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Downtown’s Venerable Black Rooster Pub Is Closing in May

The local bar lasted nearly 50 years

Bar staff pouring drinks at Black Rooster Pub.
Black Rooster Pub/Facebook

Warm, welcoming watering hole the Black Rooster Pub is closing this spring after filling locals’ glasses with cold beers and stiff drinks for over four decades.

As first reported by WTOP, Black Rooster’s current owner Jody Taylor broke the news about the downtown pub (1919 L Street NW) shutting down this May to supporters via social media.

“The Rooster opened in 1970 and has had a long and successful run—certainly more than most pubs in the city. However, our lease is up and all good things must come to an end. It is certainly the end of an era,” he wrote on Facebook. A one-time regular who wound up running the place — ”I walked through the doors in 1972 for a cold beer after a wet rugby match and knew that I had found a home,” he shared in his farewell post — Taylor detailed what he says are the cornerstones of any worthwhile hospitality operation.

“Sincere and loyal staff, good food and drink, fair pricing, pleasant conversation, a firm handshake and, most importantly, a ‘welcome back, stranger,’” he wrote, adding, “Hard to imagine that many places still don’t have this formula down.”

Part of the Black Rooster’s charm involves keeping customers coming back for solid drinks and even better company (darts, anyone?). The bar features over a dozen taps pouring local brews (3 Stars Brewing Company, Right Proper Brewing Company, Honor Brewing Company), imports (Guinness, Heineken, Magners), and domestic standbys (Budweiser, Bud Light). Happy hour offerings have included discounted PBRs, rail drinks, and shots (Fireball).

The bar almost closed in late 2009 due to a different lease issue. That situation was ultimately resolved and the Black Rooster continued on until now.