Reliable Tavern & Hardware will have “comedy, trivia, and sports on television”

3655 Georgia Ave, NW

It’s really happening!! The liquor license for Reliable Tavern & Hardware says:

“A neighborhood tavern with a warm atmosphere serving quality food, and drinks. Various activities, including comedy, trivia, and sports on television will be offered. Entertainment Endorsement. Total Occupancy Load of 109, inside seating for 99.”

looking north towards the Petworth metro

63 Comment

  • Wow so like almost every other bar.

    • Yeah, would be nice to have something a little different for the neighborhood (how about a bakery? or a non-Baskin Robbins ice cream shop? or a prepared foods deli?) but this is at least an improvement for that space.

      • +1. No additional commentary necessary.

      • Well since the Baskin Robbins isn’t coming anymore, I guess you got your wish. I, for one, would have really liked a BR.

      • Like a cakepoppery.

      • The idea is to get people on the street at night. More and more young people will move to areas where there is nightlife. Once you establish an active nightlife, it opens the door for businesses that cater to peoples, everyday needs (bakery, boutiques etc.) This pattern has repeated itself over and over again in this and other cities. Joe Englert definitely knows what he is doing. if people are patient, they will get everything they want and need in this neighborhood.

  • This is not the most exciting thing that could go in, but I’m just happy to have something. It’s been really frustrating seeing all the blight right next to the metro despite all the real estate development in the neighborhood. This is a good start. I’d like to see the city do more to encourage landlords to rent out blighted properties.

  • What?! Sports on TELEVISION??? You’re kidding.

    • I mean, so many new bars don’t have TVs, so yes, this is a big deal. Petworth Citizen, Lyman’s, Red Derby, for example, are all great bars, but they don’t have TVs or don’t show sports on them. A good bar of that quality with a couple TVs (like DC Reynolds or Looking Glass) is always welcome.

  • People are so negative man. A lot of Georgia Ave in this area is so damn depressing, I am just happy something is going in. Hopefully it will spur other activity and we’ll get some other businesses!

    • Thank you! This strip of stores is so awful to look at and in such a prime area, almost anything except convenient stores/7-11’s is better than what is there now. A bar that will offer comedy, trivia and sports, and people are complaining? I don’t get it….to me, the more you make this area a destination to go out to, the more other businesses will want to invest and come into the area as well, almost exactly what you just said.

      • Thank GOD this is not another 7-11. Frankly I’d rather the space by the metro stay empty than become a 7-11. Now at least the area around it is clean. In a few months it will be the same, only we will be able to buy things there we could have bought more cheaply down the street, plus it will smell like pee and people will be mugged more often.

    • I’m genuinely curious. What would people like to see here instead of this. People always complain when something opens, but what realistically would make you happy in this particular stretch?

      • +1 on the negativity. Geez people. This place sounds awesome. Would I like a deli, ice cream shoppe etc? Hell yes, but this stretch of Georgia is pretty decrepit. Kudos for someone making the investment. This is a prime location! At least it’s not a another freakin’ 7-Eleven like Park Place. Be happy!

      • Okay, again not to denigrate the Englert place which I think is great, but a few ideas:
        (1) Fast casual eatery
        (2) Pre made food store (a la Vace, Centrolina, etc)
        (3) Something like Maketto
        (4) Bike shop
        (5) Coffee shop (love Qualia, but something bigger like Tryst)
        (6) Sporting goods store (maybe something running focused?)
        So many more…

        • So Colony Club (new coffee shop) is 4 blocks south and Heat Da Spot (also a coffee shop) is coming and it’s about 3 blocks south. I agree fast casual eatery or pre-made food store would be nice, but again there’s lots of open space on Georgia Avenue for this tavern plus the other places you mentioned.

        • Those would be great, but come on — we don’t even have a Starbucks in the neighborhood.
          I don’t actually go to Starbucks, but I think the presence of a Starbucks signifies “This neighborhood is gentrified enough to be spending $$ on coffee.” Sure, there are other establishments frequented by gentrifiers… but if we can’t even attract a Starbucks, how are we going to attract places even higher on the fancy-ness scale than Starbucks?

          • There is that Starbucks in the Safeway on Georgia Ave.

          • Yes, but that’s not a real Starbucks, i.e., one that would be a destination unto itself.
            And my experience with Starbucks that are within other stores has been pretty bad. The one in the Columbia Heights Target lists smoothies on the menu, but — last time I checked, after attempting to order a smoothie there many times and being told they were out of bananas — the manager doesn’t order bananas. Ever. I was so frustrated — “Why are you even listing smoothies on your menu, then?” “We’re required to.” AAAGH.

