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Dupont’s Tulips Is Ditching Its Floral Theme, Returning to Its Sports Bar Roots

Tulips will reopen as Dupont Public House

Tulips closed this summer to fix flooding damage and is now pivoting towards a sports bar theme.
Tulips/official photo
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Flower-themed Tulips brought Dupont Circle an upscale and romantic dining and drinking option last December, but the three-story space is already scratching that model to return to its original life as a neighborhood watering hole.

Dupont drinkers might remember the bar (1207 19th Street NW) as Irish Whiskey Public House, which was gutted after its five-year run and transformed by restaurateur Reese Gardner into a cozy floral-themed champagne and oyster bar.

Gardner is now reverting back to its dressed-down design and renaming the 3,800-square-foot eatery Dupont Public House.

“We want to go back to a fun bar vibe. That seems to be what people want in Dupont,” says Gardner, who runs Wooden Nickel Bar Company (Copperwood Tavern).

The idea to delete Tulips’ theme stems from a flood from heavy rains earlier this summer, causing the damaged bar to go offline for a couple weeks to renovate.

“When you close for two weeks you lose momentum and staff,” says Gardner.

He’ll wipe away traces of Tulips by removing crystal chandeliers and feminine floral decor and prints lining the brick walls to “go back to its Public House feel,” he says. He’s also adding lots of TVs throughout the space and brought back its basement bar this summer, a feature of Irish Whiskey Public House he says patrons missed.

He didn’t specify when Dupont Public House will open, and it might not be until the new year.

For now, all his attention is on opening his long-delayed Shirlington sports bar, Dudley’s. He tells Eater the gigantic beer mecca is about three weeks away from its debut. The 14,000-square-foot bar will feature a 3,800-square-foot rooftop and stadium seating downstairs in front of a 12-foot TV.

“There’s no place like it,” he says.