Rock & Roll Hotel, a grungy go-to spot for cheap mixed drinks and live music, announced today it has closed after a 14-year run on H Street NE. According to a closing statement shared on the bar’s website and social media accounts, the venue is immediately ceasing all operations, and previously booked shows and events are cancelled.
The black-painted, multi-level establishment at 1353 H Street NE contained a year-round roof deck and bar that popped $4 Tecate cans at happy hour. The venue’s closing statement cites rising competition and sluggish bar tabs as reasons behind its demise:
“Over the last 3 years Rock & Roll Hotel experienced rising operating costs, an increase in the number of music venues, and the decrease in ticket and bar sales. While Rock & Roll Hotel did all we could to adjust with the times, it was not enough to stay a float.”
D.C.’s concert scene has grown in the past few years, with arrivals like punk bar and music venue Pie Shop — next-door to Rock & Roll hotel — as well as Dupont Circle’s rebooted Public Bar Live, and, of course, the Anthem on the Wharf. The Pinch, a gritty venue for hardcore punk and metal bands in Columbia Heights, went dark last fall after an 8-year run.
In a tweet today, Nashville crooner Jason Isbell mourned the loss of the 400-person venue that’s played host to countless up-and-coming acts, DJs, and tribute bands since 2006.
Whew I have some blurry and beautiful memories from that place. Hate to see it go. https://t.co/q3HEQ5kXs5— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) March 2, 2020
In its final year of business, Rock & Roll Hotel hosted an extended residency from startup vegan-and-kosher venture Bubbie’s Plant Burgers & Fizz. The brand plans to debut a food truck and unveil the address of its first brick-and-mortar location soon.
Bubbie’s comes from the partners behind H Street fast-casual Pow Pow. Co-founder Shaun Sharkey used to have a monthly Saturday night DJ gig at Rock & Roll.
The neighborhood lost another longtime landmark over the weekend with the closure of fried fish carryout Horace and Dickie’s. The far East end of the H Street strip will also say goodbye to cocktail bar Ella Grace this month.