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You know that spring time has finally arrived when restaurants around town start firing-off press releases that boast about their patios.
The latest comes from 901 Restaurant & Bar, which tomorrow opens a brand-spankin’ new area for al fresco dining at the corner of 9th and “Eye” Streets NW. According to the release, the new outdoor space spans some 800 square feet and includes seating for up to 55 patrons.
The restaurant is claiming that this is “the largest street side outdoor dining space in DC’s burgeoning Penn Quarter neighborhood.”
That’s funny, because just the other day Y&H received word from another Penn Quarter eatery, Fiola, about its newly expanded patio space. According to that release, Fiola’s al fresco capacity is now “up to 70 guests, almost twice its capacity last year.”
So, which spot can really lay claim to the mother of all Penn Quarter patios?
Well, it depends on the wording, apparently. In the case of 901, “street side” is the key term. That is to say that 901′ s patio is located along the restaurant’s south facing storefront on ‘Eye’ Street NW. A rep tells Y&H that she was assured this makes for the “largest sidewalk patio” in the neighborhood.
Fiola’s patio, meanwhile, is located out in front of the restaurant, to the right of the entrance. Fiola’s rep tells me she hasn’t seen 901’s patio. But she figures that it is probably located closer to the curb than her own restaurant’s.
To get even more precise, 901’s rep suggests that neither restaurant can really claim to have the neighborhood’s biggest outdoor dining area outright. (And, to be fair, Fiola hasn’t claimed any sort of size advantage to speak of.)
Poste Moderne Brasserie, she points out, probably has more outdoor seating than either of them.
A rep for Poste confirms that its upper patio seats 50, while the lower patio, including the chef’s table, seats 80. That’s 130 people total.
Both reps agree that Poste’s patio is located in a courtyard, however, and not along the sidewalk.