24 April – Washington DC – BLOGNIC

I will be in Washington, DC from Friday 23 – 26 Monday April.

People are interested in a blognic.

Some people may be in town for the Pontifical Mass at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Saturday 24 April.

Remember: Blognics are not formal.  They are not sit down meals.  People come and go between the start and end times established (we still have to do that, btw).  You pay for your own drinks or food or snacks…. or for someone else’s as you choose.  No expectations other than to come and meet other people who happen to be readers of this or other blogs.

Other bloggers are warmly encouraged to participateThis is a blognic, after all.


I am getting from the combox that Saturday 24 April, some time soon after the Mass at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, would be the best time for the blognic.  That being the case, some place not far from the Shrine should be considered.

That said, here is a little poll.  Please respond so we can get an idea of the interest and number.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Nathan says:

    I’m very much interested. Would prefer Saturday or Sunday evening, if that works with your schedule, Father.

    In Christ,

  2. rakesvines says:

    Me 2. Please broadcast details.

  3. Thomas G. says:

    Like Nathan, I’d be interested, though it would depend on the date/time. I’ve got family coming in this weekend.

  4. Lucas says:

    I’d love to come to a blognic, but it would be hard with my kids.

    Is there any way we could meet you at the Mass? I’m sure my kids would love a blessing!

    PS When you come to the Mass stop by the Bookstore, they have a large selection for the Mass.

  5. TheWork says:

    Sunday evening would be awesome, I am going to be away for a wedding until Sunday.

    Sunday please!

  6. PAT says:

    I am in DC and interested.

  7. SkiingCatholic2010 says:

    Father, I’m just outside of DC. Might I recommend a lunch, dinner or simply drinks here:


  8. B.C.M. says:

    Come back in August when we move there!

  9. TrueLiturgy says:

    I will be in on Friday and will be leaving after the Mass on Saturday. I will be at my folks’ house in Alexandria. I can meet anywhere. Please let me know. Would love to meet up with you!

  10. Rob Cartusciello says:

    I’m interested, though this would be the third time we’re met in as many months.

    Not that that’s a bad thing.

    I will be at the Mass.

  11. bernadette says:

    I will be in DC over the weekend for the Mass. My daughter has me pretty heavily scheduled with dinners and Sunday brunch and I’m leaving Sunday afternoon so I don’t know if I could make it. Would love to meet you though. We could have the blognic at the Shrine cafeteria before the Mass, either breakfast or an early lunch. But then it would be a dry blognic. :(

  12. mshoe88 says:

    hey father, what time are you coming in on Friday?

  13. Thomas in MD says:

    Saturday after Mass would work.

  14. wolfeken says:

    Count me in. Maybe Sunday brunch following the 9 a.m. Low Mass at Saint Mary’s?

    Two Catholic-friendly pubs in the area include Irish Channel at 5th and H streets, NW, across from Saint Mary’s, and Pat Troy’s at Pitt and King streets in Old Town Alexandria.

  15. bernadette says:

    I will have a bit of free time after the Mass. We had to get an early (6PM) dinner reservation.

  16. Lucas says:

    bernadette: And the cafeteria food is no good.

    I think a quick meeting at the National Shrine would be awesome however. We’d love to meet you.

  17. bernadette says:

    I will be at the St. Mary’s Mass as well and might be able to make it for a little while at the Irish Channel. It depends on what time my daughter wants me for brunch. I think I will probably have to go on a diet after this weekend.

  18. Papabile says:

    I would suggest that a blognic should be Metro accessible for those who are not familiar with DC.

    There is the Brookland Metro stop at CUA and a couple of central stops right on the Red Line.

    Someone mentioned Cap City Brewing Company. This is located directly next to the Union Station stop on the Red Line and would work.

    Additionally, the Dublinner, a nice Irish Pub is right across the street from Cap City Brewery on Massachusetts Avenue, and is a great place to gather too. (Best Guinness in town.)

    Sunday evening may be convenient, but one looses many who would be leaving town. Perhaps Brunchtime on Sunday, or after the Saturday Mass?

  19. Marcin says:

    Oh, no, not Saturday. I have a birthday of my Goddaughter to attend in Virginia after Mass at the Shrine.

    And I second negative opinion about the Shrine’s cafeteria. Years ago it eventually scared my wife from attending Latin NO Mass in the crypt.

  20. Tina in Ashburn says:

    YES YES YES!!!!
    There’s a tavern just a few blocks walking distance from the Shrine/CU. Food is okay but they definitely have BEER. Some of us z-fans are already planning to have a drinky-poo somewhere after the Mass on Saturday.
    If you decide on Sunday, I will drive back into DC.

