If You Could Bring Back any Restaurant from the Dead, who’d you pick?

shanghai garden

I got word recently that the “Black Restaurant Group, LLC (BRG) is excited to announce the reopening of Addie’s Restaurant. BRG has signed a 20-year lease with local developer, Foulger-Pratt, and the restaurant will open in the upcoming Park Potomac Development, located at 12435 Park Potomac Avenue in Potomac, Md.” Anyway it got me thinking about other restaurants that have closed and reopened and ones I’d love to see reopen.

This is a very, very tough question that I’m dying to know your answer. Despite the photo above (and I’d also love to see Yenching Palace resurrected), I would pick Yanni’s in a heartbeat. I still weep when I pass their former location though I do like Medium Rare. Anyway, which restaurant would you most like to see return from the dead?

206 Comment

  • I’m actually having a tough time with this one!
    I do miss Tash, below Nooshi on Barracks Row. Its replacement, Garrison, is a great addition to the neighborhood, but Tash was the kind of place you could go to more often.

  • Linc Park SE

    Meyhane – 6th/PA Ave SE – excellent food, wine list, desserts. So bummed when they closed- it was weirdly instantaneous.

    • I instantly thought of Meyhane too. I wonder what happened there, since it was often/always busy.

  • the old Loebs NY Deli….the replacement just isn’t the same…what were they thinking??? I already miss Pasta Mia…

    • Jerry Grundle

      I thought they were supposed to move back into their old spot once that monstrosity was done being rehabbed, but that’s obviously never happening.

  • Sam & Harry’s.

    I know I’ll take shit for this, but it has so many memories for me of people who are now gone.

    I just wish we could have one more night. Break open the wine. Have a steak. And then finish with some port and a cigar. All the while enjoying the greatest friendships I have ever known.

  • Your photo says it all. I’ve never gotten over them closing.

  • The Honolulu in Alexandria.

    • This is a good choice – specifically, Palena Café. The fine dining room was great, but sitting in the front with my wife, a couple glasses of wine, that roast chicken, a great burger, an order of fries (fried lemon slices!), and a cookie plate (win a couple of Ann Amernick’s caramels!) was one of my favorite meals.

      • Two more – Citronelle for the lobster “Beluga” pasta, and Kinkead’s for the pesto calamari appetizer (though that may be offered sporadically in the other location). So good.

    • 100% agree with Palena.

    • Nothing has occupied that space since it closed. Same thing for Dino’s. I don’t get why they allow these prime spaces in Cleveland Park to remain vacant for years.

      • I live in CP and can almost certainly say that it is a combination of out of scale rent and the CP Assoc. members. Always afraid that CP will turn into Adams Morgan. Insert eye roll. Three vacant restaurants, but we’ve got Chipotle!

        Side note – CP Assoc is hosting a forum for residents on loud leaf blowing, complete with guest speakers.

    • +1. That burger (though I know I can get the same, or maybe similar? one at his new place).

    • Oh yes. The cafe particularly.

    • Yep, Palena was a gem.

  • Bombay Palace on K Street

  • I really miss Pizza, Parts & Service on H. The slices were good and it was the family go-to before closing.

    • Second this. I really miss that as a late night option. Their pizza was solid.

    • Their pizza was decent and initially the best delivery pizza I could get on the Hill. But we had an issue with every. single. order. Everything from taking two hours, to giving us the wrong pizza, to food poisoning. I really wish they could’ve straightened things out, cuz there was a lot of potential there.

    • justinbc

      Their bathroom was always out of soap literally 100% of the times we went. Which means when their employees go they’re never sanitizing their hands.

  • The only right answer is AV Ristorante.

  • Reeves Bakery

    • Can’t believe others haven’t chimed in for missing Reeves. Their strawberry pie – and the fight over which was better – baked or fresh. Great burgers, unbelievable pies.

  • Gusti’s at 19th & M. Also, Luigi’s pre-1985, that pizza then was the tits.

  • Blithe

    B. Smith’s at Union Station, Pied de Cochon, Mel Krupin’s and/or Duke Zeibert’s, and not quite restaurants, but the original Gifford’s in Silver Spring and Posin’s Deli.

