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Penn Quarter Piano Bar Howl at the Moon Turns Off the Lights After Just a Year

Tracking the latest restaurant closures around D.C.

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Howl at the Moon shut down in D.C. over the weekend.
Howl at the Moon
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Here’s a running roundup of local restaurant closures due to ripple effects from the pandemic or other economic and city-wide stressors.

Know of a D.C. restaurant that recently called it quits? Send the details to dc@eater.com.

Winter 2023-24

PENN QUARTER—Howl at the Moon, the neon beverage-infused, high-energy live music venue with locations nationwide, closed down in D.C. after nearly 15 months of business. “All of our efforts were full heartedly put into this project and it is with great sorrow to announce that our doors have officially closed in Chinatown,” per an email from the team on Monday, February 19. Situated on the tourist-heavy strip near Capital One Arena, which could lose the Washington Capitals and Wizards teams to Virginia in a few years, the raucous attraction showcased glowing buckets of booze that double as take-home souvenirs. With bars in 13 U.S. cities (the closest is now Philly), Howl at the Moon is known for its dueling piano show, where two pianists take turns fielding song requests from the crowd. The 6,000-square-foot space was formerly home to Ping Pong Dim Sum. 900 7th Street NW

Stadium Sports boasts 30-foot ceilings, a large wooden bar, and an arena-style interior.
Stadium Sports/Facebook

NAVY YARD—Stadium Sports Bar & Smokehouse, Southeast’s cavernous and blue-toned destination for icy Bud Lights and game day specials, announced its sudden closure on Valentine’s Day. “We have concluded that it is no longer economically sustainable to continue to operate Stadium Sports in the current location,” per a statement from Hill Restaurant Group, citing everything from the passage of I-82 to “the uptick in crime” as cause for the closure. The big bar, which sided with Auburn alumni and Las Vegas Raiders fans, offered the NFL Sunday Ticket and rotating deals on pitchers, buckets of beers and seltzers, fried pickles, boneless wings, and nachos. Managing partner Tom Johnson says he hopes to reopen in another location, and the space is now available for private events through the end of 2024. The closure leaves another dining hole on the same block following Hatoba’s 2023 exit. Johnson’s Hill Restaurant Group continues to operate a cluster of nearby Barracks Row bars, including Hawk ‘n Dove, Ophelia Fish House, Lola’s, and others. 300 Tingey Street SE

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS—It appears nearly every Au Bon Pain in D.C. has suddenly shut down, which includes the fast-casual cafe inside Union Station, FBI building-facing downtown address (406 10th Street NW), and outpost near Logan Circle (1100 13th Street NW). Its website currently lists a franchise location in the U.S. House of Representatives building — which is unaccessible to the masses — as the only Au Bon Pain remaining in D.C. Eater reached out to the bakery chain for comment.

H STREET—Sticky Fingers, the all-day diner, bakery, and bar led by Doron Petersan since 2016, will serve its last vegan dish on Sunday, February 25. While the company’s retail and wholesale bakery businesses continue to fare well, she says on-site diner sales on H Street have fallen in the past year. Closing February specials at Sticky Fingers (formerly Fare Well) include heart-shaped pizzas and decadent treats for Valentine’s Day. In January, Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats opened a new production facility and flagship bakery in Takoma and a satellite bakery in Noma’s Streets Market. The bakery also sells, treats, and baking mixes online and offers catering and custom cakes locally. Packaged Sticky Fingers treats can be found at more than 100 grocers and markets like Foxtrot, Whole Foods, MOM’s and Yes! Organic, Peregrine, and Odd Provisions, among others. 406 H Street NE

Beef-and-mango tacos topped with caviar at Destino.
Destino

UNION MARKET DISTRICT—Las Gemelas and Destino, the Mexican siblings nestled inside Latin food hall La Cosecha since 2021, closed for good on Sunday, February 4. Upon its pandemic-era arrival, sleek taqueria Las Gemelas received the first Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant in America (and a visit from President Joe Biden himself). Destino, its modern Mexican counterpart centered around a stylish pebble bar, quickly emerged as the fancier replacement to seafood-centric Las Gemelas Cocina Mexicana. Vincent Badiee, a chef with Michelin-starred credentials, joined last fall to tweak Destino with experimental dishes and an $85-per-person tasting menu. Co-owners Josh and Kelly Phillips’s Destination Unknown Restaurants group is now all in on its hot-pink Shaw hangout Ghostburger, which recently expanded to Dubai. Look for some “crazy” menu updates from Baidee in the near future, Josh Phillips tells Eater. While there’s no plans for the freshly vacated spaces, “we still consider ourselves part of the La Cosecha family, so I wouldn’t rule out a future collaboration with the market,” adds Phillips. Mezcalero, the Columbia Heights hit from sibling chefs Alfredo and Jessica Solis, continues to cater to Mexican cuisine fans inside the Northeast food hall. 1280 4th Street NE

Mari Vanna called it quits in January.
Mari Vanna

DUPONT CIRCLE—Mari Vanna, the D.C. institution for Russian dishes, caviar service, imported bottled beers, and infused vodka flights since 2013, announced plans to shut down after dinner service on Monday, January 29. The charming, farmhouse-chic restaurant dressed with lace curtains, old books, framed photos, and vintage plates served Eastern European classics like cured herring, blinis, potato dumplings (vareniki), borscht soup, and savory baked pies known as pirozhki. Its NYC sibling in the Flatiron District will remain open, per a response on social media. When asked why the D.C. edition is closing after 11 years, Mari says: “the decision was definitely a tough one for our owners, but they are looking forward to a new directions.” Dupont recently lost another longstanding destination for the cuisine when Russia House never resurfaced from the pandemic. 1141 Connecticut Avenue NW

