Aslin Filling Station opens at 14th Street. Photo via Zachary Warmbrot.
The dog-friendly beer garden and early morning coffee café is a bustling new drinking spot on the 14th Street corridor. After years of wrangling over the redevelopment of the corner lot, the Aslin Filling Station — a branch of the Virginia brewery — debuted with 24 taps, a convenience store Retail beer, food truck fare, and funky coffee drinks.
The main piece of the property was initially determined to become another dacha beer garden. But a group of nearby neighbors, frightened by the noise and drunkards urinating on their property, fought the project, dotting their yards with “la dacha” signs. The fierce liquor licensing battle has dragged on for years with Dacha making several concessions, including plans to spend $3 million on more enclosed space and an audio engineer. In the end, though, co-owner Dmitriy Chaldin says neighborhood opposition “killed” the schemes.
While Dacha initially suggested a 600-person beer garden, Aslin started with a more modest plan for 300. Until that cap was reduced – the maximum occupancy dropped to 250. Aslin tried proactively to reduce hostility from neighbors by hiring a design firm //3877 To help alleviate litter and noise issues. A combination of negotiating with nearby residents and dealing with DC permits eventually delayed the opening, which was originally scheduled last fall.
This is the first permanent location in the capital for the Aslin Beer Company, which also has beer gardens and taprooms in Herndon and Alexandria, and co-founded Nighthawk Pizza in Pentagon City. The space was once a parking lot, and Aslin Filling Station is a nod to the many body shops and auto dealers that once occupied the neighborhood with gas station embellishments. The converted garage hosts a bar and retail beer shop, while the outdoor space is filled with Adirondack chairs and picnic tables. Towering on the side is a colorful mural showing the new Supreme Court Justice Kitangi Brown Jackson, her father (and attorney) Johnny Brown, and Constance Baker Motley, the first black woman to serve as a federal judge.
24 taps will rotate weekly, if not daily, with at least two guest drafts as well as Aslin’s own lineup of IPAs, sour and lagers. (Some wines and ciders are also available.) The Bun’d Up food cart is permanently parked to serve loaded bao cakes and nachos. Popsicles and ice cream will be coming soon, as will breakfast.
Aslin now roasts her own coffee at her new restaurant and bakery, Izzi, which is adjacent to a Herndon brewery. On 14th Street, you can find refreshing drinks and tea as well as “pleasant drinks” such as an iced espresso tonic and black sesame Snickerdoodle latte as early as 6:30 a.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. on weekends.
Esline filling station. 1740 14th Street, Northwest.