  • Krupins deli. Also Smith & Wollensky. I’ll miss that patio this summer.

  • I Dont Get It

    Reply meant for Blithe. Not sure why it appeared here.

  • Market Inn…Jazz in the lounge, fried seafood platter served by waiters in red jackets, she crab soup.

  • The Brickskellar

    • Kukki Bakemono

      Oh man, I remember The Brickskellar. When I first moved to DC, my old university professor brought me there saying it was his favorite spot in the city. Went back a few more times on my own because I thought it was a cool place.

  • I miss Moroni & Bros. Surprised they never reopened. Had a huge following.

  • rinconcito deportivo on 11th, for the steak quesadilla.

  • Little Taverns

  • My vote is Mixtec. I loved the Sopa Azteca and huevos rancheros, and the homemade hot sauces.

    More importantly, it was an integral part of our lives. My wife and I walked up from our co-op in Adams Morgan every weekend to look at the classifieds over brunch to plan our day house-hunting in 2004. We had brunch there the day my wife went into labor. My daughter still asks why can’t my Sopa Azteca taste as good as theirs did, and grumbles about how the rice and beans are inferior at every Mexican place we go to. Mr. Montesinos always had a big smile and a hug for my daughter. His kids, Luis and Patricia, and their significant others, all of whom worked there over the years, are wonderful people.

  • binpetworth

    Meskerem. Partly for the food, but mostly for the memories.

  • Hot Shoppes

  • Ashy Oldlady

    Most people here won’t remember it, but without question, I’d love to have the short-lived Red Bean in Mt. Pleasant back. The Southwest-meets-Louisiana food was interesting and delicious.

    • Yes, I wish things had worked out for the owners. WPost Magazine had an article about them not long after they closed down and moved on

  • Is it too early to say Crane & Turtle? I’d also throw Eola in the mix.

  • Houston’s in Georgetown. Best bar-tending gig ever.

  • Easy. Omega. It was on Columbia Rd. near Belmont. We used to buy black bean soup / black beans & rice. Could afford that & could live off of it for days.

  • orderedchaos

    PALENA. It’s hard to celebrate anniversaries in the restaurant where I proposed to my wife when it no longer exists. Plus it was just plain good, both the dining room and the cafe.

  • Java Green!!!

  • Aglets

    Tom Sarris Orleans house. I miss that anachronistic building. And steamboat salad bar. And the mediocre prime rib but that’s not why you went there.

    • +1. Everything was a throwback but I always loved taking the parents there when they were in town. I’d also add Scholl’s Cafeteria. Sometimes you just want simple inexpensive home-cooking type food.

    • Yes! I definitely just miss the building itself. It was a landmark!

    • Yes! That was my very favorite place. I still get sad driving by that corner.

    • Haha Tom Sarris made me think I had hit a time warp to 1974 and was in a scene from Godfather II! Loved that place.

  • After eight years I still don’t feel like I have the D.C. chops to answer this intelligently, so I’ll use my vote on behalf of keeping Zenebech precisely where it is now.

    • SouthwestDC

      If anything this question is making me realize that (during our tenure at least) the truly memorable restaurants have managed to stick around.

    • Spoke with them last week. They’re there til October. They’re also looking for a space in the area.

      • This gives me hope. It also provides relief following my realization that I’ve actually been here nine years—I just lost a year!

  • Fios!!! Still missed

    • I Dont Get It

      Oh wow, i’d completely forgotten about that one. YES!

    • +100. The best family-style Italian Ristorante. Great place. I never forgave the Woodner for sending it packing.

    • I Dont Get It

      I took Aunt Helen there once (she is not MY Aunt Helen but just try to follow along) and when they served us red wine in small drinking glasses she said:

      “Oh, look they serve wine in (Italian slur) glasses!”

      Shocked I tried to admonish her to which she replied
      “That’s what all the Italians I know call them!”

    • Yep – FIO’S WAS THE BEST. Tucked away in the inner-sanctum of the Woodner Apartment Building’s lobby at 3636 16th Street NW, it was a jewel of Italian family dining. We went there for years. Fio, Jean and Maria Vasaio (AV Ristorante’s relatives) prepared and served flawless meals with the warmth of a true Italian country kitchen. All we had to do was tell Maria if we were light hungry, medium hungry or big hungry, and we would be served accordingly.
      We heard that they lost their lease because they didn’t want to serve “hotel style”, i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner for the residents of the building. That’s a lot of work for only a handful of kitchen staff.
      We miss them every day!!

