Beer Garden to Replace Velocity 5

by ARLnow.com March 20, 2013 at 2:05 pm 81 Comments

Advertisement for Social Haus (photo via Facebook)Pretty soon, you’ll be able to order beer in a two liter boot in Arlington.

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.

Outdoor seating at Velocity 5The 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.

Photos via Facebook

  • roycroft

    Courthouse will now have a stronger smell of urine.

    • Clarendon Cruiser

      Or Vomit, it’s what I see on my morning runs around Clarendon after a long weekend.

      • flux

        At least this will be healthy vomit, not the old crap people used to hurl.

    • SomeGuy

      Between this place and the new shelter, there will be no escaping it.

    • Mary-Austin

      Oh trust me the vomit in Courthouse is not limited to the weekends. I’ve seen plenty on my way to work during the week.

      • novasteve

        In may of last year, some guy hurled all over the outdoor area of velocity five. They had to hose it down.

        • Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

          Cool story.

  • Southeast Chris

    “We know what people like,” he said. “We’ve been going out in Arlington ever since college.”
    Brah alert.

    • Cherrydalian

      Call him on his cell, brah.

    • BroBrah

      Can someone explain the difference between “bro” and “brah,” or are they just interchangeable terms that mean the same thing? Maybe you alternative, to avoid using the same word in two sentences in a row? (I’m sure bros are very elegant prose stylists.)

      • Captain Obvious

        Brah is how bros say “bro”.

        • Cherrydalian

          TMI, brah.

    • Brocephus

      “We know what people like,” he said. “We’ve been going out in Arlington ever since college.”

      He followed, “which is why every visit to Social Haus comes with a complimentary one night stand, A-town style.”

    • fedworker

      anyone seen Trev?

  • malaka

    Jawohl! die traditional redbullgeslurpenvodkafrostie!

    • novasteve

      Redbull kommt aus Oesterreich, nicht Deutschland.

    • Mary-Austin

      should be a short trip for das paddyvagen

  • Micky

    Isn’t Rabbit Salad going to change into something exactly like this?

    • Brahvillia

      Yes, I believe it’s called Sausage Party

      • novasteve

        Wrong, Sausage Festhaus

  • Ahhlington

    Honestly, it can’t be any worse than what’s there now. With the outdoor patio that is a prime spot for a bar/restaurant and Velocity 5 is a complete wasteland.

  • ARL

    I’m starting to think this site is full of old geezers who hate fun and love to complain about everything. Get off my lawn!

    • Arlington Chris

      You must be new h… oh wait. 🙂

    • Inferiority Complex

      They hang out in an internet chat room – they don’t like real human interaction. They are jealous of people with social skills. It drives them crazy that people meet in bars, find each other attractive, and mutually agree to enjoy sex together. So they criticize it all, from the comfort of their internet cocoon.

      • Ahhlington

        /weeps in corner

      • Let_Them_Eat_Cake

        Napoleon, don’t be jealous that I’ve been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know I’m training to become a cage fighter.

    • FrenchyB

      I thought the concept sounded good up until:

      1) The Red Bull and vodka slushie machine came up, and
      2) Meister Brah Matt Rofougaran opened his mouth for this interview.

      • Ballstonian

        “Meister Brah” — bravo, nicely played!

      • Chad

        That’s a crap comment, brah!

    • squidgod

      Only old geezers have lawns in Arlington.

  • JimPB

    The German beer gardens I know had adequate space for dancing,

    • Aarnt

      The German Beer Gardens I know aren’t filled with people complaining about inadequate room for dancing.

  • drax

    Guys? Going from burgers to grass-fed organic burgers is not exactly an improvement in health. Try harder.

    • novasteve

      German food and healthy don’t belong in the same sentence. If you were that worried about health, you probably wouldn’t be going to bars in the first place. All those empty calories are really good for you.

    • carrie nation

      Totally. Beer boots and gluten free food. Oxymoron. Or are we the morons? I do like that they are increasing the # of ladies rooms, esp w all that beer flowing.

  • Mike

    I was paying attention until “social seating”.


    • meh…

      yeah..same here

      • Deadite

        Is this the first time you guys have heard of a beer garden? It’s not a new concept.

