The Prodigal Restaurateur, Joe Englert, Returns to Petworth – Reliable Tavern and Hardware Coming

3655 Georgia Ave, NW

This is very very very good news. Joe Englert (the man behind much of U Street and H Street’s early revitalization) is returning to Petworth. He first dipped his toe in the Petworth waters back in 2006 with Temperance Hall (which later sold and became Looking Glass Lounge.) Ed. Note: Further proof that everyone called this stretch, down to Otis, and why it will always be Petworth to me and many others. But anyway back to the real news – Englert’s coming back.

I’d been hearing rumors and a reader saw some action at the former hardware store which closed back in March 2014 just south of the Petworth Metro. The reader also sent a report from the Park View blog: “a new tavern is in the works called Reliable Tavern & Hardware”. I emailed with ABRA and they have confirmed that an application for Reliable Tavern and Hardware has been filed. And the signatory to that application? One Joseph Englert. Oh yeah!! As a huge fan of Temperance Hall (and thank God, Looking Glass Lounge still kicks ass) this is very very very good news for Georgia Ave’s continued revitalization. Stay tuned.

Georgia ave looking north to the metro

Georgia Avenue, Petworth April 2015

41 Comment

  • Please let him work his magic on Georgia Ave too!!!!!

  • This is just on the heels of opposition to a liquor license from ANC6E and significant push-back from neighbors for something he wants to open on 7th Street (I think on the Dacha block). I think he’ll have less push-back from the Petworth folks.

  • justinbc

    I don’t understand the point of keeping “hardware” in a restaurant name. Is “Reliable Tavern” already taken?

    • The man who used to own Capital Hardware said he was in that space for 30 years (unverified) – I don’t mind the homage.

  • REALLY hope this continues up toward the former Fusion and Maroni Bros sites.

    • Would like to see this too, but the city needs to help too. These are the problems: (1) Farther up GA people are getting mugged constantly, which is why both those places failed/moved. (2) Many of the buildings are in poor condition and getting permits/hook-ups is a nightmare, an uncertainty few small business can withstand. (3) Because of reason (2) the few places that are in good condition are chains or have astronomical rent.
      The city needs stop the crime in the neighborhood and work with small business owners and property owners to repair store fronts and minimize start up costs.

      • gotryit

        I thought it was burglaries that contributed to driving those two businesses out. I haven’t heard of the same happening with the new businesses there now.

        Where did you hear about constant muggings? There have been a cluster of shootings, but those seem to be drug / gang related. Not that it’s a good thing, but it makes you less of a target than “constant muggings” (unless drugs / gangs are your thing).

      • You’re right, I meant to reference the burglaries.

  • Interesting scuttlebutt. I haven’t seen any activity inside the former hardware store, but I have seen some activity inside the decrepit carryout place to its left.
    I wonder if perhaps this “Reliable Tavern and Hardware” place might take BOTH of those empty spaces??

    • Prince Of Petworth

      This is not scuttlebutt – it’s fact – I saw the ABRA application. It is very early in the process – they’ll still have to apply for building permits etc. The “action” the reader saw was probably just realtors, scoping out, etc.

      • Ahh, so is the location confirmed? And if so, does the ABRA application indicate if it’s just the former hardware space (3655) or that space plus the former carryout (3657)?

      • There were guys working in the space next door and they said they were aiming at opening some sort of carryout/breakfast spot in the next few weeks.

        • Take-out and breakfast, Nice! Hopefully it won’t have bullet-proof glass, or offer 5 different cuisines.

        • Hmm, that’s too bad — the word “carryout” does not make me optimistic.

          • What if they called it “fast casual”?

          • “Fast casual” would be fine… but doesn’t that usually imply the option to sit down?
            “Carryout” makes me think of the previous occupant, a plexiglass takeout place that was so decrepit that it was several months before I realized it was actually occupied and not a vacant storefront.

          • I had understood “fast casual” to just be a buzzword that meant it’s bougie.

          • Nah, “fast casual” is a legit term to describe places like Chipotle, Panera, Cosi, etc. that are a step up from fast food but aren’t table-service restaurants. (Although Panera does bring your food out to you.)

      • BTW, PoP — I didn’t mean to cause offense by calling it “scuttlebutt”; I think I read too quickly and didn’t realize that the news was confirmed.

  • That’s good news. I really like the vibe at Temperance Hall and still miss it.

    • I agree, Temperance Hall was so much cooler than Looking Glass. But times have changed quite a bit in DC since that place changed hands.

      • I can’t quite put my finger on why I liked Temperance Hall better, but it’s not just me, my wife and neighbors say the same thing. It seemed more neighborhood oriented or something (and had a great jukebox).

  • That block of crummy stores sorely needs something like this — this is excellent news.

  • Couldn’t be more excited. This is fantastic news!… Hopefully the building owner will recognize the full potential of this space and get some other good establishments nextdoor.

  • Accountering

    Fantastic news. Very excited to see Petworth keep growing and changing, and to see these empty storefronts getting filled in!

  • Thank You! This section of Georgia Avenue is a Gold Mine. If people make the investment in the neighborhood, we will invest in you. We need quality retail that meet the needs of the neighborhood. Let’s hope this is the start of something big. So much demand here. Just ask Paul Ruppert.

  • I wonder if Petworth is ready for a nice quality clothing store, or shoe store?

    • Intriguing idea. I’m no retail expert, but I think what we need in the neighborhood rests more on the ‘everyday needs’ end of the spectrum than on the ‘nice every once in a while’ end. Not to discredit Willow and Fia’s Fabulous Finds on Upshur Street, but I’m requesting food. More lunch and dinner places will always be welcome, as long as the food is good!

  • hi hmm, but I would never eat out everyday either. But, it would be nice to not have to trek down to downtown, dupoont or the suburbs to buy clothing… there is a lot of money in petworth, shouldn’t we keep it here?

  • Ohh! This is really exciting!! Though, 3655 Georgia Ave is actually Park View, not Petworth. So happy to see Park View grow!

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