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Eater D.C.’s 10 Most Popular Stories of 2019

The news that drew the most clicks over the past 12 months

A cocktail at Last Call
The opening of Last Call, pictured here, made a splash
Rey Lopez/Last Call

Over the past year, D.C. has played host to (another) federal government shutdown, the city’s first World Series title in 95 years, House impeachment hearings for President Donald Trump, and a whole lot of restaurant drama. An oversaturated dining market in a rapidly gentrifying city full of skyrocketing rents has pushed openings and closings into hyperdrive. All of that plays a part in Eater D.C.’s 10 most-clicked news stories of the year, listed here in descending order:


The facade at Last Call
The facade at Last Call
Rey Lopez/Last Call

10. A Quirky New Bar Opens Near Union Market With Cheap Drinks Named After Classic Dives

D.C. barflies love to debate whether any place here can be categorized as a dive. Buffalo & Bergen’s Gina Chersevani entered the conversation in October by opening Last Call, which serves $3 cans of beer, carbonated Old Fashioneds for $6, and an Aperol Schlitz.


Nationals fan Jeff Adams, pictured here in Houston, enjoyed 15 minutes of fame for his beer-saving heroic in D.C.
Nationals fan Jeff Adams, pictured here in Houston, enjoyed 15 minutes of fame for his beer-saving heroic in D.C.
Loren Elliott/MLB Photos via Getty Images

9. That Bud Light Guy at the World Series Is the Hero D.C. Deserves Right Now

While Washington was busy catching World Series fever, a couple of national news outlets made the trite mistake of using a elites from political and media spheres as stand-ins for the entire city. The New York Times wrote, “Calling it a fun-loving city would be a stretch.” In the face of such injustice, one man stood up for everyone, blocked a home rum ball with his chest without spilling two big, domestic beers in his hands, and went viral while representing fun-loving baseball fans all over town.


The rooftop patio at 12 Stories above the InterContinental at the Wharf
The rooftop patio at 12 Stories above the InterContinental at the Wharf
Anna Meyer/12 Stories

8. The Wharf’s Stylish New Rooftop Bar Opens Tonight

This simple description of 12 Stories, a rooftop bar and lounge atop the InterContinental hotel on the Southwest Waterfront, caught the eye of readers yearning for sun in April.


Outside the Moxy hotel in downtown D.C.
Atlas Restaurant Group plans to open two new properties inside the Moxy hotel in downtown D.C.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

7. Baltimore Restaurant Group Under Fire for Racist Dress Code Is Going to Tell People What to Wear in D.C. Too

Atlas Restaurant Group, a now national company with a vast presence in its home base of Baltimore, caused a stir when it posted a dress code outside of a new restaurant called Choptank with stipulations that blatantly targeted people of color. In a news story about the incident, an Atlas spokesman said the group would be bringing the dress code to the two properties it plans to open in Moxy hotel downtown. Since then, the group has said it will revised its dress code. Shortly after, the owner said the code is “not changing.”


A Lei’d chef dresses a tray of poke nachos with eel sauce
A Lei’d chef dresses a tray of poke nachos with eel sauce at Navy Yard’s Smorgasburg
Smorgasburg DC [official]

6. A Wildly Popular Brooklyn Food Market Will Take Over Navy Yard This Summer

News that an outdoor food market that has become a massive hit in New York and Los Angeles was coming to D.C. drew a lot of attention. But Smorgasburg’s D.C. outpost wasn’t a runaway success. Record heat and slow traffic in Navy Yard forced it to hastily shut down for a month in the summer, leaving some vendors upset over money they’d already spent to prepare.


5. Twitter Is Going Absolutely Nuts Over That Hill Intern Caught Eating &pizza

D.C. loves a juicy hearing in Congress, so there were a ton of eyeballs on the testimony of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen when a young man thought to be a Hill intern was caught on camera ravenously devouring a box of &pizza.


The sign at now-defunct chatter
The sign at now-defunct chatter
Chatter/Instagram

4. Tony Kornheiser and Famous Friends Close Their D.C. Restaurant

Popular podcaster, ESPN TV show host, and former Washington Post columnist Tony Kornheiser is a local legend of national renown, so the news that he were shutting down their sports bar in Friendshi after about two years made a lot of waves. The fact that former Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams and daytime TV host Maury Povich added to the intrigue, as did the venue’s 35-year first life as Chad’s.


Mike Isabella and new restaurant, Graffiato - Washington, DC
Mike Isabella at Graffiato in 2011
Matt McClain/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

3. Mike Isabella Resurfaces in Florida After #MeToo Allegations Decimated Him in D.C.

Shortly before Thanksgiving, Eater broke the news that chef Mike Isabella was making a quiet comeback from a sexual harassment scandal in D.C. by opening a European bistro in Sarasota, Florida, as a consultant whose name wasn’t listed in news coverage or on the menu.


2. Guy Who Knows Nothing About D.C. Nightlife Opens a Year-Round Halloween Bar in D.C.

This sarcastic headline came in response to a DCist interview in which Zach Neil, the owner of the Halloween-themed Beetle House bar that opened on H Street NE, made some comments about trying to improve a local nightlife scene that shuts down early and includes a lot of chains. Neil claimed he was just talking about the area around National Mall, but what most readers heard was another condescending New Yorker getting D.C. all wrong.


A lobster roll from Patsy’s
A lobster roll from Patsy’s
Rey Lopez/For Patsy’s

1. Group Behind Sweetwater Tavern Will Celebrate 45 Years of Greatest Hits at New Restaurant

The most-clicked story on Eater D.C. this year comes from Northern Virginia. Great American Restaurants has a fanatical base of followers who were delighted to read and share news in February that the beloved group was building a three-restaurant complex in Tysons Corner to show off favorites from places like Artie’s, Sweetwater Tavern, Carlyle, and Mike’s “American” grill. Patsy’s American, Randy’s Prime Seafood and Steaks, and Best Buns are all open now.

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