  21. Constance says:

    My family is coming in for the Mass and would love to meet you!
    Saturday after the Mass would work best for us.
    The kids love Kiddie Cocktails! : )

  22. JohnMa says:

    Father, will you be celebrating Mass anywhere? If not, you should!

  23. Athelstan says:

    I live in DC and will be at the mass.

    Options for a nice venue near the Shrine/CUA are in short supply, but closer to downtown there are plenty.

    “I would suggest that a blognic should be Metro accessible for those who are not familiar with DC.” I second that.

  24. patergary says:

    How about Col. Brookes Tavern near Catholic U./Nat’l Shrine? I’ll try to be there.

  25. bernadette says:

    Patergary, I second that motion!

  26. MikeM says:

    Don’t plan around me because there’s no guarantee that I’ll be able to make it into DC, anyway. But, if it’s on Sunday I would certainly consider attending.

  27. New Sister says:

    Father – any of those days in the evening I’m available and very much looking forward, for Blog-nic and Holy Mass

  28. peregrinPF says:

    I actually checked flights & hotels since I have a 4 day weekend. Too expensive. Besides, I lived in NoVA for 7 years.

  29. I am getting the idea that Saturday after the Mass at the Shrine is the best time.

  30. Please respond to the poll in the top entry!

  31. Lucas says:

    For us, at the Shrine to meet you would be great. However with young kids I doubt and after a long mass we wouldn’t be able to stay long. Meeting you, and thanking you for the work you do would be enough for us.

  32. wanda says:

    Does anyone know if the Mass will be televised? EWTN? I know there was a fund raising effort in the attempt to have it carried.

  33. Lucas says:

    Wanda: It was supposed to be, then with all the news about Cardinal Hoyos it was canceled, now I would assume it’s back on because he is not the celebrant any longer.

  34. New Sister says:

    I’ve even heard the Holy Mass will have a most distinguished narrator… uh-hum, Fr Z?

  35. Nathan says:

    And if the distinguished Henry Edwards were to make the long trip from Knoxville for the Pontifical Mass and blognic (or, for that matter, if he ever comes to the DC area), I would offer to be the first to buy him a drink and raise a glass.

    In Christ,

  36. Catholicity says:

    How could I not at least try to be there?

  37. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Father, You can Google Colonel Brooks’ Tavern? in DC, if you want to consider the tavern. The map shows how close to CU/the Shrine/Metro stop that it is.

    This tavern has been there for a zillion years [while many places in DC come and go]. Its safe to say the tavern was open the last time the old Mass was said at the high altar. LOL.

  38. JMSinKY says:

    I am flying to DC for this Mass, and a blognic with Fr. Z will be icing on the cake. Father, where will you be saying Sunday Mass? Is it possible for folks to join with you for that, too?

    Dominus surrexit vere, alleluia!

    John Spangler
    Versailles, Kentucky

  39. Mike says:

    I will be at the Mass. I was planning to go to the Parthenon on Connecticut Ave afterwards, about 15 minutes from the Shrine. It’s Greek food; moderately priced; the grilled chicken with herbs, garlic, and lots of olive oil with a glass of house red is quite good.

    Don’t think they do ales or pints. :( but it’s still hearty fare.

  40. iudicame says:

    I heard there was a reception of some sort at the JP II Center next to the Shrine after Mass – not sure if this is a blognically crashable event tho. (Knock one off the poll – just remembered kid’s got a ballgame.)

    [Seems to me a quiet Sunday night at an Irish joint would be nice – a couple places are within walking distance of Union Station]


  41. M, it will be a Saturday night.

  42. TheWork says:

    I voted “what’s a blognic?” because Sunday brunch would be so much better! I know I’m fighting the tide against the people leaving town. “But Father, Father!” what about the people who live here and can’t make it to the Mass? I have a wedding to attend, I’m already missing the mass, must I miss this too?!

  43. DdC says:

    Father, chk your email for blognic suggestion. Lived on Michigan avenue down the street from the Shrine for 5 years and on Van Ness st & Connecticut Avenue for 5 years. Trying to do this by Metro on Sat with touristas, forget it.

    There are only two places that would be good and easy access for the style you seem to like for blognics (based on Philly etc).

    Have an additional personal request so check your email plz. thanks,


  44. Eoin Suibhne says:

    My wife and our five children will be attending the Mass. Something soon thereafter on the grounds of the Shrine would work best for us.

