Scuttlebutt: Former 4Ps and Current 4 Fields Irish Bar likely to be Taken over by McFadden’s in Cleveland Park

A couple of weeks ago a reader posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv:

“I heard a rumor that Ireland’s Four Fields (formerly known as Ireland’s Four Provinces) is closing. Folks said that the owner cannot pay the increased rent and they will be closing some time in August. This would not be like a one-week closing (see: Brickskellar), but permanently ending their time in Cleveland Park. Can anyone confirm this?”

Formerly Ireland’s Four Provinces (4Ps), currently Ireland’s Four Fields is located at 3412 Connecticut Ave, NW. Ever since the Cleveland Park listserv message went out I’ve been getting emails asking if I knew what was going on. After digging around I’d heard lots of names of potential groups interested in taking over the space. But I think I now have the answer. A source with pretty good knowledge tells me the Four Fields Irish Bar in Cleveland Park will be taken over by – McFadden’s.

McFadden’s currently has a location at 2401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. Their Web site says:

“McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon opened in the Washington DC area on St. Patrick’s Day 2003 and has quickly taken its place among the premier Irish Pubs/ Restaurants and citywide nightspots. McFadden’s is open for lunch & dinner with seating available for over 100 people. We have Happy Hour Specials Monday through Friday with a Live DJ spinning the hottest music Tuesday through Saturday nights.”

I’m told that Four Fields will close sometime in November and McFadden’s will take over after that. It is not clear if the space will close temporarily or what/if any renovations will take place. While this is unconfirmed scuttlebutt – it does seem very likely that the 4Ps/4 Fields is going to close. I’ll be sure to update when/if McFadden’s confirms that they are taking over the space and what their plans will be.

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  • Old time residents really are not going to be happy w this addition. McFaddens really doesn’t fit into this neighborhood – at least if its anything like the one in FB. Too bad about 4ps. I had many a good times there, including election night 2008, a night where I think most everyone will always remember exactly where they were. 4ps wasn’t an authentic Irish pub but it was dive-y, and had a friendly crowd. I know I’ll miss it.

  • I may have to read the Cleveland park list serv just to read the emails about this. If people thought the 11th street Tryst debate was bad – this will be Oscar worthy.

    • me

      Ditto. The only Irish thing about McFadden’s bar is the name. I can’t stand it, and always thought the old 4P’s was a good place to chill. The old Irish guy that runs the pub quizzes is hilarious, too.

    • From: Mrs. Sandy Vagina
      To: CP Listserv Subscribers
      Re: Oppose Drunken Debauchery at Proposed McFadden’s!

      I got wind that the quaint little village pub, Four Green Fields, is going to be turned into a beer swilling, bartop dancing, rap music playing den of sin and iniquity under the guise of an Irish bar, McFadden’s! People I know who work near the downtown location says it’s loud at times when they walk by after work! And college kids are there! I didn’t sign up to live in the NEXT ADAMS MORGAN, and this cannot, WILL not stand!

      This is priority one, even bigger than the opposing the proposed removal of the 10 parking spots in front of the east side retail strip. I didn’t buy my $2.6M house four blocks away to have to walk to shops, OR have to deal with drunken revelers in the streets!

      • PoP — it’s the misogyny on a lot of your boards that bothers me. Is it just me ladies or is there a phenomenon in DC?

      • I don’t see this as a NIMBY thing, I see it as a “don’t replace a good bar with a douchebag hangout” issue. McFadden’s is a terrible bar. I’ve been to the one in Foggy Bottom and there’s really little to like. If the 4 P’s really is closing, that’s sad for CP. The fact that it will be replaced by a cheesy chain bar is even worse.

    • Yeah but will the CP buzzards really know of McFaddens reputation? They will probably just assume another Irish bar is taking over. How are they to know the place is jager bomb/date rape city? Come to think of it. I don’t live in CP, I am under the age of 30. And even I am cringing at the thought. A better fit would be an “Eamons Dublin Chipper”

  • 4Ps used to be our go-to post Uptown Theater beer-and-a-burger hangout. At least there’s still Nanny O’Brien’s.

    What do Cleveland Park residents actually want? They seem to be defined by what retail they DON’T want.

  • Isn’t there a dart league that plays in the back room there? I’d be interested to hear their thoughts.

    Agree though – McFadden’s really doesn’t fit in with this neighborhood. There’s already Cleveland Park Bar and Grille–a place I really enjoy–and I hope that doesn’t get overrun with the GW student crowd.

    • Hasn’t it occurred to anyone else that the neighborhood may determine the bar’s vibe rather than the other way around? You are correct that McFadden’s in Foggy Bottom is a shit show because it is full of drunk GW students. But you really think the GW crowd is going to trek to Cleveland Park to party just because of the name “McFadden’s”?

