CommonWealth GastroPub

CommonWealth GastroPubCommonWealth GastroPub
6 Ratings
CommonWealth GastroPubCommonWealth GastroPub

Type: Bar, Eatery

1400 Irving Street NW
Washington, District of Columbia, 20010-2850
United States

(202) 265-1400

// CLOSED //

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Added by timtim on 09-22-2008

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Ratings: 6 |  Reviews: 6
Reviews by malloyca:
Photo of malloyca
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

It would be dangerous to become a regular here because the food and beer are both so heavy. That does not mean both are not great, too. The pub fare, with an emphasis on local ingredients, can be delicious, particularly if you like pork products and eggs, making it a great brunch spot with the kids on Sunday. The beer selection consists of a stable of US and British brews on tap, supplemented by a rotating selection of cask ales and other specialty brews that are usually from the same brewery, or hue to some theme. The problem is that the staff is not always knowledgeable about what the specialty selections are, and the descriptions on the chalk board can be out of date.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of alysmith4
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Interesting place. Went here a few times, and had a good time. I like that they serve the beers "English" or "American," which is just a difference in size. I had to read the explaination before I got it.

The selection is very good.. they have a lot of English ales, domestic beers, and a few Belgian brews. I remember the Golden Monkey on-tap being very good.

The food there is just okay, nothing special. They have a fwe good side dishes.. fries, pickled vegetables, etc. I also tried the fish and chips, it was a decent dish - not great.

The atmosphere is good. Nice and dark and cozy, and still very clean. In the warmer months, they have a large patio with a lot of nice picnic table seating that is perfect for Columbia Heights people watching.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Gentrifying spot in the Columbia Heights neighborhood, with a fair selection of brews, nice food, good service, and a nice atmosphere.

The spot is part of the relatively new trend of gastro pubs trying to coat in a fancy presentation a pub experience with a desirable eating character. Located in the new building that occupies the block that shares the West entrance to Columbia Heights Metro stop it sure is a sign of a changing, more expensive, and somewhat pushing neighborhood. But all things considered it is not such a bad addition to the area.

Although it brags of offering cask ales, often these will out... And it was the case on this visit. However the beer menu still offers a fair selection of brews around the topic of the commonwealth. It splits 50/50 the taps between brews from the UK, and those from US commonwealths (Massachusetts, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky, although the latter is minimally represented.) Cask when available is also typically from one of these places, which allows for a pretty solid selection dominated by PA, and MA. Other British "Commonwealths" and former colonies also get an occasional representation. Ultimately it is an excuse like any other and at times it seems a bit too playful and limited for its own good. A fair selection of bottled brews seals the deal under the same theme. On the drinking front a nice selection of single malt Whisky, Bourbon, the tipical full bar, wine and the social mixed drinks complete the landscape.

Food is tasty, generally pivoting around a bistro/pub theme with an slightly elevated quality sense.

The atmosphere and decor is good, not extraordinary or dull, maybe a bit predictable but the layout with different zones and an occasional open view to the kitchen is rather nice, toned up with plenty of informal chalkboards highlighting specials.

Staff is friendly, courteous and knowledgeable. To top it all it is a rather child friendly place, at least during this visit around lunch on a busy weekend, which is a big plus. They offer a perfunctory kid´s menu, crayons, high chairs that works rather well.

Pricing sits somewhere between reasonable and a bit pricey but it is pretty average for this type of place in this type of areas in town. All in all if not outstanding, it sure is recommendable and it just needs the necessary love and dedication to see them trying to keep those cask barrels rolling to make a reference place in the local craft beer scene.

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Photo of YankSubSomerset
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I heard this place had cask ales and being a lover of English cask ale I made a point of visiting. I was also, intrigued: were they really importing English Cask Ale? (no, but read on)

The first two visits they were "just out" of cask ale. How very maddening. I can see where you might underestimate the market for "proper" cask ale in the US, and once you open a cask you need to sell it within a few days. However, after selling out at least once you might think they would take a bit more risk and lay on more of the real ale.

BTW, they do have imported ales but the cask ales are American brewed.

To make give credence to the name Commonwealth their thing is to have their domestic beers be from the US states that are "commonwealths" so it breweries in Virginia, Pennsylvanian...and I forget the other state that calls itself a comment wealth.

The ambiance of the place is industrial concrete modern with a few ugly pieces of wood. Not 100% offputting but the name "commonwealth" suggests there should be a little more nod to old world charms.

Go for the beer. BTW, the two times I did NOT get cask ales were on Sunday, and my successful trip was on a Saturday so forewarned is forearmed. All three visits were brunch or lunch and the food is pretty tasty.

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Photo of OldSock
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

A friend and I went for the first time on a Tuesday night and had a good time. It was pretty empty when we arrived around 7, but had filled up almost completely by the time we left.

The bottle selection is certainly above average if a bit overpriced, but the draft list (Boddingtons, Guinness, Harp, Swithwick's, Newcastle etc...) needs some work. I also felt both the bottle (Taddy Porter) and the cask (Storm King) I got were served ~15 degrees colder than they should have been.

I have heard that the food can be a bit inconsistent, but everything I had was good to great. They brought out homemade pickles (red carrots, and beets) and bread to start. The two of us split a salad, a 5 way butchers plate (duck sausage, fuet, stuffed trotters, house made pork belly, and a cheese, which came with good mustard, chutney, and crostini), and we finished with a big bowl of ultra dense chocolate pudding.

The waiter was attentive and seemed to know what he was talking about. The menu still seems in flux, there were several items which had morphed into something else since it was printed.

It is certainly not cheap, but the prices were in line with places like Rustico or Pizzeria Paradiso.

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Photo of timtim
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

my first visit here, i had victory's storm king from the cask in a proper english imperial pint glass alongside a plate with grayson cheese (a local dairy that produces a tallegio inspired washed rind cheese) duck sausage and garlic sausage. it was a near perfect pairing. our waiter was knowledgeable and seemed very down to earth. i thought it was a bit expensive, but it was really a nice experience... they're open during the day too, and i find it to be my favorite spot for a lunch time pint right now in dc.

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CommonWealth GastroPub in Washington, DC
Place rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 6 ratings
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