Friday Question of the Day – What are the DC Institutions that are Still Around?

517-519 Morse Street, NE

Started to debate what was an institution in an earlier post this week. And I thought it was a really good question – first what is the definition of a ‘DC institution’ and second – what do you think qualifies as a ‘DC institution’ that’s still around?

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  • Mangliardo & Sons
    Politics & Prose
    Uptown Theatre
    Eastern Market
    Old Ebbitt
    Restaurant Nora
    Kramerbooks & Afterwards
    Fox & Hound
    9:30 Club
    Martin’s Tavern
    Tune Inn
    Millie & Als
    Two Amys
    Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse
    Crisfield Seafood (technically Silver Spring?)
    SW Fish Market
    Horace & Dickie’s

    Instant Classics:
    Busboys & Poets
    Black Cat
    Big Bear Cafe

    Potential but too soon:

    Le Diplomate (fits like a glove on DC)
    Union Market
    Red Derby

  • Excellent choice for the image, and what would have been my vote off the top of my head! Litteri’s has been part of my entire life, and hopefully will be forever.

    • Literi for the subs. OTOH, some of the groceries have probably been there for decades. DC should be able to support a good Italian import foods grocery; Vace’s selection is very limited.

  • Shrimp Boat (East Capitol and Benning)
    Horace and Dickies (H street, Takoma)
    Ohhs and Ahhs (U street)
    Yellow House (Minnesota ave)
    The Wharf (Fish market)
    Sweet Mango (Petworth)
    Ben’s Chili bowl (U street locat specifically)
    Henry’s soul cafe (multiple)
    Mario’s pizza and subs (Offa Pennsylvania and Minnesota)

    I’ll list more when I think of them.

    RIP Florida ave market (now what you guys call the “Union Market”. Soulless place now.

  • Post Pub, Zoo Bar, Ohhs & Aaahs, Florida Avenue Grill, 930 Club, The Big Hunt, Stachowski’s, Fletcher’s Boat House!

  • binpetworth

    I’d say an institution is a place that not only has been around for at least a generation, but also is a place that locals take out-of-towners or recommend as “must do/see/eat at.”

    Eastern Market and its buckwheat blueberry pancakes would top my list.

    • My aunt and uncle took me to Eastern Market for bluebucks when I came to visit as a kid. I haven’t had them since I moved here in 2007. I really need to do it, but I wonder if they can ever live up to my memory of them.

      • We live a block away so we get the blue bucks occasionally, and I don’t think they’re anything to write home about. But they’re fun to order.

  • The National Press Club. I’ve been to the bar a few times. It’s supposed to be members only, but I’ve met members there for drinks and went inside without having to sign in or be escorted.

  • Stan’s Restaurant
    Lindy’s Red Lion
    Post Pub
    Sign of the Whale
    Waffle Shop
    Jimmy T’s
    The Irish Times
    Old Ebbitt
    China Boy

  • jim_ed

    Back Alley Waffles
    The Cereal Bowl
    The Getaway
    Dupont Underground
    The Leaky Faucet
    That icelandic restaurant
    Mayfair & Pine
    Spike Mendelsohn

    • Comfort One Shoes
      that cronut place that opened last month
      momofuku milk bar at City Center
      Le Diplomate

    • Rise Gluten-Free Bakery?

    • The Getaway on 14th closed … does it still count?

      I’d also add the Greek Deli on 19th and Sichuan Pavilion on K to those already mentioned… both amazing.

      I haven’t been to Litteri’s but am thinking of bucking my evening plans to do so. I love Vace and cool little delis!

  • I wish someone would revamp the old Republic Gardens. Talk about an institution!

  • Mr. Henry’s – or at least it was until recently when management changed hands…

  • Does Faith count?

  • Millie & Als
    Dan’s Cafe
    The Raven
    Meskerem (ate Ethiopian food here for the first time in the mid 1980’s)
    Hellers (not saying it is good, but it’s been around since 1922)
    Smithsonian (particularly Air and Space Museum, Natural History, the Castle) and the merry-go-round
    Kite Festival
    Metro’s Red line (first line opened in 1976)
    + Eastern Market, the Nighthawks and others already listed

  • I’ll pitch in with…Rodman’s (Wisconsin Ave in Friendship Heights) and further afield, The Tastee Diner (Bethesda and Silver Spring)

  • DC Council corruption

  • I think of a few places that are seemingly unchanging/withstood the test of time. People might debate about up and coming vs. well-established institutions but I doubt many would disagree with these.
    1) Ben’s on U–it withstood the riots and ensuing blight
    2) Florida Ave Grill–even Mr. T liked this place
    3) Washington professional football team–definitely unchanging (for better or worse) and withstood the test of time

  • These are the ones that came to mind for me (although I’ve seen a bunch on other people’s lists that I agree with):
    The 9:30 Club
    Eighteenth Street Lounge
    The Black Cat
    The Diner

  • I’ve been in DC 20+ years now. Here are places I used to go to/things I used to do 20+ years ago that still exist:

    Brookville Market
    Uptown Theatre
    Cleveland Park Wine & Liquors
    Millie and Al’s
    9:30 Club
    Black Cat
    Shiloh Baptist Church
    19th Street Baptist
    People’s Congregational
    Saint’s Paradise Cafe
    Howard’s homecoming
    UHOP parade
    Cherry Blossom Festival
    Adams-Morgan Day
    Tastee Diner
    Shakespeare Free for All
    Pizza Movers
    Burrito Brothers (not really the same, but same name)

    • +1 CP Wine & Liquors. Tony is always so friendly and helpful. I would have to say he’s provided better recommendations than any other wine shop I’ve ever been to!

  • Even though it moved to Riverdale, I have to add Archie Edwards’ barbershop. It was an institution for decades when Archie was alive and it became a place to promote and educate about acoustic Blues.

  • Carl’s Subs aka Subbs by Carl. The pic made me think of it

  • City Deli – It has been around since the 50’s and is the best Ruben in town

  • The House (formerly known as The Penthouse) Stripclub on GA Ave!

  • Jenny’s Asian Fusion by the SW waterfront is a great neighborhood bar with an amazing staff. It’s temporarily closed to move a block down the street, but they hope to reopen sometime in January. The food is decent, but the happy hour is incredible – $2 and $3 beers every weekday from 4-7!

  • Old Europe’s been around since 1948, so I think that counts.

  • Howard China FTW! LOL!
    China Wonder

  • Smokey’s
    Crown Bakery
    Idle Time Books

  • Goes to show these lists are dependent on individuals too, because Phase 1 on Barracks Row would’ve been on my list and near the top, along with Showtime in Bloomingdale, and Pearson’s in Glover Park.

  • Trio’s and Annie’s Paramont Steakhouse

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