Judging Restaurants – Rogue States

You may have heard yesterday that a ruling was made in the infamous burger fumes case pitting Rogue States vs. a neighboring law firm (Steptoe & Johnson). The Blog of Legal Times (BLT, seriously, BLT) wrote:

“As of 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, Rogue States, A Burger Company will have to cease operating to comply with a D.C. Superior Court judge’s verdict in the closely watched dispute between the restaurant and its neighbor, Steptoe & Johnson.

Judge John Mott’s ruling came after a three-day trial in which several Steptoe employees testified that fumes from the restaurant’s exhaust system were causing health problems, including watery eyes, headaches and nausea.”

This and the coming arrival of a Shake Shack nearby make this a very rough year. Rogue States is/was located at 1300 Connecticut Ave, NW. But I’m curious about the bottom line, were there many fans of the burgers?

24 Comment

  • Tragic. I made the effort to grab a burger at lunch (Fed Triangle to Dupont and back during lunch break) and was not disappointed. Ordered online, food was accurate and delicious, even after the 15 minute train/walk back.

    I pray they take up the space where Les Halles still lies vacant.


    Dammit that was my go to restaurant at 4 am after partying in Dupont or Golden Triangle. And yes it was ALWAYS packed with drunken revelers.

    I’ve been once on a weekend afternoon and was almost empty though. Really good burgers, expensive but REALLY GOOD.

    I hope they relocate or get a better ventilation system.

  • I am sad. I too hope they are able to relocate. Granted, I’ve never had Rogue States sober, but it definitely became my go-to after a night out in Dupont.

  • Fucking lawyers.

  • This place is/was tasty. hope they can figure it out so they can stay.

  • definitely my favorite burger place in the area. i hope they open somewhere else.

  • Steptoe should get some serious bad karma out of this. And the cheap large corporate landlord should be ashamed of themselves for signing a tenant who paid a lot of money for the build-out that the landlord was not equipped to handle. This should have been a landlord-tenant suit, and I think the tenant would have won. You don’t sign a burger place as a tenant unless you have the facilities in place to accommodate them.

    • Your post makes no sense to me. Why wouldn’t it be the tenant’s responsibility to make sure the space they’re signing the lease for can accommodate their business? Also, it looks like it’ll only cost $150,000 to fix the problem- that’s pocket change to a high-volume downtown business.

  • Funny… the fumes from Steptoe lawyers cause me to have watery eyes, headaches and nausea.

  • I loved the burgers here! They also have delicious sweet potato fries. One of my favorite burger joints in town, so I hope they can figure this out.

  • I hope those lawyers rot in hell for this.

  • Meat is murder

  • 1st reaction: stupid lawyers.

    2nd reaction: serves them right for ending their burger, fries & drink special a few months back.

  • We had their burgers for the first time this weekend. While it is/was no Ray’s Hellburger, it was pretty amazing. I hope this works out or they are able to relocate.

    That said, there are several other fancy burger joints in Dupont.

  • Handsdown, best burgers In the city. Delicious. Hope they relocate!

  • “The plaintiffs have proven that there is a nuisance by a preponderance of the evidence, and based on the entirely credible testimony from employees who work in the building…”

    Seriously!? That is not proof of anything except collective lying at worst, and group-think at best. Did anyone consider the possibility they smelled burger because they *expected* to smell it?

    There was no chemically identifiable presence, even the law firm’s own hired investigator failed to confirm the smell when reported by others. Rogue States went through great expense and effort, to which Steptoe could have offered assistance to achieve their own concocted solution. But this is law – science, hard evidence and compromise be damned! They came to WIN!!

  • I was tempted to try them out yesterday, but apparently it came out in trial that they have already secured a new spot in the U St. area:

    “If there’s any silver lining to this situation, it’s this fact, which came out earlier in the trial under direct examination by the plaintiffs’ lawyer Deborah Baum. In trying to show that the closing of Rogue States wouldn’t hurt the business as much as Mendizabal has indicated, she asked him he had signed a lease for another location of the burger joint. He said that he had.

    It looks as if Rogue States in Dupont may be dead. But another one will open at some point at 1931 14th St. NW in the former Bargain World Inc. space.”


  • Their burgers were/are ridiculously good. There is no comparison in D.C. and they need to come back. First Fuddruckers (the only option a year ago), now this short tease with Rogue. If you have business with Steptoe, I urge you to find another law firm — your own legal health can’t possibly be as important as the greatest burger in D.C. 2 blocks from my office.

    • Business with Steptoe? It ain’t like anyone reading this blog has $600 an hour to spend to have Reid Weingarten represent them in traffic court.

  • I’ve eaten at this place three or four times and I’ve hated it every time. It takes forever for them to prepare the burgers. The place is over-staffed. The music is terrible. The prices are astronomical. The burgers were okay at best. This place wouldn’t have stayed in business regardless.

  • Fucking lawyers. Even if they open on U st, it will now be 10 blocks from my house instead of 1, and thanks to DC’s wonderfully efficient bicycle thieves I can’t get there easily.

    The curry burger was the best burger in the city hands down (except when they overcook it which unfortunately was not that rare). Omg what a great pun. Haha sorry.

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