      • You make a good point, but CP can do better than a goofy chain bar.

      • Perhaps you are unfamiliar with McFadden’s business model.
        Their 2 biggest revenue generators are:

        1: Contests to “win” free happy hours. They have entry forms to win a 1-2 hour happy hour with free miller lite, but in actuality, anybody who writes their name down gets an email telling them they “won.” To get your happy hour, you have to show up with a minimum amount of people. This means broke college kids “win” the happy hour, invite all their friends, who WILL make the trek, because hey, it’s free. They all enter the contest, they all win, and the cycle perpetuates itself.

        2: The “guest bartender” system. McFadden’s puts an ad out on Craigslist saying that they are hiring bartenders. When the inevitable 300 people apply, they are all invited to a group interview where they are assigned “guest bartender” slots. Professional bartenders know this is a scam, and consequently the people who show up to these group interviews are inevitably broke college kids looking for some extra money. As a guest bartender, you are instructed to invite as many of your friends as possible to come “support” you. They will tell you the guest bartender who brings the most people gets hired, but nobody ever does. This makes it so that it’s not a bar of neighborhood people or even a bar with any real regulars, it’s basically a frat party in a bar every night.

  • hahahahaha mcfadden’s in CP. bizarre.

    @Nate: it will be EXACTLY like the mcfaden’s in foggy bottom. just like how the mcfadden’s in foggy bottom is exactly like the mcfaddens in nyc, boston, providence, philly, etc… who’s ready to “win” a happy hour??

    if this place succeeds, it’ll only be because of the 19 year old AU girls they’ll let in.

  • To All You People Poo-pooing this:
    Oh come on! Do you really think that by slapping a new name on this bar it’s going to magically turn into a raging college bar? Do you really think that GW students are going to cab up to CP to go to a “McFaddens Bar” when they can walk to the one on M St? Do you really think they are going to have crazy promotions in a much sleepier part of town than M St? Come on! It’ll be a new name. Maybe they’ll make the place look nicer inside, and lets all hope they throw out the menu and start over. I welcome the change! If you dont want 4 P’s to close, then you should have been going there instead of Ripple for the past 6 months.

    • Well yes of course, it’s totally possible. Perhaps not GW, maybe AU… whatever.

      But I can be open. I can HOPE this becomes the NICE McFadden’s if there ever was one. We will see. Meanwhile looks like their GW location had a party for the cast of The Jersey Shore recently.

      And yes, we did go to the 4F’s (formerly 4 P’s). The rent was raised, as written above. An individual small business went out, a corporate chain is coming in, just like the other corporate chain that is coming in two doors down (Chipotle).

      The landlord here is a jerk. That’s my takeaway.

      • If AU students were to suddenly populate the new McFadden’s and cause a raucous scene every weekend, it would be because of the name. If that wasn’t the case, why aren’t they over at 4GF’s or Nanny O’Briens already? I’m sure both locations have the same drink selection and comparable happy hours. Okay, maybe not the all-you-can-drink offers that McFadden’s has (or had) on occasion.

        It’s easy to call the landlord a jerk for raising the rent, but it’s a business. If you were in the same situation, would you leave money on the table if another tenant agreed to pay a significant percentage more? This is unfortunately the reality of living in an area with incredibly costly rental properties.

  • News flash: Underage AU kids go to the 4P’s in droves.

    The place went in the toilet after Duffy left to start his own place.

  • I think the landlord is the one who keeps buying and renovating old apartment buildings- UIP. PoP has featured them before, I believe. The plan for the outdoor area (parking lot) was originally to put a fountain, which I think would be great. We need more outdoor fountains outside of downtown. I hope this is still the plan. As for McFadden’s, horrible choice. There are plenty of upscale bar operators that would clamor for this location and would be a more natural fit.

  • what exactly IS an authentic Irish Pub?

  • This scuttlebutt just ruined my day. I’m 28 and single, and even I can’t think of a worse place than McFadden’s for that spot. The old 4Ps was a great low-key dive, the perfect pillar bar for the neighborhood, and I’ll be sad to see it go.

  • God. McFadden’s sux. Total trash bar with terrible food. And no one cares because their waitresses all have boob triangles cut into the collars of their T-shirts and they sling cheap swill. Makes me ashamed to have ever gone to college.

  • Ha ha boob triangles. Great phrase.

  • This is potentially bad news for the neighborhood. If you live near Connecticut you can count on drunk guys screaming until all hours of the night and there will be nothing you can do about it. We were glad to see the the Sabores bar close, even though we enjoyed the Sabores restaurant. There were constant fights out in front of Sabores in the middle of the night, plus lots of yelling and screaming from drunk guys who could use a little less testosterone. One time we saw a guy knocked totally unconscious in front of our window. We thought he was dead. McFadden’s is basically a place where you wade through puddles of beer and get drunk until you can’t stand. I’m afraid it will be a stain on the neighborhood.