        • Deadite

          ^^ Sorry, my first reply disappeared for a few minutes so I thought it got censored. Didn’t mean for the double dose of negativity. Damn you, Disqus!!

    • Deadite

      You didn’t pick that up when reading the headline? Do you not know what a beer garden is?

      • Ballstonian

        Of course we know what a beer garden is – it’s where they grow beer, duh!

    • ARL

      If you don’t like being social, you probably shouldn’t go to a beer garden at all.

    • JamesE

      Interacting with other people is scary!

    • tburger

      Ever been to Oktoberfest, or Weis, in Munich. It really is pretty cool.

      • vonwolfhausen

        Oktoberfest is for tossers and sheepshaggers

    • Arlingtonian

      That’s why I dislike Arlington bars, they have no character and the people that go there prefer them that way. I talked to an Irish singer at Four Courts once who said that Arlington is the only place he plays where people don’t sing along to the drinking songs. Anecdotal but telling.

  • novasteve

    Gotta admit, that in an unfriendly area like the DC area is, social seating is going to discourage a lot of people from going there. Plus people will hog space as well because they aren’t used to sharing.

  • kalashnikev

    Whew! With the current Degentrification effort underway in Courthouse, I would have figured they would open a check cashing store or a pawn shop there.

    • novasteve

      Hmmm, maybe if they get enough bums they’ll expand Court house metro, and we can have a european style red light district in Courthouse?

  • Pinktulip32

    It sure is going to be fun watching people drink out of the boot for the very first time!

    • novasteve


  • bert

    has potential to be awesome (think Frankford Hall in Philly or Spritzenhaus in Brooklyn), or absolutely horrible. either way, it’ll do way better than what it is now.

  • R. Griffon

    A welcome change as that place has never really been much good by most accounts. Hopefully this will be better, although I can’t imagine the people that live above that plaza will be very happy about he added noise outside at night if it’s successful.

  • BlueSkies

    So glad they are no longer planning to serve crap.

  • Neil

    i was initially excited about a biergarten popping up just underneath my apartment, but this just sounds like an expansion of velocity 5 with bigger beers and maybe more outdoor seating?

    velocity 5 is incredibly loud and tends to attract a lot of rude patrons. i want to know what the owners are going to do to reduce the sound level on this place at night. there are a few hundred people who live in the building above this place (myself included). i don’t want to ruin anyone’s fun, but its unacceptable for a business like this not to keep their patrons quiet.

    • tburger

      Here’s some help. don’t live in a building that has a bar underneath it.

      • Neil

        Here’s some help: I have lived here for about 5 years. Velocity 5 did not exist when I moved in.

      • Neil

        Here’s some help:

        I’ve lived in this apartment for over 5 years now. It was quiet here before V5 moved in.

        • Neil

          Wow, apparently commenting without dupes is difficult for me.

          • A C E

            Neil, I don’t agree with you. We should all cave and move as suggested by Brahhhhh and Lease da Douchenbaggers. V5 illegally expanded and cordoned off their outdoor patio; in short, the place is a public nuisance full of wanna be jocks and the mindless missing links. One suggestion….they have to apply for an outdoor entertainment license, I recommend finding out when that thing is up for renewal and showing up to the public mtg. You should put out some fliers to notify the folks in your bldg.

          • Neil

            Yep, I am not moving from my nice, convenient apartment because some people from out of the neighborhood opened a bar for people who also primarily don’t live in the neighborhood to come and annoy the locals. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone who lives in Courthouse/Clarendon actually say anything positive about V5.

            I’ll be voicing my opinions to Arlington County. It will only involve noise levels. I don’t care how ‘bro’ the place is. I only care about them being responsible neighbors.

        • Lease

          So you have renewed your lease multiple times while V5 has been there… if it’s that bad you should…

      • SamW

        That building is in a concrete jungle. If there were some soft surfaces around (think grass, etc), that would help with sound buffering. Talk to the people that own the building.

        • Neil

          The apartment building is owned by Equity, but the other buildings are owned by Arlington County. Seeing as how they’ve been renovating the brick surfaces outside for something like 3 years now, and counting, something tells me they aren’t gonna plant grass there.

