Last month, I felt pretty confident delivering a Mother’s Day guide because I basically thought, “What would I like to get?”
This month, I could pretend I know what guys want. However, I figured I’d be better off asking a few experts I know, a.k.a. “Dads,” as to what they’d like to receive for Father’s Day. I’m divorced and didn’t grow up with my dad, but here on the Hill I have met a few dudes who could be charter members of the “This is what a good dad looks like” club.
Considering my limited experience in father-related matters, I will let these four Capitol Hill guys tell you what you should be getting for the dad in your life. Best of all, it’s all pretty easy and mostly local.
I first hit up Tim Krepp, neighborhood curmudgeon, man-about-town, father of two and Mr. Denise Krepp, who had some interesting ideas. “Machete at Frager’s,” he texted instantly. The little dots barely had time to vacillate, that is just HOW SURE Tim was that every dad needs a machete. When I asked him to tell me more, he just said that a machete is “like a fire extinguisher. You will almost certainly never use it. But when you need it, you need it now. For that matter: fire extinguishers.” In our (extremely) funny back-and-forth, it became clear that for Krepp, dads need to feel the validation from their family that they care about imminent danger –which may or may not be something you can package neatly with a bow for Father’s Day. But you can definitely get a machete and a fire extinguisher at Frager’s, 1323 E Street SE.
Robert Pohl, our resident historian, tour guide, and dad of one, was just as categorical as Krepp when confronted with choices for Father’s day. “I want nothing for father’s day. NOTHING. (Actually, I just can’t think of anything.)” However, he also wanted something that money can’t exactly buy: “A day without having to deal with any buses whatsoever… and for reals: A family outing to a Capitol Hill destination of my choosing.”
For the indecisive dads who just want to have a relaxing day somewhere on the Hill, you can always get baseball or soccer tickets. But you could also do something totally different and seriously local, such as heading over to Congressional Cemetery for one of their weekend events. (For Robert’s sake, make sure it’s not a guided tour.) On Father’s Day, the Cemetery will hold a Notes From the Crypt concert starting at 5 p.m. Enjoy the eternally peaceful setting and beautiful music, and toast your favorite dad! For more information, head over to Congressional Cemetery’s website.
Michael Showalter, or Mr. Mike, as a whole generation of kids call him through his Music Together classes, would like an “arrogant and snobby” t-shirt. I asked the folks at Bailiwick Clothing Company what they suggested and they recommended one of their best-sellers, “The District Vs. Congress.” Not sure that it’s as “arrogant and snobby” so much as “righteously indignant and fed-up”, but I have a feeling the dad in your life will appreciate the cotton homage to the District.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mike would also like to try something new and step out of the restaurant rut that usually comes when you have children and would like to bring them along. Sometimes having to factor the price of an outing and a babysitter brings stress into a night out, and the pressure makes it hard to have fun, according to Showalter.
So then, why not treat dad to a smorgasbord of options at Union Market? Sure, it’s not quite the Hill, but a short bike ride north of us, a dad can have a tasting menu without having to dress up for it: You can take over the “lawn” area and have a frosty margarita from Suburbia in the fenced-in area. In the meantime, you can:
- put together your own cheese platter from Righteous Cheese
- pair it with arepas from ArepaZone
- make an arepa vs dosa taste comparison with DC Dosa
- arepa vs. DC empanada vs. dosa?
- sample the whole array of snacks at Brainfood Homegrown (make sure you try the jalapeño popcorn!!!)
- have a sandwich picnic from Red Apron and compare meats (not an euphemism)
- top the food tour with a waffle from Saison Waffel, an ice cream from Trickling Springs or one of the extremely impressive pastries from Panorama Bakery (so solid!)
Of course, there are more vendors, especially sit-down restaurants within the market, so make sure you explore and spoil dad: http://unionmarketdc.com/eat-drink/.
Last, but certainly not least, I reached out to architect and old-fashioned cool dad of two Jon Penndorf. For those of you who don’t know him, Jon is a cocktail aficionado who is especially into gin. No surprise, then, that Jon would want something gin-related for Father’s Day. We are in luck that Erik Holzherr, owner of Wisdom, Church and State and Atlas Arcade, goes by the moniker of the GINtender. We are even luckier that he offers cocktail classes tailored to your needs. Want to schedule a class for dad? Check out his website or email him directly at dcwisdom AT gmail.com. Jon is also very fond of the Pretzel Bakery, not just for the perfect DC pretzels they make, but for the wide array of cool pretzel- (and DC-) themed gear they carry, such as pint glasses and coffee mugs. You can read his First Bite post about the bakery here, and reminisce. (We miss you, Jon!)
For the sharp-dressing dad, Jon loves shirts from local menswear retailer Hugh & Crye. Check out their online store or, if you must, go to their bricks-and-mortar…. in Georgetown, at 3212 O St. NW #5. (SO FAR AWAY)
From all of us here at THIH, Happy Father’s Day to the good ones out there!