Did Ollie’s Trolley Get Renovated?


I received an email about some work going on at Ollie’s Trolley located at 425 12th St, NW. It’s Web site says:

“Voted best in town for our famous seasoned burgers and fries with 26 herbs and spices including to die for shakes and soft serve ice cream.”

Sadly, it doesn’t say who voted… and it doesn’t mention a renovation. Anyway, are these among the best burgers and fries in town?

I know the below sign is new:


21 Comment

  • I don’t about the best, but definitely they are up at the top. The fries are awesome, and the burgers are pretty good.

  • I LOVE Ollies! They, in my humble opinion, are one of the best diner-style food establishments in the district… anyone who says otherwise is asking to get poked with a stick; a pointy although not entirely sharp stick.

  • I think the other Ollie’s Trolley on L St was renovated…but into a different bar. Thrillist has the launch deets.


  • The other (less known) Ollie’s Trolley on L Street was recently shut down and renovated into a wine bar called “The Reserve”- see here: http://www.dcsocialite.com/the-reserve and http://www.reserveonl.com/

    Just don’t get rid of the “original” Ollie’s near Metro Center!!

  • Also underrated in that neighborhood is Lincoln’s Waffle Shop- it moved a couple doors down from the original, but still the same cheap diner food as always. Not many people seem to know about it (or care)

  • Love Ollie’s, very tasty burgers.

  • I thought that place was called Boxcar Willie’s.

  • A wine bar, eh? Had a feeling it was something sort of “fancy” as I’ve seen the renovations take place over the last couple of weeks. Kinda sad to see it go.

  • I think the Facade of the old Waffle Shop is one of the coolest in the City- all gilded in chrome splendor! I wish someone found a way to use it effectively!

  • Looks reworked to me–I hope the food’s the same though!

  • Good burgers, but… Cash only ? WTF! accept debit cards.

  • I remember when I was just a wee lad and my family lived near an Ollie’s just outside of Clarendon (it was very very different back then), ah memories…

  • dude, does anybody remember how ollie’s had good fries with a million spices? was that only the one on L Street? i don’t think the one downtown has the awesome fries. if the one on L closed, then is there a location with those super spicy fries?

  • PoP you totally should have taken some photos inside. They’ve got all these great old toys/signs/ soda machines etc. Ollies fries are pretty awesome.

  • Jemal is supposed to setup a new Waffle Shop north of NY Ave once he gets a tenant. HPRB negotiated some deal where the facade gets preserved, but Jemal dismantled the interior and put it in storage. Not holding my breath though. Lincoln House Waffle Shop holds its own, but it’s not really the same without that linoleum counter and those greasy venetian blinds.

    And Ollies is all kind of win, especially the Ollie Fries. They used to be owned by the Lum’s chain of restaurants, before they folded. Love those Ollieburgers with the Ollie Special Sauce. You can really taste the Ollie.

  • I saw some renovations happening a couple of months ago – every time I walk past, it is always packed, so I have never gotten a chance to eat there. I think I might have to after reading all of your comments!

  • To the poster complaining about Ollie’s not taking debit cards:

    I’m not in any way connected with Ollie’s, but I think they have a perfectly good reason for not taking debit cards.

    One thing many customers don’t understand is that credit cards cost merchants a lot of money in processing fees — and debit cards cost even more. The worst hit are independent businesses and small merchants, because they have the least bargaining power. (Unlike Target or Walmart, your local dry cleaner is not in much of a position to negotiate for a discount with the card issuers.) Interestingly, it costs the merchant more when you use a rewards card that gives you miles/points or cash back.

    One dry cleaner I know told me she pays $600/month on card transaction fees. There’s a flat fee for each transaction, plus a percentage on the bill. That means that merchants pay more as an overall percentage when you use a card for a small purchase. She said that every merchant she knows cringes when customers pull out a card for a $4-$5 purchase, because the transaction fees might amount to the whole profit margin.

    (She wasn’t complaining because she wants transactions off the books, either. Like most dry cleaners, she has an electronic order tracking system, so every purchase goes into the computer. And she said she doesn’t mind checks at all, since they’re effectively free to deposit in her commercial account.)

    So please, those of you who believe in supporting independent businesses — save your credit/debit cards for large purchases. For small transactions, pay by cash or check. Otherwise, you have no right to complain when small businesses empty out of your neighborhoods or are replaced by boring chains.

  • Well here’s the thing – Ollies is overpriced. It’s like 10 bucks for a burger, soda, and fries.

    Seriously, I understand they are independent, but when you charge me 10 bucks for a meal, then you need to be taking a credit card.

    For what it’s worth, they have some of the best fries in Washington DC.

  • only $10 for all of that? watch out, mickey d!! the best burger i’ve had lately was in my own kitchen, and even THAT cost about $5 for just the burger. no fries, no soda.

  • I love Ollie’s/ I have been going to the one on 12th St for over 10 years.
    The one that used to be located on Lst COPIED them. The original Ollie’s on 12th st has been on by the same family, not by Lum’s owner. I heard that Lum’s owner gave them permission to use the name. But the real Lum’s burger is a quite different from ollie’s burger. Anyway, Ollie’s trolley has increased price on lots of sandwiches. i know why.
    They upgraded the quaility of meat. Now it’s all natural Black Angus beef which is delivered freshly from the supplier everyday. Their crab cake is the best deal in town.
    Where can you get All Jumbo Lump Crab cake combo for under $12 in DC ? Most of retaurant uses the cheaper crab meat and charges a lot more.
    People who gets satisifed at Mickey D or think they are too expensive have no business eating at Ollie’s. they just don’t understand the quaility of food.

    In downtown DC, I also live the burger at Matchbox. They have a good one.
    The good stuff eatery/five guys suck. They freeze their meet. A bunch of moron works in the kitchen, which means they don’t cook to order (No rare, no medium).

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