Dear PoP – No More Entrees at Looking Glass Lounge


“Dear PoP,

Looking glass dropped their entrees. Their excuse: we are transitioning away from being a restaurant. Hmm. I’m disappointed.”

Did many folks go to Looking Glass Lounge, on Georgia Ave at Princeton Streets, NW, for the entrees? Personally I’ve always been a big fan of the grilled cheese and tomato. Will you miss the entrees?

Ed. Note: Looking Glass Lounge is a PoP advertiser.

44 Comment

  • horrible news!! wish we could convince them this is a bad idea.

  • Are they going under? Sounds like a desperation cost cutting move. Hope I’m wrong…

  • I agree. This is a bad move by Looking Glass. I wonder what the thought is behind it. Hey PoP, since they are an advertiser, can you ask them?

  • Looking glass was so much better when it was Temperance Hall. Another disappointing move. That area needs good restaurants not half rate bars.

    • Totally agree. We live around the corner and went fairly frequently when it was Temperance Hall. We gave them the benefit of the doubt as Looking Glass for a while, but it’s been a constant downhill slide. Haven’t been back in at least a year.

      • miss t-hall with a passion. lgl is a huge disappointment. wont miss the food, to say it was mediocre is generous.

  • So what food will you still be able to order??

  • I worked part-time in a restaurant/bar a few years back and all our food costs skyrocketed nearly 50% along with a bunch of delivery/gas fees added on top. It simply became unprofitable to have a kitchen, and eventually we applied with DCRA to transition from a restaurant to a tavern license. Not sure what kind of license LGL has, but they could be positioning themselves for a transition. ANC’s/(in)voluntary agreements often play into this move.

  • I completely agree with N on this one. The food, atmosphere…EVERYTHING…was better when it was Temperance Hall. I haven’t been back in 2 years. Sucks.

  • I was not a fan of Temperance Hall, simply because they were advocating the closing of the Penthouse, which is one of my favorite haunts.

  • noooooo…. love the grilled cheese and burger. sad, very sad. not many places in the hood to grab a decent burger and beer. im less likely to go at all now.

  • ! zoots – but I hope they’ll hold onto the fryer so we can still get wings

    . I really like the Looking Glass, I always have fun and I think it’s a nice crow, it’s also more comfortable to hang out in, in my opinion, than Wonderland.

  • Guys,
    The bar food is still there: wings, burgers, grilled cheese. They just added a reuben (turkey or corned beef) and some other stuff.

    By “entrees” POP is referring to the pork chops, steak salad, etc. The kitchen is still open. You can still get a meal. Just not a meal that you eat soley with a knife and fork.

    To those that still pine for the days of Temperance Hall… if TH hadn’t asked to be bought, they would have gone under and there’d be one more boarded up storefront on GA Ave. Be thankful that you have the option of wetting your whistle at someplace other than ‘Da House.

    • The House is an awesome establishment. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that establishment whatsoever.

      • Are you on something, Jeremy?

        The House is the most vile, disgusting establishment I’ve ever set foot in. Unless you have an appetite for 300 lbs strippers, rolling around on a carpet that hasn’t been cleaned in 50 years, I don’t understand the appeal.

        I’ve been there two times as kind of joke. I treated some of the contractors working on my house to a drink and laugh, and both times the unanimous reaction was from all the guys was – “Wow, that place is aweful!”. It IS an experience, like witnessing a grizzle crime scene, but after the shock, wears off, why else would you want to stick around?

        • Nope! So does it make me less black or hetro b/c I don’t enjoy watching obese women in poorly maintained (to put in mildly) establishment? And does Laurence Martin in “Big Mama’s House” give you a strange tingly feeling down there?

        • Actually Nate, it’s Martin Lawrence – you’re pretty out of touch. The women at the Penthouse are not big, but realistic. Sorry, I don’t like 90 pound soaking wet toothpicks.

