U Street Fixture the Fainting Goat Is Closing After 10 Years

It'll serve its last bar pizzas on May 14.

The Fainting Goat's U Street exterior. Photograph courtesy of Julep PR.

The Fainting Goat, the U Street hangout that opened as a gastropub in 2013, is shutting its doors for good on Sunday, May 14. “The last few years have taken a toll,” wrote Blagden Hospitality partners Greg Algie, Nathan Beauchamp, and Henry Bruce in an email statement. “We pivoted like many, struggling to get back to our prior self or a reinvented version.” Summers have been particularly challenging for the restaurant, as it has no outdoor space. 

In the beginning, the neighborhoody tavern—which sits smack in the middle of 14th and U street bar-hopping territory—drew attention (and a spot on our 2015 100 Best Restaurants list) for its unexpectedly ambitious cooking. Beauchamp had previously helmed the kitchen at 1789 and sent out plates like charred carrots with goat cheese and gnocchi with goat Bolognese. 

In later years, the restaurant tried to attract customers with trivia and Bingo nights, to-go picnic baskets, and “Tinder Tuesday” happy hour specials. It also served up thin, crunchy, and on-trend tavern-style pizzas, which are excellent (as is the Italian salad on the menu right now). 

The restaurant group has a concept in downtown Bethesda slated for early 2024. For now, Beauchamp will focus his attention on Blagden’s other spots, including Bar Ivy in Clarendon and Tiger Fork and Calico in Shaw. Fainting Goat executive chef Sam George will revamp the food menu at Hi-Lawn, the group’s rooftop bar at Union Market. 

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.