Looks Like Rib Pit has Closed at 14th and Randolph St, NW

3903 14th Street, NW

“Dear PoPville,

Question I am hoping to get resolved. The last couple of weeks I have ridden my bike past the Rib Pit, hoping to get some Barbecue. I have been eating there for the last ten years. It is a part of old DC that I love. I love the people that work there, the bullet proof glass, the sauce, the pork ribs, beef ribs, fried fish, super salty collards, chopped pork sandwich, sweet potatoes with almond extract… It isn’t always the most consistent, but it is really, really good.

So, I am worried about Mr. Brown and what is happening there. Is he ok? Was there a health code violation? are they closing? What’s happening? Does New DC even get old DC? Is it being run out? I met a lot of people there. One guy always comes into DC just for the RIb Pit on his trip trom NY to NC… it has its own quiet fan base.

There are still logs pilled in the window. Maybe there is hope.”

I stopped by on Sunday and they were closed. Also their phone number is no longer in service. Not looking good for Rib Pit fans. Anyone know what happened?

I had always hoped that one day they’d be able to reopen the long closed Rib Pit lounge:


26 Comment

  • For what it’s worth, from what I can tell it’s been closed much more than a few weeks…a few months at least, maybe a year. Certainly doesn’t seem likely to open any time soon.

  • With bullet proof glass and lack of consistency in its food, it sounds like Old DC didn’t get New DC. And what are you asking with “Did it get run out?”

    • “Conspiracism serves the needs of diverse political and social groups in America and elsewhere. It identifies elites, blames them for economic and social catastrophes, and assumes that things will be better once popular action can remove them from positions of power.”

      -Famous Sociologist Guy Who Is Way Smarter Than Me or You

      • Oh, wow. Sociology 101. We’re all verrrrrry impressed, except for the lack of relevance in the present discussion.

  • Did aliens invade the Rib Pit? Did they kill the owner? Have they been serving HIM as barbeque in the weeks before they closed? SO MANY QUESTIONS- BUSINESSES NEVER CLOSE UNLESS THERE IS A CONSPIRACY AFOOT

  • I’ve walked past the Rib Pit several times a day since moving near there over a year ago, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it open.

    • Live 2 blocks away and I agree. Walk by there all the time and do not recall a time in recent memory that this place was open.

  • All part of ‘The Plan'(tm)

  • I think the business has had some tax problems recently. I have a friend who has been looking for restaurant spaces in the area and did some research on the Rib Pit/Rib Pit Lounge. Getting behind on taxes may be a result of something deeper (health problem? legal issues?), or may have caused the business to fold. Chicken, egg chicken egg chicken…

  • PDleftMtP

    That was a good place – sorry to see it go.

    And no, New DC doesn’t get Old DC, and apparently they don’t see why they should. That may well have been part of Rib Pit’s problem as the neighborhood changed.

  • It has definitely been closed for months – good thing Epiphany on Georgia opened up or we would be really jonesing for some smoked meats. The scuttlebut we heard was that the owner passed away, there was some sort of family dispute that caused the closure, and that they may be looking to sell. Hope it has a miraculous comeback like Heller’s!

  • OK. I don’t know about the Rib Pit and I certainly hope its owner is doing well. However, about two months ago I tried Henry’s Soul Cafe at 17th and U and was supremely satisfied by my exploratory impulse on that late spring day. My accompanying friend and wife were also impressed. Friend since returned with others and they too found Henry’s to be up to their high culinary standards. Get the ribs or fried chicken. Expect a “diners, drive-ins, and dives” type experience.

  • Why do you care about the Rib Pit Lounge? Did Solly’s run out of PBR? While I’m sure they’d gladly take your money, it’s rather clear that it was not placed there to satisfy your naive world view.

  • I am 20+ year DC resident; a Black man; from the South….. now with my bonafides out the way, let me say that the food at this place was terrible– plain sucked….watery chewy ribs, no real smoke flavor (I think the wood in the window was for show) and bland and/or overseasoned canned(?) vegetables that tasted like my elementary school cafeteria.

    • Glad to hear someone else say it, we went there a couple of times and the ribs were fatty, flavorless and no hint of smoke, as you say.

    • I use to live around the corner and tried it on the first day I moved into the neighborhood. Never went back

  • The wood is strictly for show. I live on Randolph and I’ve never seen the height of the stack change by even one log. Good riddance.

  • ^This right here. I lived in this neighborhood about 5 years ago and tried the rib pit a few times. I REALLY wanted to like this place but the food was just boring. Mac and Cheese = macaroni and grease, meat was rubbery, etc. I’m sure the rib pit had it’s place years ago but it definitely went down hill recently.

    It would be really awesome if someone re-opened this spot, same concept and came correct.

    Also, the commentary above talking about Henry’s is spot on…one of the best carryouts in the city and 1 meal can easily feed two people (I’m a big dude and like to eat).

  • Life Rule #325: Never eat at a place with “pit” in its name.

  • Always dug the wood stacked in the window, but as a Southerner, I thought the food was God awful.

  • The owner of The Rib Pit passed away a few years ago. His family tried to keep it going for a while, but unfortunately they didn’t have the same passion and/or vision. After trying to keep it open inconsistently for a while, they closed their doors. It’s likely there are/were tax issues due to his passing.

    This has nothing to do with old vs new DC. Restaurants with good food, good management and good customer service will last regardless of this “old” vs “new” immature and dividing mentality.

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