Well this Stinks, Sona Creamery Closed

sona
660 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

Sona Creamery posted the sad news on their Facebook page:

“We are sad to announce we will be closing our doors Monday, April 11, 2016.

After 3 years of working the regulatory chain to get raw milk in the District, and become the first cheese creamery, we were paying rent for space that wasn’t supporting itself. Unfortunately, this has made it impossible to remain open.

Even though Sona’s concept took too long to fully implement, we are proud of what we were able to accomplish.

First commercial cheese creamery in the history of DC
Were able to bring first raw milk into the District since 1952
Maintained four stars on Yelp
2015 Slow Food award winner
2014 Hilly Awards runner up for best new restaurant and best new business on the Hill
Numerous write ups by food writers and columns
Thrillist top new DC restaurants of 2014

We are grateful for the memories and wonderful people we met along this journey. Thank you for all of your support.”

30 Comment

  • NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

    That really really sucks.

  • I really liked this place but they were just so darn expensive, maybe due to their high rent. I’d imagine that a place like this wouldn’t get too much business from random passers by, but instead from people intending to go there, and could have probably been viable in a less prime location.

  • Nooooo!!!!

    This was my Hill moms group go-to stop for happy hour.

  • Now I must make my own pop rocks butter! This is really sad. I love how they would walk around the restaurant with the latest batch of fresh cheese curds and hand them out to diners.

  • Once they stopped selling cheese and were just running the restaurant, we stopped going there.

    • I am the same way. I walked in one day and discovered the cheese shop disappeared. Walked out, haven’t been back since.

      Having the cheese shop differentiated it from being like every other restaurant. It was fun to try new cheeses over lunch and bring a couple home.

  • DCRA really dropped the ball on this one. Developing regulations for making cheese — something that is easily regulated in most U.S. States — should not have been such a difficult task for the Authority.

    It’s laughable that council members, such as Ward 6’s Charles Allen, attempt to promote “Made in DC,” but they repeatedly fail to address the core issue of an incompetent DCRA.

    • What about opening a cheesemaking business in DC while (presumably) knowing it doesn’t have a regulatory agency to approve its production? Where was the due diligence?

  • >Were able to bring first raw milk into the District since 1952

    Damn, now where will I acquire foodborne illnesses normally found in developing countries!

    • Oh yeah, people in Europe who eat raw/unpasteurized are dropping dead of foodborne illnesses from developing countries all the time.

      • You mean in Europe where raw milk is sold with massive warning labels about being dangerous or out right banned depending on the country?

        Seriously you are arguing against simply applying heat to milk to kill bacteria. Louis Pasteur is rolling over in his grave at this raw milk idiocy.

        • I’m talking about unpasteurized/raw cheese. Which is delicious, and which is sold in Europe without huge outbreaks of disease.

          • Well you responded to a comment directly about raw milk.

          • For certain values of “huge outbreaks of disease”. The US has about a salmonella and listeria problem with about 1.5% of cheese samples (they found 0 cases of eColi and the vast majority of US cheeses are pasteurized) while most European countries are at 5% contamination.

        • Agreed with A Nony Mouse.

        • This raw milk fad is one of the more stupid of our times. There is truly no proven benefit, just a way to part a fool from his money. I personally wouldn’t patronize a place trying to swindle people with such idiocy.

        • You can get raw milk in the country of Pennsylvania.

    • Go eat some steak tartare or sushi with raw fish in it.

    • Or Chipotle.

  • WHAT?!?!

    I am devastated. Loved the owners, loved the staff, etc. I thought they had cleared their DCRA hurdles??

    This seems incredibly sudden. How sad, this was really my neighborhood go-to spot.

    • I only went here once (we’re not big cheese eaters) but the staff was wonderful. Sad to see them go.

  • This makes me so sad. My DH planned my 30th surprise party here, and the owners were so great to work with. To be honest, I was always worried that their menu seemed to change concept/style every few months and then I got even more worried when their cheese shop closed. But when we went the other day, I was happy to see how crowded they were. Their cheese boards were so beautiful.

  • I am bummed. This was my go to Saturday brunch. They had relatively recently hired one someone to manage the place more and changed the menu, the weekend start time, and some of the seating so I am sad that nothing worked.

  • This place tried to do too much and therefore couldn’t do much at all. My servers were routinely under trained on the offerings on the menu, the kitchen couldn’t cook a salmon filet, and the menu was fairly expensive. If your cheapest wine offering by the glass is $12, you should be able to have staff that can confidently explain the wine and suggest a pairing. I never received this in the 3 times I went. The excuse that rent is too damn high is just that- an excuse. If you had people in the seats buying your product, you’d still be there.

    Also, pop rocks in the butter? That dish was cute at first and then fell flat when it came to actually putting it in your mouth and enjoying it- a microcosmic example of why this place didn’t work. I wish the best for all involved- but the writing was on the wall every time I went.

  • NOOOOOOO. I loved this place. What a loss.

  • Sad news but I’m not surprised. We went here for dinner two months or so ago and it was kind of a disaster. Fairly empty at 8 on a Saturday night and the service was really bad. Nothing came out in the right order and the waiter didn’t notice until we pointed it out to him. To our faces, he acted like it was our problem and that we shouldn’t be complaining, but then he went back into the kitchen and very loudly started screaming at the kitchen staff about their mistake. It was awkward and uncomfortable. Half the wine on the menu wasn’t available and several entrees weren’t either. We ate our meat and cheese platter as dessert and got out of there.

  • Crossing my fingers that another beloved local institution such as a CVS or Bank of America will rent the space.

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