The pandemic obliterated business for many bars and restaurants, and for some, the damage was too great to recover. Nearly three years after D.C.’s first indoor dining shutdown, some establishments continue to struggle to stay afloat during uncertain economic times.
Here’s a running roundup of local restaurant closures—due to ripple effects from the pandemic or other reasons—since the start of 2023.
Know of a D.C. restaurant that recently called it quits? Send the details to email@example.com.
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
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
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
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
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