Veteran Restaurant Proof Is Closing in Penn Quarter

Owner Jason Kuller says the restaurant wasn't able to reach an agreement with the landlord

Foie gras with shortcakes from Proof. Photo by Scott Suchman

Wine-centric modern American restaurant Proof will close on February 2 after a dozen years in Penn Quarter. In a statement, owner Jason Kuller says they were “unable to reach a viable agreement with our landlord to continue Proof in its current location.”

The restaurant was the first from tax attorney-turned-restaurateur Mark Kuller, who went on to open Estadio, Doi Moi, and (since-closed) 2 Birds 1 Stone. When Kuller died in 2014 of pancreatic cancer, his brother Jason Kuller and son Max Kuller took over operations of parent hospitality group, Fat Baby, Inc. Last year, Max split off to exclusively run Estadio.

“Proof was my brother’s love letter to this city expressed through food and wine,” Jason says.

Many of the DC dining scene’s top talents have worked at Proof over the years. Chloe owner Haidar Karoum was the original chef, and Primrose owner and winemaker Sebastian Zutant was the opening sommelier. In 2013, Proof ranked No. 10 on Washingtonian‘s 100 Very Best Restaurants list. In 2017, it won a RAMMY Award for best upscale casual restaurant.

For its last week of service, Proof will offer wine specials and add several of its classic dishes to its Restaurant Week menu.

“Above all, we want to thank our dedicated staff and wonderful guests for their years of patronage and support,” Jason says in his statement. “I look forward to pursuing future projects with my Fat Baby partner and executive chef Johanna Hellrigl, as well as continuing to welcome guests into our other establishments.”

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.