Baja Tap served its last margarita on NYE.
Open Ventures

ADAMS MORGAN—After just 10 months of service, Baja Tap had its last hurrah on NYE. The massive Mexican bar slid into the old Mellow Mushroom last spring with two floors, a patio, and airy rooftop. A Baltimore Baja Tap debuted months later and remains open, but all mention of its D.C. location were scrubbed from its website and social media platforms this week. About 18 staff members were left without jobs as a result of the unexpected shutter on January 1. Opening general manager Shana Steele, who was notified of the closure at the same time as everyone else after its NYE party, set up a hiring page to help fellow employees find work. Le Diplomate’s former sous chef and Guerrero native Alfredo Solano led D.C.’s Baja kitchen with a lengthy menu full of ceviches and towers of tacos, chimichangas, salsas, and guacamoles. Steele tells Eater signs were pointing to its end in recent months, when Baja consolidated the menu several times and deleted hours on Sundays to Tuesdays. “We just didn’t do a good enough job of giving the neighborhood something they enjoyed. We love Adams Morgan, but we just couldn’t make it there,” owner Scott Parker tells Eater, adding “Baltimore is still rocking and rolling.” The local entrepreneur has his hand in lots of Arlington spots like Nighthawk Brewery & Pizza, Don Tito, and the new Westover Taco. 2436 18th Street NW

Indique
Bi-level Indique opened in 2002.
R. Lopez/Eater DC

CLEVELAND PARK—Chef K.N. Vinod and Surfy Rahman have closed their Indian restaurant Indique, wrapping up a 21-year run in upper Northwest. Former employee Deepu Mohan will take over the space as a South Indian restaurant called Dakshin, reviving some fan favorites, performing a renovation, and doing takeout and delivery for now. The pioneering project brought modern Indian cuisine to D.C., showcasing dishes from Vinod’s native Kerala, embracing tapas-style street foods, and introducing inventive brunch and cocktail options. The critically acclaimed spot also hosted dignitaries like heads of states, presidents, prime ministers, and ambassadors. Their respective sons, Rahul and Sahil, debuted fast-casual Indian eatery in 2017 and has since expanded into five different locations. Going forward, they plan to help with Rasa’s continued growth and revamp the menu at their Bombay Bistro in Rockville. 3512 Connecticut Avenue NW

U STREET NW—The Owl Room, the two-story nightlife newcomer that replaced Marvin back in March, will throw its last dance party on New Year’s Eve. “While we are saddened that we are unable to continue in the space at 14th & U, we feel immense gratitude for the support shown to us by our underground community,” per a closing statement on Instagram. D.C. nightlife vets Scott Herman and Ken Brobeck conceptualized the new DJ-driven club with no food alongside Marvin’s returning co-owner Eric Hilton. Over its 13-year run, Marvin—named after D.C. native Marvin Gaye—was known for its crowded roof deck and raucous DJ nights until COVID-19 shut down the bistro and bar for good. Three years later, the anticipated replacement with a 300-person capacity operated more like a bonafide music venue with a box office. A full-scale, ’70s-chic renovation dripping with disco balls and artsy odes to owls reimagined the space with a main dance floor and stage for live performances, plus a second-floor bar with an open-air patio. Right now there’s no plans for any H2 Collective projects for that location; Hilton’s next-door sibling speakeasy the Gibson will also end its longtime run on NYE. 2007 14th Street NW

H STREET NE—DC Harvest suddenly closed for good after one last bottomless brunch service on Saturday, December 16, wrapping up a nearly decade-long run along the strip. The modern American diner with a farmhouse feel across two levels specialized in dishes sourced locally, including a vegan eggplant BLT that was a top seller. “Unfortunately the neighborhood has changed and nobody is coming out,” per a reply-message on its closing post. DC Harvest came from restaurant vets Jared and Arthur Ringel, who previously cooked at places like Vermillion, Vidalia, and Hank’s in Dupont. 517 H Street NE

DC Harvest served its last farm-fresh egg on Saturday, December 16.
DC Harvest/Facebook

And fellow neighborhood stalwart Pursuit Wine Bar & Kitchen also permanently closed after service on Sunday, December 17, ending a nearly 10-year run along the H Street corridor. In 2019, the date-night favorite moved a few blocks west to a bigger, brighter corner property. For the second iteration, Pursuit added pastas made on-site and more European small plates to go along with cheffed-up grilled cheeses, a global wine list, and tastings. “We have decided the [business] is no longer sustainable for us,” per a closing message from owner Adam Kelinsky. Pursuit is the second vino haven to exit the strip in recent years; go-to natural wine bar Dio poured its last drop in 2020. 1025 H Street NE

NAVY YARD—Famed Big Apple bakery Mah-Ze-Dahr suddenly closed its first location outside of Manhattan. Situated across Nationals Park since 2020, Mah-Ze-Dahr served celebrity-endorsed cookies, cheesecakes, dark-chocolate brownies, brioche doughnuts, and La Colombe coffee. The bakery maintains an all-day, 3,000-square-foot facility in Arlington — the company’s biggest store yet — and a small outpost inside Swingers crazy golf course in Dupont Circle. 1201 Half Street SE

