That was Fast – Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. ends EatsPlace residency to “refocus on our brick n mortar opening early 2015”


EatsPlace opened in early October across the street from DC Reynolds and Looking Glass Lounge on Georgia Ave. Thanks to those who noted the abrupt departure of one their residents in yesterday’s rant/revel. On Mason Dixie’s facebook page they wrote on Monday:

“As of today, we will be refocusing our business on our brick and mortar – opening early 2015 – and moving on from EatsPlace! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, but with all the amazing rewards from Mess Hall Launch Pad, we are ramping up for our own full-time location! In the meantime, check us out on Twitter (@masondixiedc) and here to see where we will be on the weekends and find us at The Emporiyum selling retail frozen biscuits and spreads in a few weeks! See you at a weekend pop up soon friends!”

Still in residency is DC Born & Raised serving “elevated soul food” for dinner and weekend brunch.

Also in happier news, I’m digging their new mural:


31 Comment

  • Damn I was hoping to go my schedule hasn’t let me yet.

    I’ve walked by it a few times, the other night it was already closed at 7pm. Can’t really see how many people are inside but I hope they are getting some business.

  • Meh, I’m bummed, but not that bummed. Getting to Petworth and back on my lunch hour is just about impossible, so Eatsplace really didn’t increase my access to biscuits as much as I hoped it would. Hopefully MDBC’s brick and mortar will be at a more convenient location so I can go on a more regular basis.

    • The Coupe is always packed for lunch. And all day for that matter. I wish Petworth had more all day places open for the tons of families that live in the area.

  • Congrats to Mason Dixon! I hope they consider staying in Petworth. Bisquits and coffee in the morning? Lunch? Awesome! They’ll do a killing. Can you imagine strawberry shortcake with bisquits in the summer?
    They should check out the proerties available on Upshur Street or near Red Derby on 14th St by Quincy (where El Chucho is currently expanding and two condos going up).
    And also props to Eat Place for helping to facilitate a new brick and mortar location in DC. Rheyve been a great addition to the area.

  • that sucks, didnt even get a chance to try it out yet

  • Am I the only one who sees red flags here? Closing with no notice is unprofessional (it’s not THAT hard to update your webpage, twitter, facebook). Being open for 2 weeks (less?) before shutting instantly screams to me that they were unprepared for what actually running the business day to day entails.

    • I agree – but I’m also not clear about the original plan. Was it intended to be open for a specific period of time while they gauged customer response?

      • The first two pop-ups (Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. for breakfast/lunch and D.C. Born and Raised for dinner/weekend brunch) were both supposed to be in place through January.

    • it screams to me that business was very very slow (which it appeared to be in the mornings when I walk by every day)

    • Wow, you are so smart being able to tell us what is going on despite having no clue whatsoever. Anything else we should know, omniscient one?

      • Well, I’m certainly speculating about the being overwhelmed part. As I’m free to do, by being a business they open themselves to public scrutiny. And by behaving mysteriously rather than providing a clear and credible explanation they invite this sort of idle speculation.
        But I was just stating a fact about the unprofessional nature of the closure. As of last night their website still said they were at EatsPlace, no sign on the door for the people who showed up on Monday, and no notice on twitter or facebook until after they were supposed to be open.

    • I don’t know what exactly their arrangement with EatsPlace was, but if I were EatsPlace’s proprietor Katy Chang, I’d be furious.

      • also a good point
        makes me wonder about this business model and if there is usually some sort of contract signed that keeps the host business protected in situations like these

  • Looks like Mason Dixie can’t follow through on a commitment. Shame on them

  • This was such a strange development. I went once on Columbus Day (and it was absolutely packed), and once on a regular weekday morning (not packed, but definitely a couple people coming in and out). Both times the biscuits were out-of-this-world delicious. I was really looking forward to having them in the neighborhood for the next few months! But I can’t decide if this is a good move for them, or a sign of being horribly unprepared. The Facebook announcement was made at 6am Monday – and they usually open at 7am.

    Its also made me wonder what kind of contracts the businesses in residence have with EatsPlace…. How can they just abruptly close like that without violating the contract?

  • The abruptness almost sounds like a personal falling out. No one judges the amount of customers and/or revenue after only two weeks. Too small of sample size. That being said, this is the problem with pop-ups. It’s hard to market yourself when you’re always changing. Eats Place may want to consider a permanent chef. Build a distinct concept and image. But again, we don’t know specifics, so it’s all speculation.

  • I just don’t think there is enough demand for breakfast type spots in the area. The pop-up idea is a good one since a business can just utilize excess capacity from an existing B&M facility but even that appears to be a bridge too far…didn’t the pop-up at Looking Glass also move away? And the breakfast place that was supposed to be at Mothership didn’t last 2 weeks. And things won’t get any easier when Dunkin Donuts opens up.

    Maybe once all the planned multi-unit buildings get built and start bringing in more residents (and greater density) there will be more of a market for this. Otherwise, we will have to suffer the 3 block death march over to 11st to the Coupe and their horrendous service.

    • So how do you explain how the Coupe is packed all day long with people? If Petworth had a similar concept, it would be full all day long too. Half of the people in Petworth walk down to the Coupe in Columbia Heights because there are no options in the neighborhood. I would go to Qualia if it was bigger (too cramped!!!) and actually had decent food options.

