Reader Reports more info on Bar di Bari possibly Closing this Weekend before Reopening as Red Light in Logan Circle

14th and R St, NW

A couple weeks ago we learned Bar di Bari would be closing and reopening as ‘Red Light’. A reader reports a few details he overheard while at Bar di Bari:

“First, sounds like Bar di Bari will be closed as of this weekend (Sat or Sun, not sure which). The food offerings would seem to confirm this, since the case is damn near empty at the moment.

More interesting than that, however, is what Bar di Bari will become. When you last announced the name for Gordon’s new concept for the location, I laughed when a few of the commenters wondered whether “Red Light” was “a wink at what Logan used to be known for.” Turns out I shouldn’t have laughed – after having the luck to be sitting in the cafe while Gordon had a very overt design meeting with what I presume to be his architects/investors/etc. earlier this week, turns out that’s exactly the idea they’re playing off: a brothel-themed food space, with actual red lighting and faux-chic-come-amorous seating, including plush club chairs.

They weren’t really hiding anything, leaving notes all over the place in full view of the public, and it seems that the place will center around a lot of sweets, but perhaps not the morning baked goods (so maybe an evening only joint??). The staff (which is only two people at this point, way down from the 6 to 8 they used to employ) wouldn’t divulge too much, which is understandable.”

More info when it becomes available.

13 Comment

  • Sounds like another winning idea.

  • Check, please!

  • “DC needs more brothel-themed eateries!” Said no PoPville commenter ever.

  • Someone needs to put this thing out of its misery before it goes much further.

    Funky concepts and gimmicks will only get you so far. At some point you have to deliver. Bar di Bari wasn’t a successful venture because it was an ill-conceived concept and was poorly managed. When premature rumors of its closing first appeared on this blog a couple months ago, many commenters provided constructive criticism on what they liked or didn’t like about the place and how to improve it. Yes, nobody likes to read criticism. But a good manager would’ve seen that as an opportunity to get free advice, and these folks didn’t. Contrast that with Barcelona. The first three months they were open, every single time I went in there the manager on duty would come up to our table at some point and ask us how we were doing and whether they could do anything else to improve the service. Every single time! And this wasn’t just making conversation- they really, truly want to know how to make it as good a place as possible. Barcelona is an attractive restaurant and probably would’ve been successful even without great customer service and management. But I wish some of the other places on 14th Street would learn from them.

  • ….wow, that sounds terrible.

  • EW. “Brothel” just makes me think of all things heinously unhygienic. I do not want to mix that image/ambiance with my food!

  • So the basis of the restaurant is a gimmick and not substance? I’m shocked.

  • lovefifteen

    A brothel-themed food space with red lighting and amorous, plush club chairs?! Do the owners just like throwing away money? LOL

  • So was this street-level space simply carved out of the Verizon building, or was there once a phone store here?

    • It and the above floors were once part of the telephone transfer station/building. Now they are this space and condominiums above. About half the original building.

  • Another Drafting Table disaster in the making. Evidence Logan is so hot even the worst survive.

  • I walked by Bar di Bari mid-day today and the place was packed! I actually wish it would stay as is. I liked it. As for Red Light, not sure about the concept but I like that it’ll be something unique.

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