Shaw’s Tavern Has New Owners – Former Proprietor of Axis on U St, NW

City Paper shares the goods this morning:

“The previous owner couldn’t handle it, so I’m taking over,” says Siya Sadeghi, introducing himself as the new face of embattled booze-less boîte Shaw’s Tavern during a meeting of the local ANC2c on Wednesday night…

Sadeghi rattled off a number of prior eateries that he’s worked on in D.C., primarily as a builder, including Tabaq on U Street and Haydee’s in Mount Pleasant. But only one he’s ever owned: the former Axis on U.

You can follow the saga of Shaw’s Tavern, located at 520 Florida Ave, NW which closed in Aug. 11, here.

Were there any fans of the former Axis? Axis was located at 1340 U St, NW and is now the home to Bistro La Bonne.

25 Comment

  • I used to love Axis. Great beer selection, nice staff and not as crowded and nuts as a lot of the other places on U.

  • I loved Axis! I love La Bonne too, but the fact that he was owner of Axis gives him a great track record IMO. Classic U Street Spot. Hopefully he can recreate some of the magic here.

    I hope he doesn’t go too “upscale” with the menu. It’s still a recession

  • The food at Axis was decent, but a little expensive for what it was. However, it had a great beer selection. Wasn’t really a “destination” spot, but more the place where you’d go if everywhere else was too crowded.

    • Its lack of being a “destination” was exactly what was great about it. Mostly locals because folks driving in didn’t find it exciting enough. It was just a good bar with great beer selection where you didn’t have to be smashed against a million folks screaming above the music to talk to their friends.

  • surprised to see such fans of Axis here. I lived around the corner and the place was always empty and whenever I went to eat or drink I found it thoroughly un-special. I’m comforted to see it had fans – I assumed it had none, since it was so empty and didn’t last long in what should be a high-traffic spot.
    I certainly hope Shaw’s Tavern does better. I’ll go to support when it opens… and hope that I will want to go back!

  • I used to love Axis. The food was alright, but the service was always excellent (I think the bar manager’s name was Andrew…nice guy) and a nice beer selection.

    This can only lead to good things, IMO.

  • Axis was a really nice, quiet spot to grab a beer (usually on the way somewhere else). The fact that it was always empty makes me wonder what the owners were doing wrong — or if it was just bad luck. Great to see this excellent looking place get a new life – best of luck.

  • Sometimes ya just can’t handle obeying the law.

    I’m hopeful they get it right this time, as this could be a great thing.

  • Oh, Axis…I have such fond memories of that place. Andrew really made it a place I looked forward to hanging out at. As did the beers, of course. And I’m glad Siya’s taken over at Shaw’s. He’s a great guy and hopefully can turn that corner’s luck around.

  • So if the old owner (whom broke the liquor license law) is no longer in the picture can the new owner now apply for a liquor license? Or does the violation remain with the establishment regardless of new ownership?

  • I’m just skeptical. “New face” does not to me mean that he actually bought the venture or that the previous morons are not still pulling the strings. If they are still involved, the alcohol Nazis will find out and we may go through another round of the same nonsense.

    Anyways, fingers crossed that this up and up and I can have a new bar and restaurant close to home.

    Oh, and I was also a fan of AXIS, with one nit. The beer selection never seemed to change much over time.

    • The old owners actually purchased the building. I wonder if this new guy is renting from them, or bought it? Or, as you pondered, is he just working with them as a new front-man in order to get the business going again?

      Doesn’t matter either way with me– just glad they’re opening up again.

  • devoe

    This can only be good news – was there any mention of when the new place might open?

  • I miss Axis. I think it was much bettter than Labonne’s.

  • I was also a big fan of Axis — La Bonne is okay, but I liked the Axis menu better. Still empty — still curious.

  • I would also be curious to learn about the relationship between Siya Sadeghi and the previous owners of Shaw Tavern. Is he in a partnership or did he take over the lease?

  • Bring back the spicy chicken penne! Great dish every time I had it (which wasn’t enough because I foolishly thought that Axis would be around longer than it laster). I would definitely walk the extra couple blocks to enjoy that dish a couple more times.

  • Read the City Paper link. He’s referenced a couple times as “the new owner”, so I would assume he’s taking over lock, stock and barrel. Also from the source article:

    “The new owner also brought along a new chef, Joel Hatton, currently the chef de cuisine at Leopold’s Kafe in Georgetown, who summed up his vision for the menu quite simply as “my take on American food.” Things like truffle-laden deviled eggs, pizza with house-made ricotta and smoked cheddar grits whipped up with house-made whey. “Food that makes sense,” says Hatton, but not terribly expensive. “Nothing over $23,” adds Sadeghi.”

  • bfinpetworth

    I think that la bonne is still owned by the Axis owner, because I ate at La Bonne last night and the credit card charge showed up as Axis LLC.


    please have a lot of vegetarian options. I loved the pizza they had at shaw tavern.

  • “the previous owner couldn’t handle it, so I’m taking over”
    different name, same old arrogance that killed this place first time around.

  • brookland_rez

    That’s nice, so the beautiful renovation won’t be wasted. Plus the neighborhood desperately needs a nice sit down restaurant like this.

  • You could serve s*** on a shingle in this place and it would have potential. There is a visible lack of restaurants and bars in the Eastern portion of Shaw. Having a nice place for neighbors to gather, drink, and eat would do well here. Even when the tavern didn’t have a liquor license it was fairly packed.
    If places like Ben’s, Logan Tavern, etc. that serve marginal if not sub par food (it does serve the late night crowds well though) can survive, I don’t see why it is too outlandish to expect the same out of this locale. LT seems to do well as it was the first of its kind on P when things were still coming up … maybe this will be the start of something big for the neighborhood.
    Either way, I wish them luck; as a marginally good restaurant is better than a vacant building. 😀

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