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.
Reopening soon, and recently reopened
Maialino Mare – Restaurateur Danny Meyer’s hotly anticipated first venture outside New York opened just two months before the pandemic (and then was among the first big-name spots to close). Chef Rose Noel is back with dishes like a salt-baked branzino for two and pasta with crab “meatballs”—plus a new outdoor seating area. Hours are currently limited to dinner, Wednesday to Sunday, with brunch and lunch to follow.
Columbia Room spirits library – Barman Derek Brown’s destination cocktail lounge has been operating with a pop-up sandwich shop and outdoor spritz garden. Now the indoor spirits library will reopen on Wednesday, June 23 (reservations, which are limited to 2 hours per party, are available via Tock)
The Pug – Tony Tomelden’s beloved H Street dive is back in action after a year-plus pandemic closure—whiskey and cheese balls included.
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).
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.
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.
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 – 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.
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.
On the Horizon
Silver Lyan – The 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.
Minibar – José 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.