King of the beer gardens: El Rey opens on U Street

El Rey will open Friday, Jan. 10 at 901 U St., NW. (Courtesy Patrick Onofre)

WASHINGTON – If you come across a stack of shipping containers on U Street this weekend, it might be worth your while to explore the space that looks like a smaller version of The Fairgrounds.

After all, what lies behind the bright orange, yellow and blue steel boxes at 901 U St., NW is a tasty surprise.

El Rey, a Mexican beer garden and taqueria, will officially open at the location, which is close to Nellie’s and Velvet Lounge, on Friday, Jan. 10.

The 3,100 square-foot space has a back patio and a U Street-facing takeout window. And if the thought of sipping on a cool beer in this super-cool weather seems less than ideal, perhaps the beer garden’s retractable roof will change your mind.

El Rey’s menu will focus on tacos, tequilas and Mexican and South American beers.

The interior will be open until 3 a.m. on the weekends, and the takeout window will cater to U Street’s ever-expanding late-night crowd by staying open until 4 a.m. on the weekends.


The covered back deck allows patrons to sip beer outside, while still staying warm. (Courtesy Patrick Onofre)

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