Monday, April 28, 2008

Red Loft Expansion


If you have attended any home game so far at New Nationals Park, it has not been hard to see the mass of humanity hanging out at The Red Loft. The Open Air Bar that seems have quickly found a following. No matter where your seat may be located on South Capitol Street, The Red Loft and adjoining Red Porch Restaurant are open to you for every game. Now, due to the early success of The Red Loft, an expansion is in the works.

According to Team President Stan Kasten, once The Miller Lite Beer Pen is fully completed (The Beer Pen is located between The Red Porch and Section 243--near the HDTV Scoreboard. You can see the Beer Pen situated on the right in the first photo.), Our Washington Nationals are looking to expand the Red Loft out. Many fans have found hanging out with friends or meeting new friends while watching a baseball game there--very worthwhile. No timetable on when this expansion may take place--but it's clear Our Washington Nationals have realized The Red Loft has quickly become a hot commodity. The consistent crowd at that spot is quite impressive.

Coming soon--even more of a opportunity to watch Our Washington Nationals--while hanging out at The Red Loft Bar.


An Briosca Mor said...

So is the Miller Lite Beer Pen going to include those three rows of stand-up counters that are in the spot where the Batters Eye Box seats were orginally supposed to be? At the first couple of games this year, I found those tables a convenient spot to go and eat my food after I bought it from one of the concession stands. (I tend to get to the park and eat before the game starts, and since my seat is in the Upper Infield Gallery and the food I like is in the lower concourse, I don't feel like trekking all the way up to my seat to eat.) But at the Cubs game last Friday, they had those three rows of stand-up counters roped off with a sign saying something about needing an ID bracelet to get in there. No one was there at the time, but I figured I'd best not wander in to eat my food. And the ushers in those empty RF mezzanine sections are notorious for chasing away people who dare to plop down there just for a few minutes to eat their food. Which brings up my point: I thought that in all of Stan's talking about the open concourses last summer, and even as I recall in the Dave Jageler-narrated video that had a 3-D representation of what the stadium would look like as you moved through it, there were supposed to be stand-up tables all around the concourses where fans could linger over a bite while looking down at the action on the field. Where are those stand-up tables or counters? Will they be installing them later, or did they go the way of the giant baseball over the Red Loft? It really would be nice to have someplace to stand and eat rather than having to poach someone else's seat or go to your own. Hell, even at the Terrace Food Court in RFK they had some stand-up tables. It's good that they are expanding the bars to people who want to stand and drink, but they should also try to accomodate people who want to stand and eat!

Anonymous said...

I am a former Expos fan and now a Nats fan. Since you seem to have an in with Stan, maybe you could suggest that he spend more time on improving the team rather than his "Penny Arcade".

Sam R said...


On Sunday's game I wandered over to the Miller Lite Beer Pen and asked the ladies on station there what the deal was. They replied you had to have a ticket to section 243 to stand at one of the shelves. I replied "When did this start?" To which the woman said since Opening Day. I had to laugh and told them au contraire mon frere, in fact I had eaten a corn dog while standing at the first row of stand up tables a few games prior so I know they haven't been there every game. The Ladies sheepishly admited 'well they weren't every game.' Once again ill informed staff coupled with no announced/published description of exactly what the "Miller Lite Beer Pen" is and how you access it leads to confusion and ill will with the fans. Finally the sad thing is as an briosca mor pointed out The nice standup shelves were a great place to down your food prior to the game and it looks like it is being taken away.

Cheers, Sam

Anonymous said...

SBF, I'd also recommend you ask Stan for all the fans who come to the park early (for instance on Friday night - fans were not allowed into the main seating bowl until 6pm), I'd recommend opening the rest of the park & not just left field when Nationals are taking batting practice.

It would be nice for fans to actually interact with the Nats' players and get autographs than just seeing them hit balls from 300 plus feet away.

Furthermore, some of the ushers are tad overzealous to say in the least. To ask fans for their tickets at the top of the stairway during *batting practice* is a little over top.

Before the start & during the game is one thing; however, during BP is just asinine.

Furthermore, the food lines -- just terrible, and not just the length. The service is just real slow and awful. We can make all the excuses we want, but such substandard service towards the customer discourages anyone from even wanting to buy food at the park, or much more see a game.

Just a thought...

Anonymous said...

The hooters-esque personnel at the beer porch I spoke with last Friday said that it is reserved for "guests of Miller Lite" every Friday. Didn't realize you needed tickets for a specific section on other days. I know tickets for the seats in front of the Red Loft. I kind of like seeing them empty game after game. A visual lesson for the front office in supply/demand pricing.

Screech's Best Friend said...

On the stand up tables. I recall having this conversation with more than a few folks involved in building the stadium. If I recall correctly--this is one of those items that in the rush to get the park ready for Opening Day was put off and is to be added at a later date. But, I will attempt to find out more.

As far as The Miller Lite Bullpen entrance fee--I have no idea how it works. But, I do recall at RFK it was in the Mezzanine Section at the right field corner. You needed a special ticket to get in and were then given a Nats/Miller Lite Tee Shirt.

Jim H said...


I second (third? fourth?) the need to come up with some kind of table arrangement in the concourses at which to relax and consume. It really might make sense to set up shelf kind of arrangments along any and all available rails...not necessarily marble...but something so one can linger, observe and consume.

And what are the rules as far as the opening of the park? I thought it was a 2 1/2 hour pregame opening out there in the plaza.

Things continue to evolve, though. Nice to see they continue to listen.

Galah said...

My seats are just forward of the Red Loft. Supply and demand nothing, more like early adopters, with no clear idea of how the sun would impact this uncovered seating, and no real idea of how the seats would play out, I was more than a little nervous about what I was buying in to. The seats are great. Wonder just how 'empty' they will be as the season progresses.

I agree, the service in general and particularly at the Red Loft Bar is spotty, at best so maybe the expansion will help, but normally, I'll just go get a beer someplace else, and fight through the mob at the bar to get back to my seat.

Hearing the stadium sound system is difficult as a result of all the folks standing at the bar there having conversations about EVERYTHING but the game ( I actually saw folks at the bar watching the Hockey game last week....ok, it's the Stanley Cup, but still)....can't imagine you can hear ANYTHING if you've got a seat in row C of section 245 or 244.

Let's keep this bar for Nats Fans!!! Can't imagine what that place will be like if I have to wade through drunken Phillies Phans to get to the bathrooms.

Anonymous said...

I spoke with the guy who runs the Beer Pen on Sunday. The deal is this -- every Friday night game Miller and their guests have exclusive rights to the standup tables, etc. Same goes for selected "premium" games. Otherwise, the area is open. It was also opened up for the general public after the 6th inning on Sunday.

Juan-John said...

Glad to read I'm not the only one who wants stand-up tables. I usually get a Chili Mac from Hard Times Cafe, but don't want to carry it all the way up to my nosebleed seats in Section 405.

Also glad to read they're planning to expand the Red Loft. Nice to see even us non-high-roller, hoi polloi fans getting a nice restaurant/bar to hang out in.