Bar di Bari Already Closed in Logan Circle?

14th and R St, NW

Bar di Bari opened up in Logan Circle back in June. Anyone know what’s going on? Have they pulled a Diego or closed for good? One reader writes:

“Do you know if Bar di Bari closed? It’s closed today with no signs saying why. doors are locked. chairs up. could be nothing. but I’m pretty sure they’re open everyday of week.”

Someone on their Facebook page, which hasn’t been updated since September 26th, also writes:

“What’s up with being closed today? I went for my power hour coffee and everything was locked up”

Phone calls to the cafe go straight to voicemail without identifying the number with any restaurant. Their website still says:

“opening some time in June… your guess is as good as ours!”

Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available.

Update from Bari partner Aaron Gordon:

“Bari is not closed, but we are exploring the option of a Winter schedule that includes opening Tues-Sunday. Obviously, as a patio-driven café, the colder weather certainly limits our potential business, especially on Mondays.

Thanks to all the folks that left positive comments. Sorry, we didn’t leave a specific sign in the window or on our Facebook site to explain being closed today. After seeing these comments, I guess well have to do something about our light fixture!”

63 Comment

  • Most amazing part of this story is that people actually went to this place. Surprised Drafting Table (from same owners) has lasted this long.

    • only had coffee drinks here usually to go and they were pretty decent. significantly better than anything i can say for drafting table

  • How terrible at business are the owners that they wouldn’t even update the website with basic information such as, I don’t know, we’re open now?

  • Well, this is a little disappointing. The food was super overpriced (though good) but the coffee and drinks were great and the place really livened up the corner. Far better than M Cafe across the street. A shame if they really have closed.

  • The owner just closed an Arlington restaurant supposedly to focus on his DC restaurants, including bar di bari and drafting table. Maybe there are other issues?

  • Wow! My guess for first closure was going to be Black Whiskey, I’ve never seen a soul there.

  • If they have closed, I can’t say that I’m surprised.

    I ate there a couple times right after they opened, and I thought the food was quite good. But it was like they couldn’t quite figure out whether they wanted to be. They were too slow to be a deli and yet the interior was too sterile for them to be a cafe or restaurant. The painted sandwich board sign looked very tacky and corporate-y; why not just use an actual chalkboard like Cork and other places? So in the end they weren’t really anything. If another restaurant or bar goes into that location, I’d suggest they take out the horrid light fixture, put more things on the walls to make it an inviting place, and see about getting new windows that could be opened during warmer weather. It might not be cheap to get new windows, but it would help them compete against all the other places on the street that have really nailed the aesthetics. The exterior lighting was also too harsh, which made nighttime dining outdoors not as pleasant as it could/should be.

    • I agree with not surprised. I went the first time last week for a cappuccino, and the coffee itself was good, but the decor/atmosphere was lacking – and many of the 14th St. restaurants, while perhaps not worth a 2-hour wait, have done much better with the ambiance.

  • I really liked this place, and it’s always had plenty of people there. I hope it has not closed.

  • Is this the canary in the coal mine for 14th Street? Has it jumped the shark already? Will more restaurants close up shop?

    • I don’t think it’s jumped the shark, as it seems to have become a “destination” for people in both MD and VA. I do, however, question how many places can open up on here with them cannibalizing each others’ customers. Diners are fickle and will flock to whatever the “new” place is, ad nauseum.

    • justinbc

      Any weekend visit to 14th St will reveal almost every restaurant overflowing and with wait times for dinner. One business mismanaging its operations should not be an indicator for others.

      • Exactly. 14th Street has become such a destination and a scene, that even the mediocre and/or overpriced places have lines out the door.

  • This seems prescient/ironic in retrospect:
    “Aaron Gordon has had his hands full for the past few months, and things aren’t about to slow down.”
    “”I’m going for a record for how many restaurants can be opened in six months,” Gordon joked.”

  • This doesn’t make sense to me. I live on the block, and every time I’ve gone past there and it’s not raining — every time — they always seem to be packed. I really hope this isn’t true — they are a great addition to the area.

  • Oh no! It must just be a weird day for them. It’s my favorite new Logan/14th spot (besides Matchbox). It’s a charming classic little corner cafe that reminds me of my when I had my first quiche in Paris.

  • There are too many “small plate” restaurants on 14th Street. Only the strong will survive.

  • I loved Bar di Bari! Was there a few times, once for lunch and two or three times for just tea and dessert. Main entrées did seem rather expensive for small amounts of food for the pick-two items section. But I liked the atmosphere (in- and outside) and the stop-in-anytime vibe versus the formal restaurant-ness of the rest of 14th Street. I’d be very sorry if this place closed.

  • I was there last on “Celebrate Logan” day and had a couple nibbles and espresso, which were OK. What struck me that day is that someone else who was participating in Celebrate Logan tried to enter the place in her wheel chair but both doors had a step up with no ramp, and after wheeling around, she had to just leave. I felt really bad for her. What ever happened to ADA compliance? I know it’s an old building but I was surprised there was no accommodation for disabled customers.

    As far as Drafting Table, went there once and the experience was so ridiculously bad, that I vowed never to return.
    I’m surprised it’s still open, given all the new competition.

  • Wow! I was there yesterday evening – Sunday, October 27 – and there were no outward signs of anything amiss. It was business as usual, and the food and hot beverages were most wonderful, the atmosphere relaxing. It would be a shame if this place closed for good.