  • Ontarioroader is the reality-checker here.

    So it seems we’re doomed to have the smaller, more basic menus crumble, which leaves the new crop of pubs with pretentious “master chef” menu items like diamond-crusted minotaur eggs…… Nothing wrong with those of course, but it seems like there’s no hope for a local pub with a few decent beers and a solid working-class menu.

    How’s that sport-bar next door coming along, eh? World Cup looms and I’m getting thirsty.

  • Anon 9:20 posted while I was writing my magnum opus there. Makes sense, and my bitter depression is now downgraded to a classic smirk. Thanks for the clarification.

  • what does “dropped their entrees” mean? is grilled cheese sammy an entree?

    i was there last week and had a great time. super friendly staff and patrons. LOL at people who proclaim a bar sucks but also state that they haven’t been to it in two years! WTF?

  • Personally, I think Looking Glass has enjoyed a renaissance in recent months. After some trouble transitioning from the old TH to new ownership, I think they put out a pretty decent product nowadays. Good and friendly service, basic but tasty food, good vibe, etc. I’ve had several conversations with one of the managers, Jay I think his name is, and they are really trying to do something different and better than just your average, everyday dive bar. For those who haven’t been back since the “change,” I urge you to give it another chance. I think you’ll be (pleasantly) surprised.

    • I completely agree – I loved Temperance, and have gone to LGL semi-regularly since the switch. It was ROUGH at first, with menu items coming and going, and things made one way one week made completely differently the next. But lately – last six months? – I feel like it has settled in, and I’ve had consistently good times there. Nice, unpretentious and tasty. Especially, of course, the grilled cheese & tomato. And my man likes the pork wings and the Lancaster beef stew.

  • If they don’t have prohibition peanuts, who cares what else they serve! Those prohibition peanuts were the best!

  • I never actually ate the entrees and think there were a little out of place for LGL. I think this is actually a good move.

    They added some menu items (including curly fries!). I like going to LGL. The wait staff is nice and we always have a good time there. I am not a huge fan of the djs on Friday nights but that hardly keeps me from going there.

  • I was the one that sent the email to PoP. I’m generally a big fan of Looking Glass and as a close-by neighbor, I would be devastated if it didn’t make it (and above posters are correct, they really seem to be filling up more recently.)

    By entrees I meant, well, entrees. Steak, meatloaf (they still have the sandwiches, etc. They were good and cheap (best $12 steak, salad and fries in the city, imho).

    A couple of months ago I took my family visiting from out of town though, and had a miserable experience. All of the food was cold. When we politely asked for it to be reheated we were told — “this isn’t really a restaurant — we don’t do food.” I was shocked. I emailed the owner but never received a response or apology. I again went last night (I had been back but not for food) and noticed the entrees were gone. I asked the waitress and she again reiterated that “we are transitioning away from a restaurant to more of a tavern.”

    Fine. I think it is a stupid move considering the neighborhood is only getting better and there is an utter absence of sit down restaurants. But if they want to go that way, fine. What I think is not tolerable, however, is that they think they can make an excuse for their food by simply calling it a tavern. If you serve food — you must stand behind it. Period.

    I love this place. I want it to thrive. I think they made a poor choice.

  • Not sure if this is good news or bad. I was not happy with the transformation from Temeperance Hall and had stayed away for a long while. Then I decided to give it another shot a few weeks ago and enjoyed a very good meal on one of their trivia nights. I’m not really sure if what I ate was an “entree” though.
    If the menu is the picture is the new menu, it might be worth another visit.
    The biggest mistake the new owners made was eliminating Sunday brunch. It was pretty popular a few years ago and the neighborhood has only gotten more yuppified since then. They would make a killing now because there is no other brunch option in the area. (I’m kind of done with Domku’s brunch.)

    How about an update on the other new additions to that area – the sports bar, Manny and Olga’s, Subway, the Thai restaurant, and the coffee shop. I have not seen any recent construction activity at any of these locations.