A platter of doughnuts, cookies, and other treats from Mah-Ze-Dahr.
Mah-Ze-Dahr [official]
Pamplona opened in Clarendon in 2017.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

CLARENDON—Arlington nightlife staple Pamplona will serve its last sangria on Saturday, December 15. “It has been an amazing [6-year] run, but the time has come for Pamplona’s final turn,” per a closing message on Instagram. Basque country dishes over the years included chorizo bocadillos, paellas, horchata flan, and classic pintxos, all served to a running of the bulls-themed backdrop. The 3,600-square-foot colorful space designed by David Chenault features lace lanterns, metals, black embossed walls, and luxurious booths with flowered patterns and decadent blue drapes. 3100 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia

LOGAN CIRCLE—Great Wall Szechuan House, one of the best Chinese restaurants in D.C., will close on Friday, December 1. Its partners May Kuang and Yuan Chen are retiring, according to Washington Post reporter Tim Carman. Many D.C. residents turned to Great Wall for their carryout and delivery needs, especially when it comes to dishes like dan dan noodles and ma la wontons. 1527 14th Street NW

Elegant, 82-seat Flora Flora opens up to a South Beach-styled pool deck.
Pendry DC

SOUTHWEST WATERFRONT—Flora Flora, the Wharf’s polished, all-day perch for creative Latin fare and prime waterfront views, will end dinner service starting Sunday, December 3. The second-floor restaurant, which opened within the 131-room Pendry Washington DC - The Wharf last fall and added daily dinner to the fold in February, will still offer weekday breakfast, lunch, (bottomless) brunch, and seasonal poolside service going forward. “The hotel will continue to focus and build upon their [two] other dining destinations,” per a statement from Pendry’s team, which includes its swanky rooftop sushi lounge Moonraker and lobby-level nook Bar Pendry. Stylish Flora Flora showcases Peruvian and Mexican flavors alongside hyper-local ingredients, with a nightly menu full of striped bass ceviche, rockfish croquetas, duck confit chaufa, ancho-braised short rib, and vegetarian-friendly dishes like pumpkin empanadas, beet aguachile, and agave-glazed charred carrots. 655 Water Street SW

DOWNTOWN—After a decade-long run near Farragut Square, French bakery Paul permanently closed. Another location on 13th and F Street NW shuttered back in 2022. 1000 Connecticut Avenue NW

DOWNTOWN—Ollie’s Trolley, the treasured D.C. diner situated at the foot of the historic Hotel Harrington since 1989, will make its last burger, strawberry shake, and peppery shoestring fries on or around December 12. As Eater previously reported in June, its days were likely numbered due to a pending sale of the 242-room, family-run hotel. Now that newly confirmed transaction will trigger a sooner-than-hoped closure of the bygone burger chain. Ollie’s was founded by the famously grouchy, cigar-puffing Ollie Gleichenhaus in 1930s-era Miami Beach and rose to nationwide fame in the 1970s. D.C. owner Boris Galitzin, whose family ran a cluster now-closed Northern Virginia franchises at its peak, previously told Eater he’s open to looking for another location when it’s time to vacate. Harry’s, the Hotel Harrington bar that sparked political tension as being the D.C. hangout of choice for pro-Trump protestors in 2020, will also close around that same date. 436 11th Street NW

Ollie’s is attached to D.C.’s third-oldest hotel, which is undergoing a sale.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
The burger at Ollie’s Trolley is built with meat from Maryland’s Roseda Farm and a top-secret spice blend.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

CHINATOWN—Bar Deco, D.C.’s towering hangout for bottomless brunch, nachos, happy hour, and rooftop vibes since 2015, suddenly shuttered on Sunday, November 19. “It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to close our doors permanently,” per a same-day statement on Instagram. Owner Noe Landini, who also runs Landini Brothers in Alexandria, tells WUSA9 an increase in crime along the corridor contributed to a loss in foot traffic. Nearly decade-old neighbor Flight Wine Bar cites similar reasons for its upcoming December closure, which leaves another hole on the same Chinatown block facing Capital One Arena. 717 6th Street NW

Designed by //3877, wine bottle walls served as a backdrop for a 50-seat interior outfitted with a small bar, booths, couches, and wooden tables.
Taylor Mickal Photography for Bottles Wine

FOGGY BOTTOM—Bottles Wine Garden will serve its last glass on Saturday, November 18. Hidden within a West End hotel lobby behind a frosted door, Bottles opened in May 2022 with a tightly curated selection of pours, devotion to women-owned wineries, and small menu of flatbreads and snacks. The stylish, 120-seat city oasis with a dreamy patio comes from resident sommelier Erika Parjus and fellow Centrolina alum Angie Duran. “As winter arrives, we’ve made the decision to wind down Bottles’ operations,” per a closing message on Instagram. A last-call pupusa party is scheduled for Tuesday, November 21 (tickets here). The news comes on the same day that Chinatown’s pioneering wine bar Flight announces a late December closure, just two weeks shy of its 10-year anniversary. 2500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS—D.C.’s essential seafood spot Brine will close both its locations — the 3-year-old original on H Street NE and nearly year-old Dupont one — after dinner service on Saturday, November 11. Post-pandemic restaurant challenges and a “spike in violent [neighborhood] crime,” have made it “impossible for us to survive,” per a joint statement from co-owners Aaron McGovern and Arturas Vorobjovas. The nautical venture with some serious sourcing skills offered an abundant underwater menu filled with lobster rolls, peel-and-eat shrimp, crab cakes, East and West Coast oysters, po’boys, truffled mushroom mussels, and specials like grilled branzino or lobster risotto. Biergarten Haus, Vorobjovas’ towering German beer hall next to H Street’s Brine, quietly shuttered this summer. The Dupont Brine filled out the high-profile address that long housed McGovern’s Russia House. 1359 H Street NE; 1800 Connecticut Avenue NW

