Ruby Tuesday has permanently Closed in Columbia Heights


Holy cow – thanks to a reader for sending word. Suffice it to say Columbia Heights’ Ruby Tuesday has been a slightly controversial topic. So was TGIFridays but that has apparently fallen through. Though as far as I know IHOP is still doing well. So, it’s hard to say, are we seeing the beginning of the end of big restaurant chains in Columbia Heights?

Ed. Note: Previous Ruby Tuesday locations have closed in Van Ness and Chinatown.

14th and Monroe St, NW

78 Comment

  • Buh. Byeeeeeeeeeeee.

    • brookland_rez

      No big loss. They did have a nice salad bar though. Still, let the lame chain restaurants stay in the suburbs. Maybe we can get Firelake Grill to take over the space?

      • Since people seem to only miss the salad bar, maybe we can get a Sweet Greens or Chopt’ in the area… That would be probably have a much more broad-based appeal. Just a thought…

        • brookland_rez

          I’m actually a little surprised it closed. The times I went in there, there was always a decent amount of people. Not packed though.

      • or is it Fire Lake Grill? we’ll never know..

    • Now if only a sushi restaurant would open in Columbia Heights!

  • Yeeeeeeeeeees!

  • What a shame, epic salad bar

  • I just hope that space doesn’t sit unused now for eons.

  • Oh no, this also might signal the end of other 90s fads like Saved by the Bell and Bill Cosby! 🙁

  • Lol at the guy peering in the window. That’s awesome

  • Why you gotta hate so hard doe???

  • Granted, I have only been in that Rubys 2 or 3 times over the past coue of years but it always was doing a brisk business. I guess its time for another grass fed, sustainably harvested farm to table small plates place.

  • liked the salad bar-not a bad place. Pleaseeeeeee no more small plates or tapas.

  • Damn, missed my chance… I only been here 20 years.

  • That place was horrible! I only went twice. Once before I had a kid and once after. They weren’t accomdating to families. The place was always empty, food was cold and undercooked. I knew it wouldn’t last long. Good Riddance!

    • they weren’t accommodating to families…

      I’m curious what that means in this context….

    • Not friendly to families–really? RT is where I taught my now-7-year-old restaurant manners. We were always treated really well; the kids’ menu was perfectly acceptable and there were always other kids in there, too. I have no idea what might have gone wrong on your visit.

  • I live within three blocks of Ruby Tuesday and have not been one time. When will developers realize that folks in the neighborhood has changed… Columbia Heights in chain crazy. We visit the locally owned, family restaurants on 11th St multiple times a week. Same with Upshur Street in Petworth. If Columbia Heights, near the metro, would be more like U Street or H Street with locally owned, quality businesses, we would go there all the time. Right now, I do my best to avoid it. I’ve also, unfortunately, heard numerous women say that they get harassed on the street every time they are down there. Not judging (it’s the city), just stating what I’ve heard. Pass.

    • I never went to Ruby Tuesdays, but I am certainly a fan of Target, BB&B, and Best Buy. Target has tons of stuff I need everyday. Nothing wrong with chains when they are useful!

    • Yes, the neighborhood has “changed”. And I’d venture to guess that if the neighborhood hadn’t first changed to include chains like target , bed bath and beyond and best buy and, yes, ruby tuesdays, the “folks” that now live in Columbia Heights who helped to “change” it would not be living there now.

      • “”Folks””?

      • Simply not true. Look at H Street, that whole area is expensive and the chains are only just arriving, same with Petworth, Park View, Shaw, Le Droit, Mt. P… The chains are the weakest link in Columbia Heights.

        IMO the DC USA building is butt ugly and based on the model of 1980’s shopping malls, that’s insane. Very uninspiring and not worth the space it eats up. The re-development of Columbia Heights would have happened without DC USA. Look at Europe or Japan when looking for models of urban planning not the failed Suburban model of the USA from 30 plus years ago.

        • Oh really? Go to Berlin and look at Alexanderplatz or Potsdamer Platz, where the Germans have revitalized the downtown of East Berlin over the past 20 years by putting in large enclosed shopping malls featuring chain stores and restaurants, together with large underground parking garages.

        • I’m fascinated by your assertion that the re-development of Columbia Heights would have happened without DC USA. My sense is that DC USA sparked the redevelopment and, for a variety of reasons, the area quickly began to gentrify – and DC USA quickly became unappealing to many of the new residents. What’s your sense of the critical factors that would have led to the re-development?

    • Post-development, the rent was so high, only chains could afford it. That’s why you see more development (of the types of businesses people wish CH would have) in adjacent neighborhoods, like farther up 14th or over on 11th.

      I don’t know if people realize that, for someone starting out or with a small business, $40+/sqft is a daunting risk.

      • Having worked at Pete’s, when they first opened it was $45/sqft. That was almost 5 years ago. I’m guessing it’s gone up since then….

  • Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday. Who could hang a name on you? When you change with every new day. Still I’m gonna miss your salad bar.

  • Almost went in once, but I couldn’t get past the godawful tinted windows. It was like they were trying to hide something.

