Upscaling Mount Pleasant Cont. Tonic to be replaced by Goodall’s Bistro

3155 Mt. Pleasant St, NW

Last night we learned of the abrupt closure of Tonic and Last Exit in Mt. Pleasant. It didn’t take long to learn who’ll be taking over the space. I started getting scuttlebutt about a new spot called Goodall’s Bistro but The 42 got the full scoop:

There’s no set menu at this time, but it will be vegetarian and vegan friendly. Here’s a bit more information via an email form the owner:

“Goodall’s Bistro will feature a seasonally rotating menu of the freshest foods from locally sourced organic farms, and free range ranches in the Mid-Atlantic region. We will serve dinner seven days a week from 5-10pm, and brunch on Saturday’s and Sunday’s from 10am-3pm, with the option of expanding our services down the line.”

Still sad to lose Tonic but looking forward to learning more about the new bistro!

59 Comment

  • jim_ed

    Translation: We’re going to serve you uninteresting food at an exceedingly high price point.

    I wonder how much their free range roast chicken with seasonal vegetables and potatoes will be. I’m going to guess $19 dollars.

    • +1

    • I’m always confused by that. If restaurants locally source seasonal items – isn’t that all the more reason to make it affordable?? It’s hard NOT to have an opinion about this before it opens given all the restaurants with similar platforms in the DC area. I’ll remain hopeful and digress…

  • No bring back tonic. The way it was 6 months ago before all the changes.

  • Ugh, if they mention small plates and craft beers….I want my neighborhood Tonic back! I want the bar and tots.

  • Tonic was horrible. I always wanted it to be better than it was. Every time I went I was disappointed. I’m happy to see that a new place is opening up, and it sounds great! We need some better options on Mt. P st.

  • Yep agreed. Not all that hopeful based upon this press release full of platitudes.

  • I for one am quite excited about this. Hoping it can do for this strip what Red Hen seemed to do for the Bloomingdale neighborhood.

    • If this new place can be a shadow of Red Hen, then everyone should be celebrating. MtP has plenty of neighborhoody places (many/most of them Latino) but not a single restaurant you would really travel to, or make a nice night of. A stand out restaurant on that strip will do very well.

      • what about beau thai? definitely a destination restaurant (at least for those of us in columbia heights!)

    • Hard to imagine this could become the next Red Hen. Space matters for creating a city-wide draw.

  • I for one am quite excited about this. Hoping it can do for this strip what Red Hen seemed to do for the Bloomingdale neighborhood.

  • Not for nothing, but I appreciate the plug for vegetarian and vegan dishes. I really miss Vegetate…

  • Not optimistic based on the press release, but someplace a little more expensive but a lot better than Tonic would be great. Unlike when when Tonic opened, there are a dozen places to get a bacon cheeseburger and a beer within a ten minute walk of 16th and Irving, but not too many places to get one step higher. Fingers are crossed, though there are a lot of buzzwords and very few specifics in the existing communications.

    • I agree that Mt. Pleasant desperately needs some new, and better, options. Hopefully this will be one of them.
      But, “there are a dozen places to get a bacon cheeseburger and a beer within a ten minute walk of 16th and Irving, but not too many places to get one step higher”??
      They may not all be your cup of tea, but there are tons of places that fit that description (a step up from Tonic) within a 10 minute walk of 16th and Irving. 11th Street and Adams Morgan are within that radius. Heck, you might be able to make it to Kapnos in 10 minutes, maybe 12 or 13.

      • Kapnos strikes me as pretty upscale — those small plates add up quick — and anyway it’s mentally “not in the hood” for me so I wasn’t really counting the 14th/U Street stuff, arguably an oversight (also there are always annoying waits at the good places). 11th Street has Maple, but the last time I went to Room 11 it kind of sucked (I hear they’re doing better). And, anyway, it’s much more a Meridian Pint/RooBC/Wonderland sort of strip strip — not that there’s anything wrong with that. Adams Morgan tends to lurch between pretty expensive and pretty mediocre, though maybe I’ve just been ulnlucky at the mid-priced places.
        Not that this is anything but bloviating on my part, but I continue to maintain that the BCE (Bacon Cheeseburger Equivalent) factor is far greater than the CME (Creative Midpoint Eatery) factor once you get up the hill.

        • I don’t disagree with any of that – perhaps it’s my terrible opinion of Tonic that makes me think that all the places you named are at least one, maybe 2 steps above it.

  • I’m curious to see a menu preview. Hoping for some affordable menu options (or HH specials (a la old radius slice/pint)) to make it a bit more inviting than many other new restaurants in NW.

  • Where am I going to watch UFC fights

  • Wow, this is not the Mt. Pleasant I left ten years ago. I miss Tonic in the early years, when they made great comfort food (especially the tots), had better beers than a lot of other bars, and just had a great atmosphere. Things were definitely not the same the last time I was there, though.

