Adams Mill Bar and Grill Closes in Adams Morgan, Likely to be Replaced by a Panera Bread

Adams Mill Bar and Grill was located at 1813 Adams Mill Rd NW (just north of 18th and Columbia Rd, NW). Thanks to all who sent emails about this. It is my understanding that when negotiating a new lease the rent was simply too high.

Love ’em or hate ’em they def. had one of the best patios in Adams Morgan. At the very least, in that regard it will be a big loss. Anyone happen to have a farewell drink there this weekend?

A while ago there was some speculation that the BB&T bank next door would be expanding. I don’t know if this is better or worse but it is my understanding that a Panera will be moving in. I’ll update when/if that development takes place. Do you think a Panera will be a good replacement for this space?

UPDATE 4:37 PM: TBD now reporting that Panera is coming to DC USA in Columbia Heights but not to Adams Morgan. Wild.

Stay tuned for more info on who moves into Adams Mill space when it becomes available.

111 Comment

  • Terrible… Panera in Adams Morgan? Geez!

    The NIMBYs will no doubt be pleased. I didn’t love Adams Mill, but it had street presence and character. Let’s hope BB&T doesn’t expand. Enough oversized banks taking up prime corners.

    • why would nimby’s be pleased? that makes no sense to me. i hate panera and i don’t want it in my backyard.

    • “I didn’t love Adams Mill”

      The folks who brought this place down are people like you, who didn’t patronize the Mill. Next time you want a bar you dislike to stay open, please at least patronize it repeatedly, or else don’t complain when it closes.

  • Where’s Jimmy McMillan when you need him?

  • This is tragic. If I’d of known, my whole day would have been spent there.

  • won’t miss this place, there are plenty of other dive bars in adam’s morgan. bring on the broccoli cheddar soup!

  • While surprising, this makes a lot of sense. More adult options have been needed in Adams Morgan for a long time. There are lots of bars on 18th that aren’t even open half the week — how many empty dives does a neighborhood need? I think it’s extremely likely that Panera will keep the patio seating.

    Similar to Brickskellar’s closing. It’s the end of an era: Adams Morgan is finally growing up.

    Hope everyone who works there end up on their feet. Overall, they had a great staff.

  • Sad to see AM close — always liked to get a cheap Foster’s oil can there on a saturday night. Too bad.

  • Where are all the kids gonna go after kickball now?

  • It isn’t going to be a Panera Bread (not sure where that rumor came from)… It is going to be a much nicer version of what was there — owned by an operator from the neighborhood — C’mon people get real!

  • I think we can all agree that what the neighborhood desperately needs is a Pantera Bread Company. That would be far beyond driven.

  • 1. Offtopic, but Panera Bread desperately needs a corporate redesign.

    2. AM was a pretty irresponsible neighbor. This is where that underage girl was served so much booze she overdosed and died last year.

  • @Petworth Paul, I have it on good authority that it will in fact be a Panera Bread. Would love it if you were right though. My summer won’t be the same without beers on that patio.

  • This will be the down fall of Adams Morgan! Let the Yuppies run over our lovely neighborhoods.

    • OH NO!!! yuppies!!! they’re so much more dangerous to neighborhoods than their arch rivals, hipsters!!!!

      • Could someone summarize the differences?

        • Yuppies shower more and love granite counters, I think

        • I think yuppies are people who actually have the money they spend at nicer establishments compared to hipsters who already have 100k student loans for studying literature and art from AU or something and then are just adding more credit card debt by drinking at these places..

        • hippies vs. squares.
          barbarians vs romans
          jawas vs sandpeople
          doozers vs fraggles
          chaos vs order
          nopoo vs pert plus

          insult vs insult.

    • Adams Morgan isn’t already run over by yuppies? I have you not been to the Diner on a Saturday or Sunday?

  • I know for a fact it won’t. Now the Blockbuster space — hmmm.

  • ahh yes, the bar where the bouncer attacked and body slammed me as i was LEAVING…

    “dude, i don’t know what i did, but i just want to leave. why don’t you kick me out?”

    i have to call karma on this one.

  • Maybe they should open a Panera Bread that sells jumbo slices.

  • I really hope this is a hoax. On the other hand I could totally get behind a Wagshalls opening there. That would be awesome and I heard they want to expand.

