Food

A Running List of DC-Area Restaurants and Bars That Have Closed During the Pandemic

Coronavirus has hit the industry hard, and these are the casualties.

Clyde's of Columbia closed July 19 after a 45-year run. Photograph courtesy Clyde's.
Coronavirus 2020

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A&D – The Shaw bar was a no-frills spot for affordable cocktails, canned beers, and foosball over its eight years.

A Rake’s Progress – Baltimore-based chef and James Beard winner Spike Gjerde focused on hyper-local, refined seasonal American food at the Line hotel. Sister coffee bar A Cup We All Race For is now a Japanese cafe from Erik Bruner-Yang, who also operates lobby restaurant Brothers and Sisters. 

America Eats Tavern – José Andrés’s ode to American cuisine—a concept that has opened and closed in multiple locations around DC since 2011—called it quits in Georgetown.

B Too Top Chef alum Bart Vandaele’s 14th Street Belgian spot was a destination for sweet and savory waffles. His Capitol Hill spots Belga Cafe and Betsy remain open.

BareburgerThe omnivorous burger chain, which offered bison and plant-based patties alongside traditional beef, pulled out of DC with the shutter of its Dupont Circle location.

BBQ Bus-The food truck and Brightwood Park storefront—known for its pulled pork sandwiches and spicy crimson sauce—were done in by the massive drop in office-lunch business, says owner Che Ruddell-Tabisola.

Beefsteak (Dupont Circle)Pre-pandemic, José Andrés shuttered a few locations of his fast-casual, veggie-focused chain. Now the only DC branch operates in Foggy Bottom.

Big Chief – The voluminous Ivy City bar from Tin Shop (Franklin Hall, Tallboy) closed its doors in March.

Bistro BohemThis Shaw cafe served a Czech and European menu for eight years in Shaw.

The Brixton – The tri-level U Street pub from Eric and Ian Hilton was a popular rooftop destination.

Cafe Chocolat – The chocolate boutique and coffee bar—the “Cheers of Chocolate”—was devoted to all things cacao over its nearly four years.

Cafe SoleilThis 12-year-old downtown staple was popular with office workers and tourists near the White House.

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CamponoThis casual Italian restaurant was originally opened by late DC restaurateur, Bob Kinkead in 2o14.

Capitol Lounge – The Capitol Hill bar was a go-to happy hour, sports, and trivia spot for politicos and Hill interns over its 26 years.

Codmother  – DC’s self-proclaimed “shittiest bar”—and intern enclave—was known for a playlist of ’90s punk and drunken sing-along songs.

Coppi’sThe Italian restaurant, which boasted an “organic, biodynamic, sustainable” menu, had been around 27 years, including the last six in Cleveland Park. The owners hope to reopen elsewhere.

DC Eagle  – The District’s oldest continuously operating gay bar closed after the building it rented was sold. It was slated to celebrate its 49th anniversary this year.

Dio Wine Bar The progressive H Street wine bar-turned-bottle shop specialized in natural and women-made wines. It ceased operations in June with an eye toward potentially reopening down the line.

Dolcezza The homegrown company, which sells super-seasonal Argentinean-style gelato, is closing five of its area cafes (Logan Circle, Dupont Circle, CityCenterDC, the Wharf, and Bethesda) throughout October. Only one—in Fairfax’s Mosaic District—remains. You’ll still find their pints at various Whole Foods and other retail locations.

Echo Park – The Shaw bar, which replaced Gaslight Tavern in 2019, served New York-style pies from Andy’s Pizza and featured two fireplaces and a garden patio.

El Centro D.F. – The decade-old 14th Street taqueria and tequila bar drew lines on weekends when its basement turned into a nightclub. The Georgetown location remains open.

Eighteenth Street LoungeOne of DC’s iconic bars and nightclubs—a fixture of the then-vibrant Dupont nightlife scene in the ’90s and early 2000s—was about to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

FadoThe Chinatown Irish bar had a 22 year run of serving Guinness and hosting World Cup watch parties. The owners say they closed because they weren’t able to renew their lease, not because of Covid.

Firehook Bakery – The bakery’s Cleveland Park location was a fixture of the neighborhood for 23 years.

Gibson – The cocktail haven at 14th and U helped introduce DC to the “speakeasy” style bar.

Kitty O’Shea’s – The Irish pub, closing Sept. 27, served Tenleytown for nine years.

Marvin – The 13-year-old U Street bistro and bar was a go-to for dancing, DJs, and live music.

Mason Dixie – After a long series of pop-ups and short-lived stint as a drive-through, this Southern biscuit specialist moved to Shaw and opened an all-day cafe and diner. You can still find the frozen biscuits in national retail outfits.

Matchbox – The 14th Street outpost of the local chain closed after Matchbox Food Group filed for bankruptcy in early August.

Momofuku CCDC – Celeb chef David Chang initially made his foray into Washington with a menu of ramen and bun, but reinvented the CityCenterDC restaurant to much acclaim under chef Tae Strain (who left last fall).

