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EastEnders, say hello to Northeast.
The Queen Vic, a gastropub named after a bar in the British soap opera, EastEnders, is expected to open in June in the Atlas District. It will occupy a storefront at 1206 H St. NE, the space originally proposed for Joe Englert’s sports bar, the Olympic, before the deal fell through.
The pub, with outdoor seating upstairs, will dish out a traditional British menu with local and seasonal produce, says owner Ryan Gordon, who also owns a stake in the Pug, a boxing/soccer themed hole in the wall on H Street. The neighborhood is “a funny little area,” Gordon says. “Everyone’s doing something a little different, the diversity of different bars and restaurants.”
Gordon’s wife Roneeka, a native of Wales, wanted to open a place reminiscent of the pubs she knew back home — and as an ode to her father, who recently passed away. He ran Bokhara Brasserie, an Indian restaurant in South Wales, which was nominated for a British Curry Award.
Fancy a beer or cider? Harp, Guinness, Magners and the beloved Strongbow, will be on tap, alongside six British ales and such. English breakfast — eggs, mushrooms, tomato, beans, bacon, sausage, and toast — will be served all day, every day. You’ll also find thrice-cooked, hand-cut chips on the Queen’s menu, and, of course, where there are chips, there must be fish.
The pub plans to serve up a variety of Cornish pasties and meat pies, including eel and kidney! “A bunch of different stuff, we’re trying to use every part of the animal that we bring in,” Gordon says.
While blood sausage won’t be on the menu, Queen Vic will serve a variety of links, all made in-house and griddled on a flat iron. Gordon plans to dish out a lot of game meats, too — venison, pheasant, and boar. There will be something for vegetarians as well, not to mention a weekend brunch and a Sunday roast.
With a nod to the vibrant Indian culture in the UK, Gordon says the pub will also feature an Indian-style curry of the day, using a lot of his father-in-law’s curry blends. “Curry has taken over the place of fish and chips,” he says.
It will be interesting to see how the Atlas District takes to the Queen. If history is any indication, British fare could be a tough sell. Last year, CommonWealth in Columbia Heights was forced to expand and lighten its menu, an acknowledgment that some customers weren’t always looking for heavy British pub food.
The Queen Vic plans to open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. The pub is slated to open mid-June, shortly after Biergarten Haus, which means summer time is looking very Continental on H Street.
Photo by Ryan Gordon