Outdoor patios are all the rage in these pandemic streets, so fun themes stand out.
Hook Hall is seasonally decked out in Park View on Georgia Avenue in Northwest D.C.
“We wanted to create an outdoor space where people felt really comfortable coming and really transported them from the day to day life,” owner Anna Valero told WTOP. “That became the driving force … How can we create an untented space where people would still feel comfortable coming out [for] this super immersive environment?”
Over the winter, Hook Hall decorated the space with a Viking Village theme.
“We didn’t even make the ‘Game of Thrones’ connection until after everything was built,” Valero said. “A friend came in and said, ‘I feel like I just walked onto the ‘Game of Thrones’ set. … In the middle of a prime Friday or Saturday night at 8:00 … they would dim the lights a little bit and put the ‘Game of Thrones’ theme on. Everyone would be like, ‘Whoa!'”
Now for the spring, it has pivoted to a new theme of cherry blossoms.
“One of the things we all love about spring is the National Cherry Blossom Festival,” Valero said. “It’s not just these beautiful trees everywhere, it’s the true history of them being a gift from another country. Shovels went in the ground jointly by first ladies in order to plant those. It’s such a fun remembrance every year of the Japanese heritage behind it.”
The Tidal Basin festival may have wrapped, but you can keep blossoming.
“I miss peak bloom every year,” Valero said. “It’s like, ‘Peak bloom’s coming, peak bloom’s coming,’ and suddenly peak bloom happens and everyone’s like, ‘Oh, I missed the two days of it!’ We wanted to create a space where you could have peak bloom through June and not have to worry about missing it. … We’re calling it Celebrate the Blossoms.”
Reservations are encouraged if you want a spot out on the patio.
“We have 10-foot trees, 8-foot-trees, 4-foot trees,” Valero said. “We’ve taken our cabanas and themed them out to be like small tea houses [with] rice-paper windows. … You have beautiful Japanese art, a ton of blossoms and a fun menu to go along with it.”
Can we get a hint of what the next theme will be for the summer?
“We’ll have a lot of fun with our summer theme,” Valero said. “We call it The Oasis, but what the theme will be is a surprise. That will start June 1 and run through the summer.”
Best of all, you can even bring your dog to enjoy the experience.
“We even have a dog-friendly menu,” Valero said. “We have house-made dog biscuits and doggie ice cream. … We love Fido, we love our four-legged friends. … It’s really important to us that people don’t have to just leave them home. They’re part of the crew, too.”
It’s all a creative way to bring back customers after a rough year.
“We opened in fall of 2019, so not that long before COVID hit,” Valero said. “We were just getting our sea legs under us when COVID closed everything down.”
In the meantime, it provided charity work through its Hook Hall Helps program.
“We opened Hook Hall as a relief center,” Valero said. “We continue to operate a relief center that provides meals and supplies to out-of-work food and hospitality workers during the pandemic. … We operate every Monday and Thursday where folks can pick up four days worth of ready-prepared meals and supplies. We have raised close to $1 million.”