Crazy Aunt Helen’s was packed with over-the-top decor like a 48-feet long bright green banquet and a purple staircase.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

CAPITOL HILL—After just two years along Barracks Row, all-day comfort foods spot and lively entertainment venue Crazy Aunt Helen’s abruptly shuttered its doors this week. Eater has learned its original owner Shane Mayson parted ways with the restaurant last month. Back in 2021 he tasked the namesake founder of quirky D.C. furniture dealer Miss Pixie’s to transform a dark Irish pub into a vibrant paradise fit for a chic grandma. The over-the-top look, which just earned it a spot on Eater’s 19 most maximally-dressed restaurants America, included a purple stairwell full of Mona Lisa replicas, a men’s room decorated with headstones, and a glowing neon pink sign that just says “crazy.” Its popular gospel drag brunch shows on weekends came with a side of crispy catfish, jackfruit tostadas, and Wake Me Up Before You Gogo cold-brew cocktails. 713 8th Street SE

Crazy Aunt Helen’s posted this closing message on its website this week.
An English pub dubbed “The Swingers Arms” sits on the top level.
c Paul Winch-Furness - Photograp

NAVY YARD—After just seven months of business near Nationals Park, wacky London import Swingers Crazy Golf suddenly shut down this week. The ridiculously large, adults-only entertainment venue boasted three late-night bars, three putt-putt courses, four eateries, multiple lounges, and a merchandise shop. “After careful consideration, including various location factors that have impacted operations at the Navy Yard property, we have made the very difficult business decision to close,” per a statement from Swingers. D.C.-based Knead Hospitality ran food stalls Kneadza, tuTaco, Lil’ Succotash, and Mah-Ze-Dahr inside. The original D.C. Swingers in Dupont is home to the same roster of grab-and-golf options. The strikingly similar Dupont location, open since 2021, will remain open “as usual” and benefit from further investment. There’s another stateside Swingers in New York City and two in London, and 2024 plans call for more openings “in key markets” like Dubai and Las Vegas. Swingers’ highly customized buildout poses obvious challenges in marketing the 23,000-square-foot space to another Navy Yard tenant. Eater reached out to the building’s leasing broker for comment. 1250 Half Street SE

14TH STREET NW—The end is near for Eric Hilton’s narrow, candle-lit lounge the Gibson, which just announced plans to close at the end of 2023. Around since 2008, long before the term “speakeasy” was loosely thrown around, the Gibson generated a loyal following over the years for its trailblazing cocktail programs past an unmarked door that required a password for entry. Lots of rising bartending talent, including names from Barmini, Espita Mezcaleria, and Iron Gate, worked here at one point or another before going on to do big things in D.C. “The Gibson has had a long, great run and will always hold a special place for me. Unfortunately, there are too many challenges to continue in its current form,” says Hilton, whose hospitality group H2 Collective also runs DJ-driven Owl Room (formerly Marvin) next door. The Gibson could be revived elsewhere in D.C., he adds. The Gibson will continue to operate Monday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to close, with a New Year’s Eve party to bid a final adieu. 2009 14th Street NW

U STREET NW—Hawthorne, a four-story row house packed with five bars, rooftop views, sports-watching parties, DJs, and bottomless brunch, wraps up an 8-year run this weekend. Mission Group’s D.C. portfolio also includes Mission, Admiral, Salazar, and Royal Sands. 1336 U Street NW

Fancy Radish’s rutabaga fondue has been a best seller since day one.
Fancy Radish/Facebook

H STREET NE—Fancy Radish, D.C.’s polished place for creative vegan dishes like rutabaga fondue, pastrami spiced carrots, and spicy dan dan noodles, will close on Saturday, October 14 after a 5-year run. Chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby, the James Beard-nominated duo behind high-end Philadelphia restaurant Vedge and its casual V Street counterpart, haven’t been involved for some time. Landau tells Eater they sold Fancy Radish to its longtime manager Adam Fine in October 2022. “Coming out of the pandemic we wanted to put it in the hands of the people that were down there every day to give it the love and care it needed,” says Landau, adding he doesn’t have details on what caused the closure. “We are really sad to see it go.” 600 H Street NE

LOGAN CIRCLE—Ice Cream Jubilee will close its T Street NW locale on Monday, October 16 “due to our landlord’s decision not to renew our lease,” per a statement on Instagram. The homegrown scoop shop vows to stay in the neighborhood, however, adding “we are actively in conversations about securing another space in the area.” Its original locale at the Yards, along with another in Ballston Quarter, remain open; Reston Town Center is expected to debut early 2024. New fall flavors include carrot cake and apple butter oatmeal cookie⁠, and its latest collab showcases Kosterina extra virgin olive oil in its classic vanilla ice cream. Patrons can also shop for pints at Whole Foods and via Goldbelly shipping. 1407 T Street NW

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA—Foxfire Grill, the neighborhood favorite that received a menu and interior makeover on Food Network show Restaurant: Impossible, will close on Halloween. Around since 2003, the American standby for ribeye, chicken pasta, grilled spice shrimp, and wines couldn’t come to terms on a lease renewal at Pinecrest Plaza. Foxfire manager Jeff Ammons tells Annandale Today its landlord Edens doubled the rent and leased the space to another tenant. “It’s weird that we came through everything in the past few years, including Covid and the economic downturn; we survived for 20 years, and this ends it,” he tells the pub. 6550 Little River Turnpike, Alexandria, Virginia

