Update: Capital City Diner Closing


Photo by PoPville flickr user AWard Tour

This is one of the rare occasions where I actually hope my scuttlebutt is wrong. Unfortunately I’ve heard it from a very good source as well as some other folks who’ve started to hear rumblings. Word on the street is that Capital City Diner will be closing soon at 1050 Bladensburg Road, NE. Capital City Diner opened back in Feb. 2010 after a long journey journey from upstate NY. In May 2011 their back patio opened and things were looking great. I’m not sure if it is the Denny’s that opened nearby at 1250 Bladensberg Rd, NE but I hear that could be part of the problem.

Anyway, I know many many folks really love Capital City Diner so I wanted to share the news as soon as possible. But like I said, in this particular case, I hope I’m wrong.

Update: Sadly, confirmed. From owner Matt Ashburn:

Friends,

We sincerely appreciate your support, patronage, and– most of all– friendship over the past two years. You’re more than customers; you’re our friends and neighbors.

Although we received positive response to our recent improvements, we also encountered rising costs, a declining economy, and a national chain “diner” restaurant opening almost a stone’s throw away. Now, we must refocus and reformat our restaurant to move forward.

This weekend, we’ll open from 7am until 6pm on Saturday and Sunday so that we can meet up one last time to say good-bye before we close to reformat and improve our concept.

Again, thank you for your support and encouragement, we’d love to see you one last time at the old diner to say good-bye this weekend.

Sincerely,
Matt & the Capital City Diner crew


Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

45 Comment

  • Please please please don’t let this be true. This diner is great – Matt’s a nice guy and the food is really good. It was a favorite destination for weekend breakfasts for me. Denny’s sucks balls.

    • +1. Matt really gave this place a hard try. It’s a shame that a chain like denny’s is pushing him out after all that work. We try to go a lot and really liked the food and the atmosphere on a saturday or sunday morning. For the record, we’ll be going anywhere but the denny’s.

  • Well bah. Yesterday I started the day with the rescue dog that had to be euthanized and now it looks like the Cap City Diner will be put down too. This blows.

  • Terrible news if so.

    If it is true, I reaaalllly hope he opts to move the diner to an empty lot along the 14th St corridor, Georgia Ave, or even H St proper. The location along with the arrival of Denny’s is what killed it. In a location that is more accessible and with better foot traffic, it would do well.

    • Have to agree — this would definitely work on Georgia. I wonder if rent is much higher than out there near the starburst?

    • I completely agree. It was a really cool concept but not very accessible. Hope they can find a way to re-format and re-open!

  • Noooo! Please dont let this be the case! I like this place a lot but havent been in a while…mayhaps brunch this weekend!

  • I really hope that this isn’t the case. Loved the atmosphere here.

  • Friends,

    We sincerely appreciate your support, patronage, and– most of all– friendship over the past two years. You’re more than customers; you’re our friends and neighbors.

    Although we received positive response to our recent improvements, we also encountered rising costs, a declining economy, and a national chain “diner” restaurant opening almost a stone’s throw away. Now, we must refocus and reformat our restaurant to move forward.

    This weekend, we’ll open from 7am until 6pm on Saturday and Sunday so that we can meet up one last time to say good-bye before we close to reformat and improve our concept.

    Again, thank you for your support and encouragement, we’d love to see you one last time at the old diner to say good-bye this weekend.

    Sincerely,

    Matt & the Capital City Diner crew
    diner@capitalcitydiner.com

  • No. No no no no no no. NOOOOOOO!

    This is devastating! Please stay on/around H Street!

  • Well sh*t.

  • There’s something seriously wrong with the market if this place can’t survive. Terrible, depressing news. A victory for chains.

  • Now the court square’s just a set of streets
    That the people go round but they seldom think
    Bout the little man that built this town
    Before the big money shut em down
    And killed the little man
    Oh the little man

  • This sucks. This is such a great place. Will definitely come by this weekend for one more Super Happy Fat Boy breakfast.

