Just outside the National Gallery of Art and in the heart of the nation’s capital on the National Mall, The Pavilion Café annually welcomes millions of people with an acclaimed menu in an enchanting environment. This charming restaurant is in neighboring proximity to some of DC’s most celebrated monuments and museums, providing guests with a convenient place to rest, to enjoy a critically acclaimed meal or beverage, and to take part in nationally-renowned seasonal activities.
The Sculpture Garden Ice Rink is located directly in front of the Café and is one of the most quintessential Washington experiences of the winter season. Johanna Kearns, General Manager of the Pavilion Café, says, “During the winter season, visitors get to skate within full view of the impressive National Archives and, afterward, enjoy a special late-night menu as well as hot beverages at the Café. We also offer skating lessons for all ages and experiences. It’s a great date-night for locals, and every year brings several on-ice marriage proposals!”
“Our team prides itself on maintaining the best quality ice in town. Through constant research and development, District Manager Melanie Jones works alongside John Connor, Ice Rink General Manager, to make sure our ice rink remains the best in DC.”
Before the ice rink’s opening day this past year, 2017, NBC ran a special on its local news channel to promote the legendary rink and to allow Chef Anita Cheong to feature her new winter menu additions. Anita has a rich international background and heritage, which she credits as a major source of her culinary inspiration and is reflected in the menu with an eclectic selection of diverse flavors.
Other local publications such as The Washington Post, BCBits Blog, Our Community Now, and Destination DC have also highlighted the ice rink. It was even featured in a Travel Channel blog appropriately titled, “World’s Coolest Places to Ice Skate.”
The Pavilion Café’s Jazz in the Garden event on Friday evenings has earned a prominent presence citywide as one of the most popular summertime activities to enjoy in the metropolitan area. “We serve several thousand delighted guests every Friday during the summer months,” Johanna says.
“The event features a different band each week with styles ranging from Bluegrass to Ska. It also treats visitors to Parviz Mehraei’s, Assistant General Manager of Pavilion Café, secret recipe and fan-favorite Sangria that sells about a thousand gallons every three hours! In addition to a healthy variety of food Chef Anita prepares in the Café, Jose Caballero and Elton Hines oversee the grill outside. There is something for everyone, from vegan to meat-lover.”
The Café team members work exceptionally hard to maintain high-quality day-to-day operations, and Johanna couldn’t be more proud of the team’s work. “The outstanding success is due to our many dedicated team members putting in long days and working hard to make sure every guest has a great time.”
“8-year Guest Services veteran Clayton Rogers is responsible for the sangria, crafting thousands and thousands of gallons of our #1 selling item during Jazz in the Garden. Along with Parviz, Clayton oversees the setup and breakdown of the dozen outdoor stations. In these busy summer months, Sabitra Thapa miraculously prepares an average of over 200 salads a day to order. Also, Jose Caballero, who is Chef Anita’s right-hand man, just became a member of the 25-year club!”
Johanna says, “When families are checking off their to-do and to-see list during their trip to this historic city, we pride ourselves in offering them a place where they can get a fresh, healthy meal, house-made pastries, and a glass of wine while relaxing by the fountain. Open every day of the year, except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, the Café is a four-season oasis in downtown Washington, D.C. We encourage all Guest Services team members and their families to join us soon!”