  45. ALL: I am staying at St. Mary’s near China town. I have no idea about Sunday Mass. Hopefully I will have the chance to say Mass.

  46. The Crescat says:

    I will be there… drinking & hilarity guaranteed to ensue.

  47. markomalley says:

    If at all possible, I’d love to come.

  48. markomalley says:

    And if you’re at Old St Mary’s, the Irish Channel is right across the street, perhaps Fr. Harris would allow us to use his parking lot on Sat. night.

  49. Rellis says:

    Colonel Brooks is the ONLY place to do this. It’s walking distance from the Shrine (which encourages the grumpy to go to the Mass). I went to CUA. Brooks is the official restaurant of that neighborhood, and is a part of the culture. Everyone goes there, and everyone knows about it.

    It’s perfect. Brooks! Brooks! Brooks!

    I bet many of the Mass attendees are already planning on going.

  50. Papabile says:

    Tina started it, but several others have chipped in the Colonel Brooks Tavern might be a good place to meet after Mass.

    I agree.

    Might I suggest the THREE easiest places to meet would be Colonel Brooks (Brookland Metro Stop, right at Catholic U where the Shrine is located), Cap City Brewing Company (Union Station Metro stop), or the Dublinner (Union Station Metro stop).

    The only potential problem I foresee is that Colonel Borooks Tavern might have a bunch of CUA kids at it as it is so close to the end of the Semester, and The Library (formerly Kitty’s) no longer seems to serve the CUA student pop (hint: I went to CUA). They might well flood CB’s, though I do not know. (Would a CUA student pipe in on this possibility?)

    Cap City and the Dublinner are always busy, but if they are hit early (at 5 or so), it’s less obvious.

    Locations for each can be found here:

    Colonel Brooks: http://bit.ly/cYBsHU

    The dublinner: http://bit.ly/9IKowE

    Cap City Brewing: http://bit.ly/9OP4TV

    Might I suggest a vote on the proper place for a blognic? I am partial to the Dublinner, but could go with any of them.

    While the Dub is known for GUinness, Colonel Brooks has one of the BEST bLoody Mary’s I have ever tasted.

  51. We don’t want to compete with a band.

    Everyone: I received a recommendation of a place called Gordon Biersch, which is a brewery restaurant on F St. NW.

    I looked at the site for the place, and it looks as if it is pretty large and could have a room available.

    It is quite close to a Metro stop and a large parking ramp. There may be an event at the nearby Verizon center however.

  52. DCSeminarian says:

    Fr. Z, Gordon Biersch is an excellent place, but they are usually pretty busy on Saturdays and might have problems with a big blognic crowd.

    Nonetheless, be assured that several of us seminarians studying in Washington will be at the Mass on Saturday and will join you all for the blognic.

  53. mikew says:

    Fr. Z… Please come to Dallas sometime! Those of us that read your blog here would really enjoy meeting you!

  54. mike: I think I’ll be in Texas in… gulp… August.

  55. cuaguy says:

    I am fine anywhere as long as it is in walking distance of the Metro

  56. DdC says:

    RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT!!! EASY EASY EASY PINTS PINTS PINTS EVERYBODY KNOWS IT & PART OF MY OLD NEIGHBORHOOD; Listen to Ellis “below”. Correct for $1000 in the Double Jeopardy column,
    “FrZ’ Blognic choices! Wish I could be there but my cruel Dr says no way!

    Padre, have a pint for me!!

    Really, Fr one of my two suggestions in the email also another good one rt near by also but Brooks is the spot. Good burger and PINTS!! Old hangout and perfect for what you want to do.
    Hey CUA guy you should have already been here!! Its a ritual for us CUA ppl to go to BROOKS AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR!!!

    BTW-WARNING WARNING anyone driving to Shrine on Michigan Ave from DC& VA (Shrine will be on left as u approach. From North Capitol Street onto Michigan Ave are speed cameras that photograph u driving and if you are speeding you will get a surprise in mail about 2-3 weeks later. 25 mile an hour zone. STRICTLY ENFORCED!! OUT OF TOWNERS-NO POINTS BUT HIGH FINES AND IF YOU DONT PAY WILL BOOT YOUR CAR WHEN YOU COME BACK IN THE DISTRICT. MONEY MACHINE FOR THE DISTRICT WITH CUA STUDENTS RACING BACK AND FORTH ON MICHIGAN. BEWARE!

