The Childe Harold, Where Bruce Springsteen Once Played, Is Back—Sort Of

The new spot is cheekily named the Step-Childe Harold.

Photo Courtesy of the Step-Child Harold.

The former site of the Childe Harold, the famed Dupont Circle establishment that once hosted up-and-comers like Bruce Springsteen and Bonnie Raitt, is now home to a new restaurant. 

The cheekily named Step-Childe Harold launched last Thursday in the below-street-level space. Restaurateurs James and Piya Cameron also opened a restaurant called Thaiverse on the floor above. The Camerons run a Thaiverse location in Middleburg.  

The Childe Harold opened in 1967 and earned a reputation for hosting future music legends—and also a loyal local clientele who just liked to hang out there. A 1984 Washington Post article described the Childe Harold a place to get an idea “of what our nation’s capital is really like—in terms of the people who live here, say, or how they act and what they talk about after work.”

The saloon shut its doors in 2007. The location was most recently occupied by the Italian restaurant Darlington House and a bar called DIVE, both of which are now closed. 

The Camerons say the want to preserve and revitalize the bar’s history as a place for live music. They plan to book rising musicians and local artists across genres. They also intend to leave the space’s beams and exposed brick largely untouched. “As soon as you walk in the place, you feel the atmosphere,” says James Cameron. 

The Step-Childe Harold features classic pub favorites like fish and chips and shepherd’s pie, as well as fusion dishes like a fried brie-stuffed spring roll. Cameron says the kitchen will cycle in more crossover items in the future. The upstairs Thaiverse offers many of the same dishes as its Middleburg companion. 


Julia Rosenberg
Editorial Fellow