Tom Tom Closed in Adams Morgan

I’m getting reports that Tom Tom has closed at 2333 18th St NW in Adams Morgan. Calls to their phone number goes to voicemail and the mailbox is full plus there is no active Website. Anyone else happen to know if Tom Tom closed? Were there any fans? More info as it becomes available.

Update: PoPville twitter follower mindymoretti writes:

“Re: Tom Tom spoke w/ owner before holidays. Said he was going to close, renovate and open under new name/concept.”

57 Comment

  • noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  • I spent many a night there (especially Thursday) in my youth. 4 beers and 4 shooters for $10. It’s sad, but considering I’d never go there now I guess I ultimately don’t care. It is an Adams Morgan “institution” though, and defined the 2002-2010 era in Adams Morgan. The strip seems to be slowly evolving into something more sophisticated though- storefront by storefront.

    • I wish that were true. The closing of Adams Mill was a good start, but I’m not sold on the oxymoronic Southern food/small plate restaurant opening in that space. Anyway, Tom Tom closing is no loss at all. Now, if only there was hope that the new “concept” would be anything other but more of the same in a different disguise.

      • Of everything that goes on up & down 18th St you say “The closing of Adams Mill was a good start”.
        The place certainly had it’s issues in the past but over it’s last year if not two it received little to none of the typical Adams Morgan scene (fresh out of/still in college kids, suburbanites looking to get completely wasted, etc.) It was the ‘neighborhood bar’ in my opinion. Cheap drinks, a patio, no dance floors, no djs, etc. Not sure why it warrants the specific call out considering I don’t know where to go to sit outside with friends and cheap beer anymore.
        We’ll have to agree to disagree there especially with Justin Timberlakes small plates, Southern BBQ small plates concept replacing it.

        • It’s not the same ‘Southern Hospitality’ as the one justin timberlake owns.

        • I wasn’t singling out Adams Mill for weekend violence or problems. I was hoping when it closed that a bar with a decent beer selection and good food would replace it. I just thought anything but that place would be an upgrade for the neighborhood.

          • Fair enough.
            I’d direct you down the road to: Black Squirrel, Smoke & Barrel, Mellow Mushroom, Bourbon, Jack Rose, L’Enfant or even the Reef (though it’s as dated in being cool as Tom Tom’s was).

            I also agree that Tom Tom was a DC institution. I can’t believe it won’t be around more out of surprise than me missing it.

  • I went early on a saturday to 18th St looking for my son and what I saw is very different from what I saw in the 90s. There were a lot of black men on the street drunk and looking for trouble. There were a lot of police officers which tell me that a lot of problems and fights must be going on.

    • This is true, and while I’m black the men that now hang outside, do look for trouble, can’t tell you how many times these men post up and bother people, and then when they speak up for themselves the threat of violence spews from the mens’ mouth. They touch women and grab at them while they are walking down the street, and invade personal space thinking it’s the way to approach a women. It’s not, and NOBODY is going to come home with you no matter how drunk they are, I wish they would go post up somewhere else, it’s gotten to a point where the police presence is heavy because of these men. I hate to say it’s more of the black men, but these are the same men from my neighbor hood, who do nothing but smoke, and drink, and gang bang. Thats coming from me, and I’m still annoyed by them making their way up there. They aren’t going in the clubs, they aren’t buying anything just standing outside, causing trouble. It’s a free world, and they can stand where they want, but will never understand the notion of posting up in an area, where people don’t warrent the attention you are handing out. It becomes a problem when women are being grabbed, harrassed, and the men who are with them now have to stand up to these men who are really violent. I stopped going up there once I noticed how many fights or arguments were being started. I also witnessed a young man boldy harrassing a mans women, both of them were kinda drunk, and when the guy said, she is with me, chill. The guy threatened to kill him, threathened that he had a gun and he was going to get it, and come back and kill the both of them. I was in shock and left as soon as possible. Like i said it’s a free country, but at some point these men are causing issues up there, and that becomes a problem when people are just trying to have fun.

      • I felt sad reading your comment. As an Ad Mo resident, I’m often irritated by all the 18th St late night carousing (and the aftermath) but always try to remind my grumpy self that SOMEONE is having fun. From your comment, it sounds like most really aren’t. What a bummer. Hopefully things will improve (as a few of the new businesses develop roots, the street work gets done, and spring starts hormones jumping again) so you and your friends will feel comfortable enough to return and enjoy yourself.