  • Yes, chains may be terrible but have you had Panera’s cinnamon crunch bagel with hazelnut c.c.? Drool……

  • You had to pay extra to get cheese on your nachos there. I won’t miss it

  • I personally am disheartened. I spent many weekend nights of my 20s in that place. A lot of very very fond memories there of drunken yore. But, alas, I am a 30 year old, pregnant, in bed by 10 PM, kind of woman now, and it seems that I personally was keeping that place afloat. I’ll miss you dearly, “The Mill”…

  • This blows. A regular bar with regular people drinking regular drinks. No pretense. Gonna miss it.

  • The addition of Panera or an analogous quick-service national chain is not a bad thing for the neighborhood, as there really is a shortage of places, other maybe than So’s Your Mom, that you can stop in and get a decent sandwich or a bagel. The problem is that the wrong bar closed. There are many terrible bars in AM that add absolutely nothing to the neighborhood (and detract from it, if anything) — any of the anonymous shit holes on 18th, for example. But Adams Mill was a true neighborhood place, and dog friendly to boot. So to that extent, it’s too bad.

    • +1. I lived across the street for seven years, and while I rarely went there, I totally agree with this assessment. Also, I agree that AM needs more sandwich/bagel types places… but could easily nominate 10 18th St. bars I would rather see go.

  • This is wrong on so many levels.

  • ah yes, the suburbanization of Adams Morgan continues. I Can’t wait for the Olive Garden and Macaroni grill.

    • We already have Pasta Mia: Olive Garden Quality, lines down the block. Awesome!

      Why is a chain like Panera inherently evil? The one-off restaurants we have in Adams Morgan are often not unique in the grand scheme of things even if they aren’t parts of larger chains.

      Before you get snooty about losing your awesome urban kickball dive bar, think of how many Arlington brown flip-floppers are going to plastic cup, picnic table dive bars after their kickball or softball games. Was Adams Mill Bar & Grill less inherently suburban than a Panera?

      No. Now enjoy your warm cheesy soup.

      • No, you’re wrong. The one-off restaurants -are- unique in the grand scheme of things. Not saying they’re all great, or even good, because not all of them are. But they are indisputably unique. So was Adams Mill. And so Panera is not.

        We can debate the merits of both, but your argument holds little water.

      • I’m sorry “olive garden quality” what? olive garden is disgusting, pasta mia is at least decent.

        obviously (although adams mill was lame) it is less suburban because it wasn’t a chain. it certainly attracted suburbanites, though.

        • Are suburbanites unappealing? What makes them so?

          Also, how do they fit into the hipster v. yuppie ranking system.

  • If you want to have a panini in Adams Morgan, go to A.M. Wine Shoppe. Their sandwiches are delicious.

    • say what you want, but THE MILL will definitely be missed. about as dressed down a bar as you could find on the strip with an banging patio to boot. while staff could be sloppy to unprofessional and the crowd changed over time, THE MILL filled a needed niche. as for PANTERA bread, I’m not against the company itself, just don’t think it’s a good fit for the neighbhorhood; hence, I’ll RESPECT, but probably WALK over to So’s Your Mom.

      What’s Wong Tong’s suggestssions?
      Adams Mill –> KO GI BOW x 2 !!! Sheet cakes and bubble tea whiskey shots!

  • I’m surprised no one has mentioned Panera Cares yet. That’s where the customer pays what he or she can. A donation amount is suggested.

    Another one just opened about a month ago in Portland, Oregon (Hollywood neighborhood).

    While I’m here, I’d like to offer a shout out to So’s Your Mom up the road on Columbia. But they don’t have seating.

    Actually, I call it Panterra, I so wish everyone else would too.

  • Eh, I stopped going to the Mill back around 2004 or so when they kicked my friends out of an area to clear tables for “dancing” while we were all watching a playoff baseball game. It was about 8pm and the bar was 99% vacant. There are plenty of other dive bars in A/M to keep the hordes happy.

  • There goes one of the best patios in Adams Morgan—hell, the whole city.

  • I HOPE WHEN THE PENERA BREAD OPENS IT BURNS TO THE GROUND… F#@! the commercialization of the district of columbia… I’m tired of chipotle, five guys, panera bread, cosi, and whatever other absolutely generic processed food shack that seems to go up everytime rents are raised on local establishments. It’s a crime and a shame!!!!

    • Um, are you new to America, then?

    • At least 5 Guys is local. Just a tad more successful than the average local joint. Pantera on the other hand is far from local. From either St. Louis or Texas. RIP Dimebag Darrell.

    • i agree with ajax 100%

    • Go open an independent bar then, jackweed. See how easy and profitable it is.

      Or better yet, get a loan and buy some property and get the retail establishment of your choice while they dick around with their rent payments to you.

