Created by husband-and-wife team Paul and Brittany Carlson, Lulu’s Winegarden (1940 11th St. NW) provides a beer garden experience with wines from around the world.
Northern Virginia native Paul Carlson has opened several restaurants since coming to the District in 2007, including Vinoteca, Lulu’s predecessor at the same location, and the Royal DC on Florida Avenue. Lulu’s, which features patios and indoor and outdoor seating options, offers wines by the glass and the bottle in addition to Southwest-inspired dishes.
Carlson described Lulu’s as a “casual and enjoyable” space that focuses on the opportunity for people to gather together. Prior to the onset of COVID, the tables were even intended to be communal, something the Carlsons hope to return to. “We wanted to be more approachable to groups,” Carlson affirmed. “Wine bars tend to attract couples or small groups, individuals, but we want it to be more open to large groups. Our wine program really focused on trying to be more community centered.”
Lulu’s carries wines from around the world and wines that are local to the DMV. Currently, the restaurant is showcasing wines from the Southwest and Mexico. “We want our guests to enjoy wines that are true representations of varieties and regions that they are known for. You’ll see a lot of the major wine regions represented on our shortlist.”
The Southwest-inspired fare, Carlson said, is underrepresented. He emphasized that wine can pair with a variety of different cuisines. “You can drink wine with anything,” Carlson assured. “It doesn’t solely have to be with meat and cheese. We really wanted to tie together the things that make us happy, the things that have been an anchor for us in a community.”
Lulu’s is open Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., Friday, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., Saturday, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., and Sunday, 12 to 10 p.m. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 3 p.m. To see the full food menu and wine and cocktail lists or order online, visit www.luluswinegarden.com.
Sarah Payne is a general assignment reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at email@example.com.