      • I don’t think that you are Black. What you said is full of garbage… PS: Being “Black” does not give you a right to put all “Black men” in the same basket

    • I took offense when you said there are a lot of “black men on the street….” Why does the color of their skin matter? I imagine if they were all white you would have just said “a lot of men” vs. “a lot of white men.” Just something to think about. Thanks.

  • Looks like Town Tavern a few doors down cut into their dbag customer base.

  • the whole strip is shite now.

  • I spent a lot of time at Tom Tom in like 2004-05, but I’m not sure I’ve been back since. Alas, we can never pretend that we’re 22 again.

  • I am excited to see what this becomes. What 18th St. really needs is a good New Orleans restaurant, or bistro type establishment, a Jamaican place, or even a good Eastern European dance club! Those all would rock the socks off the strip and thrive!

  • I think the couple that bought the Blaguard owned Tom Tom as well…

  • Definitely no love lost here. We used to call that place “Club Date Rape” because it was always overflowing with drunk douchebaggery. My buddies who worked in the respectable AdMo bars (Pharmacy, Bedrock, Toledo) all told me stories about how Tom Tom was constantly getting busted for underage drinking, and when I used to play at Felix every weekend, the 2:45 am fight always started right on schedule in front of Tom Tom.

    Come to think of it, Tom Tom was the first club to keep a police car parked in front to try to control the idiots. Ah, the beginning of the end…

    • No loss here. As a resident of the neighborhood, every time I walked by that joint I couldn’t help noticing how grimy and disgusting it looked. What — no one could afford some Windex? I spent a lot of nights during my college days and am thankful to see it go. I am always ready for new places to invade the area and can’t wait to see what comes next. The only thing that can’t go from 18th Street is The Diner, Amsterdam Falafel, Slaviya (for the food, not the foolishness), Madam’s Organ, Himalayan Heritage and Soussi. Everything else is just a fart in the wind.

  • The buildings that house Tom Tom, Town Tavern, and Spaghetti Garden/Roxanne/Peyote are all owned by the same person. Tom Tom is in need of serious renovations. I think that the need for renovations along with the state of the sidewalk street is why they aren’t open at this point. Don’t quote me on this…

  • Were there any fans? Really? Who wasn’t a fan of the random 8 bit nintendo upstairs, or the retracting roof. Also, if you knew someone that worked there, fantastic view of the city from the roof. The random Caribbean Jerk Ribs they made on Thursdays were epic too, especially coupled with the 4 shots and 4 beers for 20 dollars deal they did.

  • The building is quite old and needs a lot of updating. The idea was to use the timing of the streetscape construction to close for repair and renovation. Since the owners are now up in years themselves, it also depends on the younger generation and what they want to do going forward.

  • Tom Tom was a good place for about 5 minutes when it first opened as a restaurant about 10 years ago. Now they should change their name to “Rasheed Rasheed” or “Jamal Jamal.” 18th Street has deteriorated into such a mess. Maybe more of these crappy places will close.

  • Good riddance. I agree with Tuth Be Told. It was a good restaurant for a few months, but quickly went into decline with BAD service, a dysfunctional menu, and bad food. I’m thinkin’ that was in the 90s. Too bad Adams Morgan is no longer a viable option for an interesting, inexpensive dinner on a Friday or a Saturday like it used to be. Remember the Argentine Grill, Red Sea, Cafe La Ruche, and the restaurant that used to be where Roxanne’s is?

  • This place was a great place if you are not a great person.

    Madam’s Organ is endearingly trashy in an authentic and honest way, like a big Quarry House. But this place was just crap, and, like so many of the places near it, was just getting douchier. Maybe there’s a secret society–a fraternity of thuggish, douchy, sleazy, mouth-breathing, personal-space-violating boy-men–who decided that they would have their meeting at Adams Morgan at 2:00am every Saturday.

    What that block needs is a classiness transfusion. Jack Rose, et al, seem to be working on that. And, hey, if the bars have to use top-shelf $10 cocktails (vice $10 for two beers and two shots) to price the douches out of the bar, then I’ll patronize them to speed it along.

    Good Riddance, TomTom.

    • I believe the Faulknerian term is “idiot man-child.”

    • Agreed with the sentiment of “pricing out the douchery,” although the past few times I’ve been in Jack Rose it has been full of meatheads. And in this economy, most bars don’t want to discourage the lite-beer patrons…even if it might be in the interest of neighborhood residents. I liked what Iron Horse did during Beer Week: all craft beers were $5, and domestic light beers were $8 to subsidize the reduced price. Amazingly, people still paid the $8 apparently…

  • Bwah ha ha. Another one bites the dust. I remember when AdMo and it’s bars we’re the place to be.