  • My suburban friends say Panera kicks Corner Bakery’s behind. But I will miss 25 cent wings on football days.
    Maybe the kickball people can spread the love a little. Where else can one get pitchers and sit outside early in the evening?

  • i didn’t like that bar very much, too much of a frat house atmosphere to me, although the deck was nice. but a panera? no! not a fan of the commercial chains, would prefer local. let’s try to keep at least some of the character of our city and not have it turn into a generic shopping mall that could be anywhere.

    • If we kept the old character of DC, Adams Mill would turn into a Chinese/chicken/ribs/seafood place encased in plexiglas, plus a hair weave salon and a vacant lot thrown in for good measure.

  • adams mill’s patio was reason enough to make that bar a decent neighborhood spot. i liked it better than most of the other AM bars.

    the panera thing hurts my head a little bit, if for no other reason than the size of the place. have you ever seen a 3-level panera? or are they going to do some serious internal construction/renovation and open up one of the floors?

  • This is good news. I’ve been living in Adams Morgan for almost 9 years. Never went to Adams Mill, and wasn’t especially keen on its fratboy-ish clientele.

    I really like Panera. Good sandwiches, free wi-fi, etc. And as someone was pointing out, Adams Morgan could use more sandwich-type places. I still miss being able to get delicious cheese sandwiches from Comet Liquor and Deli.

    • That’s stupid. The sandwich aren’t good and you gain access to the wi-fi by selling your soul. Not free at all.

    • Comet, textdoc? Me, too. I miss Sid and Bernice and everyone else–employees and customers–who made Comet what it was. It was an unassuming, laid-back, wonderful and unique *part of the neighborhood*. That place had soul. Your Comet nostalgia in the same paragraph in which you welcome Panera makes my head explode. But to each his own. Enjoy your cheese. As for Adams Mill and its clientele, I’m 38, female, and liked stopping in there on a weeknight for a drink and to watch the game. I was not the exception to the rule. You never went to Adams Mill–and that’s why you have no idea what it was like. Lots of bars are filled with lots of drunk folks on Friday & Saturday nights. The scene at 1 am on Saturday doesn’t mean it isn’t a nice place to enjoy a beer with your neighbors the rest of the week. I’ll miss the Mill. I wish the staff well and hope they find work soon.

  • *sandwiches.

  • Oh no! Now where will I go in Adams Morgan if I want moderately priced drinks in a dirty bar serving shitty food that is practically empty for the majority of the week? Oh, every other storefront on 18th Street? Oh whew. That’s a relief.

    • The problem isn’t with the bar closing, it’s with what’s replacing it. I don’t think anyone disputes that there are probably too many shitty bars in ADMO, but I think we can all come to the consensus that panera is lame for the cultural uniquenss of the area (even if that culture is drinking and jumbo slice, it’s still a vibe that i would rather take than this junk).

      I moved out of the midwest to get away from garbage like this, that’s why I don’t mind paying the higher rents and hassles with parking. I’d rather live next to a dumpy bar than a panera… how lame is that?

      • Precisely. “Seriously?” would prefer the relief of having yet another place to get overpriced salt, fat and cholesterol sandwiches. I mean really, where else on the corner of 18th & Columbia can we get those? Thank you and welcome, Panera!!!!

        • The difference is that one of these types of businesses will be busy week long, providing services for many patrons. The other will only be useful to a significant number of people 3 days a week. On top of that, very few of the bar goers on those 3 days are local.

          • No, that’s not the difference between these types of businesses. We wouldn’t have bars at all if every one of them depended on an all-day revenue stream. The difference between Adams Mill & Panera is that Panera is a corporation worth over a billion dollars. To start a Panera Franchise, you need a net worth of $7.5 million and liquid assets of $3 million: And I’m thinking that gives you an edge on small business operators like Adams Mill when landlords jack up the rent. They didn’t close because people didn’t go there. They closed because the jump in rent was too much for anything but a multi-billion-dollar-backed franchise to bear.

          • Regarding people not going there as a contributing factor to this place closing — notice how everyone commenting here says things like “I used to go there, but no longer” or “I never liked that place”. Really supports your argument that the Mill continued to be well attended after dozens of other bars started opening in all parts of the city, and that rent was they only reason they folded. It’s obviously more complex than that. “Rent going up” is kind of like the polite, face saving thing to say about this closing.

  • Oh totally. Once I get my vanilla latte from Starbucks I don’t want to cross the street and see a chain!

  • I met my husband at the Mill…no, really(which is sad for many reasons, so no need to make fun. We already make fun of ourselves)…am sad that when we show our children where we met it will be a crappy Panera.

