The new owners of Velocity 5 (2300 Clarendon Blvd) in Courthouse say they’re planning to convert the 200-seat restaurant and bar into “Social Haus,” which they describe as “a traditional beer garden with a modern twist.” They’re hoping to renovate the restaurant soon — a project expected to take several weeks — and reopen it by the end of May.
According to Matt Rofougaran, one of six partners who purchased the Courthouse location of Velocity 5 last month, Social Haus will feature a selection of 100 beers, including 35 on tap. The beers — which will range from local brews, German and Belgian imports and standards like Corona — will be available in bottles or, for beers on tap, in steins and boots ranging from half a liter to a full two liters.
While beer will be the big draw, Social Haus will also offer local and German wines. Specialty cocktails will be on the menu, and Rofougaran said the partners are currently working to secure a machine that will serve frozen Red Bull and vodka cocktails.
The seating new arrangements will be reminiscent of a traditional German beer hall. The renovations will knock down walls inside the restaurant to make way for two large picnic-style tables — “social seating” as Rofougaran called it — which will comprise about 75 percent of the seating inside Social Haus.
Other planned interior improvements include a doubling of the size of the ladies’ restroom. As for the outdoor patio seating, the partners plan to add heating elements this fall, then plan to create a separate outdoor bar next year.
Rofougaran says the owners, who will continue running the restaurant as “Velocity 5″ until the renovations, are also working to revamp the restaurant’s menu and improve the much-maligned food.
“The food menu is going to completely change,” Rofougaran said. “We’re going to have fresh, organic, healthy options. There’s still going to be good burgers and wings and stuff, but instead of having the regular crap, we’re going to have grass-fed beef with no hormones, no preservatives.”
“We’re thinking of the health-conscious people in Arlington,” he added. “People know what they’re eating these days, they’re not eating crap like they used to.”
In addition to the healthier options, a gluten free menu, a Sunday brunch menu, and the improved bar food, Rofougaran said Social Haus will serve German favorites like bratwurst and schnitzel.
Rofougaran says he and his five partners are all Northern Virginia natives who have experience in the restaurant and bar promotion businesses. They range in age from 28 to 33.
“We know what people like,” he said. “We’ve been going out in Arlington ever since college.”
Rofougaran said he and his partners are hoping to gather community input on the plans for Social Haus. They’ve set up a suggestion box at Velocity 5 and, in an unorthodox move, Rofougaran encouraged any residents who wanted to weigh in the plans to call him on his cell phone: 703-856-5613.
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