  • Am I missing something or is this post and related commentary all the focus of a restaurant being closed unexpectedly on a Monday, after being alive and well on Sunday? How unusual would it be for a restaurant to decided to close on Mondays?

    • No, you’ve correctly observed that internet blogs are hotbeds for wild speculation and personal opnion based on bad or insufficient information. This one is better than most but still not all the comments are worth reading.

  • I don’t think this Aaron Gordon dude knows what he has gotten himself into. Focus my friend, and update your interior, start with the ugly light fixtures.

  • 14th Street is way oversold. No place to park, most of the restaurants are over priced and pretentious, the crowds of Millenial so-called hispters are boring. I live here and wish you would all go away.

    • I live here too and I wish you people would take your cars and drive into the river. No one wants you around 14th St. anyways.

      • Its not our cars, genius, its all the twit “foodies” and their obsession with Yelping about third rate restaurants.

    • 14th Street NW is the furthest thing from Hipster Central. It’s packed with corporate yuppies (and, occasionally, their visiting parents).

    • +1. Lived right at 14th and Q from 2010-2013. While that hardly qualifies me as an old time resident, it was amazing even in that timespan the exponential rise in small plates per capita. Now a resident of NE–The only place I really miss is Stoney’s….that and all the yoga pants.

      • justinbc

        That pretty much describes my experience, including the move. Although I did not care for Stoney’s, I do however greatly miss being easy walking distance to ChurchKey and Black Jack.

    • lovefifteen

      14th Street is not hipster … at all. LOL

  • First of all Black Whiskey is great. It is packed upstairs on weekends

  • DC has a lot of bad overpriced restaurants but Bar di Bari ain’t one of them. Take Komi for example. It’s one of the most overpriced restaurants I’ve ever seen, yet it survives on hype for a cohort that hasn’t seen any better.

    If Bar di Bari does not survive, it wouldn’t be because it offerd a bad value or served subpar food. It would be because it lacked the kind of hype that is needed to draw a crowd to a DC restaurant. Bari do Bari is not a destination for the excited suburban on a night out in the city. It’s a local place better suited for Brooklyn than DC, which is just biginning to develop an urban community and culture.

  • I live just down the block as well, and the service here was mediocre, the decor was mediocre, and the food was – well – mediocre. My wife calls it “Bar di Airy” because when we pass it most people are sitting outside with nothing on their table. We went a couple of times, but walked past it regularly to go elsewhere. It’s empty in the mornings, appears to do little business at lunch, and I can’t agree that it’s always packed in the evening. I think the idea is actually good, but the execution is terrible. Oh, and what’s up with the manager having an office in the window, constantly cluttered with crap? And the ductwork running down the wall there? I hope something else moves in that adds variety to 14th.

  • This is Aaron Gordon, Bari Partner. Seems like POP is really popular and doing a great job if there are this many comments to a story about Bari closing it’s doors for a day.

    Bari is not closed, but we are exploring the option of a Winter schedule that includes opening Tues-Sunday. Obviously, as a patio-driven café, the colder weather certainly limits our potential business, especially on Mondays.

    Thanks to all the folks that left positive comments. Sorry, we didn’t leave a specific sign in the window or on our Facebook site to explain being closed today. After seeing these comments, I guess well have to do something about our light fixture!

    • Wait, so your only take-away is that your lights suck? Good luck with that.

    • Thanks for the note, Aaron! The other thing I would do is keep your website and social media presence up-to-date. A lot of patrons – both current and potential – look to the web and social media to determine if things are open, have changed, etc. Do you have somebody on staff who can man the Facebook and Twitter accounts? That would help immensely.

  • Actually walk by all the time but never walked in, now that I know what it is I’ll be by this weekend.

  • When a business is closed on a monday, even if it’s on a buzzed street like 14th, please hesitate to post about its possible closing. It can be poor publicity and ridiculous. Most restaurants rely on quick PR skills, but a decent COSI-restaurant-alternative-type-place with good corner traffic is succeeding — it might not meet the needs of social media. Monday visitors might have tried to visit in the numbers of 10 or 20. This is just unwarranted poor press.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Another way to avoid poor publicity and ridiculousness is to not abruptly close a business with no notice anywhere. It is 2013 in a major city – these things are noticed. If social media is not your game a hand written note on the front door saying closed for the day would be helpful. This may be “poor press” but it is most definitely not unwarranted.

  • I live in the area and it kills me to read the posts from people talking about 14th Street being oversold. I think it’s great that the city has a destination with so much foot traffic and life, regardless of whether it’s your kind of restaurant scene or not, but that’s another subject.

    Anyway, my experience at Bar di Bari was horrible every time. I kept trying it, in hopes that it would end up being great. However, the wait staff is just so bad. Each time, I waited for about 15 minutes before I decided to Google the menu (since no one acknowledged me and brought me a menu), flag down the waiter, and place my order. One time I actually sat there for 30 minutes just taking the time on how long it would take for a waiter to notice they had a new customer (it’s not that big of a place…). Needless to say, never went back.

    If the owner really posted a response on here–my observation to you: your staff might be your downfall, make sure they’re excellent!

  • I love that they are open at 7am M-F, but it’s odd that they don’t open until 10 on Sat and Sun….. lot’s of people looking for coffee before 10 am on a weekned

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