DC area bars and restaurants reopen after pandemic closes
Victura Park reopens at the Kennedy Center. Photograph by Mykl Wu
A number of bars and restaurants around DC have decided to temporarily close their doors – or go into “hibernation” – during the pandemic. But now, with the warm weather, vaccinations, and the easing of capacity restrictions and regulations from Covid, many are reopening (although some are still limiting seats and / or maintaining mask policies). Here’s a list of the newly opened places, including some restaurants that are offering on-site dining for the first time in months.
Do you know of a business that is reopening? Email [email protected].
Last call bar – Veteran bartender Gina Chersevani’s hangout near Union Market, popular for its cheap beers, sandwiches and frozen Irish coffees, reopens Thursday, June 10 at 5 p.m.
DC Brau – The district’s first modern production brewery has announced the reopening of its auction house after a 15-month closure on Friday, June 11. The brewery has also added a beer garden 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 Amy – The popular Cathedral Heights pizzeria, which offers take-out food during the pandemic, is opening an outdoor patio for full-service meals on Wednesday, June 9. Co-owner Peter Pastan says the pizzeria will eventually open for limited indoor dining in the coming weeks.
And to – The seasonal Italian restaurant and pizzeria were all takeout during the pandemic, but recently reopened their 14th Street patio for full service.
Red hen – Chef Mike Friedman was a take-out and delivery machine during Covid between his Italian restaurant Bloomingdale and versatile pizzerias. Now, this charming wood-fired restaurant accommodates guests in the dining room at a limited capacity (and take out is in person only).
Pembroke – The airy restaurant at the Dupont Circle Hotel has reopened exclusively for weekend brunch with fun drinks like DIY mimosas with champagne and fresh juices, and a Bloody Mary that serves four.
Tosca Restaurant – Owner Paolo Sacco temporarily closed the gourmet Italian restaurant in October and used to rearrange the room for a ‘lighter’ feel (and an expanded bar / lounge). There’s also a new chef: Phil Marzelli, who runs the kitchen at Casa Luca and Sfoglina Downtown, and has 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 their comeback this spring. Meanwhile, Eric Hilton tells us that the Gibson is going to resurface in a new location.
China Chilcano – José Andrés reopened his Peruvian restaurant Penn Quarter with a Chifa and Nikkei menu (Peruvian-Chinese and Japanese) and new outdoor pisco patio.
Cane – Chef Peter Prime’s popular Trinidadian restaurant has just reopened with limited indoor dining. A new 14th Street Pan-Caribbean restaurant, St. James, is slated to open later this summer.
Social anchovy – Danny Meyer’s DC businesses, which opened at Navy Yard just before the pandemic, are making a comeback. This rooftop bar recently debuted with cocktails and a light seafood-focused 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 at the moment and reservations are recommended through Resy.
Players Club and SkyBox – You can now head to Shaw’s basement fun game bar, albeit without games (due to DC regulations). The rooftop sports lounge is also open for drinking and catching games.
Victura Park – The Kennedy Center dog and kid friendly food and wine garden, 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 soft drinks is accompanied by a new outdoor grill. Hang a table or bring a blanket.
Via Sophie – The Italian restaurant at the Hamilton Hotel in downtown DC has reopened for on-site and take-out dining. The dining room will operate from breakfast to dinner – think wood-fired pizzas and seasonal Italian dishes – and there’s a new 20-seat patio for alfresco dining.
Crimson View – The retro rooftop bar at the Chinatown Pod Hotel has reopened with cocktails and seasonal bites.
The farm – The loyal French restaurant in Bethesda plans to open “shortly after Easter Sunday” (April 4).
Rooster & Owl – The inventive 14th Street fine-dining restaurant reopens for indoor and outdoor dining on Friday, March 19 after switching to take-out only during the pandemic. Diners can create their own four-course menus ($ 75). Reservations are recommended (and take out is always available).
Dolcezza – The beloved local ice cream company is on the rebound after announcing plans to close five stores last fall (only two closed permanently). The Dupont Circle store opened on March 19 and the company is offering free ice cream in the celebration.
Cool-Electric Aid – Shaw’s new outdoor bar closed for a few frosty months, but returned on March 17 with frozen and canned drinks, and weekend food trucks like Swizzler and Schmaltz Bros.
that of Solly – The U Street waterhole just reopened on March 15 with food from neighbor Lulu’s Wine Garden and an outdoor screen for watching sports.
Best of Brookland – The neighborhood gastropub recently reopened its doors for on-site dining (indoor and outdoor patio) after only offering take-out and delivery meals this winter.
Echo Park – Eric and Ian Hilton recently announced that they will reopen many bars and restaurants that they closed indefinitely last fall. Among the first is this atmospheric pizzeria with fireplaces and a back patio.
Prince of the hills – The charming neighborhood bar on H Street has reopened with a new reservation policy (only full evenings can be seated) and several private room options, including one with darts, for you and your pod.
Sonny’s Pizza – Park View Pizzeria has reopened for take-out and delivery after a winter shutdown, and is redeveloping its large outdoor pizza garden to welcome diners this spring.
Dan’s Coffee – Against all odds, Adams Morgan’s beloved dive is back to action Fridays and Saturdays with food from neighboring DC Pitchers.
On the horizon
Silver Lyan – Ryan Chetiyawardana’s (aka Mr Lyan, aka one of the “World’s Best Bartenders”) whimsical underground cocktail bar returns on Friday July 16 at the Riggs DC Hotel. The bar had a very brief run after it opened in February 2020 with intricate cocktails and fun flourishes like fancy Jell-o shots.
Mini bar – The exceptional modernist tasting room of José Andrés, two Michelin stars, is expected to reopen in early fall. Meanwhile, the adjoining Barmini cocktail bar has reopened with fancy drinks, events, and pop-up menus and bites.