High-end cocktail bar Quarter + Glory (2017 14th Street NW) has closed due to what its owners say are unrealistic real estate prices in D.C.
“We spent the last 10 months trying to renegotiate rents,” says Ryan Burke, president of Public House Collective, the New York-based hospitality group that opened Quarter + Glory along the 14th Street corridor in early 2016. “We anticipated there would be more traffic in the neighborhood. It was just too expensive to keep it going.”
He tells Eater he signed the lease for Quarter + Glory at “the top” of the market, and that the soaring bar with a 100-person capacity has been losing money. Public House is behind Tribeca’s popular whiskey bar Ward III and Times Square’s renowned piano bar the Rum House, which just did a pop-up in Miami at the Soho House; others are planned for Chicago and LA.
Named after a supposed secret New York literary society, Quarter + Glory banked on classic cocktails that integrated premium spirits like 12-year Glenfiddich and Knappogue. There was also barrel-aged Negroni on tap, draft beers, and bar fare including fried chicken sliders and jumbo pretzels. Management sought to lure in customers with happy hour deals and DJs on the weekends.
Burke predicts D.C. is going to have a “hard reckoning” when it comes to the glaring disproportion between sky-high commercial rents for restaurants and what operators can charge. He says his group dumped $1 million into the Parts and Labor-designed space, which featured a brick-heavy interior, a 33-foot long oak bar, and hardwood floors.
“D.C. has a lot of potential but there is so much happening and so much competition — not only for talent but for constantly wanting something new,” Burke says. He tells Eater he would entertain another project in D.C. if the right opportunity comes along. But for now the market “still has a lot of growing to do.”
“We will stick to New York at the moment and lick our wounds,” Burke says, “This took everything out of us.”