  • I walked there yesterday morning to find the gate locked and the restaurant closed. I called and was given the above line about focusing on their brick and mortar store.
    I was not pleased at walking there (with my friends who I had talked the place up to) to find it closed. Especially since I was just there on Thursday. Whoever I spoke to just said “that’s the nature of a food incubator.”
    If that is the case it doesn’t bode well for either business. I’m not going to frequent a place if I have to check daily to see if it is still open for business. This is not a way to build any loyalty.
    As for Mason-Dixie biscuit, this is extremely unprofessional to not honor their commitments and also close with zero notice. The biscuits were quite good, but I won’t be dining there wherever they move to.
    I feel like an explanation is in order if they want people to continue to support their business.

  • Didn’t get to try the Mason-Dixie but did go to DC Born & Raised and it was probably the worst $75 dollars I’ve spent at a restaurant in years. The server had 0 experience to the point that she didn’t know what club soda was. She didn’t know enough to ask for temps on beef I had to let her know. She just wasn’t trained at all.
    The food was not terrible but it took for ever to come up and when it did they brought our app then my entree 2 minutes later. My wife’s entree came up 10 minutes later. We were one of two tables in the place so not sure how this happened. All of this is relatively understandable if you’re new but my real complaint is with the pricing of the food compared to the value you receive. The menu was priced on par with established, well run restaurants. $25for a 6 ounce steak that didn’t exactly melt in your mouth? and that’s being generous. Generally people aren’t just paying for the price of the meal but also for exceptional service as well. We didn’t even get chain restaurant type service. Our waitress never came back after dropping off our food. We had ask a bartender to get our bill.
    All in all it was super disappointing and my wife who tends to be a lot more forgiving than I am said it was terrible also. Has anyone had a better experience here?

    • Why mess around with a food incubator. Make Eats Place a permanent restaurant. There is a lack of quality places to eat in Petworth… No need to switch concepts and worry about rotating chefs.

  • I am disappointed that I will not be able to try the biscuits. They looked and were probably cheaper than DC Born & Raised. We went to DC Born & Raised for brunch last Sunday. When we sat down and looked at the menu, there were all these great options, but the only option was a $35 per person unlimited brunch, which did not include drinks. We asked the waitress if we could order only one of the dishes. She replied the only thing that could be made a la carte was the shrimp and grits. She also mentioned the unlimited brunch was not really unlimited that you would pick two or three dishes to have. The price was too much for us, and we left and had a great brunch at the Coupe. The bill between all three of us probably totaled one brunch at DC Born & Raised.

  • Agree regarding the DCB&R pricing, it is way to high for the quality of food and the neighborhood. The servers are terrible, the bartender we had was very nice and quick but even those drinks are overpriced.

  • I had biscuits and sausage gravy there the other morning and they were pretty good–a little too salty, but still quite tasty, with fennel seeds!

    Con: the chick who apparently is in law school who sat there talking to her friend as loudly as possible. I’m betting she is from a part of the country (far from here) where that seems to be the norm, but it was so irritating it nearly ruined the whole experience. Why do girls like to shout when they talk? There no other people in room, so it’s not like she needed to talk over other voices. I could still hear her even when I moved to the back of the room. Jeez!!!

  • The biscuits were incredible. We talked to one of the owners and he said they were not going to get enough day time foot traffic to make a go of it permanently in park view/petwroth. I can understand that but it didn’t help that they weren’t open on the weekends either. He made it sound like they were talking to developers about some new spaces. I assumed that meant in one of the new buidlings more in the downtown area. I guess something came through. I hope they make a go of it but I do think they should finish out their commitment through Jan. two weeks is not enough time.

  • This is bizarre. I’m disappointed because the biscuits were fantastic and EatsPlace is close to my house, but mostly puzzled as to what really happened here.

  • Maybe it’s tied to Menu MBK closing? Wasn’t Gehring their chef?

  • For those craving biscuits in Petworth, I believe that Lyman’s Tavern has a pop up going. Its on 14th – Right next to Red Derby. Great place!

  • Mason Dixie has a lot of nerve. They act as if they’re an established brand and the woman owner has no clue about establishing good relations with customers or other business owners clearly. I went to their pop-up a few months ago at the Dolcezza near Union Market. They had a long line and they were selling out of stuff less than a few hours in. As I was barely able to get an order in, and not even get something I really wanted, I suggested to the owner that it would have been a nice gesture to give the remaining 12 or so people in line a free “cut in line” card for the next day. It would have been a nice gesture and would have shown appreciation to the people that came, waited, and didn’t get anything. Her flippant response was, it’s a pop-up, they should know we close when we run out of stuff (yeah, but barely 2 hours in). It’s not like I asked her to give them a free sandwich card, just a card thanking them for coming, and letting them know they could come straight to the front the next day. I bet half the people couldn’t come back anyway, but would remember the nice offer for future pop-ups. But noooooo!!!

    To make matters even worse, the woman who ordered in front of me, and I, both got biscuit sandwiches that were almost half the size of the sandwiches that were coming out before us. When she said something to the same owner, the owner clearly admitted that they were trying to stretch the last few orders, even though they charged us the same full price.

    No thank you!!!

  • I think something g has to be terribly wrong at Eatsplace if Mason Dixie left so suddenly. I’ve been to the other pop-ups and the food was great. Maybe Eatsplace was screwing them over somehow.

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