Tipsters sent word yesterday evening that Buddha Bar abruptly closed its doors on Massachusetts Avenue — apparently even locking out some of their employees — and while owners have not responded to requests for comment, it's looking like those doors may not be reopening.
Buddha Bar's website and Facebook page are still live, both noting that Buddha Bar celebrated its two-year anniversary in DC on May 10 and had plans to be part of Restaurant Week in August. That said, no one is picking up the phone at the restaurant and a recording indicates that the voicemail box is full. Further, Buddha Bar's OpenTable account is offline, the patio appears to be missing some furniture and nothing was going on when Eater stopped by last night — the curtains were drawn and doors locked with a newspaper tucked into the handles. When reached by telephone, an employee declined to comment as he was heading to a job interview. So things don't look good.
Buddha Bar opened in May 2010 garnering a terrible review from Tom Sietsema, and has already gone through its share of staff shuffles in its short lifespan. Most recently, Buddha Bar tried out a three-chef combination with Michael Doss and Sandra Celestine serving alongside sushi chef Tetsuya Nakata. At the time, the restaurant expressed a desire to switch up the menu from the dictates of the chain's flagship restaurant in Paris. Per his Twitter account, Doss has already departed Buddha Bar for Philadelphia. Owners haven't responded to any attempts to contact them, but we'll keep you posted. Also, please do hit the tipline if you've got any more information.
Update: The Washington Business Journal's Missy Frederick is also onto the Buddha Bar potential shutter and discovers a blog post on Local Bar Alarm in which an employee arrived at work to find the door locked.
Update 2: More evidence of Buddha Bar's shutter, including an email an employee allegedly received from management.