Another Adams Morgan End of an Era – Cashion’s Closing, Johnny’s Half Shell Coming

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1819 Columbia Road, NW

In no particular recent order – Millie & Al’s, Mixtec, Pasta Mia, Meskerem, Pharmacy Bar, Toledo Lounge, Crumbs & Coffee, Napoleon Bistro, Locolat and now add Cashion’s Eat Place to the mix. The big news comes via Politico with the lede buried:

“Johnny’s Half Shell is moving to Adams Morgan

The iconic oyster bar and seafood restaurant will close on May 26 and reopen next month at 1819 Columbia Road NW, the current site of Cashion’s Eat Place, owner Ann Cashion told POLITICO.”

Johnny’s Half Shell is located at 400 North Capitol Street, NW near the Capitol and Union Station.

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29 Comment

  • next door to another oyster bar?

  • Omg what does this mean for Pop’s???? They’re owned by the same folks as Cashions. I will be so bummed if they close!

  • saf

    It hasn’t been the same since Ann left. I’ve had good meals there, but not in the last 18 months or so.

    I’m sorry it’s the fish themed place moving back, but…. I love her food.

  • The place Samantha Bee skewered all to hell on her show a couple weeks ago moving to Cashion’s spot.

    Weird.

  • Honestly, as someone who grew up here, I’d say Cashion’s was the first “high end hipster” place of its time. But those places all have a shelf life. Even a place like Rose’s Luxury will be gone in say, 10 years. It’s the nature of it. They don’t lend themselves to being timeless.

    Cashion’s was one of the best and most innovative places in the city. But it’s been passed by, and even if it hadn’t, the success of these places lend themselves to the new and exciting, or they need to be reinvented every so often. The value wasn’t there either. I spent a lot (more than many places on 14th Street) and didn’t feel like I got my money’s worth last time I was there. Really, Mintwood Place was its death knell. Mintwood had comparable food and was a better value in a more upbeat environment.

    That said, Cashion’s has earned a very high place in DC’s culinary history. I think it’ll always be remembered fondly. But life goes on.

    For the record, I don’t see what its replacement brings at all. JHS was always a darling of the Cap Hill lobbyist crowd– nothing special otherwise. It doesn’t really jive with modern Adams Morgan/Kalorama.

    • Those of use who have been here more than five minutes know that Johhny Half Shell’s first location was on P Street in Dupont, not its current location. It wasn’t a “darling of the Cap Hill lobbyist crowd” then, and I’m suspecting it won’t be now that it’s moving.

      • It had so much more charm when it was a little hole in the wall in Dupont. It never felt the same on Capital Hill.

        • Right, this. I guess I’m hoping it will reclaim some of its character in the new space. The Hill location is just a cavernous sterile barn.

  • It’s interesting because Johnny and Ann originally owned Cashion’s then sold it to the current owners, all former employees, to focus on the half shell. Sad to see Cashion’s go, especially since it’s such a great neighborhood hangout, but excited to get Ann’s cooking back in the ‘hood.

  • Not a fan of Johnnie’s, but really disliked Cashion. One of those places that kept getting good reviews even though the 2 times (i’m not a fool, never went a 3rd) I’ve been there the food was wretched. My first meal a chicken dish that was cold and slimy. Not what it was supposed to have been. I pointed it out to the waitress, who responded that it was a busy night and there wasn’t anything I could do. Should have called for manager, but I just didn’t want to make a scene. Stupid me. 2nd time I got food poisoning from a salad.

    Good riddance to that place.

  • pcat

    I had dinner at Johnnies recently and will never go back. The food and the service were awful. I hope that they have better quality when they move to AM but would need a real push to go back.

  • While I agree it has lost a little of the buzz and energy it had 10 years ago, it’s still a neighborhood gem. We go there often and I’ve always had great food and great service. There are now other comparable restaurants in AM, but none to my mind that match the combination of great food and neighborhood comfort that Cashion’s offers. Such a loss.

    • +1. I’ve spent many a Friday night with a glass of wine and dinner at the bar, and it will be sorely missed.

    • You can’t be “old school” if you’re referring to the neighborhood as “AdMo.”

  • Comment Artist

    I haven’t been there in years and I understand that it’s changed a lot since then, so I’ll always have fond memories of it being one of the more outstanding places I’ve ever eaten at in DC.

  • I used to love going to Cashions for their late night happy hour from like 11-1 or 12-2 or something. Good drink specials, AMAZING food, and a more relaxed atmosphere than other places in the neighborhood, especially 5 years ago.

    • Agree, that was great. I will miss it, but the value wasn’t there in the last couple years. I also couldn’t stand most of their glass wine list. I could always count on finding a friendly face there, though.

  • Like so many “institutions” that die, I loved it back in the day but haven’t been there in years, so I feel a bit hypocritical mourning its loss. Like maybe if I wanted it to stay I should have been actively patronizing it.

    But it sounds here like it went way downhill so I guess it’s time to put it to rest.

  • I’ll always have fond memories of this place. I had many excellent meals at Cashion’s back in the 1990s when it was Ann Cashion’s sole restaurant, and had my first successful date with my current spouse there in 1999. We would occasionally go back for subsequent visits; the quality certainly held up through the ’00s. But our last visit in 2014 — and the sole one after Ann Cashion the sold the restaurant — was underwhelming.

    • I might just be protective because Cashion’s means a lot to me and I’m going to miss it terribly, but… She sold the place in 2007. I’m not sure that one visit in nine years is a fair sample size.

  • Cashion’s is partially responsible for us moving here. My wife and I visited DC in May 2000 and were trying to decide whether to move here. We had a lovely outdoor meal on a warm evening at Cashion’s, and half way through, we looked at each other and agreed, yes, we can live in DC. So, I’ll be sorry to see it go for sentimental reasons, but we haven’t been there in years.

  • Doesn’t Ann Cashion own Johnnie’s? I always thought she did and that was why her tacqueria initially opened behind Johnnie’s. Funny that she wants to replace her namesake sign, but I guess that would be necessary or people might be confused about the menu swap.

    • She does. But she doesn’t own Cashion’s anymore. Regardless, it’s going to be a damn shame to lose that sign!

  • Years ago I dined at Cashion’s. All I remember was the smell of cigarette smoke from the bar or smoking section permeated the entire restaurant. I never went back.

  • I liked Cashions but stopped going once they switched to small plates, or whatever that experiment was. They may have changed back but I didn’t care to investigate – they lost me and mintwood place offered a better experience. It’s sad they couldn’t figure out how to make it work again – but even sadder that it’s being replaced by Johnny’s which is some of the most overpriced and unimaginative food in the city.

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