Marrakesh Palace Closed in Dupont?

“Dear PoP,

I was wondering if you might have heard anything about why Marrakesh Palace has been closed since the weekend before the earthquake. For a while, trying to place online reservations kept pushing you off a week because they were “closed due to hurricane Irene.” I have seen quite a few people showing up and discovering the place locked and dark…so apparently whatever the deal is, no one seem to know. A number of folks have asked me what’s the story, but I have nothing.”

I stopped by yesterday and the place was still locked. Phone calls go unanswered. Anyone know what’s up?

Marrakesh Palace is located at 2147 P Street NW. We judged them back in Sept. ’09.

26 Comment

  • No big loss.

  • I know the NIMBYs who live next door have been suing them constantly. And Jack Evans “promised” them to get the liquor license away from them.

    Something needs to be done about NIMBYs. After 6 years of progress, we’re going backwards again. There’s a place in Georgetown that is owned by the Napoleon folks- and it’s taken them a YEAR and counting to get approval for a new restaurant with bar component underneath the Key Bridge. All because condo owners blocks away are battling them over a reimbursable police detail (to be paid for by the restaurant). How can insanity like this stand? Just because the ANC can afford (or are) big shot lawyers and “donate” to the right people?

    • At some point how many restaruants and bars do we really need in DC??? Anonymous: 4:38 PM makes it sound like a the “NIMBYs” are somehow challenging a religous belief that without ever constant restaurant/bar growth, Marion Barry will march back into the Mayor’s office and a dark cloud will descend on the city.

      • The answer to your question is we need as many as the economy will allow. The ANCs in DC have far too much power to retard growth and stifle community innovations. I, for one, never went to Marrakesh Palace and frankly mourn the loss of the old piano bar Mr. P’s. But I’m not about to join some screeching bunch of biddies trying to put Dupont back in the 19th Century. People who live in cities need to be prepared for their neighborhoods changing and learn to roll with the punches.

  • Don’t mean to get too off topic, but I would love to learn more about this bar underneath Key Bridge. IMO, this is one of the coolest unused spaces in DC. It is dark, industrial, and awesome. One of the few truly “edgy” spaces left in DC. Every time I bike the Capital Crescent Trail (whose trailhead is right in this area), I fantasize about opening a grungy live music bar in one of the abandoned buildings. Any additional links/info on the new bar there would be much appreciated, so I continue my vicarious bar fantasy.

  • Edgy? I remember when “Marrakesh” used to be Mr. P’s. Now, THERE was a rathole in DC if there ever was one. God bless it. So much more history and character in that place. Then the owner went to prison for drug dealing and it was sold to the obnoxious dilettante who currently owns it. Back in the day it was roughly DC’s version of Stonewall. So much of gay DC’s history from the 70’s through the 90’s flowed through there. The neighborhood is too far gentrified to ever be anything like that again (not entirely a bad thing) but if it is closed and sold it couldn’t help but be an improvement. This place was a stuffy, overpriced, sterile, hipster wannabe joint that never really seemed to catch on. Another updated, more upscale gay-friendly bar/restaurant in its place would be nice.

    • I used to live in the apartment building across the street. Seemed like almost every Tuesday, the spilling out onto the street from Mr. P’s after last call would get into these huge “fights” (read: shouting matches).

      I was young enough to think it was awesome. Would go out onto my balcony and soak it all in.

  • There’s a huge difference between NIMBYs and people who expect businesses to be good neighbors. The problem was Pasha Lounge, the disco that the owners and the former ANC commissioner outright lied to the community when they said there would be no such thing. Years of outrageous noise from their people waiting in line and street fights that would bring a dozen cop cars screaming at least once every weekend for a time, illegal valet, you name it. The reason legal action had to be threatened was the District basically refusing to enforce its own laws governing operations. There absolutely were no such regular disturbances from Mr. P’s (though Escandalo, where Uni is now, frequently did have catfights among the drunk drag queens at closing).

    • +1 This place is a menace, the other bars in the area are mostly fine, all things considered(I mean hey, they are bars after all and you have to acknowledge that if you move next door to one). But the management here is particularly irresponsible in managing/bouncing the overly intoxicated patrons of the lounge.

  • It’s in Cleveland Park now.

  • NIMBY is a stupid ass term.

  • I used to score my coke at Mr. Ps. Our code was ” we were going to visit mother.”

    • YEah, i scored there a couple of times too. But the place was a fucking scary pit! I mean, there was raw sewage backed up in the middle of the place in its final years…

  • I’ve been wondering this about Jordan’s 8 on Barracks Row. It seemed to be doing fine until early August when the lights were off and the doors locked, and it’s been in that state ever since. I haven’t been able to find any information but their phone is disconnected so that can’t be good.

  • Marrakesh just moved to the recently vacated Foot Action spot on Columbia right near 18th street in AdMo. Looking forward to giving it a try.

  • I’m the ANC Commissioner for the neighborhood. While the ABC board hasn’t ruled on this case yet, we did protest in conjunction with several neighborhood buildings. The problem is not Marrakesh Palace, but rather the club on top of it that was formerly Pasha Lounge.

    There have been numerous incidents of violence outside of the club including a triple stabbing. We protested due to public safety concerns with the backing of MPD and Councilmember Evans.

    I believe me, I am all for having more establishments in my neighborhood for people to go to. Example: I was responsible for the new West Dupont Moratorium, which has lifted restrictions on restaurants (no new applications since I lifted it, FYI…). Also, I’m excited to see a new tavern opening in the former Apex space, also my SMD. Liquor licenses are a privilege however, and with them come the obligation to operate in a responsible manner.

    Not everyone will agree, I am sure, and that’s fine. Then again, not everyone has to live next door to the place.

    • @ Kevin O’Conner:
      So are they closed forever or just closed while the liquor license gets worked out? When will that all happen? And why would they close… the license is just under protest right? In theory they could operate while it is under protest.

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