  • San Marco at 18th and Kalorama. They had the best risottos and carpaccio, and the owners were incredibly hospitable.

  • How has Chief Ike’s not getting any love here? That or Mothership would be my vote.

  • jburka

    Not that I’d be willing to give up Komi, which is the current tenant of the space, but I’d love to get back the original Il Radicchio. It was Roberto Donna’s spaghetteria. Back in the early-to-mid 90s it was relatively cheap ($6 or so for about as much spaghetti as you could eat, and then sauces for another 6-8 bucks — you’d go with friends and split a bunch of different sauces). Along with the Pop Stop, it was one of the 17th street joints that kept me sane during grad school.

    • Along those lines, both the bar and the tasting room at Galileo are sorely missed. The bar because, much like Palena Café, you could get simple, reasonable meals by a truly gifted chef. The tasting room because it was, for a time, spectacular. You can keep the main dining room.

    • Yea, folks pining for Pasta Mia have no idea how much better they could have had life if Il Radicchio had survived. I still dream about the Carbonara and Alfredo sauces from there. Yum.

  • I miss Nathan’s, and not just because of the name.

  • Ray’s East of the River. Their fried chicken was just so, so good.

  • SouthwestDC

    Wow, I’ve only been to a couple of these and only recognize the names of a handful. Are you guys reaching waaay back into DC’s restaurant history or have I just been oblivious the past 11 years I’ve lived here?

    • Blithe

      Some of mine are reaching WAAAAY back. I used to post as DCNative for topics like this — to kind of warn people. 😉

  • Dukes on Upshur Street!

  • Does anyone else remember Sherrill’s on Capitol Hill? We always went when I was a kid – they had the best gingerbread men!

  • I dropped into this thread to see if anyone chimed in with Ruppert’s yet. But now that I’m reminded, I think I mourn both AV as well as Palena more.

    • I’ll second Ruppert’s. Had my best Valentine’s ever there – and went back several times for even better memories.

  • Fasikas – used to be across from the now-closed Meskerem.
    Meskerem – used to be across from the now-closed Red Sea
    Red Sea
    …and Scholl’s Cafeteria

    • I searched this thread and found only ONE reference to Scholl’s Cafeteria. God, that makes me feel old. But yes, Scholl’s is top of my list. I’ll also miss Soup Up Bethesda, but that isn’t even closed yet.

    • +1 on Scholl’s. Damn I’m old.

      • Yes, Scholl’s for an everyday lunch, their lamb was excellent. For a special occasion, Duke Zeibert’s for lunch. My friends and I were young nobodies, but Duke would always welcome us like big shots and introduce us to the regulars there, some of whom are now part of D.C. history. There will never be another Duke Zeibert’s.

    • Red Sea! My first Ethiopian restaurant (moved to DC in ’80 and lived 2 blocks away). I reluctantly moved on when they left, but now my 2nd Ethiopian dinner home has left (Meskerem).

  • Cafe Rabelais

  • The ramen pop-up that was in the Senor Chicken space in Columbia Heights a few years ago. I always hoped that would become permanent instead of go away…

  • Colorado Kitchen
    Toledo Lounge
    Roy Rogers

  • What the hell. Completely out of scope, but Rascal House in Sunny Isles Beach (N. Miami Beach), FL. (Take that, literally-interpreted subject line!) But seriously. That place was amazing.

    • Wow! I can’t believe that place closed down. I used to go there with my grandfather years ago when I was a kid in Florida. Good one.

  • dhendrix

    Little Tavern Burgers

  • No offense to Comet, but I miss the old Thai Room. Fantastic egg rolls!

  • Since Palena has gotten a lot of love already I’ll say Fusion. Great Indian food, and while they were offering delivery it was an absolute go-to for my household on nights we couldn’t cook and didn’t want to go out.

    I also miss Temperance Hall. Looking Glass Lounge is great, but TH had much much better food, really stand out bar food.