Summer 2023

CHINATOWN—Tom’s Watch Bar pulled the plug on its first D.C. address after less than a year in business. The immersive sports-watching experience opened next to Capital One Arena in December in Circa’s old two-story digs, bringing the neighborhood Old Bay shrimp, two-pound portions of wings, icy drafts served in huge steins, and 120 high-definition screens. Tom’s just debuted a brand-new D.C. location in Navy Yard, which joins another in National Harbor. The sports bar chain currently has 12 locations scattered coast to coast, from Los Angeles to Vegas to the Mohegan Sun casino. 781 7th Street NW

SHAW—After more than seven years in Shaw, D.C.’s essential wine bar La Jambe will shutter for good on Sunday, September 17. “This was an extremely difficult and devastating decision, but the post-COVID reality no longer makes sense to keep operating,” per an email from owner owner Anastasia Mori. La Jambe’s 5-year-old Union Market stall will remain open with wines, cocktails, a charcuterie and cheese counter, takeout, and catering. The original location in Shaw with a wraparound patio was known for its all-French wine list by the glass and bottle, showcasing varietals like Burgundy Pinot Noirs to fun finds like fortified wines from the Jura region. “This is not a goodbye, as I am very excited to focus on our amazing little gem at Union Market which combines all my loves,” says Mori. 1550 7th Street NW

DUPONT—The Daily Grill permanently closed its sole D.C. area location on Saturday, August 26, according to a voicemail message. The longstanding corner restaurant was known for its daily happy hour and homey American dishes like chicken pot pie, surf-and-turf mains, and loaded mac and cheese. Around since 1989, the Daily Grill maintains locations in California, Texas, and Oklahoma. Its Georgetown location closed in 2017. 1200 18th Street NW

14TH STREET NW—Lively sports haven and happy hour haunt Provision No. 14, also known as P14, has closed. The 7,500-square-foot turnkey restaurant with two bars and an outdoor patio is available for lease starting September 1. 2100 14th St NW

U STREET NW—Archipelago, D.C.’s rum-fueled drinking destination at the corner of 12th and U Streets NW since 2016, will serve its last mai tai on Saturday, August 26. “After many years and over 30,000 hollowed out flaming pineapples, the time has come for us to shut the doors to our little slice of island life,” per a closing message on Instagram. Along with fire-topped, large-batch tiki drinks and $6 pina coladas during happy hour, Polynesian-styled Archipelago was also known for Asian dishes like dan dan noodles, mapo tofu, and crab rangoon dip. The trend-setting bar helped spark a tropical movement around D.C., with subsequent openings from Tiki on 18th, Tiki TNT, and (now-closed) Coconut Club. 1201 U Street NW

CLEVELAND PARK—Knightsbridge Restaurant Group’s Ashok Bajaj closed his original Bindaas on Sunday, August 6. The Indian street foods spot will be replaced by a new wine bar in September called Little Black Bird. Executive chef Ryan Moore, who runs the kitchen at next-door Israeli standby Sababa, will oversee the menu in the 30-seat space with an 8-seat bar. The wine list will include 100 options by the bottle and 12 by the glass, plus cocktails like a DC Sour and Greek Side Car. 3309 Connecticut Avenue NW

BROOKLAND—Calabash Tea and Tonic, Northeast’s artsy, sun-soaked spot to sip wellness-minded drinks and kombucha mocktails since 2019, served its last in-person customer on Sunday, July 23. An audio message posted on Calabash’s Instagram says its landlord has “decided to double our rent” without addressing “years-long, easily resolved building issues” that’s costed Calabash “tens of thousands of dollars in repairs.” Dr. Sunyatta Amen, a fifth-generation master herbalist and naturopathic physician, relies on her Cuban-Jamaican great-grandmother’s recipes to create drinks that advertise health benefits. Some 150 herbs, flowers, and medicinal plants sprouting across an outdoor patio garden made their way into more than 80 organic tea blends stocked at the shop. Calabash’s online store and warehouse remain fully open for orders, and the team says any future retail location will be in “a building we own.” 2701 12th Street NE

H STREET—Dirty Water, D.C.’s rowdy, Boston-obsessed sports bar that went all out on Patriots and Red Sox game days, suddenly closed this week after a 6-year run. College alumni from Arkansas, Wake Forest, and the University of Georgia also felt right at home here, and sports betting was a thing inside. During the dawn of the pandemic, the third-story dive delivered contact-free booze to its customers in one of the most creative ways possible: lowering to-go quarts of vodka cocktails using a bucket on a rope. Never forget. 816 H Street NE

DOWNTOWN—Little Chicken, the fledgling fried poultry-and-beer haven nestled in the flashy Midtown Center development since spring 2022, will serve its last wing on Saturday, July 15. The joint mashup between Grazie Grazie sub shop owner Casey Patten and chefs Gerald Addison and Chris Morgan plans to relocate to the Wharf this fall in a newly secured space next to Pearl Street Live and Colada Shop (11 Pearl Street SW). Its soon-to-be vacated downtown digs, situated in an alley next to the team’s Italian hotspot Grazie Nonna, will flip into a stylish new lounge called Grazie Mille later this year. Along with lip-smacking fried poultry sent out in boxes and sandwiches, Little Chicken offers communal sangrias and crushes, Michelada service, beers by the bucket, and frozen custard-topped pies in a whimsical indoor-outdoor setting outfitted with patio games like shuffleboard. Swing by this week for closing party festivities leading up to its last day of service. 1100 15th Street NW

