Origins of Dacha
In the heat of the Great Recession, two long-time friends from college years, Dmitri and Ilya, found themselves out of their corporate jobs. They decided to become partners and open a business – a beer garden. Looking for possible locations, they came across a small chain-link fence corner parking lot in the middle of Shaw neighborhood. They tracked down the owner and convinced him to rent them the lot. The owner thought they were crazy… a beer garden? outside? in Shaw? He was not the only one. The partners had a short business plan, a lot of determination, and a blessing of naivetés. Putting all their personal savings on the line, they got to work … architects, engineers, permits, approvals, builders, politics… put politely, there was some learning curve. On September 4, 2013, the Original Dacha, Dacha Beer Garden, opened for business. A small beer truck, a make-shift bar, a few picnic tables, port-a-potties, and a POD container that served as a storage, an IT center, and an office. The rest is history.
Today, Dacha is more than a just beer garden. We have expanded what we like to call the “Dacha Experience”. In 2015, we opened Dacha Café – a small neighborhood bagel shop next door. In 2016, we inaugurated the Dacha Loft, a vibrant, bespoke private events space tucked above the garden.
In 2019, three years in the making, we opened our new location – Dacha Navy Yard, or how most people call it - The New Dacha. For us, it was an ambitious project – a huge beer garden inside a private park, a 150-seat full-service restaurant, a craft-cocktails bar, and a lounge. Not everything went as planned, but we listened to our customers and made necessary changes. We invite you to visit us at The New Dacha.
In not so short six years since opening the original Dacha, we are the Dacha family – the team who helped build the brand and customers who have and continue to support us. Together, we are on a journey to make a difference. We are committed to giving back to the communities where we do business. Whether it is through partnering with local businesses, hosting an event, in-kind donations, or volunteer work, we are working to improve the neighborhoods we call home.
Why the Kennedys
We conceived the concept during our first visit to the site. Breathtaking views of the river, the neighboring stadium’s monumentality, and soaring, seemingly unstoppable buildings filled us with a sense of enthusiasm and occasion. The site compelled the architecture of the 60s with its typical daring airport and seaport terminals, sharp and confident lines, efficiency and glamour. That era appealed to us on a personal level as well; it was marked by a hopeful, progressive president, a beautiful and thoughtful First Lady, and confidence that people will live on Mars within a decade. What’s not to like!
Our interior design confidently picks up on the cues of the façade first with natural oak ceiling repeating throughout the space at the same angle. Fitting right into ceiling angles, massive oak hexagon frames hide huge TVs behind huge mirrors.
The furniture gives a measured nod to the modern esthetics of the 60s evoking a space age era design. In the spirit of America - the world’s Melting Pot — we blend meticulously designed and handmade pieces from Berlin, Bosnia, New York, Baltimore and Pennsylvania.
The art is an integral part of our design. Lending to the cultural roots of both owners, the thought provoking and sometimes whimsical art pieces focus on relations between two superpowers: the United States and the USSR. The centerpiece of the collection is a towering 11 feet tall and 20 feet wide interior mural of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy by a San Francisco based, Russian dissident artist Igor Ponochevnyi. JFK was chosen as a subject for a reason: His presidency, albeit cut short, marked a pivotal point in relations between the United States and the USSR. He recognized and confidently reacted to every threat and challenge thrown at him by the soviet apparatchiks. He watched calmly at Nikita Kruschev’s UN “shaking shoe” antics. He threw his full support behind the U.S. Space program, especially the manned mission to the Moon. His understanding of the wound that was created by the split of Germany and the need to be one hundred percent behind our allies was verbalized in an iconic phrase that President Obama repeated in 2008, “Ich bin ein Berliner!”
Most importantly, we chose JFK because we - as owners - believe in the hope and opportunity of America that this man represented and his legacy continues to represent.
About The New Dacha
Dacha Navy Yard is a perfect place to meet new people and spend time with loved ones. Set on the banks of the Anacostia River and steps from the Nationals Park, Dacha Navy Yard includes a full-service restaurant offering modern American comfort fare from Executive Chef Scott Robison; a spacious, bustling bar and lounge with an outstanding craft cocktails program and 150-bottle wine list; and an expansive, kids- and dog-friendly outdoor beer garden with unprecedented river views, lush landscaping and a familiar Dacha selection of world-class draft beers, ciders and meads. An anchor for the growing Navy Yard neighborhood, Dacha is an ideal place to gather for large and small celebrations, pre- and post-game meet-ups, happy hour excursions and private events. All are welcome at Dacha Navy Yard!