Food

These DC-Area Bars and Restaurants Are Reopening After Pandemic Closures

For some businesses, it's time to come out of Covid hibernation.

Victura Park reopens at the Kennedy Center. Photograph by Mykl Wu

A number of bars and restaurants around DC decided to temporarily close their doors—or go into “hibernation”—for the bleak pandemic winter (or longer). But now, with warm weather ahead—and possibly PPP loans and other financial boosts—some have decided to reopen. Here’s a running list of reopenings, including some restaurants that are offering dine-in for the first time in months.

Know of a business that’s reopening? Email aspiegel@Washingtonian.com.

Echo Park reopens in Shaw. Photograph courtesy of Echo Park

Recently Reopened

Players Club and SkyBox – You can now head down to the playful Shaw basement game bar—albeit, with no games (due to DC regulations). The rooftop sports lounge is also open for airy drinking and catching games.

Victura Park – The kid and dog-friendly food and wine garden at the Kennedy Center, opened by the Hilton brothers and chef Erik Bruner-Yang last year, is back for the season. A picnic-style menu of snacks, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks is joined by fare from a new outdoor grill. Snag a table or bring a blanket.

Via Sophia – The Italian restaurant in downtown DC’s Hamilton hotel reopened for dine-in and takeout. The dining room will operate breakfast through dinner—think wood-fired pizzas and seasonal Italian fare—and there’s a new 20-seat patio for outdoor dining. 

Crimson View – The retro rooftop bar at Chinatown’s pod hotel reopened with seasonal cocktails and bites.

La Ferme – Bethesda’s stalwart French restaurant plans to open “shortly after Easter Sunday” (April 4).

Rooster & Owl – The inventive finer-dining restaurant on 14th Street reopens for indoor and outdoor dining on Friday, March 19 after moving to takeout-only during the pandemic. Diners can build their own four-course menus ($75). Reservations are recommended (and takeout is still available).

Dolcezza – The beloved local gelato company is on the rebound after announcing plans to close five shops last fall (only two shuttered permanently). The Dupont Circle location opened March 19 and the company is giving away free gelato celebrate.

Electric Cool-Aid – Shaw’s new outdoor bar closed for a few frigid months but came back on March 17 with frozen and canned drinks, and weekend food trucks like Swizzler and Schmaltz Bros. 

Solly’s – The U Street watering hole just reopened on March 15 with food from neighbor Lulu’s Wine Garden and an outdoor screen for sports-viewing. 

Brookland’s Finest – The neighborhoody gastropub recently reopened for on-premises dining (indoor and an outdoor patio) after only offering takeout and delivery this winter. 

Echo Park – Eric and Ian Hilton recently announced they’re reopening many of the bars and restaurants they closed indefinitely last fall. Among the first is this atmospheric pizzeria with fireplaces and a rear patio. 

Hill Prince – H Street’s lovely neighborhood bar reopened with a new reservation policy (only complete parties can be seated) and several private room options—including one with darts—for you and your pod. 

Sonny’s Pizza – The Park View pizza shop reopened for takeout and delivery after a winter closure, and is revamping its big outdoor pizza garden to host diners this spring. 

Dan’s Cafe – Against all odds, the beloved Adams Morgan dive is back in action on Fridays and Saturdays with food from neighbors Pitchers DC.  

Saturday is Peru's National Pisco Sour Day. Celebrate with $5 pisco sours at China Chilcano. Photograph courtesy of China Chilcano.
Diners at China Chilcano in Penn Quarter. Photograph courtesy of the restaurant.

On the horizon

Boundary Stone – The popular Bloomingdale pub announced a comeback on April 15 after being closed since late November. Seating is outdoors only for now, and reservations are recommended via Resy.

Yunnan by Potomac – The homey southwestern Chinese noodle shop will reopen soon after two-plus months. The down time resulted in a new look and a menu with more homemade dumplings and skewers.

American Ice Company/ the Brixton/Gibson – In addition to Echo Park, Eric and Ian Hilton plan to reopen several of their other bars. American Ice Company and the Brixton will make a comeback this spring. Ian Hilton told Washingtonian that the Brixton will return to its roots as “the big neighborhood pub on the corner” (not a nightclub). Meanwhile, Eric Hilton tells us the Gibson will resurface this spring, in a new location TBA. 

China Chilcano – José Andrés says his Peruvian restaurant in Penn Quarter will reopen “not later than April” with a limited menu of Chifa and Nikkei (Peruvian-Chinese and Japanese) dishes. 

Maialino Mare/Anchovy Social – Danny Meyer’s DC restaurants, which opened in Navy Yard right before the pandemic, are slated to come back by early summer.

The Public Option –  The Woodridge brewpub is hoping to open by summer.

Tyber Creek – The owners of the Brookland restaurant say the “tentative plan would be to reopen late March for outdoor dining and takeout only.”

Tonari – The Daikaya group’s Japanese-Italian spot is eying an opening in phase 4 (whenever that’s reached).

Ristorante Tosca – Owner Paolo Sacco says the fine dining Italian restaurant, which closed in October, is undergoing a revamp. Tosca 2.0 is slated to reopen this spring with a “lighter” (less formal) vibe and new menu.

Coconut Club – Chef Adam Greenberg says he’s hoping to reopen his island-themed NoMa restaurant but is “still negotiating.”

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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.