    • Homes are routinely selling for $1 million+ in the immediate area. I imagine that most stuff coming to Mt. Pleasant Road in the future is going to be “upscale.”

    • justinbc

      According to their supposed employees who’ve posted here, they didn’t “make” that food aside from heating things up out of a frozen bag.

    • Agreed. Tonic 10 yrs ago was one of my lifetime favorite bars. Just … real. I know they’ve lost that over time, but good memories in that basement bar, and some memories left behind, frankly, in the boozy mists of time.

  • From MTP listserv
    7 Goodall’s Bistro
    Mon Jun 2, 2014 9:45 pm (PDT) . Posted by: mountpleasantdc
    A new restaurant, called Goodall’s Bistro, will be opening in Mt Pleasant. This eatery will take over the commercial spaces currently known as Tonic and Last Exit, at 3155 Mt Pleasant Street. Tonic and Last Exit will be closing in early June, giving way to this new venture in organic, locally sourced cuisine. We are hoping to open later this summer, with an estimated opening date in late August, or early September.

    Will Warren, who is the founder of Goodall’s Bistro, has lived in Mt Pleasant for the last eight years, in a historic row house on Kilbourne Place. Having resided in the area for so long, he craved the kind of place where he could bring friends that had their own dietary interests, whether they be carnivores looking for a healthier meal, or a vegetarian / vegan that needed more than one option on a menu, or someone with a food sensitivity like gluten intolerance. Will wanted to create that *one* place where people could convene for a joint meal, and no one would feel like they had to sacrifice their own food preferences for an evening with their social group.

    With so many of Will’s friends working at some of the most respected fine dining establishments in the city, and with several friends having even started their own restaurants, he became inspired to learn from the best, to create something wonderful in his own back yard. Knowing that so many of his neighbors in Mt Pleasant congregate at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings, he observed just how much this community appreciates locally sourced, ethically raised food products. From there, he started to connect the dots, that his own interest in healthier food preparation, coupled with the bustling Farmer’s Market, and Each Peach Market’s recent opening, to deliver many of these same food items on a permanent basis – Mt Pleasant was ready for his organic bistro concept.

    For the last fifteen years, Will has been a Small Business Consultant for entrepreneurs from many industries, including Real Estate, Home Improvement Contractors, and Media Firms. Prior to his move to DC, he managed a Cafe in New England, and started his own Catering Company.

    This new restaurant marries Will’s love of incredible food, wine, and craft cocktails, with his deep interest in architecture and design. He has compiled a top team of both business and culinary advisers from some of the best restaurants in Washington’s metro area.

    Chef Dave Duffy, formerly of Great Sage, and Dannielle Sharkey, formerly of the Tabard Inn and Girard’s, are acting as culinary advisers to the menu.

    Nick Pimental, one of the Founders, and the Designer for Room 11, (amongst other restaurants, such as Petworth Citizen) is working closely with Will on the interior design for the new space. They are excited about the opportunity to give each of the three dining rooms their own personalities, and are hoping to have a preview of one of the spaces by early July.

    Goodall’s Bistro will feature a seasonally rotating menu of the freshest foods from locally sourced organic farms, and free range ranches in the Mid-Atlantic region. We will serve dinner seven days a week from 5-10pm, and brunch on Saturday’s and Sunday’s from 10-3pm, with the option of expanding our services down the line. Our drink menu will highlight organic spirits as frequently as possible, craft microbrew beers from our region, and a phenomenal wine list recommended by the top Wine Director in the city. While emphasizing a healthy approach to food, we would be remiss if we forgot to include scrumptious desserts in our mix. Despite having a slightly more refined menu, Goodall’s promises to still celebrate the gregarious, family-friendly nature of this wonderful neighborhood.

    For more information, feel free to contact us at:

    Will Warren


    Goodall’s Bistro

    [email protected] mailto:[email protected]

    • I’m cautiously optimistic about Goodall’s, and will certainly give it a chance, but I’m a bit unnerved by the multiple references to “healthy” food in the above descriptions. Please just focus on *delicious* food – maybe some of it will be “healthy” by whatever definition you’re using, maybe some of it won’t – and the rest will take care of itself!

    • tl;dr
      I AM glad to see though that the proprietor lives in the neighborhood. I hope he plans to be on site, instead of turning it over to his staff. It makes such a difference when the owner takes an active hand in the day to day.

    • justinbc

      Sounds promising, but words really don’t mean much (unless they’re obtuse, like STK’s press releases). I’m much more interested in the pedigree / background of the owners and chefs involved. Also, when it comes to featuring a craft beer list focusing heavily upon regional beers, either offer them at a discounted price from other stuff (as they should be, since they’re local), or offer more of the other stuff, since it’s generally a lot better than what DC area breweries are producing.

    • I welcome anyone with ties to Great Sage. That place is yum but so so so far away.

