Inside Audi Field
Q&A with D.C. United Coach Ben Olsen
With two decades of experience as a player and coach for D.C. United, Ben Olsen – the team’s current head coach – could not be more excited about moving his team into the brand new Audi Field in July. The state-of-the art but intimate facility at Buzzard Point in Southwest DC is sure to be the envy of Major League Soccer. We talked to Olsen about what makes it special.
On Tap: Why is there so much enthusiasm about the new field among players and fans?
Ben Olsen: It’s something we’ve been waiting for a long time, and when I say “we,” it’s a lot of people who have put a lot of work and energy into this club. It’s for the fans, and in some way the league itself has been waiting for this. There have been a lot of promises and almost stadiums, and to now be a month or two away from the opening game is a very exciting time for everyone involved in D.C. United and the soccer community in the United States.
OT: What are some big advantages to the stadium?
BO: Well, there are no disadvantages [laughs]. The intimacy of the stadium is going to be one of the best atmospheres in the country – and that directly translates to the players with extra energy and the feeling of not playing in an old, rundown stadium. It’s another sign of progress and that our club is moving in the direction we need to go to keep up with the rest of the league.
OT: You spent many years as a player and coach at D.C. United’s old home, RFK Stadium, in Southeast DC. Any thoughts on moving from there?
BO: RFK was a great building for us and there were nights where there were unbelievable atmospheres there. It’s just time to move. You can only sustain that so much from a business standpoint, and from the recruitment of players, we just have to evolve. It’s now time. It’s a unique building, and it will attract new fans and reward our old fans who have been with us all these years. I expect it to really be a game changer for the club.
Learn more about Audi Field and D.C. United’s 2018 season at www.dcunited.com.
Audi Field: 1711 1st St. SW, DC; www.audifielddc.com
Spotlight on Chloe
The newest venture of well-known and well-traveled local chef Haidar Karoum, Chloe brings simplicity in design but diversity in menu to the burgeoning food scene of the Capitol Riverfront. We asked the chef and owner about the freshest new kitchen in Southeast DC.
On Tap: Why was the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood chosen to host Chloe?
Haidar Karoum: I was drawn to the energy of this neighborhood. There is lots of new construction and activity. Plus, I was drawn to being close to the water since I’m a Pisces!
OT: What part of Chloe’s atmosphere keeps guests coming back for more?
HK: I feel that we are approachable, whether you’re coming in before or after a game or are on a date.
OT: What kind of lunch and dinner crowd does Chloe attract? What makes it different from other restaurants in the area?
HK: We get a bit of everything: neighbors stopping by for a quick bite, Nats fans stopping in before the game, wine lovers exploring our beverage selection and couples out for a nice meal together. I think that our menu is pretty diverse. Not that others are not diverse, but we jump around the globe a little more.
OT: Chloe’s menu tackles a lot of different international cuisine. Is there any new territory that you hope to add to Chloe’s menu in the future?
HK: [We’re always] incorporating culinary influences from all over, as opposed to focusing on Spanish or South East Asian, for instance. As it warms up, I tend to go lighter and brighter.
1331 4th St. SE, DC; 202-313-7007; www.restaurantchloe.com
Drinks for Every Palate
Capitol Riverfront has something for everyone, regardless of their drink of choice. We picked our top spots for the beerhead, the oenophile and the cocktail connoisseur.
Brews at Bluejacket
If you love beer and are indecisive, Bluejacket is the Riverfront hang for you. The microbrewery offers 4-oz. pours of each of their brews from their impressive in-house menu, allowing you to try before you commit to a specific selection or just leisurely sample many different styles of beer. The spot also offers a full brunch, lunch and dinner menu, which is a welcome respite from foraging for food trucks at traditional breweries. 300 Tingey St. SE, DC; www.bluejacketdc.com
Cocktails at Slipstream
The popular 14th Street outpost has expanded to this Southeast location, bringing their craft coffee-meets-craft cocktails vibe to Capitol Riverfront – although, they do start serving cocktails at 8 a.m., so if you ever find yourself in need of some hair of the dog, you know where to go. Slipstream’s known for using seasonal ingredients and influences to make classic cocktails compelling, so check back often for new offerings as no two creations are alike. 82 I St. SE, DC; www.slipstreamdc.com
Vino at Whaley’s Rosé Garden
It’s no secret that rosé is one of the trendiest drinks of the past few summers. And at this point, it’s fairly obvious that it’s here to stay.
“I tasted 200 rosés for this season’s menu,” says Beverage Director Brian Zipin. “Quality, price and flavor profile are the most important. We want to offer rosés from all over the world that are unique in style and grape variety. The key element to any wine is the one you want to continue drinking. There has to be something that draws you back to it.”
Whether you’ve been a fan since the fledgling days of the trend or are just testing the waters of this summery pink wine, check out Whaley’s Rosé Garden for a real rosé immersion. 301 Water St. SE, DC; www.whaleysdc.com
Get Outside In Capitol Riverfront
Friday Night Concerts
Forget the service fees of ticketed outdoor venues and enjoy this free, summer-long concert series in Yards Park every Friday night. With diverse artists ranging from Black Masala (June 15) to Trailer Grass Orchestra (July 27), there’s something for all music lovers to enjoy.
No matter your preferred workout or skill level, there’s a class for you this summer at Yards and Canal Parks. Featuring workouts like barre, yoga and strength training and hosted by a variety of boutique fitness outlets, these free classes are a great way to find your athletic outlet this season.
Missed catching box office hits like Wonder Woman, Black Panther and Coco? Fear not, because you can enjoy these titles and more in the lofty outdoor Canal Park for free all through the summer. Bring a blanket and some tasty treats and settle in for a free night of film.
Learn more at www.capitolriverfront.org.
Did You Know?
The ground-floor bar at Mission Dos (opening in July) is 125 feet long, longer than the distance between third base to home plate. Mission Dos: 1221 Van St. SE, DC; 202-525-2010; www.missiongroupdc.com