PETWORTH—Looking Glass Lounge, one of D.C.’s most beloved dive bars since 2008, will close at the end of 2023. The team couldn’t come to terms on a long-term lease with the landlord, explains a statement posted on social media this month. Lined with vintage lamps and stained glass windows, the lived-in lounge has a surprise downstairs bar that opens to a heated, wood-framed patio. Trivia nights, weekend brunch, rare domestic brews, half-smokes, wings, and $10 beer-and-shot combos are all part of the charm. “We still have a few more months left to drink some more booze, eat some more wings, and make some more memories. Let’s get it in while we can,” per the statement. 3634 Georgia Avenue NW

DUPONT CIRCLE—Buca di Beppo, the Disney World-esque destination for meatball Mondays, fried mozzarella, calamari baskets, and other family-style Italian dishes spread across checkered tablecloths, closed its sole D.C. location on Sunday, June 25. The building’s new owner plans to turn the property into condos. Buca di Beppo has secured a new D.C. location a “few blocks away,” per an employee, which plans to open in November. The nationwide chain from Planet Hollywood founder Robert Earl maintains another area outpost in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Its prominent Dupont address famously flipped into a Flavortown Kitchen during the pandemic, delivering cheesesteak egg rolls, chicken “Parm-eroni,” and other items affiliated with everyone’s favorite frosted-tipped TV chef Guy Fieri. 1825 Connecticut Avenue NW

A fake bowl of ramen advertising tomato soup at Hatoba.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

NAVY YARD—Hatoba, Daikaya Group’s 4-year-old destination for Sapporo-style ramen bowls like tomato curry and red miso clam, has closed. Hatoba, means “wharf” or “dock” in Japanese, expanded the menu over the years with Hawaiian dishes honoring chef-partner Katsuya Fukushima’s upbringing. Fukushima’s other D.C. establishments — including Daikaya, Tonari, and Bantam King in Chinatown and Haikan in Shaw — remain open. 300 Tingey Street SE

The Eleanor in Silver Spring had six miniature bowling lanes.
The Eleanor/official photo

SILVER SPRING—Local arcade bar The Eleanor shut down its downtown Silver Spring location after just three years of business. “After facing unprecedented challenges since opening just two weeks before the pandemic shutdown, we have decided to close,” per a closing message. The 7,700-square-foot outpost featured mini bowling lanes, more than a dozen arcade games, multiple outdoor patios, and 20 beers on tap, plus offbeat bar food like elote-style hush puppies, a spaghetti sandwich, General Tso’s chicken wings, and chips and caviar with sour cream ranch. The 5-year-old original in NoMa remains open, and there could be another location in the works: “We are looking to the future, and more opportunities for our brand to grow,” adds the Eleanor team. 931 Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring, Maryland

Bloomingdale’s treasured Truxton Inn had old-school glam appeal.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

BLOOMINGDALE—Truxton Inn, one of the most anticipated openings of 2017, made the “tough decision to close” this week, confirms owner Matthew Weiss in a late Friday statement. One of the area’s few upscale cocktail options, the neighborhood favorite with a handsome hunter-green bar top was known for its Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, and other well-made classics. Modeled after a secretive London hotel bar-meets-hipster D.C., tiny Truxton Inn was packed with eye candy like framed fox-hunting portraits, books on cocktail culture, globes, and worn-in leather and velvet seating options. “While we are saying goodbye to our beloved cocktail bar, which hosted many celebrations and welcomed wonderful neighbors and guests — including that one guy who decided to schedule six consecutive dates in one evening — it will not be the end of the story” for the 50-seat space, says Weiss, whose group also owns McClellan’s Retreat, Barrel, and the Eastern. The team is exploring options to open a new venture inside, he says. 251 Florida Avenue NW

Spring 2023

SILVER SPRING—Open since fall 2018, downtown Silver Spring’s neighborhood taproom and craft brewery Astro Lab will pour its last beer at the end of May. “The pandemic kicked us in the butt,” says head brewer and New Zealand native Matt Cronin, in a statement on Thursday, May 11. “Our long-term vision was challenged by new economic realities, and our plans for expansion and growth were perpetually pushed to another day.” The experimental beer hall, which also offers Reubens, pretzels, and slushy sours, will continue to can and serve its popular Fresh As IPA through the end of the month. Its final hoppy brew is simply called Astro Lab. But when one brewery closes, another will open: the team says Third Hill Brewing will take over the space and equipment for its first-ever location. 8216 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland

U STREET NW—After a decade-long run along U Street NW, Fainting Goat will close for good on Sunday, May 14. The upscale gathering spot with a cozy interior was known for its trivia and bingo nights, pizzas, and attentive cocktail program. Blagden Hospitality’s other D.C. restaurants include Calico, Tiger Fork, and Hi-Lawn, plus Bar Ivy in Clarendon. 1330 U Street NW