  • AdMo needs to start over

  • I think the older you get, the more ridiculous Adams Morgan seems to be. I used to be there all of the time, just to observe all the drama and feel like I was apart of something hip; and you didn’t have to actually go into one of the bars/clubs to experience it. I think Adams Morgan has overstayed its welcome, now it’s just a drain on the Police force, having to babysit the drunks. With the street reconfiguration, I anticipate AdMo being DANGEROUS in the warmer months with all those drunk college people crowding a DECREASED SIDEWALK area and trying to cross the torn up street. Tom Tom was just plain UGLY inside and out and the people who patroned it seemed to lack DRIVE in life. Then again, I can say the same for many of the other establishments that remain…

  • I was roofied there once. I’m not sure the name change will do much (anything) to improve that, but it still leaves bad memories (I was fine, thank god).

  • Does no one remember when this place really opened, which was like the early 90’s? Had a pretty cool concept back in the day. I think it was like dinner/lounge with working painters and other visual artists creating pieces while you ate and drank. As it got later in the 90s it just turned into a big drunken mess, but it started off as something pretty unique. Its time had come and gone by the late nineties though. It first closed for an extended time around 2000 I think. I can’t imagine it offered anything you couldn’t get a half a dozen other place in Adams Morgan on any given night, except for 20 years of grime and decay (and yet I think you can still get that a Millie and Al’s right?).

    • TomTom started out in the mid-90s as a really cool tapas bar. It was all white and very clean inside, with work from local artists on the wall. The food was great, and at that time in AdMo it was one of the only eateries that wasn’t a heartburn-inducing Ethiopian place. Then, like so many other restaurants that seemed to be doing well in Washington, it abruptly shut down! As did Roxanne’s, and the Spaghetti Garden. Hard to believe now, but those were decent and popular at the time as well. Even harder to believe is that Roxanne’s was the original home of the Medrano family who opened GALA Theatre there.

  • I never cared for Tom Tom but did not know about the terrific view (but frequent Perry’s – nice view and great good imho). I used to live at Florida and 19th and would often go to Cafe La Ruche, Cafe Lautrec (when there used to be this old school tap dancer who danced on the bar-he was great), Red Sea, Cashion’s (when Ann was still there and the food was absolutely wonderful).

    Near by on U St was a very cool coffee joint, Zig Zag Cafe – Tryst is basically the same idea. Yet Zig Zag closed shortly after it opened in the mid-90’s. It took a long time for another similar style replacement.

    This is what has always amazed me about Washington. A lot of very bad restaurants and coffee places are here forEVER. And the really good places close early or go down hill super fast.

    I moved to Asia and the to the West Coast for a while. Moved back to DC in 2004 and noticed that although the city has been “cleaned” up a bit and is less rough around the edges – there’s still something lacking compared to other cities. For some reason, Washington is not able to support local businesses the same way that neighborhoods in Los Angeles or San Francisco can and do. It’s also amazing to live in a place like Hong Kong (very expensive retail rent) yet everywhere is great food from low to middle to high.

    The landlords here in DC are a major problem, not so much for restaurants (although it is a hard business) but especially for retail stores. And now that major national companies have either changed their minds about opening in DC, or have closed their DC locations – I can’t help but wonder why the only thing that can make it in DC is bars and restaurants/cafes.

    I like to eat and drink as much as anyone but so much is so bad here. So then I think, “How about buying some unique affordable gifts for Christmas….” and those stores are gone – many long gone.

    The only restaurants where I’ve had consistently fab food/drink and incredible service in Washington are Cedar Crossing Tavern (Takoma Park), Birch and Barley/Church Key, Zola, Potenza, Mie n Yu, Perry’s & Komi (very expensive but might be worth it).

    I think Tryst is very good but I’m annoyed by “customers” who spend very little money and comandeer hot property why we wait and are going to spend 4x’s their check. I don’t think Open City is as good – too much ‘tude from the wait staff and they think nothing of serving chai or coffee in a mug which has seen much better days.

    Other places we like are in (of all places) Silver Spring and Arlington.

    I’ve stopped believing the hype when new places open in DC (and Alexandria may be on the crap-list too now – so many disappointments in recent years). We now tend to spend money on dining out when we travel.

    Like your blog.
    Sorry to vent.
    Happy New Year.

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