Rustik Tavern was Bloomingdale’s first neighborhood bar in decades when it opened in 2010. But after six years, owner Diton Pashaj closed the brick-oven pizza and beer spot last night.
“It was more of a family decision. Working 7 days, 12 hour days left little to no time for family. It was a good run – lasting memories, but it was time,” Pashaj tells Washingtonian via email.
In many ways, Rustik Tavern helped pave the way for all the bars and restaurants that have since turned the tiny neighborhood into a dining and drinking destination.
As Brightest Young Things wrote when the restaurant first opened in 2010, “Rustik, you are the first and you will always be remembered as such. You have turned Bloomingdale from an ‘area’ to a ‘community.'”
Overall, it’s been a not-great year for restaurants that helped pioneer some of DC’s emerging dining neighborhoods. Over in Petworth, Domku Bar & Cafe, the Slavic-Scandinavian restaurant that predated all the trendy eateries and bars on Uphur Street NW, closed in May.
This story has been updated with comment from Pashaj.