  • I’m all for tasty farm to table restaurants with local and seasonable produce, etc. but Mt Pleasant really doesn’t have very many chill places to go grab a beer or tacos after work with friends and this is what Tonic has always been for me. I mean Bells on draft for cheap….what am I going to do now? I am sad that I will have to trek all the way to Derby or the bars on 11th anytime I want this vibe as my neighborhood is upscaling and gentrifying like the rest of this city. I was happy when we got Beau Thai, as we needed a nice restaurant, but I didn’t want the rest of Mt Pleasant St to follow suit.

  • It is not sad to loose tonic!!! That place has been plummeting down hill since 2008… GOOD RIDDANCE!!!

  • Am I the only one around here who likes MtP the way that it is? I love our little neighborhood, dammit. I don’t want any upscale nonsense moving in when we can find that in so many other places in the city. I’m happy with the affordable take-outs, Salvadoran/Mexican restaurants, unpolished store fronts and super mellow, diverse, low-key residents. It would be so sad to see this little strip become a destination as opposed to a neighborhood.

    • That’s what happens when property values rise so quickly. It’s a trade-off, unfortunately.

    • justinbc

      Out of genuine curiosity, how does this potential restaurant opening negatively affect your neighborhood?

    • I don’t even live in Mt. Pleasant any more and I second this sentiment. I spent some of my favorite years in DC in Mt Pleasant and I liked it exactly how it was. Destination neighborhoods are fun to visit and all, but Mt P felt like home.

      I haven’t even been back much since I left the neighborhood, which is, honestly, exactly how it should be.

    • Change is inevitable. Why people expect “their” neighborhood to defy this one incontrovertible law of the universe is beyond me.

  • It’s the addition of one new restaurant. It’s not significantly changing the three plus block strip. Sad to see the loss of Tonic, but at least the space won’t sit empty for long. Now if only we can get a decent restaurant to move into the paint store that’s closed on weekends after 12pm on Saturday.

  • Unless I missed it, no one has mentioned anything about the devastating loss that Last Exit will have on the community? Where will we be able to find overpriced, watered down, cocktails from a legit speakeasy that is open for 5 hours a week?

  • Tonic wasn’t great, but it was good neighborhood spot to grab a beer and a beer and maybe watch a game. Trivia and some drinks for under $30? Hell yes. Losing that sort of access and ease is the loss, the replacement doesn’t really sound like a place you can hang out.

  • As a neighborhood resident, I am excited for the new restaurant but sad to see it replace a decent neighborhood watering hole where you could watch a game. If only it could be replacing one of the many Salvadoran restaurants or that weird Logan Antiques store that I’ve never seen anyone shop in. Ditto to the commenter that suggested a restaurant to replace that awful paint store with the hideous parking lot. I’ve always thought a great spot for a neighborhood bar similar to Tonic would be that vacant space next to Best World. It seems perfect for a bar with open windows facing the Kilbourne side. I love the neighborhood and though I definitely do not want it to become a “destination” nightlife neighborhood, welcome new businesses opening up.

  • People need to learn that the word “bistro” is toxic. It is very 90’s and instantly ages the restaurant 20 years, and not in a good way.

  • Quick question – in what other ways (aside from this new addition) is MtP upscaling? Legitimate question, as I am considering a move there and am curious about the area.

    • I think the upscale comments refer to the price of real estate. MtP has been mentioned recently as one of the hottest zip codes in DC and even the whole metro area. Houses routinely sell in less than 10 days and for over asking. Sometimes well over asking. People make a lot of assumptions when they read articles like that.

      The business district has seen some changes that reflect the shifting demographics, and maybe some people interpret this as upscaling because the new businesses are what you find in more affluent neighborhoods (yoga studio, coffee shop, gourmet market). You know…”stuff white people like.” (I say that facetiously.) The farmers market is a big hit every Saturday, although personally I find the prices exorbitant; I don’t know how young people can afford to live here AND buy food at prices that make Whole Foods look reasonable. For the longest time, though, there were no new businesses. And then suddenly (ok, over the course of about 4 years), there were.

      But most of my neighbors are dual income families who bike to work, swap kids clothing and toys, and have potluck dinners and block parties. We save each other money by sharing whatever we can via our listserv, and we share nannies because we can’t get our kids into daycare. We’d laugh if anyone called us upscale.

    • In the past year Beau Thai and Each Peach organic market opened up, and Relay Foods (an online organic grocer) added a grocery pick up spot in the neighborhood. In March the dvd rental store finally closed.

      The area is gentrifying but besides this restaurant I haven’t heard of any other upcoming additions.

  • Will miss Tonic. Went to Last Exit twice. First time had a good experience. Second time took a friend from out of town and was embarrassed I chose it. Apparently they were switching to the fall menu but didn’t have anything for fall or winter(it was a Saturday night) and the cooler than thou ‘mixologist’ was ‘flying of the cuff’ but couldn’t suggest anything besides the premixed hot cider.

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