Montmartre – Capitol Hill’s stalwart French bistro drew senators and regular politicos for its onion soup, calf’s liver, and braised rabbit over its 20-year run.

Nocturne – The intimate bar offered innovative cocktails in the basement of Sugar Shack in Shaw.

Otello  – The old-school red-sauce Italian joint with red-checkered tablecloths operated in Dupont Circle for 35 years.

Peregrine – The coffee hotspot stopped serving pour-overs and cappuccinos after nine years on 14th Street. Other locations in Capitol Hill and Union Market remain open.

Players Club – The two-year-old subterranean arcade bar in Logan Circle was styled after a 1970s rumpus room with classic games like pinball, Skee-Ball, and Pac Man.

Poca Madre – Chef Victor Albisu’s mod-Mex fine-dining restaurant in Penn Quarter ranked #6 on Washingtonian‘s most recent 100 Very Best Restaurants list.

Pom Pom – Formerly Himitsu, the revamped female-driven restaurant in Petworth served eclectic share plates, women-made wines, and standout cocktails.

Post Pub – The downtown dive served martinis and beer pitchers to journalists and other devoted regulars for nearly 44 years.

Rebellion – The 18th Street bourbon bar and restaurant aimed to be the “everyday public house” with a menu of Southern-inspired comfort food and whiskey galore.

Red Hook Lobster Pound – The decade-old mobile vendor drew long lines of office workers seeking Connecticut and Maine-style rolls during DC’s food truck heyday.

RedRocks Neapolitan Bistro – The H Street Northeast outpost of this pizza spot has closed, but locations in Columbia Heights and Old Town Alexandria remain open.

Seventh Hill – The pizzeria from the owners of next-door Montmartre was a Capitol Hill destination for its thin-crust pies, which were named after DC parks and neighborhoods.

The Source – Wolfgang Puck’s modern Asian restaurant in the former Newseum building drew accolades for its dim sum and Peking duck. It transitioned to a more casual all-day menu earlier this year.

Taco Bamba (Penn Quarter) – The only DC location of chef Victor Albisu’s fast-casual taqueria adjoined fine-dining Mexican restaurant Poca Madre.

Texas de Brazil – The international churrascaria chain carved meat from a massive Mt. Vernon Triangle dining room for five years.

Tosca – The Italian fine-dining stalwart, a downtown favorite among lobbyists and politicos, is going on hiatus for the winter.

Maryland

Bagel City – The Rockville spot sold bagels, matzo ball soup, and other deli specialties for more than four decades. 

Clyde’s of Columbia – The Clyde’s Restaurant Group destination, which closed July 19, had been a fixture along Lake Kittamaqundi since 1975. The Soundry, a neighboring concert venue that opened in 2018, also closed. 

Dolcezza The homegrown company—which sells super-seasonal Argentinean-style gelato—has closed its cafe at Bethesda Row, along with four DC shops. Only one location—in Fairfax’s Mosaic District—remains. You’ll still find their pints at various Whole Foods and other retail locations.

George’s Chophouse – The Bethesda restaurant, previously 4935 Bar & Kitchen, converted into a steakhouse named after the owner’s late brother in 2018. 

Gumbo Ya Ya – The Rockville Town Center restaurant, which moved from Germantown last year, served a hybrid of Puerto Rican and Cajun cuisines. 

La Tasca – The Kensington-headquartered tapas chain, which had locations in Rockville and Alexandria, filed for bankruptcy in May.

Le Vieux Logis– The Bethesda French spot—which opened 40 years ago—served its last onion soup in mid-July.

Union Jack’s – The British pub served fish and chips and pints of Guinness for six years in Gaithersburg’s Rio Lakefront shopping area. Locations remain in Columbia and Annapolis. 

Urban Bar-B-Q – The barbecue joint specialized in junk-food concoctions like “redneck nachos” and brisket egg rolls alongside the traditional ribs and pulled pork at its original Rockville location of 17 years. A handful of other Maryland locations remain open.

Virginia

Big Bowl – The Thai and Chinese restaurant operated in Reston Town Center for nearly two decades. 

Little Beet – The fast-casual vegetarian chain operated in Rosslyn for three years.

Mokomandy – The Korean-Cajun restaurant in Sterling, known for foie gras dumplings and jambalaya, was rated Northern Virginia Magazine’s number one restaurant in its 50 best ranking last year.

Senor Tequila’s – The Tex-Mex restaurant in Sterling’s Cascades Marketplace shopping center served jambalaya burritos alongside tacos, fajitas, and frozen cocktails. Three other locations continue operations in Ashburn, Fairfax, and Germantown.

Summers – The 38-year-old sports bar and soccer pub was one of Arlington’s oldest watering holes.

Zinburger  — The up-and-coming wine and burger bar closed its Springfield location. A few locations remain open in New Jersey.

This post will continue to be updated. Send information about further closures to jsidman@washingtonian.com.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

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.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.