Food

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

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”—during the pandemic. But now, with warm weather, vaccinations, and the loosening of Covid capacity restrictions and regulations, many are reopening (though some are still limiting seating and/or keeping mask policies). Here’s a running list of newly opened spots, 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.

Recently Reopened

Last Call Bar – Veteran bartender Gina Chersevani’s dive-y hangout near Union Market, popular for its cheap beers, sandwiches, and frozen Irish coffees, reopens Thursday, June 10 at 5 PM.

DC Brau – The District’s first modern day production brewery announced they’re reopening their taproom after a 15 month closure on Friday, June 11. The brewery also added an outdoor beer garden with space for up to 50 guests and rotating food trucks on weekends (BYO food is also allowed). Both are open Friday through Sunday to start.

2 Amys – The popular Cathedral Heights pizzeria, which has been offering takeout during the pandemic, is opening an outdoor patio for full-service dining on Wednesday, June 9. Co-owner Peter Pastan says the pizzeria will eventually open for limited indoor dining in the coming weeks.

Etto – The seasonal Italian restaurant and pizzeria has been all-takeout in the pandemic, but recently reopened its 14th Street patio for full-service dining.

Red Hen – Chef Mike Friedman has been a takeout and delivery machine during Covid between his Bloomingdale Italian restaurant and All-Purpose pizzerias. Now this lovely wood-fired restaurant is welcoming guests back into the dining room at a limited capacity (and takeout is in person only).

The Pembroke reopens for brunch, indoors and on the terrace. Photograph courtesy of Pembroke.

Pembroke – The airy Dupont Circle Hotel restaurant reopened exclusively for weekend brunch with fun drinks like DIY mimosas with Champagne and fresh juices, and a bloody Mary that serves four.

Ristorante Tosca – Owner Paolo Sacco temporarily closed the fine dining Italian restaurant in October, and used to time to revamp the room for a “lighter” feel (and expanded bar/lounge). There’s a new chef, too: Phil Marzelli, who lead the kitchen at Casa Luca and Sfoglina Downtown, and who offers new a la carte and chef’s tasting menus.

American Ice Company/ the Brixton– In addition to Echo Park, Eric and Ian Hilton plan to reopen several of their other bars. American Ice Company and the Brixton made a comeback this spring. Meanwhile, Eric Hilton tells us the Gibson will resurface in a new location. 

China Chilcano – José Andrés reopened his Penn Quarter Peruvian restaurant with a menu of Chifa and Nikkei (Peruvian-Chinese and Japanese) dishes and new outdoor pisco patio.  

Saturday is Peru's National Pisco Sour Day. Celebrate with $5 pisco sours at China Chilcano. Photograph courtesy of China Chilcano.
China Chilcano reopens with a pisco patio. Photograph courtesy of China Chilcano

Cane – Chef Peter Prime’s popular Trinidadian restaurant just reopened with limited indoor dining. A new 14th Street pan-Caribbean restaurant, St. James, is slated to open later this summer.

Anchovy Social – Danny Meyer’s DC ventures, which opened in Navy Yard right before the pandemic, are making a comeback. This rooftop bar recently re-debuted with cocktails and a light, seafood-centric menu. Maialino Mare, the central restaurant, is slated to reopen this summer. 

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.

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 42-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. Photograph by Scott Suchman

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. 

Echo Park reopens in Shaw. Photograph courtesy of Echo Park

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.  

Silver Lyan from famed London-based bartender Mr Lyan  will reopen in Riggs DC. Photograph by Peden Munk

On the Horizon

Silver LyanThe whimsical, subterranean cocktail bar from Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan, aka one of the “world’s best bartenders”) returns Friday, July 16 in the Riggs DC hotel. The bar had a very brief run after opening in February 2020 with intricate cocktails and fun frills like fancy Jell-o shots.

MinibarJosé Andrés’s exceptional, modernist two-Michelin star tasting room is slated to reopen in early fall. Meanwhile adjoining cocktail bar Barmini has reopened with whimsical drinks, some pop-up events and menus, and bites. 

Don’t Miss Another New Restaurant—Get Our Food Newsletter

The latest in Washington’s food and drink scene.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
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.