Friday Question of the Day – What Type of Restaurant/Bar Would You Like To See Open Near You?

2920 M Street, NW

In yesterday’s discussion about the new Hilton brothers’ bars coming to Logan Circle, ExWalbridgeGuy commented:

“Whyy is everything a boring bar?
Here’s 10 restaurants.
Whyy is everything small plates?
Here’s 10 places to get entrees.
Whyy isn’t every thing cheap?
Here’s 10 cheap places.
Whyyyy is everything the same?
Here’s 10 different cuisines from all around the world.
Whyyy is it all just bars and restaurants. I want something different!
Okay, fine, here’s a completely off-the-wall idea that’s cheap food and arcade games and billiards and…
Whyy is it so unusual. I hate it!”

So what the hell, let’s just say it straight – in a perfect but realistic world (ie rent has to be paid) how would you describe the restaurant/bar that you’d like to see open near where you live?

206 Comment

  • HaileUnlikely

    Authentic inexpensive sit-down Mexican or Salvadoran restaurant, e.g., El Tamarindo or El Rinconcito or similar. El Tamarindo actually used to have a second location at exactly the spot I’m envisioning, the now-vacant southeast corner of Georgia & Geranium. They closed that location shortly before I moved to the neighborhood. There was briefly a sham “Ethiopian / Tex-Mex” restaurant called Sunshine Cafe that to the best of my ability to tell did not actually operate as a restaurant and was basically a front for a unpermitted nightclub that drew lots of Marylanders to the neighborhood to make noise, litter, loiter, and drunk-drive back to MD until DCRA shut them down a year or so ago. I wish El Tamarindo stayed and would gladly have them back.

    • I’d always wondered about that place (Ethiopian/Tex Mex?!?). Glad I never tried it out.

      • HaileUnlikely

        My former roommate once went in there at about 4:30 or 5 PM, when the door was unlocked and the “OPEN” sign was illuminated, asked for a menu, and the staff told him they weren’t serving food.

        • How weird. Have you been to Haydees?

        • Reminds me of a place I tried to go to once in Seven Corners, in the strip mall area by the Target and Petco. It was called “Taqueria. I walked in at 2 pm on a Saturday. No one behind the counter. About a half dozen guys sitting at tables with beers. They all go silent and stare as I walk in and go up to the counter to look at the menu. I got the hint and left pretty quickly.

          • Ally

            Happened to me at the old Siberia (Russian restaurant that used to be in Georgetown on Wisconsin Ave). I just backed out slowly!

    • Haydees is near you

      • Isn’t Haydee’s in Mt. Pleasant?

      • HaileUnlikely

        I know, and I generally like Haydees. It’s a mile and a half away, though, and sadly is not a walk I’m comfortable doing at night in this neighborhood these days (it would have been as recently as a month ago, but not now). El Aguila is much closer to me and also quite good; in retrospect that’s probably too close for a Tamarindo or Rinconcito at the location in question. I’m more just trying to think of what would be good at this specific location (former Sunshine Cafe spot)

    • El Chalan. The best. Authentic Peruvian.

  • Fast-casual, Vietnamese sandwich shop. Bonmi off Farragut closed last year and it was sad.

  • Eataly on 18th and Columbia or on the site of the FBI building or anywhere in DC

  • I moved from Adams Morgan to Parkview about 10 years ago. I would love to see a giant pizza slice place open in Park View.

  • Linc Park SE

    Lesbian bar loaded with lesbians.

  • andy

    Stroller parking indoors, tables for 4-6. Target demo – you guessed it, parents within strolling distance.
    Each table has a couple sets of headphones for your kids to listen to the TVs playing kids’ cartoons all over the place. 90s indie rock is of course for the 30-40 something adults, as are the sports and HGTVs set up in locations most of the adults can see. .
    The beer list would be good, and the food would include things kids would never touch so the adults don’t have to share, as well as all that tan/brown/yellow food your kids will always eat (chicken fingers, macaroni).

    A man can have dreams, even if they are small ones, no?


      +1 +1 +1 +10000000000000000000000000

    • This is an amazing idea

    • kickstarter!!! put this in bloomingdale or capitol hill and someone would make BANK.

    • I agree with kickstarter! This is EXACTLY what I want!!! (Can one of the screens be dedicated to sesame street please!). Union market often plays 90s rock outside – its heaven.

    • My wife and I would both donate to a kickstarter like that. Hell, I’d take a shift working there once a week if that would help. I love this idea.

