Daniel Boulud Has Closed His First and Only DC Restaurant

DBGB Kitchen & Bar shuttered quietly at CityCenterDC.

Chef Daniel Boulud is closing his only DC restaurant DBGB. Photograph by Jeff Elkins

This post has been updated with comment from the restaurant.

Daniel Boulud has pulled up anchor in DC. DBGB Kitchen & Bar, the famed French chef’s first and only venture here, quietly served its last meal at CityCenter on Thursday night. Rumors of the closure were circulating online as the restaurant’s website and reservation system went dark. Former executive chef Nicholas Tang confirmed the closure via Instagram

A representative from Boulud’s Dinex Group tells Washingtonian they’re “exploring future opportunities in the DC area,” but didn’t specify further.

The upscale French-American brasserie opened in 2014 with great fanfare, serving fancy crab burgers, international sausages, and whole-hog dinners. Boulud himself flambéed baked Alaskas for diners. A roster of high-profile chefs—including Thomas Keller, Alice Waters, and the Voltaggio brothers—designed plates for the restaurant, which were displayed in the glassy dining room. Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema traveled to NYC to review the original DBGB, and declared the DC version superior (the East Village flagship closed in 2017). 

DBGB closed at the beginning of the pandemic, and was one of several downtown DC restaurants to delay its reopening as the area remained quiet due to a loss of office workers and tourism. It reopened in December 2021 under Dinex Group chef  Anthony DiGregorio. 

Boulud isn’t the only celebrity chef to pull out of the downtown DC development. David Chang shuttered his neighboring City Center restaurant Momofuku CCDC at the start of the pandemic in May 2020 (it’s now a Tatte Bakery). Meanwhile brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio exited the swanky Conrad hotel restaurant Estuary in March of this year, and were replaced by a new culinary team. 

“We want to thank our many guests that have visited us throughout the years and are at the heart of everything we do,” says the representative in an email statement. “We also want to thank our dedicated team that has worked tirelessly to deliver an exceptional dining experience.”

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.