  • I miss the original Lawson’s in Dupont. I used to live on those breakfast bagels when I first started working here. I also preemptively miss spicy Indian delivery from Cusbah on H, which I just found out is closing.

  • I miss Arbaugh’s BBQ
    Arbaugh’s, at 2606 Connecticut Avenue NW in Woodley Park, was founded by Hugh W. Arbaugh (1889-1960) in 1937. This neighborhood eatery was famous for its barbecue spare ribs served with cole slaw and French fries. “Arbaugh’s is far and away the best-known barbecue restaurant in Washington,” wrote the New York Times’ Craig Claiborne in 1967. Arbaugh’s closed in 1984.

  • PS7 used to make me an off menu “primanti bros special” sandwich for take out, got it about monthly for years. Damn I miss that sandwich. 🙁

  • I really miss Les Halles on Pennsylvania Avenue. Not the greatest French restaurant ever, but all-around good with good hours in a good location.

  • Ten Pehn! I know it’s “coming back,” but it’s coming back to Tyson’s Corner, which isn’t much good for those of us who love their shrimp curry but don’t have cars. (Before you say, “Take the Silver Line!,” I have, and Tysons is not very walkable, even with the Metro there now. Sigh.)

  • Kushi ( for the first few months~year) had some of the best sushi I’ve had this side of the pacific. It went downhill fast though.

  • Citronelle, Palena, or Java Green. Also, Sushi Ko in Glover Park — I still don’t get why they closed down.

  • Au Pied De Cochon. Some of my best after 3am experiences happened there!

    Second choice would be Roy Rogers with the “Fixin’s Bar.” Which I heard might be coming back!

  • I’d like to 2nd Colorado Kitchen. It was really the only decent option we had, and the food was fantastic. Too bad the property owner wanted to build a new ugly building.
    When I was a kid I remember going with my parents to the SW Waterfront area. There was a restaurant down there that served rum buns. I remember the place being great, but maybe my young mind was altered by the rum glaze. I don’t remember the name of the place though.

  • Dominique’s on Pennsylvania Ave.
    Reeve’s, downtown.

  • Not sure I’d go there today because of all the new great restaurants, but used to like to go to Kinkead’s back when I was in law school at GW.

  • I liked Heritage India at P & 17th near Dupont.

  • Marrakesh, but mainly for the ambiance, spectacle, and memories with friends.

  • Dragonfly! I was usually there to dance, or slink around with a drink downstairs, but I remember their sushi being good and they always played the best music.
    Also, I rarely went because it was expensive and in Georgetown, but I used to enjoy Mie N Yu.

  • This is super old school but Pleasant Peasant in Mazza. Used to go there as a child. The fried dough balls with poppyseed butter still haunt my dreams. And I loved their dessert bar.

  • +1000 for Palena – and, particularly, its café. My fiancé and I are still trying to get over its loss three (four?) years later.

  • High end: Chez Francois
    Cheap: Zebra Room

  • I miss the old Hawk and Dove

  • Blackie’s House of Beef

  • TGI Thai (U St), Fra Amici (18th St), Julio’s (pizza; U St)…. And I hate to admit it, but I miss the KFC/Taco Bell at 14th & U

  • Cosign on AV and Scholls. Also..Whiteys.

  • The Childe Harold.

    • Ashy Oldlady

      +1. They made an incredible bacon cheeseburger. Also, Timberlake’s down the street for their wings.

  • Viareggio’s deli in Brookland. Just the best.

  • Anyone remember Cities when it was on 18th Street in AdMo? I had some amazing food there.

  • G&G Italian in the Florida Ave market.

  • Col. Brooks Tavern
    Cafe Atlantico in Adams Morgan
    Bradshaw’s in Adams Morgan
    Colorado Kitchen

  • BURMA -Burmese restaurant on the 2nd floor on 6th Street. Are there any other Burmese spots in town?

    • There was that pop-up recently, and I heard she’s looking to open. But not sure there’s anything else in the city proper.

    • I’ve only been to Mandalay in Silver Spring (I think they opened a tasting menu-only location in Shaw) and Mandalay is even better than Burma, if you can imagine such a thing!