          • Agree with textdoc, it’s not a real Starbucks. Personally I think the presence of a cheapo Starbucks kiosk is worse than no Starbucks at all. To me it says “we still want your money but we aren’t willing to be a real part of you community.”

        • palisades

          Just wanted to comment to say how dumb Maketto is. Overpriced, awkward tables, no umbrellas for the outside part (plants were dying from sunlight directly hitting them). Service was awkward and useless. Bartender didn’t know where napkins were, he didn’t ask if we wanted to open or close a tab, didn’t give the card back to one of our friends after she closed her tab.

          • I still have a grudge against them for when (before they opened for real) they held a private party with no toilet paper in the ladies’ room — not even at the beginning.

        • Do you really think any of those would be viable – make enough money to survive? I’ve lived in Park View for 11 years. It’s definitely come a long way. But it has not come nearly as far as some of the newer residents think it has.

          • Actually yes I do. I think Maketto would do great! So would a Red Hen or Mintwood Place. A Union Market concept would be even better. Chez Billy and Crane & Turtle do very well. The disposable income is here, we just go to other neighborhoods to spend it.

    • Agreed with ParkViewRes. I wonder if maybe the naysayers (or “meh”-sayers) don’t live nearby — I am thrilled for Reliable Tavern to come to the area. (Even if I wish it didn’t have sports on TV.)
      I am also relieved that this space isn’t becoming a mini-mart — there are THREE mini-marts in that little strip of six storefronts. Or a cell phone reseller.

    • 100% agree. You need to build up traffic somehow. Sure, everyone wants an instant perfect mix of commercial activity, but it doesn’t work that way.

  • And yet no actual hardware sold…what a bummer. Seriously a nice beer/wine store that sells hardware or a hardware store that sells hooch as well would be nice.

    • Regarding beer/wine store, Lion’s is essentially 2 blocks away and is one of the best in the area if you’re looking just for beer/wine. Check it out if you haven’t.

    • I don’t understand why you need to buy both of those things at the same place. Also, Annie’s Ace isn’t that far away.
      This hardware store was pathetic and a rip-off, let’s not even get into the former owner’s sexism. As a neighbor I’m thrilled this restaurant is coming.

      • And the hardware store that used to be there didn’t have its hours posted, so it was a mystery as to when one might expect to find it open.

    • It would be a really cool idea to have them sell some hardware. I spend so much time at Home Depot and Annie’s, I would love to be able to have a beer while I’m figuring out what the heck I need. At the very least it would be a bit kitchy.

  • I think Vace should open a store here. A place selling quality pre-made food, a quick slice, and deli cuts could do exceptionally well. I’d be eating their stuffed shells at least twice a week if I didn’t have to go to CP for them.

  • The question I always ask myself is that is literally a very high demand by residents about the need for delis, ice cream, fast-casual, bakery, bigger coffee spot and some family friendly restaurants, so…
    WHERE THE HECK ARE THEY? The neighborhood needs to do a better job recruiting businesses. The demand is HUGE.

    • I don’t understand it either. Apparently mini-marts can do sufficiently good business selling junk food, alcohol, and lottery tickets (and illegally selling synthetic marijuana) that they seem to be taking many of the few spaces that have actually opened in the past 4-5 years. (I’m thinking of some mini-marts further south on Georgia Avenue, the nameless one in this strip, and the one just north of the Petworth Metro.)

    • Park View has come a long way in the ten years that I have lived here. But it has not come nearly as far as many of the newer residents think it has. There is a huge gap between the kinds of businesses people want to see in these storefronts along Georgia Ave and the kinds of businesses that could actually survive – i.e., make enough money to turn a reasonable profit.

      • If the success of Petworth Citizen, Chez Billy or Crane & Turtle hasn’t convinced you, then wait until you see how great Slim’s Diner will do. The demand for family friendly, casual eateries has reached critical mass. Yet we get stuck with a Dunkin Donuts and a 7-Eleven. Where is the economic development strategic planning?

        • None of those joints are in Park View.

          • That is abundantly true, but all of them are within a few blocks of the Reliable site, which is at the very edge of northern Park View. Most of the “hot new places” in the area have been in southern Petworth or northern Park View that’s something like 8-9 blocks from north to south.

          • Oops, omitted some words… that should end with “in an area that’s something like 8-9 blocks from north to south.”