    [“Colonel Brooks is the ONLY place to do this. It’s walking distance from the Shrine (which encourages the grumpy to go to the Mass). I went to CUA. Brooks is the official restaurant of that neighborhood, and is a part of the culture. Everyone goes there, and everyone knows about it.It’s perfect. Brooks! Brooks! Brooks!
    I bet many of the Mass attendees are already planning on going.”]
    Comment by Rellis — 21 April 2010 @ 9:01 pm

  57. DdC says:

    Sorry, “Rellis” not Ellis ;)

  58. Tina in Ashburn says:

    DdC – thanks for the heads-up on the speed cameras. I got snagged TWICE, once somewhere on 395/295 too, and got the high fines [and pretty pictures]. It was not reported to my state, nor did i get the points. Yes, ugly surprise!

  59. Hey, kids, we’re talking about Saturday night here, okay? Anything in DC that could be considered a bar or a tavern is going to be noisier than it would be, say, on a Monday afternoon. So if you go to a bar, there will be noise. Take that as a given. And having done so, there remains the ability to physically get to the place in a timely fashion. Metro sounds great, if you don’t mind a) competing with crowds if there’s an event in town, and b) standing around at Brookland Station on a Saturday night (which is the last we’ll see of you, probably). So what remains, is a place near the Shrine within walking distance, or a short drive. Otherwise expect to wait for over an hour, maybe two, before anything can start.

    Remember also, that the good Father will be seeing his confreres from around the country, all in one place, many of whom he might not have seen in quite a while. It’s gonna be quite the family reunion in the sacristy afterwords. And while I look forward to meeting him again as much as anyone, this isn’t anything you kids couldn’t do on your own at any other time. If anyone remembers Belloc’s poem (“Where’er a Catholic sun doth shine …”), we would realize that we have always had the means to do a blognic.

    And once we all realize the errors of our ways, I know the PERFECT place for one in Arlington.

  60. Tom in NY says:

    When singing at BNSIC, my chorus always had dinner the night before at Col. Brooks. The fries are a treat and the prices are right. Our recommendation was from a CU grad student. Metro across the street, easy walk from the Shrine side of the campus. Wish I could go.

  61. Brian K says:

    We hope to attend. It looks like over 70 will try to attend, according to the poll. That’s going to make for interesting logistics.

  62. Father: You need a 3rd possible response “Dang It!”

    I’ll pay real $ to anyone who can get a clip of Father singing Chinese
    Opera to The Crescat.

  63. The_Crescat says:

    is cuaguy even drinking age? Mwa HA HA HA HA.

    I am taking the metro in from Richmond that morning, as I have only tried to drive in DC once in my entire life and the expierence was more than enough for me. Unless I could hitch a ride from any number of folks heading that way.

    I think logisitically a meeting place at the basilica should be determined first… time and place. From there we can see how many actually show up and then make our ways to the location of the actual blognic.

  64. The_Crescat says:

    Cathy… given the appropriate amount of alcohol introduced into my blood stream *I* will sing Chinese opera.

  65. I’m with Cathy of Alex.
    Wish I could be there…will there be pictures? A video?
    Inquiring minds want to know…esp. if they are “sequestered” in the midwest:<)!

  66. Marcin says:

    Oh, yes – streaming video from the blognic! Just think of it…

  67. Papabile says:

    I have no problem with Brooks.

    I am just guessing half of CUA will be under the bar (if it is anything resembling what it was like when I was there in the 90’s) on the 2nd to last weekend of the academic year.

    I LOVE Brooks.

    There’s also Kelly’s Ellis Island, though I don’t know what the crowd is like there. 12th street seemed very quiet last time I was up there.

  68. iudicame says:


    St. Mary’s basement. On a Metro stop and decent parking on the street. BYOB.


  69. cuaguy says:

    Cres- and that will stop me from going? I just won’t get wasted like you will :P

  70. Jon says:


    I, and the family will be there.

    It’ll be swell to see you again.

  71. Tina in Ashburn says:

    So how many crazy z-fans can fit in a dorm room? I guess cuaguy’s room as a backup is out of the question?

    The count keeps rising, we may need a nearby stadium …hot dogs and watery beer sound good?

    For those driving in: the traffic and weather station is WTOP 103.5 FM, traffic reports every 8 minutes. Many traffic issues don’t get reported however, the DC area is horrendous. Have fun, see you there!

    Also, rain is likely both Saturday and Sunday.

  72. cuaguy: You have to help select a bar that The Crescat has not been been permanently banned from due to her national reputation; this will present a unique challenge.

    Crez: If you can get that video clip of Father singing Chinese Opera to you, I’ll send you $$$ to go to Rome. cathyofalex@gmail.com

    Father: No pressure. If Crez can’t afford the trip, I don’t want you to feel bad about that! tee-hee.

