Coming Soon: Birch & Barley and ChurchKey

Beer director Greg Engert, left, and chef Frank Morales of the forthcoming Birch & Barley and ChurchKey

This fall, 14th Street will score a two-for-one beer-centric destination. Two distinct spaces — the 90-seat Birch & Barley restaurant on the ground floor and a beer lover's paradise, dubbed ChurchKey, upstairs — will replace Dakota Cowgirl at 1337 14th St. NW. A roof deck is also being added.

The project is the first in DC for the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, creators of Virginia's Rustico, Buzz Bakery, Tallula, EatBar, Vermilion and Evening Star Cafe.

Chef Frank Morales of Rustico will head Birch & Barley, or B&B, as he calls it. On his modern American menu: wood-fired pizzas and dishes such as red brick Cornish hen with shaved Brussels sprouts and Golden Angel thistle honey butter; clay pot blue crab macaroni and cheese with fontina and herb bread crumbs; and duck confit and kabocha squash crepes with grilled Mandarin orange and roasted red pepper.

Meanwhile, beer director Greg Engert, also of Rustico, is designing an ambitious beer program for the 3,200-square-foot ChurchKey. Expect upwards of 550 beers — 500 bottles from 30 countries and 50 draft options, half American and 30 of which will rotate weekly. Also on offer: five hand-pumped, cask-conditioned ales featuring rare English and international styles. A three-zone temperature system will ensure the brew is served at the proper temperature.

ChurchKey will also have its own menu showcasing charcuterie, rillettes and wood-fired pizzas.

The renovated space will feature lots of brick and natural wood, exposed beer lines, three glassed-in keg rooms and a 14-seat chef's table that will look onto the kitchen.

(Photo: Stacey Vaeth Photography)