DC’s Red Hook Lobster Pound Food Trucks Have Shut Down for Good

In their heyday, the trucks drew hourlong lines of downtown office workers.

Photograph by Scott Suchman

At the height of the food truck boom, Red Hook Lobster Pound was a local celeb. Downtown office workers waited an hour during their lunch breaks for the Connecticut and Maine-style rolls, and the truck was the first to receive a starred review from the Washington Post.

After a decade of operation, owner Doug Povich is now selling his two DC-area trucks because of the Covid-19 pandemic. (A Red Hook kiosk at the Wharf closed at the end of last year.) The business stopped operating mid-March, and it quickly became clear that it wouldn’t be able to rebound.

“It’s a seasonal cyclical business and you rely on money that you make in the spring to pay off the debts that occur over the winter,” says Povich, a former chairman of the DMV Food Truck Association. “Without the spring income and festival income, we just didn’t have enough cash in the bank to survive.”

Povich licensed Red Hook brand from his cousin Susan Povich in New York, and she will continue to operate the business there. “She’s weathering the Covid storm better than we could down here,” he says.

Povich says he’s interested in selling his business so someone else can continue to slinging lobster rolls in DC, but it’s more likely he’ll just sell the Freightliner vehicles.

At the very least he already had another job to fall back on. Povich, a communications lawyer, works for Fairfax County government as a management analyst.

“At some point I’ll come up with something entrepreneurial to do,” he says.

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.