  73. joecct77 says:

    The Nationals are home. Anyone for a ballgame???

  74. Lucas says:

    Papabile: Ellis Island is disgusting. It’s a place for all the CUA students who aren’t 21 to go to. (Fake IDs abound there) They let almost anybody in.

  75. cuaguy says:

    Tina- does this mean that I have to clean? I don’t wanna clean my room!

    Cathy- Is there such a place on the planet that she has not been banned at?

  76. The Crescat says:

    Look people, as long as the bar you pick is not within a 7 mile radius of Georgetown University I should have no issue… don’t ask.

    Cathy… so how much $$$ are we talking about?

  77. cuaguy says:

    Well, its pretty much impossible to get over that way without transferring to a bus, so you should be ok…

  78. Darnnit..this is beginning to sound like something I would ever so much want to attend..but I cannot…$$$, enclosure, and the wrath of the community if I would even try…There had better be pictures; video, even better. Okay?

  79. Papabile says:


    Interesting note on Ellis Island. When it opened in 92/3, it was more of an upscale neighborhood place, unlike the Times downtown. Pat Kelly seemed to want it kept that way. I wonder what happened?

    I always did enjoy the poster they had in the entry of the Virgin dressed in Chasuble, complete with maniple. It was something else….

    Colonel Brooks sounds like it’s the place.

  80. Crez: Depends upon the quality of the clip! lol

  81. Athelstan says:

    Gordon Biersch is a good venue – large, nice atmosphere, accessible. Might be a little busy on a Saturday afternoon, but that goes for many places in DC.

    Colonel Brooks…yes, it is a tradition in the Little Vatican neighborhood. But it is also quite small, and if 90 plus people really do show up, we will simply not fit in the place.

  82. Thomas in MD says:

    Father any idea when the locael will be decided? Some of us Metro-ing in will need to leave early to arrive by the 12:15 be-in-your-seat time.

  83. Philippus says:

    Dear Father,

    I think the perfect spot for us to have a blognic would be The Dubliner Irish Pub at http://www.dublinerdc.com/ . Every year after the March for Life, priests and laity gather here to drink, eat and talk. So, in that sense, it is a staple joint for Catholics to gather after events. And, if we need to secure a room, there is the option also.

    Additionally, the Dubliner is 2.5 miles away from the shrine (or a 7 minute drive) as you can see from the map here:


    Lastly, speeding along Michigan Avenue is a dangerous thing. There are speed traps along the road.

    In Christ

    Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi

  84. Philippus says:

    Oh..and the metro stop closest to the Dubliner is Union Station.

  85. Athelstan says:

    I second Philippus’s motion for the Dubliner as another alternative. A fine establishment, very accessible, and a regular staple of the March For Life.

  86. Tina in Ashburn says:

    One could call Col Brooks’ and ask about the likelihood of handling 100+ folks at 4 pm. Don’t forget the place has two rooms, not just the first dining room where most eat.

    The appeal of Brooks is that parking isn’t an issue, especially if they leave the vehicle where they parked for Mass and walk over. We might lose some folks if they have to drive to another further location and search for parking with a bunch of tired kids. Also, those that get out of Mass early can go directly to Brooks and wait for others to show WHILE HOLDING A BEER and meeting the z-fans. Crescat has not been banned from this bar yet according to my internet research.

    Don’t know if its practical to move to another location after an hour or so at Brooks. Hey, bar hopping in DC as a large crowd has been done before I bet. :-)

    I’ll go anywhere Father decides.

  87. irishgirl says:

    Oh, how I wish I could be in DC for the Mass and the blognic!

    nazareth priest-I share your frustration-but [as Ingrid Bergman’s Joan of Arc said to Ward Bond’s LaHire in the movie of the same name] ‘don’t swear’! (I’m just teasing you)

    Yes, Fr. Z-pleeease have video and/or photos of the events!

    As New Sister said, maybe there will be a distinguished narrator for the Mass [hint, hint]. Well, I’ll go on EWTN with my computer at the library tomorrow-next best thing to being there, I guess.

    If only I could bilocate….

  88. People are suggesting The Dubliner. I am not sure we want to compete with live music, which is always too loud.

  89. irishgirl: I have been ever so careful (maybe not always!) not to swear…you know how hard it is, even if there’s a bit of Irish blood, to stay calm, cool, and centered…I think my Irish grandparents gave me a bit too much of the impassioned “in your face” attitude…I repent of this often:<)! The German part of our family evidently did not “win” in this matter!
    As for live music; I agree with you Fr. Z. It is always too loud!

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