Cafe Paradiso Closed After 27 Years Last Month

cafe paradiso
2649 Connecticut Ave, NW

A reader reports:

“The long time Woodley Park Italian restaurant was totally dark and had a closed sign on the door tonight. It appeared all fixtures and furniture were removed and the menu was removed from the display case.”

On August 7th Cafe Paradiso shared on their Facebook page:

“Today Sunday is the our last day at Cafe Paradiso after 27 and half years in business, we had wonderful time and met wonderful people, made lots of friends, got married and had kids, my brother Samer and I saw our business flourish, it is very hard to walk away and say good bye to our wonderful staff- family some been with us for over 20 years, I thank them all, also our customers and neighbors many thanks.

Cafe Paradiso was a great place to come to work every day for 27.5 years and it will be missed by Samer and I we tried our best every day to make a great environment to work and for our customers to enjoy.

For all of this we are blessed and grateful.

Thank you Cafe Paradiso.

Samer Zeitoun
Salim Zaytoun”

5 Comment

  • Ashy Oldlady

    I’ve walked by this place a thousand times and have always assumed it was just a tourist trap. Was anybody a fan?

  • Does anyone have any intel on what will be moving into the space? Lots of open restaurant spaces in WP these days.

  • I thought this was for Pizza Paradiso at first and freaked out.

  • Got my first job in DC over a long lunch interview in this place. Despite living in the neighborhood, I rarely went back except on the odd beautiful day when I wanted a glass of wine outside.

    I have real doubts it will be another restaurant though. They’d been trying to sell their lease for years and fought hard against the new Nando’s moving in on the same block because they wanted them to buy out their lease instead of being granted a restaurant cap exemption. Nando’s wouldn’t bite because of the weird two-level layout that caused serious ADA problems. Whoever moves in will have to put in a lift or do some serious renovations before they can meet code.

    I fear the end result will be another empty storefront for a while.

  • I was a fan. As someone who lived within a 10-15 walk from this restaurant for the past decade, I ate there a number of times over the years. The patio was a great place to sit out and eat on a nice day and watch the tourists. The food was quite good. (This is not necessarily the case for most of the restaurants in that strip, though there are a few others I like.) I didn’t eat inside often, but when I did, that was good, too – a nice atmosphere. I tended to avoid it for full dinners because it was a tad expensive for what it was, but for lunch or smaller meals, it was great. I once planned a large dinner there for a friend’s birthday here, and everybody liked it a lot. I will miss them.

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