In what's already becoming quite the week of shutter announcements, Capital Q BBQ has announced today that it will close its doors in Chinatown on July 14 after 15 years. Owner Nick Fontana explains to Eater:
"We've been here 15 years and we had a five-year option coming up with our landlord and we just chose not to continue here in Chinatown. For what we do, our business model just doesn't work anymore. It's getting too expensive and food cost is way too high. We just think it's best to move on and try something else. We've had a good run for 15 years and we've got quite a following, but if you can't make money doing it, it's just kind of like running an employment agency."
Fontana says the company plans to concentrate on sister property Cantina Marina and might possibly revive Capital Q BBQ in another location — one that would have room for more sit-down business and occupancy costs that are not quite those of the skyrocketing Chinatown/Penn Quarter neighborhood. "We were one of the first ones down here, and it's hard to just give it up because we've been here so long and we really wanted to stay another five. But it's just more a business decision than anything."
When asked whether new-ish neighbors Hill Country had anything to do with the decision, Fontana said, "I just think we're really so different that I don't think it had an impact. Our sales are about the same or better, so our sales haven't gone down. ... We didn't want to sit here for five more years when we can move on and do something else."
Fontana says there are plans to perhaps throw a big blowout party on their last day in business, so fans of the restaurant should stay tuned.
· Capital Q BBQ DC [Facebook]
· Capital Q BBQ [Official Site]
Capital Q BBQ [Photo: Facebook]