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Jul 3, 2004 10:45 AM

What Ever Happened to the Bardo Rodeo People?

  • j

I was going to email this to our beer expert Jim Dorsch, but figured it'd be better to gather the info publicly, for the use of all....

Me and Jim both loved Bardo Rodeo, the sprawling, eccentric and transportive bar in Arlington, that made great beer and interesting food. They closed a while ago, opened another bar in the boonies, and then I sort of lost track.

Can Jim or anyone else offer an update? Their web site still seems up, but, very Bardo-style, it offers no concrete info on anything....



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  1. After Bardo closed, the upstairs became Dr Dremo's Tap House, run by Bill Stewart Jr's Dad, Bill Sr. It was supposed to be an outlet for Bardo beer, which Bill Jr was supposedly making out on his farm in Amissville. Somehow that didn't happen for long, and now Dr Dremo's serves other people's beer, as well as their version of Bardo beers, made at Shenandoah Brewing Co in Alexandria.

    Bill Jr was supposedly going to Australia. I'm not sure if that has transpired.

    The bar in Herndon, Chamdo, is long gone.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Jim Dorsch

      I'm pretty sure that the brewery (somewhere on a farm out past Herndon) closed at least a year ago. I seem to remember getting an email announcement from them saying so and offering the equipment up for sale. This was probably around the time Ningaloo (nee Bardo Rodeo) switched over to the current Dr. Dremo's.

      1. re: tbear

        Confirmed. I have a coworker who lives nearby and went often. The guy did move to Australia just about a year ago, but was looking to sell the whole thing lock stock and barrel(s) to a small group of young guys. Not sure that it ever transpired.

        1. re: tbear

          I think it was long, long ago that the brewery made any beer, even though Bill was selling beer for quite a while. I recall the ABC slapped him around for violations at one point.

          I'd forgotten all about Ningaloo! Thanks for refreshing my memory.

          I used to enjoy watching the July 4 fireworks from the patio at Bardo/Ningaloo.

          I seem to recall at one point that Bill Jr was talking of moving the entire brewery to Australia, but I doubt that's happened.

          1. re: Jim Dorsch

            Again, they closed and moved about a year ago. They were brewing up to that point and hoped to sell to another group of guys. My coworker hasn't gone by since, but he hasn't gotten any emails from them since (he was on the distro list).

            This was way out near Gainesville and beyond. The Arlington place did of course close years ago, but the brewery was pumping full steam ahead until last year. They couldn't sell by the glass but you could "taste" all you wanted and "drop" some money on your way out.

            1. re: Dennis S

              I'm pretty sure that Ningaloo was serving Bardo beer up until they stopped brewing, but I moved out of Rosslyn in '01 so may be mistaken. My perception was that the changeover occured about the same time that Ningaloo was reborn as Dr. Dremo's. And anyone know what happened to the sister bar in Herndon? Nando? I think that was the name.

              I'm just glad that the place is still around serving good beer in a great atmosphere. It's a wonderful oasis in the midst of the high-rise condo buildings and chain stores that are swallowing up every block east of Ballston. Despite the closure for the roof repairs and the consistent harassment by the local board I hope they can stick it out a little bit longer before "progress" prevails.

              1. re: tbear

                The place in Herndon was called Chamdo.

              2. re: Dennis S

                I know they were serving beer out in Amissville, but my understanding is that nothing was brewed for a long, long time.

                1. re: Jim Dorsch

                  Ha! That would be hilarious if we rushed out there near the end to buy old beer! (it's hilarious now that we know we didn't get ill from it). Cheers!

                  1. re: Dennis S

                    One of the comforting things about beer is the fact that it hosts no known lethal organisms.