    • Ally

      +1000. My husband and I have only one or two places on Barrack’s Row where our stroller will fit (it will fit in others, but we’d be so close to other tables that I just wouldn’t do that to the other tables). Would be so great to have an indoor option that was kid-friendly-ish, but geared towards the parents. With a good, affordable, wine and beer selection. And maybe free babysitting. Because, why not.

  • A Chick Fil A that’s open on Sundays.

  • mmm Indian Tacos and Fry bread….Seriously any sort of N.Mexico / Native cuisine would rock the DC world (well beyond NMAI)

    • maxwell smart

      As a New Mexican transplant, I second this recommendation. Maybe Anita’s can expand out of NoVa to DC?

      • Native Texan, who spent plenty of time in New Mexico, chiming in here. Do you really like Anita’s? I was very disappointed with food and, in retrospect, did not feel it was worth the long trek into the ‘burbs. I don’t think your average Mid-Atlantic palate would tolerate the spices of authentic New Mexican cuisine. There isn’t even good TexMex here. But we can dream, I guess.

        • maxwell smart

          It’s not great, but it is actually owned and run by natives from NM, so at least there is some authenticity to it. I found breakfast to be a little better than their dinner. I was happy to get sopapillas. They knew what I meant when I said I wanted Christmas. So there is that.

          • I think Anita’s is more northern NM food than southern if I recall correctly. Which part of the state holds your loyalties may determine how much you like it.

    • justinbc

      In our whole trip through 6 American west states the one thing I wanted to bring back to the DC scene was the avodabo from NM, there’s just nothing like it here. For anyone planning a trip out there make sure to check out Cocina Azul for a phenomenal version.

  • Popeyes!

  • jim_ed

    A place where we can go early for a family dinner or go late to drink with good food and reasonable prices. Basically I want Slash Run to open on Kennedy St. Also maybe they could have a TV that was used nearly exclusively for showing the local sports teams. That or a good tex/mex joint that are rarer than albino alligators in the local area.

  • If a branch of the Italian Store would open up by the Crate and Barrel on Mass. Ave, in Spring Valley, I would do a happy dance for days. If I’m getting greedy, I’d also like the beer garden like they have in Westover, but that’s probably not the right fit for the neighborhood. But a replica of the original, like they have in Lyon Village, would absolutely clean up. As an alternative, an authentic Mexican place, which as others have commended are few and far between.

    • Ok, I know people say this on here a lot, but it REALLY sounds like you should probably move to Virginia.

      • Really? Because sometimes I like regular pizza, not overpriced individual pies with artisan ingredients, and as close to authentic Italian subs as you can get around here? And beer? If anything, it seems like I ought to move back to New Jersey.

        • No, because all the references you made were about places in Arlington. Just sounds like you’re really into that place.

          Also a New Jersey transplant. Wise guys is probably the only pizza I’ve had in DC that comes close to back home FYI.

          • All the places? Really? I mentioned one place, the Italian Store. It has two outposts, both (sadly) in Virginia. You really oughta try it.

          • I’ve tried it (used to live near the Courthouse location) and it wasn’t worth traveling the half mile for, let alone coming from DC. I’m from NJ and I don’t get why people love that place so much.

      • justinbc

        This might be one of the least appropriate uses of that trope.

  • Hmm I’d take a place like Vinoteca in my neighborhood (Mt. P). Or a really good soul food spot.

  • A pizza place owned by a guy from Napoli who makes ah-maaaazing pizza and is so Italian-shady-looking that he got asked to be an extra on The Sopranos.

    (This place exists, just not in DC!)

    • And cash only! Also has to come with a cafe next store selling cappuccino etc. and a back door that leads to “card games”.

    • I’m not sure the owner looks like an extra on the Sopranos (ha) but have you tried Menomale in Brookland? To my very inexperienced tastes (only been to Italy once), it tastes really authentic. It’s delicious in any event.

    • Thanks for the suggestions, I’ll have to give Menomale and Pupatella a try! (I just long to transplant my old pizza shop from the Philly ‘burbs, I miss it! Not cash-only to my recollection, and definitely no door to “card games,” but the owner did get to play one of the creepiest, most mysterious extras on the series finale of The Sopranos – nicest guy in the world, just easy to make look shady!)

    • Did you see the pizza delivery guy on America’s Got Talent a while back? He and his family were walking Queens cliches, and he was fantastic. (you reminded me of it when you said “extra on the Sopranos” because that’s exactly what my husband and I said when we saw him.)

