Mark Moore is aware of the poor recent track record of restaurants at 7528 Old Georgetown Rd.
But one look inside Tyber Bierhaus (which will open Tuesday, March 18) makes it clear Moore and his partners — the guys behind St. Arnold’s Mussel Bar in Cleveland Park — bring a bit more to the table.
There’s a bar with 20 overhead taps, a custom-made drip tray and communal tables delivered in from the Hofbrauhaus in Munich. The group hand-picked reclaimed wood for a section of church pew-style seating booths, which is in one of three different sound zones for music. Tyber’s emblem, a coat of arms featuring both the D.C. and Maryland flags, was carefully designed with the restaurant’s Czech and Bohemian themes in mind.
“This is not just a new coat of paint,” Moore said. “We’re really looking forward to making an impact and being here for 15 or 20 years.”
In other words, this isn’t the Box Bar and Grill.
“Hooters on Xanax,” is how one Yelp commenter described it. It closed in 2012 and was bought for a Dry Fried Wings franchise that lasted less than a month. Enter Moore and partner Paul Uppole, two Montgomery County natives with a track record of successful European-inspired restaurants and bars.
Since Tyber Bierhaus was announced, Moore said he’s heard lots of anticipation and some question as to whether the location — on one-way Old Georgetown Road in the first floor of an office building — could sustain a large bar and restaurant.
“This is not off the beaten path. You can chip a golf ball to the Metro,” Moore said. “Even a bad golfer like me can hit a golf ball to the Hyatt.”
Gulden Draak, Rodenbach, Ommegang Hennepin, Praga Pils and Hofbrau are a few of the beer brands. Potato cheese and onion perogies ($9), a pork schnitzel sandwich ($12), goulash ($15) and of course, the mussels ($18), shape the menu.
There will be cocktails, American beers and televisions full of sports, too. Moore wants to be careful not to exclude anyone in an area of town without many bar options.
“To me, it’s very important for everybody to be comfortable and get what they want,” Moore said. “We’re really looking for it to be a place for everybody to be. I think we’ve proven ourselves through our other ventures and if we do what we do, we’ll be fine.
“It’s the same stuff: How many people go into a place and you’re not greeted? You just want some attention and that’s what we do,” Moore said. “Everyone in Bethesda wants to quit on it at 10 or 11 [p.m.]. What about the traveler that needs something to eat at 11? What about the people that get off at 11? We want to service the whole neighborhood.”