in the Nation's Capital," after all; jow about a big bar somewhere in the stadium that features a good beer from each of the 50 states, plus a Cap City brew or two to represent the District? So, you could have some Yuengling for Pennsylvania, Shiner Bock for Texas, Abita representing Louisiana, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam, ad delerium tremens.

Posted by: Carlotta's Compatriot Rob | April 2, 2008 10:30 AM

The idea of sitting in an open bar and watching a baseball game seems just to be good to be true...I can't wait to do it...I have nosebleed seats at Fedex and used to stand at the endzone bars at Fedex and drink instead of wandering up a half mile to my seats, then the Danny blocked the view from the endzone bars with more seats. ARRRGGHHHH.

Posted by: Falls Church, va | April 2, 2008 11:52 AM

What's the deal with the seats immediately below the Porch? DO they have to be bought specifically, or are they open to anyone who uses the restaurant?

Posted by: Meridian | April 2, 2008 12:23 PM

Aren't the seats below the Red Porch the "Batter's Eye" seats? I believe they are ticketed seats. Not sure of the cost. There're always the "Beer Pen" standing only spots which have a great view of the game from the outfield. Was a little cold to be standing there last Saturday and Sunday though.

Posted by: Tim | April 2, 2008 12:58 PM

Section 136 had good beer on draft. They had Blue Moon, Sella Bass and my favorite Yuengling. I drank Yuengling all 9 innings.

Posted by: Brian | April 2, 2008 1:01 PM

Hi Meridian,

The padded seats directly below the Porch include a $20 food credit and are reserved:

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/ticketing/seating_pricing.jsp

Check out Grounds Crew blogger Rachel Gibson's post this morning for more details and a review.

Posted by: Michael Solem | April 2, 2008 1:02 PM

Brian,

THANK YOU for the Yuengling scoop -- it was my breakfast, lunch, and dinner as an undergraduate and graduate student at Penn State!

MS

Posted by: Michael Solem | April 2, 2008 1:04 PM

If you ever in Jacksonville Florida, on Thursdays at the baseball grounds( AA Dodgers) they have thirsty Thursdays which is all suds are a $1. That means you get all the Al Bundy beer ( the beer that will have you on the throne i.e Buds Coors and Millers) and they also have Rolling rock and of Course Yuengling and on top of that some of the sexiest women in Florida out by the dozens.

Posted by: Brian | April 2, 2008 2:27 PM

There were lots of beers that were served only in bottles - including Yuengling and two Hook & Ladders - but that means that the single beer-cart staffer had to take off the caps and pour the beers into plastic cups, along with cashiering. It slowed down the line considerably. This was in the upper concourse, across from approximately section 312.

Posted by: Section 416 | April 2, 2008 8:42 PM

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