FALLS CHURCH—After 30 years and countless crispy pork spring rolls served, Northern Virginia’s Vietnamese standard-bearer Four Sisters will permanently close doors on Sunday, May 14. Originally an occupant of nearby Vietnamese complex Eden Center, family-owned Four Sisters relocated to Merrifield in 2008 long before the surrounding Mosaic District arrived with a steady stream of restaurant and retail options. The iconic, 150-seat destination for vermicelli lettuce wraps, papaya salads, and pho will shutter after service on Mother’s Day, which “seems appropriate for a restaurant built on the recipes of Thanh Tran, the matriarch of the Lai family,” writes Washington Post food writer Tim Carman, who broke the news this week. 8190 Strawberry Lane, Falls Church, Virginia

Tigerella’s popular pickle pie featured giardiniera, pickled red onion, local squash, and a garlicky, double-cream sauce.
Jacob Sanford

FOGGY BOTTOM—Tigerella, the all-day Italian restaurant from the team behind Mt. Pleasant’s acclaimed bakery Ellē, suddenly closed after a 10-month run inside Western Market food hall. The 90-seat restaurant, which was expected to be included in this year’s Michelin guide, says its business model was ultimately unsustainable due to “the lack of workers returning to the offices in our part of downtown D.C.” Tigerella deleted morning hours in March and replaced its cafe counter with a double-decker bread oven to expand its pizza program from personal pan pies to include New York-style slices and 12-inch pies. Its weekday-only lunch and dinner menus also included homemade pastas, sandwiches, small plates, and a robust cocktail program. There’s no current plans to reopen Tigerella elsewhere, and the landlord is reportedly in talks with a few replacement options. The flashy food hall near GWU and the World Bank started coming to life in 2021 with vendors like Rawish, Onkei, and Capo Deli, with recent arrivals from Bullfrog Bagels and Alitiko. 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

ADAMS MORGAN—Amsterdam Falafelshop, Adams Morgan’s quick-serve stalwart for falafel sandwiches or bowls well into the night, will close on May 27 after 18 years in business. Washington Post food reporter Tim Carman first broke the news on Twitter on Monday, April 24. Co-founder Arianne Bennett, who ran the neighborhood institution with her late husband Scott, says she didn’t want to close — but the landlord plans to sell the building and she can’t afford the asking price. 2425 18th Street NW

MT. VERNON TRIANGLE—Eater DC’s 2021 Chef of the Year Elias Taddesse’s acclaimed burger bar Mélange will serve its last burger in Mt. Vernon Triangle this weekend. “We anticipate moving to a different location in the near future,” per a statement on social media. Saturday, April 22, will be Mélange’s last day at CityVista. Since opening in September 2020, the pandemic-era success has wowed diners with doro wat fried chicken sandwiches, brown butter aioli cheeseburgers, and inventive mashups that homage to Taddesse’s East African heritage, fine-dining background at Michelin-starred restaurants in NYC, and nostalgia for American drive-thrus. Taddesse also runs Shaw’s hot new takeout Doro Soul Food, which infuses soul food favorites with Ethiopian spices and flavors. 449 K Street NW

NORTHEAST—Orange County brewery the Bruery closes its retail store near Union Market at the end of April. The Bruery CEO Barry Holmes sent an email announcing the closure, which was circulated by industry site DC Beer. The independent small-batch brewery’s first standalone shop outside of California, open since 2017, offers its members the ability to pick up bottles and cans of its strong barrel-aged brews, rotating taps for growler fills, and branded swag. The D.C. store’s long-term goal was to turn into a tasting room, but the “space wasn’t as conducive as we would like” to make that happen, he says, hinting at opening another location better suited for tasting down the line. 513 Morse Street NE

UNION MARKET—Egyptian food favorite Fava Pot will shutter its longtime stall in Union Market on Sunday, April 2. Its Falls Church and Dupont Circle outposts will remain open. 1309 5th Street NE

ADAMS MORGAN—After an 8-year run under Roofer’s Union, cozy wine bar Jug & Table will close Saturday, March 25. The team will reopen the street-level space in early April with a new identity as the Agave Room with a curated list of Mexican spirits. Jug & Table was known for its large vinyl catalog, cheese and charcuterie plates, and love for trailblazing and small producers across a list of wines on tap, by the glass, and in 64-ounce jugs. “Just as Roofers Union allows us to geek out on beer, The Agave Room is designed to celebrate and journey deep into the tastes and stories behind mezcals and tequilas,” says general manager David Delaplaine. 2446 18th Street NW

GEORGETOWN—After a 20-year run, dumplings pioneer Bangkok Joe’s has called it quits on the Georgetown Harbor. Chef Aulie Bunyarataphan and Mel Oursinsiri say Bangkok Joe’s gift cards will be accepted at its sister spot Thai in Shirlington in Arlington, Virginia. 3000 K Street NW

Winter 2023

LOGAN CIRCLE—Estadio, the Spanish stalwart there long before its 14th Street NW strip exploded with restaurants, will serve its last small plate and sherry on Saturday, February 18. Owner Max Kuller tells Washingtonian sales never returned to pre-pandemic levels, and he’s shifting attention to his newer Estadio in Charleston. The 13-year-old D.C. original will be sent out in style, complete with nightly porrón pours of ciders, cameos from founding bartender Adam Bernbach, and a first-ever Super Bowl watch party scheduled for Sunday, February 12. “I am so thankful for all of my teammates, and we are looking forward to going out with a true bang,” wrote Kuller on Instagram. Kuller is also a partner at Shaw’s acclaimed vegetable tasting pad Oyster Oyster. 1520 14th Street NW