          Not to mention, I don’t think a little grass is going to help quiet a couple of hundred people yelling at a TV because some dude managed to get a ball into a goal.

          • Brahhhhh

            “I don’t think a little grass is going to help quiet a couple of hundred
            people yelling at a TV because some dude managed to get a ball into a

            Haha. You must be that guy that doesn’t watch sports, which is fine, I guess. Anyway, how do you expect patrons to be library quiet in a bar, especially one that shows sports? How delusional are you? You should probably consider these potential problems before you sign a lease.

          • Neil

            I don’t expect ‘library quiet’. I expect a din of noise, of people talking at a reasonable level, even loudly. I’m totally cool with that and didn’t move into a dense urban development thinking that I would experience peace and quiet all of the time.

            But I should be able to leave my windows open and let the breeze in without hearing people yelling rudely. As I said, there are hundreds of people that live within earshot of that place. The bar staff there has a responsibility to cut people off if they are unruly and to force their patrons to chill out.

            There are 6 restaurants in the plaza – Sawatdee, Starbucks, Asahi, Toscana, Perfect Pita, and Velocity 5. Three of them have outdoor seating. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone at any of the other places yelling over dinner. Velocity Five is a nuisance – and it doesn’t have to be. All they have to do is tell their patrons to keep the noise down and respect their neighbors. Its not that hard and its not much to ask.

  • Atticus Fisticuffs

    I think we can all agree that this can’t be any worse than V5. That place was horrible.

  • tburger


  • Robert

    Courthouse – Clarendon is turning into the home of future alcoholics of America. Seems the only way an establishment can make money is to keep offering cheap booze in changing themed dive bars to hold the attention of barely legal kids. Soooo tired of the blond ponytail and brown flip flop uniforms walking around overusing the word f*** and thinking they’re hipsters. I’m hardly an old – or even middle aged -geezer but yes, if you are peeing or vomiting on my lawn “get off”.

    • Terry


      • haveyouseenlucky

        We were here first?

    • Mary-Austin

      I’ve noticed recently that there seems to be a growing of people around my age (24) who can’t construct a sentence without using the the f word. Normally I wouldn’t care but when I’m out to dinner with family at a decent restaurant it’s kind of obnoxious to have some person just spouting off profanity to hear themselves talk. Don’t understand how these people consider themselves young professionals.

    • Atown

      “Why are all these bros wearing brown flip flops?”

  • ManWithA(D)afterHisName

    I’m a little surprised that no one has brought this up, but wouldn’t this place be better if instead of German beer garden they made it a Czech beer garden? Then we could pretend we were in Prague and take the trolley there, after voting for …. awww, you know the rest of how it goes anyway….

    • arl

      and once we get there, sit in the Socialist seating.

    • Clarendon Cruiser

      We can replicate the time honored tradition of running across the Charles Bridge naked at midnight for good luck on the Key Bridge.

      No joke, a few of my army buddies did this.

  • novasteve

    Will they blast oopah music outside? Will a dude walk around with a tuba? If neighbors complain can the owners claim the complaints are out of anti german hostility?

  • Deadite

    Check out Matt Rofougaran’s Facebook page and you’ll see this place is definitely going to be BRO central. Let’s just say he’s a VA Tech bro with ties to Atrocity 5 and is tight with the owner of A-Town Bar, who himself is a JMU bro. And I mean these guys are BROs. Good luck to the neighbors in trying to get these guys to contain the noise.

  • Arlingtron

    Should be nice on the patio where for the next decade you can see them replacing the bricks on the plaza.

  • gast

    I keep expecting to learn that the author of this article was on the wrong side of a Borat-type hoax and was really interviewing Sasha Barron Cohen as his new “deutschbrah” character.

  • Robespierre

    The difference between this being a good idea and a cynical douche magnet will be whether or not they actually do Bavarian and German food well. If not, it’s just another step in the Adams Morganization of Clarendon – Court House. Any kind of “Haus” without good “*wurst” is just a campy drunk tank copping a German name to try and sell more beer.


Subscribe to our mailing list