THEN: Little Tavern (1936 to 1992)
NOW: Sweetgreen (2007 to present)
3333 M St., NW
The Little Tavern chain was known for its cottage-like exteriors and greasy, extra-cheap burgers. Eight years ago, the first location of Sweetgreen arrived in a long-vacant Little Tavern space in Georgetown. In keeping with the times, it serves customizable salads.
THEN: Queen Bee (1987 to 2006)
NOW: Spider Kelly’s (2008 to present)
3181 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
In the ’70s and ’80s, Clarendon was a thriving hub of Vietnamese restaurants known as Little Saigon, and Queen Bee was a stalwart. Then Metro station opened, rents rose, and immigrants migrated farther out. The site now houses Spider Kelly’s, a sports bar with $8 tater tots.
THEN: La Colline (1982 to 2006)
NOW: Johnny’s Half Shell (2006 to present)
400 N. Capitol St., NW
In the ’80s, fine dining in Washington pretty much translated to one cuisine: French. But elite tastes changed, with sophisticated eaters favoring less but-toned-down Modern American restaurants such as the one that replaced La Colline—Johnny’s Half Shell.
THEN: Picnics in Farragut Square
NOW: Food trucks in Farragut Square (2009 to present)
17th St. between K and I sts., NW
A new generation of food trucks hit the streets in 2009—and offered a tastier option than brown-bagging it in downtown DC’s favorite green space.
This article appears in our October 2015 issue.