DUPONT CIRCLE—D.C.’s first virtual food hall is suddenly shutting down after less than a year in business. Underground Food Court owner Tiffany Fiedler announced the closure on a private Facebook industry page on Monday, February 6, saying the investment firm tied to the brand is closing down—“and as a result, we have to as well.” The IP of all its virtual restaurants is for sale, she adds. Vendors include Sincerely Breakfast; Brioche Belly; Masa Taco; Tacotopia; Quesarito That Burrito; and Call Me Chicken. The experimental ghost kitchen, located between Kramers and Starbucks, lets patrons order on-site from walk-up kiosks, directly from its website, or via delivery apps. 1506 19th Street NW

Sincerely Breakfast at Underground Food Court.
Underground Food Court/Facebook

ADAMS MORGAN—After six years of fueling up locals on pour-overs and specialty iced coffees, San Francisco-based Philz Coffee exits the D.C. market this month due to “changing business conditions,” a rep tells Eater. The Adams Morgan location, open since 2016, was Philz’s first outside of California—and is the only area store left. Its last day of service is scheduled for Sunday, February 12. Philz started shrinking its local portfolio in 2022, starting with the spring closure of its Dupont address. A Ballston outpost—its first in Virginia—shuttered at the end of the year, followed by the closure of its longtime Navy Yard store on Friday, January 20. 1827 Adams Mill Road NW

CAPITOL HILL—Rammy-nominated A Presto! Italian Foods, the homey Italian eatery located above Bullfrog Bagels on Capitol Hill, opted to not renew its lease. Veteran Tune Inn bartender Stephanie Hulbert-Sargent celebrated the kind of Sunday dinners she grew up eating in New Jersey with a menu full of meatballs, lasagna, chicken Parmesan, and Sunday gravy a few nights a week. 317 Seventh Street SE

NAVY YARD—Chef Michael Rafidi shut down the first edition of his Levantine cafe Yellow in Navy Yard. “It’s really for the team, not to operate two restaurants in one. It’s just not a sustainable way to operate,” Rafidi told Washingtonian, of the morning-to-midday pita place attached to his Michelin-rated eatery Albi. The closure comes soon after his second Yellow opened across town in Georgetown, which will add evening hours in mid-February. Rafidi is also gearing up to open a huge HQ for Yellow with a test kitchen near Union Market. Yellow is slated to return to Navy Yard at a later date in a new space, he notes. 1346 4th Street SE

ADAMS MORGAN—After fueling up its late-night corridor with tacos since 2016, Mexican eatery Los Cuates shut down and the small storefront is currently up for lease. Los Cuates maintains a lively location on Wisconsin Avenue NW. 2429 18th Street NW

WOODLEY PARK—Taco City DC’s expansion to upper Northwest fell flat, but the original remains open in Southeast. 2604 Connecticut Avenue NW

DUPONT—Philly-born vegan chain HipCityVeg closed down in Dupont. The fast-casual “chik n’ nuggets” spot retains locations in Chinatown and Navy Yard. 1300 Connecticut Avenue NW

TENLEYTOWN—Short-lived deli Le Versailles called it quits in upper Northwest. The glassy storefront has housed a string of failed eateries, including Le Kavacha French Bistro and Olive Bistro. 4619 41st Street NW

DUPONT—Vegetarian chain Fruitive closed its Dupont Circle address. The destination for cold-pressed juices, acai bowls, and avocado toast was designed to cater to its 9-to-5 neighborhood, but much of that business dried up during the pandemic. The Virginia-based brand, which bills itself as the first certified organic fast-casual restaurant in North America, maintains a D.C. location at City Center. 1330 Connecticut Avenue NW

VAN NESS—D.C.’s beloved—and only publicly accessible—Burger King, decked out in throwback movie memorabilia from Jaws and E.T., permanently closed after more than 40 years. 4422 Connecticut Avenue NW

IVY CITY—City Winery closed on January 1, wrapping up a five-year run in Ivy City. The 42,000-square-foot business featured a working winery, a concert venue, a private event space, 175-seat restaurant, massive rooftop, and four bars in all. City Winery’s home has a storied past, formerly functioning as long dormant Ivy City nightclub Love. Love sat vacant for six years after playing host to countless VIPs and rappers. City Winery integrated some existing elevators, bars, bathrooms, and private VIP areas into its inaugural D.C. location. The brand is reportedly on the prowl for a new D.C. location elsewhere. 1350 Okie Street NE

BETHESDA—NYC-based chain Mexicue permanently closed its Bethesda location. Its 14th Street NW location remains open. 4733 Elm Street Bethesda, Maryland


Temporarily closures

DUPONT—Duke’s Grocery’s original D.C. location closes for a months-long makeover starting Monday, February 13. The beloved British gastropub’s last meal before going under the knife will be Sunday brunch on February 12, and the plan is to resurface in its historic row home with a refreshed look before its 10-year anniversary in September. Meanwhile, Duke’s Grocery is gearing up to open its fourth location in Navy Yard soon. 1513 17th Street NW

Duke’s Grocery will renovates its original location in Dupont.
Duke’s Grocery

GEORGETOWN—The Hilton hospitality brothers’ neighborhood bistro Chez Billy Sud went offline January 1 and will reopen this spring with updated kitchen equipment, infrastructure, and a new private dining room. The adjacent Bar à Vin wine bar is open. 1039 31st Street NW

ADAMS MORGAN—Los Compañeros, the year-old Mexican replacement to seafood institution Johnny’s Half Shell, went dark on December 31. Owners John Fulchino and business partner Ann Cashion hope to reopen in the spring, per their website. 1819 Columbia Road NW