  • justinbc

    We’re sandwiched in between H Street and Eastern Market, so there’s already a plethora of restaurants and bars but what we really need is more RETAIL, especially on the H Street side. Give people a reason to come out for something other than booze, and you might even increase the overall daytime traffic levels. Whatever happened with the Forever 21 / Crate & Barrel / some big chain store that was supposed to come in down on the western end?
    If I have to stick to the question as asked, then more high end fine dining. Outside of Rose’s / P&P / Garrison it’s pretty much all limited to NW in DC.

  • maxwell smart

    I live in Forest Hills, so aside from Comet, Bucks and Little Red Fox, there isn’t a lot going on. So I would welcome just about anything.

  • A good Indian restaurant somewhere anywhere in the U Street/14th Street corridor. Ashok Bajaj and Vikram Sunderam, I’m talking to you.

  • I want Zenebech to reopen on North Capitol. I’d love a casual-ish Russian spot as well (think more pirogis and pelmeni, big pot of borsch, etc) with an infused vodka “bar”

  • Forgot to add: a non-asshole owned/run bakery (so Bread Furst but without the Furst)

  • WAFFLE HOUSE. But I’d settle for a 24 hour diner option that isn’t in Adams Morgan.

    • +1! A REAL, really-for-real diner that is open 24/7 and comes with cheap food, sassy servers, and crappy coffee (if you opt for it) would be a dream come true!

      • maxwell smart

        So Steak & Egg (in Tenleytown) then? Man… went there once, 2am, after a long evening of partying. Worst. Decision. Ever.

        • Steak and Egg or whatever it used to be called just off Florida Ave used to be my after 1 am go to spot. After a night of partying it was just the fix and economical too. Closed down when someone was either shot in there or outside but I miss that place.

  • “cheap food and arcade games”
    Oh man, that sounds like my kind of place. I do wish there were more of those….

  • A gay bar in Petworth so I would really never have to leave!

  • More veggie-heavy stuff. It doesn’t need to be strict vegetarian but I love a place that emphasizes vegetables and uses them well.

    More romantic date night spots. Aside from Le Grenier there isn’t anything too romantic by us. A super old school Italian joint, like the kinds in Boston’s North End, would be fantastic.

    • Uh, if you live by Le Grenier, don’t you also live by Fare Well? I can’t think of any restaurant that “emphasizes vegetables” more than that…

      • The food at Fare Well is fantastic but not particularly healthy. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there are tons of ways to cook vegetables that don’t involve slathering them with butter, cheese and salt until it resembles diner food. Even fast casual like Beefsteak would be a step in the right direction.

        I’m realizing I was really spoiled by all the amazing hippie places in Burlington. There is already so much on H Street and it’s getting better every day.

  • 1. a good, cheap taco and burrito place like the kinds you find in the mission in sf
    2. indian buffet joint with good north indian food
    3. a sweetgreen in the north end shaw area (yes, Im just gonna call it that, bc I live around there and am lazy)

    basically, I want dc to move closer to the Berkeley food scene (oops, I went there!)

  • Ashy Oldlady

    A bar with vinyl booths, really strong mixed drinks, $3 bottles of Miller High Life all the time, a popcorn machine, pinball machines, a cigarette machine, a jukebox, surly, attentive bartenders who’ve been working there for at least 20 years, regulars who’ve been coming there every day for at least 20 years, just one or two smallish TVs, and a rule where you get punched if you spend all night on your cell phone.

  • A dunkin donuts on H street. Yes — I’m an unabashed fan of their crappy coffee (not so much the donuts).

  • ANYTHING in brightwood would be great. closest place to walking distance to me is judy’s, and…..simple bar.

  • A Buffalo Billiards/Laughing Man/Penn Social type of place in Petworth that has all the games etc. but also has the size to fit many people unlike every other tiny place that opens in Petworth outside of Homestead and The Pitch. Would also like the empty storefronts at the Petworth Metro to be filled with Taylor Gourmet/Frozen-Yo/Cava or Roti type places, but not sure lunch places can be sustained over there…yet. A Mediterranean restaurant would be nice as well on Upshur in Domku’s old spot if we’re getting real specific.

    • Have you been to Walters? Not huge but you can always get a seat and they have a dozen or so TVs.

      • Yes, have been 3x, twice for trivia and once to watch a game, not really impressed honestly. What I meant in terms of games is foosball, darts, shuffleboard, billiards, ping pong, board games moreso than places to watch a game. Thanks for the suggestion though!