    • Are you kidding me? What an odd comment. The windows were tinted to keep the blaring setting sun out of people’s faces. Grow up.

      • Blinds/shades/shutters would have done that too. The dark windows were weird and kind of creepy. I’ve lived here 25 years – never gone in. Also – I rent out a vacation apt. in my house on Homeaway/VRBO and I know only 1 out of 100 guests have ever gone there.

        • I’m pretty sure tinted windows do discourage people from going into a restaurant or store. They make it look dated and uninviting.

  • As long as the replacement isn’t Applebee’s. Now that’s a chain that really sucks.

  • I always had mixed feelings about the place; the salad bar was good, but overall the place just wasn’t very inviting. It perplexed me a bit that they didn’t have an outdoor seating area like their neighbor. I assume that those calling for artisinal small plate dining are being sarcastic; there is certainly plenty of that already in the hood. What we need is a good reasonably priced Italian (Dupont Italian Kitchen ?) or Chinese (Great Wall ?) in the area to provide some additional variety. Hopefully the developer will be creative in this vein.

  • Replace it with a Chinese all you can eat buffet!!!

  • My mom likes Ruby Tuesdays — there is one in the town where she lives. So, I took her and my brother there in August with the hope of getting a quick lunch. It was awful. It was virtually empty. It took forever for someone to take our order. We had to actually go up to the bar where a waitress was just standing around and ask to give our order. The food that came out had to be sent back because it looked disgusting, and the rest of the food had to be cancelled because it took so long to come out. I am not surprised it has closed.

  • Unfortunately like the future-not-TGIF space across the street, this space will likely remain empt for a very long time. Strangely, this section on 14th just doesn’t do well – too far from the Metro perhaps, so it just gets neighborhood folks and not metro’ers going to shop at Target, etc. let’s just shove a bank in there and call it a day.

    • Le Capice bakery does very well. And farther up 14th, the Red Derby and Lyman’s are killing it. I think it has more to do with the quality of the establishment than the proximity to metro.

      • I’m talking about this particular stretch… the Mexican place is never full, and just changed ownership, the Z Burger place is never full for such a huge space, the cafe between the Mexican place and the burger place recently closed, the sports store closed, lots of empty retail (in the stretch by the not-TGIF). Wrong answer.

        • Social, The Getaway, Thaitanic, Uptowner, Julia’s Empanada’s all have gone out in the past few years (Social longer) and now Ruby Tuesday’s. Doesn’t seem like “north of the Target” is developing like everyone orig thought. You do have places like Le Caprice, Mad Momo’s, The Pinch, Red Derby and Zeba, but it just doesn’t seem like it’s sustainable.

    • The Metro is far from this location? What?? It’s like two blocks max. Wrong answer.

  • Didn’t TGI Fridays make a promo video for the place in Columbia Heights? I am trying to find it. It seemed if though it was shot inside during construction.

  • Great memories.

  • Is ruby Tuesdays cursed when it comes to dc? None of the locations survived
    They have good wings
    There’s still one near me in wheaton

  • Who has said this recently…”hey lets’s go to Ruby Tuesdays tonight.”

  • I think there was a time when there was fewer dining options in Columbia Heights this did well, and fit well. However, now that Columbia Heights has a wealth of resturants, especially more casual ones, Ruby Tuesday suffers. I hope the space is filled quickly, along with the one for Lime. With that being said, the area is now pretty good for resturants. I also think the middle-income chain resturant is ill places in what is becoming an upper-middle income columbia heights. It had it’s place and time, but that is no longer. It should be noted, it did have an important role in the redevelopment of Columbia Heights as they were one of the first sit down resturants to set up stakes there. As much as people are deriding them, Columbia Heights was better as a result of it’s presence when it first came in..

    • There are still lots and lots of lower income people living within walking distance of this area. They’re probably the ones who are hurt the most by this place closing. It’s not a good sign that the area won’t support a major chain restaurant, but it wasn’t exactly a marquee location. If they were on the corner of 14th and Irving, they probably would’ve been more successful.

      • I doubt it. I think that this type of middlebrow restaurant is being supplanted by a variety of fast-casual options — a trend that’s widespread.

    • I’m sorry, but I would not consider CH an “upscale” DC neighborhood. In fact, rents in CH are probably among the more moderate rates in upper NW DC – particularly the further you get from the Metro stop. No need for all this “higher-middle income” snobbery.

    • I agree. I think this was initially a good fit for the neighborhood that was seen as slowly attracting middle income residents. I think this process has been much more rapid than anyone anticipated. Ruby Tuesday’s is likely not a good fit for newer residents who, regardless of income, will likely not be attracted by middlebrow chain restaurants. I’d guess that some of the older residents might have viewed it as a convenient option – but could easily get better food for less money at options like chipotle and cava mezze grille — among other high quality reasonably priced fast casual options that aren’t destination restaurants, but likely to get regular customers from a wide range of demographic groups.

  • So sad about RT. Great place to go when I didnt cook. Always good for a quick bite for the kids. My kids loved the salad bar. Moderate prices. I also liked to fall in from time to time for a Top Shelf Long Island Tea.Again, another moderate price. The people were really nice. Time to break the news to the kids.

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