Could it be the Beginning of the End? Enology Wine Bar Closes


Ed. Note: thanks to a reader for sending the initial heads up about Enology closing.

Enology Wine Bar located at 3238 Wisconsin Avenue, NW has closed and will reopen as Alliance Tavern:


Word on the street was that the owners will remain the same. However, the new place seems like it will be much more casual than Enology. A sign said that new space will also have a DJ.

I wonder if this is the beginning of the end of the Wine bar trend? But before I jump to conclusions I have to add that this location may be cursed as it seems to change businesses/names every few years. What do you guys think – has the wine bar trend run its course? Do you think we’ll see other wine bars around town either close or change their style?

21 Comment

  • hmmm….much as I love wine, I have never been even tempted to go to a wine bar. can’t quite figure that out.

  • p.s. it seems i KNEW there’d be a split infinitive involved.

  • I think we’ve probably reached the saturation point, but I don’t see any of the others going out of business soon, at least not based on the crowds at Cork, the place on 11th Street, and Room 11 …

    I just wish someone would start a “semi-authentic Chinese food” or “affordable, good Italian food” trend in D.C. …

  • I really wish we could do something about those awful outdoor building lights that seem to be springing up all over the place.

  • “Big Comfort Food” = Big Recession Food

  • I hope this is the beginning of the end, and that the middle and actual end come sooner than later.

  • That was actually a decent place to eat in the city. There are already too many places that serve crap quality. Oh well.

  • I am wondering when the chocolate shop trend will rise… voiceofreason?

  • It always seemed to me the wine bar trend was better suited to areas with higher population density than DC. I love wine, but I’m not going to go out and pay $8/glass instead of uncorking a bottle of my own at home. No doubt DC can accomodate a few of these places, but like cupcake shops and fro-yo, I’m guessing a thinning of the herd is in order, and this may be just the beginning.

  • It already switched over a bit ago…it’s actually more of a combo wine bar/tavern. They have an expanded beer selection but still have an extensive wine list by the bottle and the glass. Doesn’t seem like much changed actually, other than some tweaks to the menu and the name. I think they are also mixing up their domestic/international wine offerings.

  • I’d always heard that this place was pretty crappy, so maybe it’s the end of really bad wine bars. One can only hope. And from the looks of it (8 draft beers? 18 bottled beers? Nothing earth shattering there), the new place doesn’t sound like anything special, either. I’ll give it a chance, though.

  • I have never gone to a wine bar because I’d rather spend $50 on wine and have friends over. It’s not the same as going out to a restaurant for a good meal one can’t make at home. I compare it to going out to see movies. 20 years ago I went out to see movies because:
    1. had to get out of the house
    2. had to see the latest film rather than wait 2 years for video
    3. vhs was ok, but not great
    4. tvs were ok but not great

    today one can see a stunning film not more than 6 months after it comes out on video.

    Today one can drop $50 on 3 bottles of good wine and have friends over.

  • The problem is that harldy anyone knows that “Enology” is the study of wine, and not music of Brian Eno.

  • I loved Enology. Sad to see it go.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Thanks to a reader for sending their web site:

  • According to the Gemeral Manger, the neighborhood just did not support a wine bar, and the lack of Metro prevented it from getting more people from outside the neighborhood, so they changed to make it more of a neighborhood spot. The bar is now wood instead of marble, and the eight drafts that they have are not your pedestrian variety. And they still have 60 wines by the glass, but the format has expanded to include wines form outsie the US.

  • Enology was “ok” – but my big gripe was that over the course of an hour or two, the bar tab would vary by a couple of dollars even though you were still ordering the same drinks. No big loss, but it sounds like all they’ve done is gone from a marble bar with overpriced food/drinks to a wooden bar with overpriced food/drinks that now venture outside the borders of the U.S.

  • I enjoyed Enology a few times after they finally got a decent food menu. In the beginning they alienated a lot of locals (middle-aged professionals with good incomes who wanted a nearby bar with good wines) with overpriced wines and only a tiny food selection — charcuterie, cheese, chocolate — this works fine at Veritas but not in Enology’s neighborhood. And they had an attitude about the place, the menu, etc. that was off-putting. Over time, they tried to change to match the needs of neighborhood patrons, but first impressions are hard to change and some of my friends would not try it again.

    Looks like now they are changing to attract a wider audience and I look forward to visiting soon. I also hope Enology will rise again, perhaps in Friendship Heights.

  • I would like a good ramen place.

  • The change to Alliance Tavern is terrific. The food is great, especially the Potomac Cioppino. The fries are downright addictive. Lots of excellent craft beers, much better with the new menu, but they still have the top notch cocktails and excellent wines.
    One of the owners told me that they’re going to start offering new specials every night of the week and opening for lunch. Best of all, both Saturday and Sunday brunch.
    I really like the new interior. Much warmer than the old decor. We stayed a long time and enjoyed ourselves.
    This is “change we can believe in!”

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