  • If they only dropped meals like steak and still kept sandwiches and burgers and everything else, then this is not actually that big of news. I’ve never ordered an “entree” there anyway.

    I heard they downgraded the cheese on their nachos from real cheese to squirtable cheese too.

    Also, a few of my recent memorable experiences of bad customer service have come from this place.

    During the snowstorm, I went there and asked why their meals were not being served with fries like usual (they were trying to charge the same price for less food). The server said if I didn’t like it, I could leave and go cook for myself instead. What the hell? haha

  • Their service is horrible anyway. They can’t do it right, so they should leave it alone.

    Barmaid with the brown hair needs a serious attitude fix.

  • I keep trying to give Looking Glass another chance… and another chance. And then another chance. But something always goes wrong, every dang time. I order a hefeweizen and get a dark, dark bitter brown ale of some kind and am refused a switch; half my order is forgotten time and time again; chili is always colder than room temp; lazy service in general.

  • Yeah, any updates on the new spots coming to the area?

    -anxiously waiting

  • The Green Room missed their anticipated opening date (in time for the super bowl) so so badly.

  • Looking Glass is great.

    Water yall talking about?

    Everyone always pining about the past. Internet critics

  • Oh, well, I mostly only ever got the sandwiches anyway. So no loss personally.
    I would guess that this is an economic move and that the pork chops or whatever are just not a cost effective entree for their audience. I’m sure they did the math, folks.

  • They need better drink and food specials. My fiance and I live right down the street and would go more often if it was a little more affordable…saying during happy hour. Instead we take a longer trek to go elsewhere for a better deal.

  • I dont think the loss of entrees is a big deal at all, their entrees were crap. Look at the picture of the menu, they’re still serving food, just not the expensive food that tasted like shit anyway.

    Mmm… the pulled pork is the best!

    I’m in agreement with a few others posters though, their service is LAZY and they really need some drink specials to attract the weekday crowd.

  • I think LGL is a great neighborhood bar with a good atmosphere, a solid beer list and good bar food.

    I’ve not had any customer service issues there. The fare that they are keeping on the menu matches the personality of the space. I probably visit twice a month and rarely saw others ordering entrees. It’s a sensible move.

  • I lament the loss of steak at the looking glass. Their steak specials were between 12-20 bucks for a nice cut of flat-iron.

    One of the best deals in town. But no mas! Bad move from the Wonderland owners….. If I want hotdogs and dive bar, I’ll go to the Wonderland, but the Glass was a nice counterpoint to the uber-hipsterness of Wonderland.

  • Over the summer (I think), the owner of LGL came to the Park View UNC to explain that it could not sustain the business model of being a “restaurant” and planned to transition to a “tavern” license, which had less stringent alcohol-to-food ration requirements. The rationale made sense, and overall, I think it makes business sense–there’s no way they could have maintained a high food-to-alcohol ratio (by revenue) if most customers are like me and come in and order two $6 pints of beer and some $7 bar food.

    As more of the restaurants under Park Place open up, I think it makes a lot of business sense for LGL to focus on serving alcohol and bar food. In a few months, I could easily see myself having dinner at Sala Thai and then hanging out for some beers at the LGL.

  • So funny to see how an opinion turns into fact. Looking Glass menu has not changed really in the last while. They still have steak, burgers, ceasar salad. Is no body reading the menu thats posted?

    And who cares if they’re not trying to be a restaurant. Its a bar with bar food. People need to read before they speak. Its also funny to notice that most comments are between the hours of 9 and 5. Don’t people have jobs or does half of the employers in the region pay their staff to do restaurant commentary?

  • ha ha. totally! She is the worst bartender ever, she just flat out has a bad attitude..i dont understand how miss \brown hair\ keeps a job there. Me and pretty much all the people i know have stopped spending alot of money there because of it.

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