The Reef Closure Upgraded to “Indefinite” After Weekend Stabbing


Earlier in the week we learned The Reef had been closed at 2446 18th Street, NW in Adams Morgan due to a weekend stabbing. At that time a reader heard they would reopen Wednesday. A couple of readers send updates with word of an extended “indefinite” closure. Some rumors have started circulating that an employee may have been involved in the incident. Updates as more info becomes available.


16 Comment

  • Now where the hell am I going to get drunk in Adams Morgan on a Friday night?

  • If the rumors are true that a security guard did the stabbing… could the owners of the Reef go after him for damages? I have no idea how much a suspension of a liquor license costs… but I have to believe that it’s expensive and that the owners are PISSED. Don’t remember.. do they have a separate security company at the door?

    • If they’re not using a security company, then good luck with getting anything out of the security guard. Can’t imagine them sitting on a lofty nest egg.

  • burritosinstereo

    *Cue Cathy Lanier’s fearmongering

  • It was a security guard who is a reef employee. He stabbed the person 6 times

  • This is awful. I’m a happy little Reef patron and see the rooftop bartenders/staff in the neighborhood quite a bit. They are a great bunch of people and I’m truly sorry for what this must mean for their employment situation. I really hope the Reef rebounds from this quickly as I have never found it to be a threatening or dangerous place to be. I really hope for a speedy return to business as usual as this is one of the few bars in the neighborhood I actually enjoy.

  • A lot of shady activity goes on in that place, Behind all of the happy-go-lucky rooftop bartenders is a lot of EVIL DOING. What goes on in the dark, surely has come to light. There is a lot MORE to this story than you guys know. This place needs to be avoided. The city made a GREAT decision. It’s ADAMS MORGAN, there’s a million other bars to go to if you want to get stabbed

    • well, could you elaborate? you seem to have a story to tell and you’re anonymous so why not just share what you think you know?

    • saf

      Really? What do you think you know?

      Some of these folks have been friends of mine for 15+ years. I find it hard to believe that they would be involved in this.

      • agreed. after patronizing the reef over several years, i have witnessed no ‘evil doing’ or ‘shady activity’. i sit, have a smoke, a think and a drink. all the while, the bartenders are making conversation and playing great music from their personal playlists, which everyone really seems to enjoy. the neighborhood regulars are there and it’s always a very relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere. i have no idea what anonymous 2:03 thinks they know but it’s a mischaracterization of the reef employees that i’ve come to know.

    • Did you really just write “evil doing” and use all caps. You must be a joker, which is very upsetting because this is about many of my friends’ livelihoods and is not a joking matter.

    • Let me guess – you’re one of the local churchgoers who drives in from the ‘burbs? Trust me, The Reef is probably the most benign of all the hedonism dens filled with “devil music” and “loose women” on 18th Street.


  • It’s over for the Reef. There is no conceivable situation in which it is reasonable for an employee to stab a patron. None. You’re a bouncer? Okay, escort someone out and call the cops, use your karate and fighting moves if they get belligerent. But a knife? Inexcusable. Don’t see how this can end well for the Reef.

  • For starters, I didn’t hear anything about this stabbing until now and I’m not even sure if I’ve ever even *been* to the Reef before, although it does sound vaguely like a rooftop bar I went to once a few years ago with some friends.

    That being said, the Chief of Police can close a place for 96 hours after a violent incident. During that time, ABRA MUST provide an opportunity for a hearing on the incident. However, these hearings are very often delayed for a week or two beyond the 96 hours at the request of the liquor license holder to allow for them to have time to find a lawyer, research the facts, and build a case to get their license back. When this happens, the closure by the Chief of Police is extended “indefinitely”. Translation: The closure stays in effect until the license holder requests and is granted a hearing. It’s not permanent and doesn’t mean anything about the likelihood of the license ever being reinstated or not. It’s kinda like being held in jail without bail pending trial.

  • ThunderCheese

    The Reef has reached an agreement to reopen. The fish tanks were removed months ago, so don’t worry about the fate of the fish.

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