    • +1
      I love that you met your husband there! The Mill was a fantastic, non pretentious bar with great bartenders. It will be missed!

  • I’d like to find out who does the feasibility studies for these companies. There’s a Starbucks right across the street… A much better location would be New Hampshire & GA Avenue, where there’s still no valid coffee shops.

  • I’ll miss it for snow day drinking. It’s the only place I know of in the area that was open prior to 4. Plus is had pitcher specials. Cheap beer rules. Hey PoP, any other places open prior to 4?

  • I will miss the dog friendly patio. It was a fabulous way to while away a day.

    Panera, Panera!?! Booo to the nth degree. It saddens me that people will be happy with it coming to the Morgan.

    Sandwiches: So’s Your Mom, the Diner, (yeech) Subway, Falafelshop, AM Wines & even Sawah diner has some nice ones. (Man do I miss comet).

    Good bagels do not come from panera.

    This type of store belongs in Silver Spring or Clarendon, not the Morgan. But rent is ridiculous, so I can imagine only a chain will pay the price.

    A great patio bites the dust.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    TBD now reporting that Panera is coming to DCUSA in Columbia Heights not to Adams Mill space.


  • @Area Man.

    Yes, back in the early 90’s we called it “the Morgan” in the same way folks now call it AdMo. (or we even referred to it as “Artists Morgan”, when it was all group homes and funcky artists on every block).

    Things and names do change abit.

    • It was still “the Morgan” as late as 2000 as the people I hung with back then, and bar hopped with in AM called it that and were always understood.

      • That doesn’t make it right.
        I never heard “the Morgan” in the early 90s or in 2000 and I was there often enough. Ridiculous.

  • Deep breath, everyone.

    In my opinion Adams Morgan is big enough to open have both dive bars and franchises.

    The character of Adams Morgan is bound to change with time, just as it has in the past. If you want the experience of what is was like two decades ago, then move to Upper Petworth or Eckington, or Near Northeast, or Pleasant Plains. Start a neighborhood bar somewhere where there isn’t one.

    If you don’t like Panera, then don’t patronize it. Buy sandwiches from So’s Your Mom, get Wifi from Tryst.

    But throwing around words like yuppie or hipster isn’t very informative. People are just people. Most of the people in that neighborhood work office jobs now, just as most of the readers of PoP do. Does it really matter if someone dons plaid or a polo shirt on the weekend?

  • Adam Eidinger must have shot his wad fighting the corporate gigantors behind the Marriott across the street…not a peep about the looming threat of an invasion by asiago rolls.
    I don’t think that he and his ilk will ever be happy until every single storefront in Adams Morgan sits empty.

  • This makes me very sad. I really liked Darryl (the owner), and when I lived around the corner, I used to go there nearly nightly for a beer. It was a friendly place during the week. The owner took a bar that had been a failing bar / pizza joint and redesigned it into a bar that felt friendly and really WORKED, feng-shui-wise. Sure, the food was bad, but most bar food is. This place really had heart when it wasn’t full up with Virginians on the weekends. I knew the waitstaff and the owner and his friends, and I felt like they were really warm and friendly. It became my neighborhood hangout, and it was where I went for my bachelorette party before I got married. Later, I brought my kids there weekend afternoons to sit on the patio and have a beer while my kids ran around and ate french fries. They were incredibly kid-and dog-friendly. Best wishes to Darryl – you all did a great job. I’ll miss seeing you in the ‘hood.

  • I have really no idea why it worked “feng-shui-wise”. The food was as good or bad as any other place. It was barfood. The chicken wings were cheap and so was the beer. It was a place one could hang out and watch a game. It had a mixed crowd – as mixed as one could expect. It was dog friendly and had the circulator bus stop right in front of it. We will miss the place because it was what it was – a neighborhood bar (nothing more and nothing less). And whether it was an LLC or not, whether or not an underaged girl got drunk (which could happen anywhere in the USA) has nothing to do with the closing. I feel sorry for the people who have to look for a new job – and I am sure they will not make as much money if they would work for a Paneras Bread as they did with earning their tips at the Mill. The people who did not like the place don’t matter anyhow – and the people who did like it will have to find a new hangout.

  • I’ve lived across the street from Adams Mill for a decade. Always really wanted to love it. Probably gave it a dozen tries. It sucked. Bad service. Terrible food. No atmosphere. With excellent bars like Madam’s Organ, The Reef, and Ventnor just down the street, I could never understand how Adams Mill lasted as long as it did.

    I suppose it could be replaced by something worse, but I’m happy to take that chance — bring on Door Number Two!

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