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Bankrupt Brewpub Chain Gordon Biersch Closes Two D.C. Area Locations

Plus, a new bar called Never Looked Better is coming to Shaw

CA.Biersch.Sign.RDL (9/17/98) (Anaheim, CA) The exterior of the Gordon Biersch brewery restaurant in
Gordon Biersch’s parent company filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday.
Photo by Robert Lachman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Biersch bids farewell to two local locations

Once-hot brewery and restaurant Gordon Biersch chain closed underperforming Navy Yard and Rockville locations over the weekend, leaving two large restaurant spaces up for grabs.

Nashville, Tennessee-based operator and franchisor Craftworks Holdings, which also shuttered Gordon Biersch locations in Syracuse, Virginia Beach, and Baltimore, told Brewbound on Monday the overall move was “purely a business decision as we continue to focus on other Craftworks Holdings locations throughout the country.”

This morning CraftWorks announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Tysons Corner’s Gordon Biersch — now its sole local location — was not on the chopping block. A Penn Quarter location (now Cafe Riggs) shut down in 2018. The Navy Yard location opened in 2013, when the up-and-coming neighborhood was far less developed. The Rockville Town Square location had been pouring since 2007.

Another bankruptcy-stricken chain also left town. Chinatown’s rowdy happy hour spot Bar Louie was one of 38 U.S. locations that closed in January.

In other news...

  • A new bar called Never Looked Better — nicknamed NLB — is preparing to unveil itself at 1230 Ninth Street NW in Shaw. Expect “retro vibes with throwback drinks, neon lights, a small menu, and a fun vibe,” according to a new job posting for servers. The 75-person bar comes from the owners of the Mirror, the subterranean cocktail lair on K Street NW.
  • Old Town’s year-old Urbano 116 (116 King Street) unveiled a major menu overhaul over the weekend that scratches Oaxacan chef Alam Méndez Florián’s traditional Mexican lineup in favor of ubiquitous Tex-Mex plates. In lieu of time-intensive moles and tostadas, Urbano now focuses on burritos, taco salads, enchiladas, chimichangas, and sizzling fajita platters. The walls also bid adieu to its racy lucha libre design and said hello to a Texas long horn cattle head:
  • Local meat expert Wendell Allsbrook is gearing up to open Georgetown Butcher on Monday, March 9, reports Washingtonian. The Organic Butcher of McLean alum takes over the space formerly occupied by Neopol Savory Smokery, but its smoked seafood and sandwiches will continue to be sold at the new shop. Along with dry-aged and deli meats, the butcher will slice up “local, humanely raised” meats and sling fancy offerings like wagyu, D’Artagnan foie gras, truffle butter, and duck confit. To fill the void gourmet grocer Dean & DeLuca left behind in the neighborhood, expect “fresh seafood, produce, cheeses, artisanal soups from 100 Bowls, and pantry items like chutney and pasta sauce,” writes the pub.
  • American entrepreneur and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang kicked off the weekend with a two-hour TGIF dinner at Rasika West End. Donning a dark colored suit and tie, Yang was joined by eight others at the acclaimed Indian eatery. He follows the lead of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, who dined there the day after performing at FedEx Field last summer.