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Whitlow’s Bar & Grill Stages a Surprise Comeback to D.C. [Updated]

Clarendon’s dearly missed dive resurfaces in Shaw this month

Whitlow’s on Wilson closed in June 2021 after a 25-year run in Clarendon.
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Whitlow’s Bar & Grill, the historic watering hole that debuted in downtown D.C. around the end of World War II before eventually moving to Clarendon, will reopen inside city limits this month.

On Thursday, August 4, Whitlow’s dropped a doozy on Instagram — unveiling its new Whitlow’s DC logo set to a remix of the 1960s hit “Feeling Good.”

Whitlow’s will take over the Shaw space that formerly housed Echo Park (2012 Ninth Street NW), co-owner Jon Williams tells Eater. Eat DC first reported on the new address. Echo Park was the Hilton hospitality brothers’ short-lived replacement to Gaslight Tavern, which opened across from the 9:30 Club in early 2020 with a fireplace room, two wood-framed bars, and airy interior patio.

Whitlow’s DC will debut some time in August, says Williams, with draft lines devoted to three cocktails and eight beers at each bar. The food is being finalized now, and Shaw’s pint-sized Andy’s Pizza will remain open next door.

Founder David Whitlow opened the original Whitlow’s on the corner of 11th and E Streets NW in 1946. The bar relocated across the Potomac River to Arlington, where Whitlow’s On Wilson sat for 25 years before closing last summer (2854 Wilson Boulevard). The iconic corner building got a new life this spring as an energetic music venue called B Live.

“We’ve been looking since we closed and found a couple spots but none panned out. We walked in [to Echo Park] and said, ‘this is a beautiful space.’ We are going for a neighborhood gathering spot,” says Williams.

Leading up to its last call in Clarendon, Whitlow’s co-owner Greg Griffin blamed the closure on the pandemic but hinted at plans to bring back the bar elsewhere down the line.

The Arlington nightlife attraction hosted live music several nights a week and served a big bar menu full of wings, burgers, and ribs. B Live’s B Social Hospitality team plans to revive its tiki-styled rooftop space as a tropical new bar called Coco B’s.

Whitlow’s, which famously only closed on Christmas Day and was featured in the 1980s movie Broadcast News, plans to resurrect its vertical neon signage out front along with salvaged sports memorabilia inside. Changes to Echo Park’s space were mostly cosmetic, notes Williams, and some of his longtime staff in Clarendon stayed on board for the D.C. reboot.