    • Isn’t a lot of McFaddden’s problem the location? It’s next to GW. Are young drunks really going to go raging in Cleveland Park? I’m 39 and I still feel too young to go drinking in Cleveland Park. What group of UVA frat boys is going to pile into their Red Top Cab and head to Cleveland Park? Your only concern is AU students but I still bet they’ll go the extra mile (literally) to Adams Morgan.

  • THIS IS THE WORST NEWS EVER!!!!! As an AU alumni who spent a great deal of time at the 4Ps, I am truly saddened by this news. Very, very sad!

  • Visit the 4P’s website and then visit McFaddens’ website (both linked in post above). That will tell you all you need to know about the difference in character between these two places.

  • McFadden’s is a blight on legit Irish pubs everywhere.

  • A good barometer is looking at Public in Tenley. Does that place get the same clientele as their Dupont location? Has it stained the neighborhood yet? I’m not too sure what to think of all of this yet, having had my birthday at 4Ps the past 7 years, but I’ll be curious to see what happens (if anything) come late fall.

  • the development is apparently being bought (they own the building, and the retain shops next to old 4 Ps as well) and the new guys are jacking the rent (more than double)

  • I stopped going once they started charging 8$ and up for a pint of Guinness. Those tabs became insane.

    And, there are only so many times you can be asked to leave by undercover cops before its time to move on (once). I quote, “you can either leave or we can take you outside and kick your a@@es.” Not my fault (he know’s who he is).

    Add to that the time I nearly got in a fight during a Pints for Jesus event.

    A lovely, country like establishment. I’ll miss it.

  • I think I threw up a little in my mouth. While the trivia was at times infuriating, with a the lists writing, and sometimes them giving the wrong answer, the Bee Gees song is the light go on in MASSACHUSETTS, I still had fun going there every Wednesday with my grad school crew. 4Ps will be missed, but I can’t say I see McFadden’s being successful there, which I think is a good thing.

  • Give the place a chance….Plenty of Bar and Restaurant cater to the crowds that are available…Just because this Mc Fadden’s place caters to the college kids in a college area doesn’t mean it will here….I live in the area and am looking forward to a nice new place and am not going to condemn something before I give it a chance…As a matter of fact I was told they run other real restaurants in more restaurant area’s in town….Looking forward to the change…

  • Harry I agree with you…As a resident, lets give them a chance and see if they upgrade and make the place nicer and have good food then we will support them and they will be very successful..If they dont and go after a younger crowd then they won’t be successful and will be out of business sooner than later….I will be there to check it out for myself before judging something…

  • I am 31 years old and live in Cleveland park and a Cal graduate. This same group from Mc Fadden’s owns the Sign of the Whale…I have been going there for Cal events and gamewatches for a couple of years….When they took that place over they totally cleaned it up and renovated it…It’s much cleaner and the foods much better than it was before they took it over…I haven’t been to Mc Fadden’s and maybe that caters to a younger crowd but after seeing what they did at the Sign of the Whale I am excited about them coming to the neighborhood….

  • lmao Harry! Cindy! Tricia! You all write in the same style! HAY Free advertising! Is this a teen sit-com or what? Oh do tell us about the fries and ketchup too!

  • Wow…totally amazing…how Harry, Cindy and Tricia…all live…in the neighborhood….and write the same…and they can’t wait for…MaFaddens to open!

    A PR friend opened my eyes to how restaurants, developers, stores, causes, you name it, use blogs to generate “grass roots”, “local” support for whatever. Harry-Cindy-Tricia were, er, was just less skillful at it.

    • Haha. Good call. A very transparent (and therefore, shoddy) PR job by a McFadden’s rep.

      • I heard This group did buy sign of the whale. Put over half a million into cleaning it up and making it a decent place to hang out, eat some food, and have fun in a lower key atmosphere. Don’t they own about 30 places around the country. My assumption is they didnt get there from not knowing how to behave and also to cater to what the neighborhood and the type of place people living there want. People DC rents are high, it’s not a factor of greedy landlords, it’s a factor of high property values, and all us homeowners benefit from that. There are people in some neighborhoods that would clamor for anyone even serving cooked food other than a carryout, I know that this will be a cleaned up, fun and friendly first rate establishment. Great place to watch the games, hang with friends, and enjoy….isn’t that what it’s all about?

  • I can’t even begin to think that any “chain” bar could hold a candle to a genuine, authentic, Irish Pub like the 4p’s which has been a staple for years in CP. It will not be the same!!

  • “There are people in some neighborhoods that would clamor for anyone even serving cooked food other than a carryout…”

    Great! Then why isn’t McFaddens bringing its spring break recipe to one of those neighborhoods?

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