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Short-Lived Ancient Rivers Has Closed

Mulebone replacement lasted just three months

The main dining room at now-defunct Ancient Rivers.
Photo by Warren Rojas / Eater DC

Ancient Rivers, the Middle Eastern-themed eatery that suddenly sprung up last fall in the rotating spot previously occupied by Southern-inspired Mulebone, didn’t even make it till the end of the year.

New Columbia Heights noticed that the new restaurant had shut down during the holidays, capping a brief run of about 13 weeks by unceremoniously blinking out of existence without any real explanation.

“Ancient Rivers has permanently closed. Thank you for dining with us! It was a pleasure to serve you,” reads the farewell note posted on the Ancient Rivers website.

Restaurateur Andy Shallal, who also owns popular local chain Busboys and Poets, has now closed three restaurants in that exact same space (2121 14th Street NW): Eatonville, Mulebone, and Ancient Rivers.

Customers initially praised menu items including hummus and kebabs (which just so happen to be the main attraction at the first restaurant Shallal ever opened in the District), but did complain about spotty service.