          • I agree on the whole southern Petworth/
            northern Park View thing, I live right there, and they are, basically, the same. But, “8-9 blocks” – exactly. Go to a map and look at an 8-9 block radius from, say, 18th & Columbia, or the Black Cat, or Eastern Market. It can make a big difference in the way things develop.

        • In order to make a profit you have to earn more in revenue than you pay out in expenses. I know a number of current and would be small business owners who have looked into renting space along that corridor of Georgia Ave south of the metro. They all walked away because the rents being asked were too high. It doesn’t matter how much demand there is for your product if it costs more to produce than you will recoup when it sells.
          Notice that the names you scoff at – Dunkin’ Donuts and 7-11 – are national chains. They can afford to pay high prices for rent.
          And finally, “success” is a relative term. Just because a business has a lot of customers doesn’t mean it is successful. Lots of bars and restaurants that look successful from the outside end up closing.

        • The economic development is being determined and driven by market forces. We got a Dunkin Donuts and 7-Eleven because those are the businesses that can afford to rent those spaces. I don’t think current and potential owners of cool small businesses are ignoring Georgia Ave. I think that some stuff is not available – property owners sitting on vacant properties waiting for a developer to come along and buy them out – and what is available isn’t cheap – or at least not cheap enough for a business to price it’s wares at a level that doesn’t spark outrage on listservs.

  • I know it’s frustrating to see the empty storefronts on GA Ave, but people really need to gain some perspective. For example, the Logan Circle Whole Foods was opened in 2000. It took over twelve years for 14th Street to really blow-up off after that watershed development. It was a slow build with small businesses opening one at a time. Eventually those small businesses have been replaced by (high end) chain restaurants and designer condos/rentals. I live just to the west of GA Ave, so I have an incentive to see the area get better!
    Things will change on Georgia Avenue slowly but surely, however its going to take time. The new HT is a watershed development for the area, but it will take 10 to 15 years to see the kind of amenities we find on 14th Street.

    • I totally agree with you. The problem is many people didn’t know the DC of the 90s. I remember seeing the news growing up in Northern VA and my parents were always talking about how bad it was in DC. Some people think Logan Circle, 14th Street, U Street, etc. happened over night I guess. Even Chinatown was a pretty rough area before the Verizon Center came in.

    • It didn’t take 12+ years for there to be a noticeable change on 14th Street — I was here the whole time, and it happened a lot faster than that.
      I’m hoping that the planned Harris Teeter can be a catalyst for the revitalization of Georgia Avenue the way that the Whole Foods was for 14th Street and the U Street corridor.

      • Are we talking about the HT coming to Georgia and Kalmia? That’s nowhere near this area. We might as well be talking U St.

      • The 14th Street of 2009 (when I moved nearby) was waaaaaaaaaaaaaay different than the 14th Street of 2013 (when it flipped from “gentrifying” to “luxury”). In 2009, you still had hookers, drugs, aggressive street people, and a general waft of urine. Individual blocks of 14th even in 2009 did not look so different from the Georgia Ave of today. My point is that it took a long time for 14th Street to be totally transformed, even if most of the physical commercial development happened in only the last 3 years.

        • To me and probably to anyone else who was here in the late 1990s/early 2000s, the difference between 2009 and 2013 seems minimal.
          The 14th Street of 1998 (when I moved to the D.C. area) or of 2002 (when I moved into the District) is pretty much unrecognizable in the 14th Street of today. In the early 2000s, when you went to a show at the Black Cat, you parked on a side street (if you couldn’t find parking on 14th, that is) and walked really quickly to 14th Street and then up 14th Street, looking around you the whole time.
          By 2009, 14th Street had already changed from being used-car lots and vacant storefronts to having restaurants and bars, as well as boutique-y clothing stores and upscale furniture stores.

          • djdc

            Also El Paraiso up north, and La Villa, Hamburger Mary’s, Playbill, and Mar de Plata farther south.

        • As an example… when Saint-Ex opened (which from my Googling looks to have been early 2003 or late 2002), it was a really big deal. I think it might have been the first sit-down restaurant to open along that stretch of 14th Street, unless perhaps Thaitanic had already opened at the southern end of the 14th Street strip. At the time Saint-Ex opened, there were certainly clubs along 14th Street — the Black Cat, HR-57, the Metro Cafe (unless it had closed by then — I can’t remember), and various go-go clubs… but I think the only food establishments were takeout joints.

  • I love that their statement isn’t the usual epic novel about their fusion cuisine with locally sourced organic rubbish.

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