After 8 Years of French Food, Napolean Bistro becoming Lapis Afghan Bistro this Thurs. in Adams Morgan

1847 Columbia Road, NW

From an email:

“The Popal family, the restaurateurs behind Café Bonaparte, Napoleon Bistro and Malmaison are proud to announce the opening of Lapis, a modern Afghan bistro. Lapis will take over the location of Napoleon Bistro in Adams Morgan and will open to the public April 23, 2015.

Lapis will offer homemade Afghan recipes prepared by the Popal family’s most prized culinary asset—their mother, Shamim Popal, who will serve as Executive Chef. After years of enjoying her authentic dishes as a family, they decided it was time to share them with D.C, the city they call home.”


20 Comment

  • Excellent! Afghan food is great.

  • binpetworth

    Looking forward to this! I love Afghan Grill, and (further afield) Bamyan and Faryab. Bring on the bouranee and kadu.

  • Surprising. This place was really busy for brunch a few weeks ago.
    Though, with all the new competition, my guess is that they were not as busy for dinner service. I guess there is a market for “high end” (read: $$$) Afghan food. No one has really attempted that yet.

    • Aglets

      Um…. Afghan Grill (formerly the Khyber Pass) on Calvert. Look into it. Amazing.

      • I’ve been to Afghan Grill a few times, it’s very good. However, it’s not “high end” in the way that I’m referring to (i.e. yuppie-friendly, gentrifying demographics, overpriced, small portions, scene’y, etc.)
        I’m assuming that’s the target demographic for a place like this.

        • Aglets

          oh, ok. i consider $21 for an entree to be high end but really it’s fair for the amount of food you get. and it’s so freaking good. i still miss the flocked wallpaper and the war carpets tho

      • saf

        And before Kyber Pass, Afghan Grill.

    • And a place around here doesn’t need to be remotely good, in order to be slammed for brunch.

  • A few years ago I was meeting a friend for dinner at Napoleon. I had gotten there a bit early and was having a drink at the bar. I’d just turned 28 and was starting to feel too old for Adams Morgan. I had been single for awhile and was starting to get self-conscious about it. Of course 28 is young but if you’ve found nobody in the first 5 years after college, and you’re deep in the middle of a years-long wedding season, it’s easy to wonder why the next 5 years will be any different.

    And then this stunningly beautiful girl I’d never met before walked through that black curtain at Napoleon’s entrance. She was with my friend and joined us for dinner. I’ve never really believed in love at first sight — someone’s sense of humor and personality and intelligence are more important than their looks — and you can’t judge those just from the way a person walks through a curtain. But I was smitten and tongue-tied.

    Later that year I asked her out. I’m a bit sad the place we met is closing but not too sad; I met her at Napoleon but I fell in love with her all over the city for the next few years. There’s hundreds of places around DC where I learned that she was funnier and kinder and smarter and more beautiful even than I had imagined. We’re getting married in June and I’m more smitten today than I was that first night.

    Until you meet that person, it’s probably the case that every relationship you ever had failed one way or another. That you had never really clicked with any person that you’d met in your entire life. And then all of a sudden it changes. Someday someone walks into some random restaurant and you might not realize it at the time but from that moment onward you’re spoken for. The search is over. You’ve found her.

    So anyway, thanks Napoleon, for being that place for us.

    • Thank you for your story. Sorry you’re losing this special place.

    • Well, it happened to you, nice story. But it doesn’t eventually happen for everyone. Or, it does, and then later it devolves into bitter, bitter custody and child support disputes in court, as a friend of mine is going through. So enjoy it – it is special to have!

  • My husband and I walked over to Napoleon on Saturday to grab brunch and were really disappointed by this news. We met there and have been regulars ever since. He even took me there for brunch the day that he proposed so it’s always been a special place for us. Best of luck with the new concept. We loved the food at Helmand in Baltimore — especially the pumpkin appetizer. Fingers crossed this is a similar approach.

  • I love Afghan cuisine but this is a real disappointment. The probably would have doubled their success if they’d opened a new location.

  • Wasn’t there just a story here that the French place on u is changing themes too? I will miss them both.

  • are they going to have a DJ and dance party downstairs after hours…or is that a no go with the rebrand?

  • PDleftMtP

    We walked past there weekend before last and it was practically deserted (so much so that it struck us and we remarked on it) at 7-something on a very nice Saturday evening. I suspect it wasn’t doing as well as it once did.

    • It seemed to be doing fine every time I walked by. Not completely packed like some places, but still buzzy. The downstairs dance floor is packed every weekend, so I’m sure that will stick around.

    • I’ll miss this place. Used to live down the street, and it was my neighborhood coffeeshop. Ate there all the time. They tweaked the dinner menu a few years back (got a new chef I think?) – anyway, I never liked it quite as much for dinner after that, and it did seem a bit emptier in the evening. Partially due to more restaurants opening over on 14th and in Shaw, I think – that drew some dinner traffic away from Adams Morgan.

  • Napoleon. I loved this place. It was my version of Cheers, in a city that could never have one. We lived here, we grew up here, we fought here. We spent more nights here than I could possibly count, my friends and I should have been given stock and voted board members of this institution. Our version here of dancing was accepted, we jumped like lunatics, shouted at the top of our lungs and owned every night we were there. This was the terminus for innumerable bar crawls and wild nights, for here all good things happened. At Napoleon I danced with and kissed my future wife for the first time. We came here on our first date. The night we got engaged we came here and told the bouncers we were getting married before we told anyone else. The day we committed the rest of our lives to each other we celebrated here with our families. The first picture of both of our families together is in front of Napoleon and on the wall of our living room hangs a picture of this place. Any time we needed to get away with each other or our friends, this is where we came. It was our home, it was our battle cry, it was our legend, it was our place. From now until the end of time I will love it, cherish it, and thank it for all the memories, blessings and youth it allowed us to hold onto in a town which can crush all good things. Napoleon, thanks for the memories; to my friends, thanks for making them with me. To my wife; I love you and don’t worry, we still have plenty of adventures ahead and new places to make our own. 😉

Comments are closed.