Jack’s Closed (For Renovations?) on 17th Street, NW


A reader wrote in saying that it closed rather abruptly. I walked by this weekend to snap a photo and saw some permits in the window. It said the proposed use will continue to be a restaurant. Does anyone know if it will remain Jack’s or become a new restaurant?


36 Comment

  • That place was more or less the bar of last resort on 17th, where you’d go if you wanted to sit outside and Trio’s/Fox and Hounds were so incredibly crowded that there was no hope of getting a table for the rest of the night.

  • Oh man.. I love this place. I hope it doesn’t close

  • Oh man.. I hope this place does not close.

  • Oh man, I hope this place closes, and someone starts serving decent food out of that storefront. Seriously, the only affordable-and-edible food option on 17th St is Hank’s. Please, someone, create competition.

  • I just remember this place always smelling like cleaning fluid/bleach, like they had hosed down the whole interior shortly before opening at night.

  • thank god this place is awful, i work next door to it and its need a major overhaul…i miss boss shepards

  • this place must have an evil curse. it changes names every year or two but the food never gets any better.

  • i went in there once and the place had a strong pee smell. walked right back out. hope it opens as something else that doesn’t smell like urine.

  • I was there a few months ago and the owner told me they were planning to open an upstairs and an upstairs roof deck. Maybe they closed for a bit to do some construction.

  • Jack’s and Masa 14 are owned by the same person. Due to the huge success of Masa 14, the owner was able to shut-down Jack’s for a couple of months for costly renovations.

  • Well then, based on the earlier comments, I hope renovation #1 is, “Fill the entire building with bleach for a week to get rid of that urine smell.”

    (Followed by renovation #2, “Learn how to make better food. Perhaps by returning the stolen tiki idol to break the curse.”)

  • I was in the nail salon on Friday evening and heard some major renovation-type banging around down below. Sounded like a definite overhaul. Let’s pray the food gets up to par with the likes of Masa 14. We sooooo need another good spot on 17th!

  • Whoa, what happened to the Captcha? Is it gone for good now?

    • Prince Of Petworth

      captcha is having some technical difficulties at the moment. It will be restored shortly.

  • I miss Peppers!

  • Sorry to see this place apparently not go. I found it lackluster in everyway. And the inside smelled like feet, not urine. I was hoping for something new and decent to go in here, but apparently must keep waiting.

    Hard to believe that the owners of Masa 14 own this dive.

  • On the last night of being open as Jack’s, one of the bartenders said it would reopen in two months as a Turkish tapas restaurant.

    I’ve also been told by the same bartender that the Turkish owners are homophobes. If the local community and patrons knew that I doubt they’d still be in business…

  • They have such a great happy hour, I hope they open back up soon!

  • SouthwestDC

    I heard the owner didn’t like the types of people who went to Jack’s (then why open a bar in the gay neighborhood?), so he was turning the space into a Mediterranean tapas restaurant in the hopes of attracting more refined clientele.

    Unless the food is spectacular or the prices are really good, I honestly don’t see this plan succeeding. The tapas trend died about five years ago, and the sad reality is that people come to 17th street to drink and party, not to have a nice meal.

    Not that it wouldn’t be nice to have a decent restaurant in the gaybourhood, but I’m not holding my breath.

    • Wow. This sounds like a total rumor. So you think the owner believes that the gay clientele would be less refined than, say, Adams Morgan on a Saturday night? Also, changing the theme of the restaurant/bar is going to make the unwanted gays change location? Is this person an idiot? I don’t actually believe you could be correct…your comment sounds like total rumor.

      My 2 cents since I live in this hood and have been going to Jacks for years when others drag me there — the food sucks (like most of the 17th street restaurants), but they have had super cheap drinks and food specials (unlike a lot of 17th street). Perhaps, since foodie is everyone’s middle name these days, they are attempting to make their image a little more like Masa’s. That would make sense and be a smart move.

      • Could be– I only heard it from one of the bartenders a month or two ago (I only go there when someone drags me, myself).

      • All I know is one of the regular bartenders also told me that the owners were homophobic.

        And while I have no idea if the renovated place will have a bar set up or geared to Jack’s normal crowd on a typical night, I’m sure the owners will still gladly take our $$ in any way they can, either by eating or drinking there.

  • Please baby Jesus sen us something good. Its so sad that every restaurant in my enighborhood sucks.

    two days ago i walked done 17th and thought how nice it would be if any of these served good food where you could sit outside and enjoy the weather. It sucks to have to make the trade off of good food or being outdoors.

    I honestly think if one good place opened they would clean up. its not like Dc’ers are’nt willing to pay for quality.

    • Hank’s is the only reasonable food option on 17th St… Well, besides the $80+ a person Sushi Taro or the $150+ a person Komi…

  • I’m surprised the DEA or MPD hasn’t raided this place yet. It’s well known in the neighborhood as the coke den of 17th St.

    • That probably explains why the owner wants to get rid of the Jack’s customers/staff and make the place more food-oriented– can’t say I blame him one bit.

  • It’s true Hanks (and Komi) are the only good places to eat on 17th. Went to the Thai place on P recently and it once again kinda sucked.

  • Jack’s was AWFUL–the owner/manager was incredibly rude to us when we were there–our food hadn’t shown up for an HOUR and we finally just said we had to leave, and they wanted to charge us anyway for the food that NEVER CAME.

  • LOL, this locale is simply cursed. It was awful as Jacks, awful as Le Pigalle, awful as Peppers, and I’d be willing to be it was awful as whatever it was before that. Definitely the crappiest of the inexplicably crappy 17th Street restaurants. A shame… hopefully something new will come and break the spell/wake the princess, or queen as the case may be. 🙂

    • Unfair. I don’t know much about Jacks, which has been there for years, and minus the ridiculous experiment that was Pigalle, both Peppers and Boss Shepherds were there for years (and I think under same ownership) and did good business. Neither were fancy but Peppers had good burgers, among other things, and Boss was good comfort food.

  • I also heard they are going to add a roof deck. They went before the ANC about it already.

  • The place was named after my German Shepherd, “Jack”.
    I was always pretty embaressed by how bad the place was. That’s such
    a great neighborhood for a restaurant/bar, hope something good
    goes in.

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