  • Sholls on 20th and K. Terrific food. You could eat 3-4 home-cooked courses for a sawbuck. The place attracted derelicts, large families, and senators alike. As a young intern, I ate very well there.

    Long ago DC was filled with cafeterias, and Sholls was the last one, felled by post-911 uncertainty and high rents and ignominiously replaced by a Washington Sports Club. The city could use a place like that, but they can’t survive these rents anymore today than in 2000.

    • I was glad to see some other votes for Scholls (for me it was the one over by Penn Ave (don’t remember the address – in the basement of a building). Starving grad students, we used to have dinner there between work & GW night classes. Loved things like 30-cent green beans, etc You’re right, starving students, homeless, business men/women, everybody ate there. Is there a place in DC that draws such diverse customers anymore?

  • Akosombo on 6th & K. I can’t find anywhere else in the DMV with amazing West African food like they had. I’ve tried all the obvious contenders, but my heart is with Akosombo.

  • I really miss “Ba Bay” on Capitol Hill near Barracks Row. It was ahead of its time both for bringing serious gourmet dining/wine to the 8th Street area, and for doing creative Vietnamese in a way I have not seen before or since in DC. That place was awesome.

  • Millie and Al’s!!!!

  • Java Green – didn’t know their chicken was chik’n til my 3rd visit
    Chef Geoffs Downtown – Great brunch, near white house, never a wait. Great for guests

  • Yoon Ha’s Kitchen near the old Florida Market. They would sell you super ripe kimchi in quart containers.
    Now soon to “The Highline at Union Market” *le sigh*

  • Mothership.

  • Sona Creamery (their cheese plate, with the butter/sea salt/pop rocks…)
    Palena (especially the bread they sold in their little storefront)
    Vegetate (best fancy grilled cheese sandwich I’ve ever had)
    and…
    Cowgirl Creamery (not a restaurant per se, but… I loved buying cheese there)

  • None of the other old folk have mentioned Beefsteak Charlie’s. Down on K street in the days when the town rolled up at 6 and went to sleep. They had a happy hour with free or really cheap eats. Us starving grad students used to buy a cheap beer and go to town on happy hour.

  • I love this question. All these posts are bring back some wonderful memories!!

  • Red Sea!!!! on 18th St. No other Ethiopian like it now a days..

  • Machiavelli’s on Capitol Hill – best pizza

  • The Reef – miss the Belgian sunrise and family happy hour
    Colorado Kitchen – miss the catfish, donuts, everything
    San Marcos – miss the gnocchi

  • Malaysia Kopitiam. They had a very comforting noodle soup for cold days. There’s nothing else like it around.

  • Marrakesh and AV Ristorante.

  • Hook, followed by Palena, Meskerem, and Cafe Atlantico. But really, Blue Ridge in Glover Park had the best bacon I’ve ever eaten in my entire life and for that reason alone I wish that it would come back!

  • Axis on U st!!

  • Blackie’s – the last really likeable steakhouse DC had.

    And Ruppert’s. 5 entrees on the menu that changed often and seasonally, and it seemed like at all times there was something on the menu that was as good as any offering of that item anywhere in the city.

  • I loved Sholl’s Cafeteria and don’t exactly remember when it closed. it was cheap and relatively healthy and i ate liver and onions with mashed potatoes, green beans and bacon often.

  • I loved Sholl’s Cafeteria and don’t exactly remember when it closed. it was cheap and relatively healthy and i ate liver and onions with mashed potatoes, green beans and bacon often.

  • Blackie’s House of Beef, Armand’s, The Astor, Gifford’s for hot fudge sundaes, Maison des Crêpes, Nathan’s, Chez François, Yenching Palace, Sholl’s Cafeteria, Tom Saris New Orleans House. So many for this DC native.

  • Jean-Louis, which once had Jean-Louis Palladin, Eric Ripert, Daniel Boulud, and Michel Richard all in the same kitchen.

  • PDleftMtP

    Palena, AV, and Brickskellar are all taken, but I still miss Fish Wings & Tings (more than whatever their follow-up place under the Whitehurst was called).

  • Pollo a la Brasa in Arlington. Giant 5 buck burritos… “wet” braised style, beans, rice, sour cream.

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