News & Politics

Let Us Never Forget the Clarendon Cheesecake Factory Riot

Image via iStock.

One year ago today, the Cheesecake Factory celebrated its 40th anniversary offered free slices of cheesecake to anyone who ordered via DoorDash. In many parts of the country, this generous act resulted in cheesecake. In Arlington, it resulted in chaos.

“Police were called to the area of the Cheesecake Factory at 2900 Clarendon Blvd earlier today for a report of a large crowd and heavy traffic in the area,” ARLNow reported, breaking the news of dessert-related mayhem in Clarendon. A man was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, and Twitter exploded with accounts and comments on the societal breakdown that few foresaw:

Or, as one ARLNow commenter put it: “The veneer of civilization is thin indeed.”

Where does the blame fall? Should we have listened to people with cheesecake-related experience?

We can’t undo the past; we have no choice but to move forward. Today, the Cheescake Factory’s website carries no banner commemorating the events of 12/5/18, but it does offer another deal via DoorDash: No delivery fees. This time around, though, the promotion expires in a few days. There’s no rush, people. Be safe out there.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.