U Street Scuttlebutt: Cafe Nema and Momo’s Sports Bar Could be Closing Next Tuesday?

Cafe Nema and Momo’s Sports bar (located upstairs from Nema) are located at 1334 U St, NW. And let me say in advance that ever since they opened in late ’07 (and Cafe Nema opened many years before that) Momo’s Sports bar has been one of my favorites in the city. So I certainly hope that they are around for many more years.

Now some may, rather some morally and ethically superior beings will call me irresponsible for posting this scuttlebutt before getting triple confirmation and a glossy press release from a reputable PR firm (especially after nearby Creme Cafe fired its management team and their Web site was hacked and announced they were closing which turned out to be false), nevertheless I will go forward with my alleged irresponsible behavior because, because I’m a fracking blogger not Edward R. Murrow.

I actually did go down to Cafe Nema on Tues. afternoon and while I couldn’t get anyone to confirm, let’s just say there were curious meetings going on at the time of my visit. But the real reason I am willing to share this scuttlebutt is because I got this tip from multiple different readers. They all had a basic time frame but most recently one has said they will close next Tuesday. It is not clear if the restaurant and/or sports bar will close completely or will simply change ownership/management. All this seems to be up in the air. But something is definitely going on here.

A year ago, we learned that there were some tax problems with Cafe Nema but they quickly reopened.

More details if/when they become available.

35 Comment

  • Momo’s wouldn’t be missed. Their wings and nachos are terrible. Went to go see game 7 lakers vs. celtics….never again!

  • momo’s sucks ballz

  • PoP – love your second paragraph 🙂 scuttlebutt is just that, and you always clearly state as much. Don’t let the haters get you down!

  • are there actually any decent sports bars in this city? When I think of sports bar I think greasy food and cheap beers. I don’t know of any that have reasonably priced beers around here.

    • I watch most football and baseball at home, but the Ugly Mug on Barracks Row is a fantastic place to watch Boxing. They never charge a cover for the big PayPerView fights and usually have $3 tecate all night long. Bar food is decent too.

    • I’ve had good experiences at Ventnors in AdMo.

      • I second super_b’s recommendation of Ventnor. It’s one of the few non-pretentious sports bars in DC and if you go long enough it becomes somewhere where everyone knows your name.

        Any bar that on an off night (no locals in action) would have the NHL’s Battle of Alberta (Calgary/Edmonton) WITH SOUND is an automatic win by me even with the split personality of Phillies and Caps flags outside.

      • love that place. good food too. i love tots.

    • Old dominion fits that mold and they have a wide variety of food, including sushi.

      never tried the food at Solly’s but the set up on the 2nd floor is really nice if you want to watch more than 1 game.

    • There are some excellent sports bars in this town that fit your description, but I’m not telling YOU where they are.

    • At the risk of getting totally dumped on, I must nominate Nelly’s as a fun place to watch games. I watched a lot of football there last winter (I’m a straight gal, btw) and really liked the atmosphere. There are TVs everywhere!! Didn’t have any food so can’t review that but the drinks are on special all day, I think. The Bloody Marys are really good as I recall. Had a lot of those.

      • +1. Watched most of the world cup games at Nellie’s. Food’s good, but on the pricey side. Bloody Marys are indeed amazing (they salt the rim with Old Bay, yum). Plus it’s a great environment. The crowd is generally made up with just as many ‘true’ sports fans, as those rooting for the ‘hot coach’ etc.

        Also, the Bottom Line downtown is good too. The beer is cheap, the food is greasy and delicious, and the burgers are huge!

      • I dislike Nellie’s (though I don’t watch sports). The lighting is atrocious and the service is terrible. Food’s not that great either.

      • Nellie’s is awesome. I’ve always had good food and service there. Friendly crowd, and everyone’s welcome.

        • You obviously go to a different Nellie’s than I do.

          Their hamburgers are worse than the food at my college dining hall. The crowd is generally cliquish and unfriendly, and it’s gotten worse over the past year (what is this – the new Halo?) The best part for me, as a gay man, is that the bar now attracts straight frat douchebags, often with women, who get really uncomfortable if you try to speak to them or be friendly. Yeah – great place to hang out. No thanks.

      • saf

        I love that place.

  • Thanks for letting us know Ed, err Dan.
    I hope this doesn’t happen to Nema. I went there for the first time a couple of weeks ago and had a great time. Super nice people working there and it’s a nice place. I would hate to see it go.

  • hahahaha. awesome pop. stick to your guns. thats why i love this blog.

  • about a year ago I thought Momos would be closing because they would always be out of certain beer and food. I liked this place a lot for sports but eventually stopped going because they were always out of things

  • I’d be surprised if Momo’s closed. Not a huge fan for the reasons stated above but it’s often packed when I walk by during big games/events.

  • I love Momo’s wings! And i think it’s a great place to watch games, not to mention super convenient. They are always really accommodating to our groups and super friendly. I would be sad if they closed.

    Also, they just had a deal on What’s the Deal DC. I would be interested to know if, if they are in fact closing, if I would get a refund for that.

  • For some of you newer residents, Cafe Nema was one of the few places to grab a drink and meal and listen to free Jazz 9, 10 years ago. They’re pioneers and Ibrahem, the owner is a class act. This place will sorely be missed if it indeed true. They’ve treated my wife and I like family for years.

  • aw, cafe nema is a great place to hear jazz. that would be a sad loss.

  • from the #TDBnight thursday happy hour twitter feed:
    5:48 p.m. Sad news from Momo’s. TBD Night has just confirmed that its last day of operation will be Monday, Oct. 11. The sports bar, along with its sister jazz club downstairs, Cafe Nema, are going out of business due to issues with their lease. Cafe Nema has been on U Street for 18 years, so it’s a real loss for the neighborhood. More TK.

  • That is a cosmic shame.

  • So very sad, we practically lived here and were great friends with Mawi, Mary and Walter and all the rest of the crew that has come and gone there.

    Very disappointed they didn’t let people know with more advanced notice, especially since we went there every weekend and no on ever mentioned anything.

    Anyone know where the bartenders Mary and Walter went?

    Much love to the Momo crew and hope they replace it with something as great and relaxed as Momos was.

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