  • the Kennedy St NW corridor could use you…big time

  • Yes, this sucks. The problem as folks point out is location and hence what any small joint like that needs – ongoing foot traffic throughout the day. On the weekends, the place was slammed and folks couldn’t get in. We used to go on weekdays for lunch and we were generally the only ones there – maybe one other table. It was unfortunate to see. We made a point of making diner runs about once a month for lunch. It was a hassle getting there, but sitting tin the diner wearing a business suit eating a burger was just always fun. I guess it made me feel like an extra in a Mad Men scene.

  • Haven’t been because it wasn’t open for dinner on weekdays.

  • DENNY’S trumped this??? Denny’s is a JOKE. this makes me sad. the fact that Denny’s is down the street makes me sadder.

  • come to Bloomingdale! you’ll be packed daily and there isn’t a chain in sight (except that awful Arthur Treacher’s but no one goes there)

  • I’m sorry this was happening, and I don’t want anyone to go out of business, but I am the only one who thought the food was terrible? I wasn’t looking for gourmet, I was expecting diner food, but it was bad. And every time I went there their cook was so hopelessly lost that our tables order always came out piecemeal and cold.

  • Ugh. This place is one reason I decided to buy a house in this area. I am really, really saddened by this news.

  • Key words: “Reformat and improve our concept”. Does this mean a return to glory in a different/better form?

  • Guys,

    I’m sorry — don’t blame this on the economy. There are new restaurants opening and thriving every week.

    I’ve been to the diner, and left disappointed. Mediocre food, mediocre environment, terrible location. Just not worth the trip.

    Here’s a suggestion: Put some effort into the food, pick a better location, and have better due diligence and business planning next time, and you guys will thrive.

    Best of luck and hope to see you back soon!

    • i sadly have to agree with parts of this statement. i always enjoyed the atmosphere and staff/owner, but found that the quality of the food declined. i really liked the food when i first moved to northeast (shortly after the diner opened). but in the past year, i’ve had a few very disappointing meals there at various times of day and frankly, stopped going there. i really hope that whatever the new format is, the focus is on consistently good food! i want to see the little guy thrive, but i want to enjoy my meal, too.

    • Agree with you in part, but they’ve stepped it up the last 8 months or so and the difference is (was I guess) noticable. He got rid of the (sorry to use the term) ghetto staff and the cooks are the fastest I’ve seen.

  • I think Sullivans across the street closed….. One thing Denny’s had going for it – better location and parking. I passed by yesterday when I noted Sullivan’s and wondered about Cap city.

  • I LOVE going here, this is terrible news. one of the very few places in dc where people do not self-segregate by class.

  • Bummer :(
    I only went there twice but had good meals both times. I agree that it would do great on Georgia Ave. I also think somewhere on Rhode Island might work as well. Best of luck!

  • This is really really bad news. Been there more than a few times. Hopefully my excessive consumption of bottomless mimosas did not contribute to this in any way. F Denny’s! Hope something works out for you, Matt!

  • I can’t believe a place like this would even be directly competing with Denny’s! Good diner food is about atmosphere, nostalgia, joy.

    Denny’s is just a place where you go to feel depressed.

  • Put that sucker on a flatbed and bring it up here to Petworth! There is no decent, colorful diner around here and you won’t have to compete with IHOP. Just watch out you aren’t too close to the diner on 11th that is about to open.

  • BLAST KATHY HENDERSON AND HER INFERNAL SIGNS!!!

  • Move to Kennedy St NW!

    • yes, that’s an excellent spot near the bus depot, kennedy & 14th? there are some buildings there that probably should be torn down. but i think there’s an empty lot on kennedy near the corner? now a new gym opened in one of the refurbed buildings and looks nice. go to the diner and sweat it off at the gym. someone should do something at that intersection – it has a lot of potential.

  • I live in the neighborhood and tried my best to be supportive of this place. I went a total of four times. The two times we went late on Saturday night/early Sunday morning, we waited almost 30 minutes for an order of pancakes, eggs, and bacon and a burger with fries. The burger was way overcooked and the meat was terrible in quality. My pancakes were ice cold and the eggs were runny. They made me some new eggs after I asked, but they still were just ok. Tasted like the mixture and fresh eggs. Other times we went for dinner and frankly nothing struck me as being particularly good. I think they need to rethink the quality and maybe slim down their menu and improve just a few items or specials to feature each night.

  • this region can’t support 2 diners? are you kidding me?

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