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An expansive rooftop overlooking the U Street corridor offers a beachy vibe.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

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Whitlow’s DC Returns to Shaw in Massive New Digs

The legendary dive reopens on Tuesday, June 6, at the nightlife nexus of 9th and U Streets NW

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 closed in Clarendon in 2021 after nearly 30 years, resurfaced in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood last August. Now the beloved bar has moved again, settling into an iconic corner with three big floors (and bars) to play with.

The reliable neighborhood hangout, now named Whitlow’s DC, reopens on Tuesday, June 6, a few doors down in the old Brixton building (901 U Street NW). The much-bigger location with a full-scale kitchen revives Whitlow’s greatest hits like cheese fries, fried pickles, smash burgers, wings, chicken sandwiches and tenders, corn dog bites, shrimp po’boys, nachos, and entrees like a half-rack of smoked ribs, fish and chips, and “Who Dat” Cajun penne pasta.

“We’re excited to be able to have a full food menu again,” says co-owner Jon Williams, whose family runs Whitlow’s.

A homemade pastrami Reuben with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Smoked and glazed bacon strips served on a stick.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Weekday happy hour (5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) includes $5 ice-cold beers and rail drinks, $8 draft and frozen cocktails, $6 wines, and $2 off apps until 7 p.m. Deals runs all night on Monday and 9 p.m. to close on Sundays.

When the Hilton hospitality brothers offered Williams the opportunity to move into Brixton, he pounced and performed a full-scale renovation of the three-story British pub. Familiar Whitlow’s tchotchkes amassed over the years live on inside, including an animated parrot statue, Elvis-shaped lamp, rare sports memorabilia, and D.C. license plates from the 1930s. Long before Whitlow’s called Clarendon home, founder David Whitlow opened the original on the corner of 11th and E Streets NW in 1946.

Whitlow’s Sunset (Monte Alban mezcal, butterfly syrup, homemade sour mix).
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

With room for 200 across one level and an enclosed patio out back, the most recent Whitlow’s DC in the Hilton brothers’ old Echo Park (2012 Ninth Street NW) was dramatically smaller than its Whitlow’s on Wilson Clarendon predecessor that fit around 1,000 across its first floor and tiki-styled rooftop. Williams carried on tradition at his new 575-person digs by installing a tropical beach theme up top. Arlington’s old rooftop regulars will recognize sharable rum buckets filled with Bacardi and juices.

“This new space allows us to do all the stuff we used to do—I liked having three distinct vibes, and the rooftop speaks for itself,” says Williams. “This is a great building and we made it our own.”

The first floor goes for a neighborhood bar vibe, adorned with Art Deco light fixtures from the Arlington location.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The first level is outfitted with furniture and decor salvaged from former Whitlow’s locations, including its back bar facade, tables, neon signs, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral booths. The second floor, equipped with TVs, communal tables, and high-tech sound and light systems, flips from a sports-watching spot into a dance club and live music venue at night.

Murals of all three prior Whitlow’s iterations throughout the new space remind customers of its past, and Arlington’s green neon-lit “Whitlow’s” signage lives on along 9th Street NW. “You can’t miss it, that’s for sure,” he says.

Opening hours are 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday to Thursday (and until 3 a.m. on Friday) and weekends from 2 p.m. to 3 a.m. and until 1 a.m. on Sunday, with bottomless brunch coming back soon. The kitchen stays open until 10 p.m. (and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday).

Weekly programming includes trivia on Mondays, Singo Tuesdays, mug night on Thursdays featuring $4 beer refills, and DJs Thursdays to Saturday nights. Whitlow’s also plans to capitalize on its close proximity to the 9:30 Club and new Atlantis music venue with after-show specials.

The second floor is dedicated to disco, with live music, monthly karaoke sessions, and events rolling out in July.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
The Dirty Duck (McClintock Forager gin, green Chartreuse, homemade sour mix, orange bitters) comes with a floating toy duck. A blinking bingo wheel in the back is also “just pure fun,” says Jon Williams.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
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