  • A sports bar in Bloomingdale. I find myself at Capitol City Brewing Company way too often. Nellie’s is great but the huge crowds make it obvious there’s a market for more. Plus I feel a little guilty encroaching on a gay bar so much although nobody seems to really mind.

    • justinbc

      If it makes you feel any better about encroaching most of my gay friends refer to Nellie’s as a sports bar that sometimes does gay events. I get the feeling it’s changed a lot with the neighborhood.

      • No it isnt lol. I went in there by accident last year to pregame for the 930 club to watch some games and as I was looking at the bar selection, i turned left then right and looked behind me and then it finally dawned on me as to why there werent any women in the bar. Not even one I dont think. Maybe a bartender

        • It’s not a very female friendly place (even if you’re gay). I’ve stopped going after one too many servers/bartenders ignored us in favor of the male patrons.

      • palisades

        That’s pretty misleading…it’s not as gay as Town or something, but it still has a very strong identity

  • Emmaleigh504

    I want a Taco Bell. I have lots of great places near me, but gosh darn it, sometimes I just want a bean burrito with sour cream.

  • A Venetian style Cichetti or a Catalan style Tapas/Pinxto bar. Not necessarily looking for the specific food, but rather the format– Small/simple interior, few to no seats, and inexpensive snacks that are under counter for selection. Good, but inexpensive house wines and a selection of beers on tap. So many places seem to be going for the opposite right now with huge, expensive build outs.

  • We need a Fro-yo place on the Hill! The closest thing is the Gelato place in Eastern Market, and damn, is that stuff pricey! I’d open one myself if I could afford the rent…

  • A decent bistro in Mt. Pleasant/Columbia Heights. Think a French Maple or a good Bistro du Coin that goes a little beyond the basics. Decent wine for under $10/glass.
    A GOOD Chinese restaurant.

    • I was just going to suggest a proper French bistro. Like Le Diplomat, but the everyday version, rather than the special occasion place. I would patronize that, and a good Chinese restaurant, more than I should. Though Great Wall isn’t that far, so I could just go there, I suppose…

  • Andie302

    I would really like a good reliable cheap Chinese place in Shaw. I was optimistic about Chao Ku but I won’t go there again, I had food that was outright gross and friends had a similar experience. For a bar, can’t we just get somewhere where, when your friends from Delaware come to DC, it’s reliable that you can go and dance without waiting in line or getting creeped out? I know that’s a unicorn of a bar, but one could hope.

  • Need a bagel shop near U Street!!!

  • A Jimmy T’s that had a more space so I could bring our three kids.

  • A place with good, friendly, unpretentious service and atmosphere, with meal-sized portions, not terribly high-priced, quality fresh ingredients, a simple but diverse menu with plenty of vegetarian options, a casual, comfortable and quiet dining space (so I have a conversation without yelling at those I’m dining with), and walk-ins welcomed. I enjoy most types of cuisine, so the kind of food is less of a concern to me.

  • Mt Pleasant needs an All Organic Kid-Friendly upscale bar! I want to drink, while also ensuring that my kids are able to enjoy GMO-free grilled cheese and kale chips! The Paint store at the corner of Kenyon and Mt. Pleasant would be perfect. The parking lot would make for a great beer garden and has more than enough room for strollers and play space. Maybe they could even segment part of the area for dogs? Oh, and arcade games. I’d call it The Stroller & Pint.

  • I’d love more nice middle eastern food! Something like Zahav in Philly or Ottolenghi. A sweetgreen in Shaw/Logan would also be great. And a great SF style bakery.

  • A Glen’s Garden Market in Park View

    • This would actually probably fit pretty nicely in the corner spot at Park Place – good idea!

      • anonymouse_dianne

        I think it’s crazy that that place is still vacant. It’s been nearly 10 years! The building was sold so I can’t imagine they are getting a tax break.

        • I think one partner bought out the other — I don’t think they’ve lost the tax break.
          Speaking of places that have been vacant forever… is the space on 18th Street in Adams Morgan that used to be DCCD still vacant?

    • Except there’s already a Glen’s a short walk south. Between that and the incoming WF, there’s zero chance of this in the near term.

      • I’m talking near where JS is referring: Near the Petworth metro. the one in Shaw is a solid 30 minute walk — not exactly a short walk from the northern border of Park View

  • I live in Ward 7 EOTR. We have a great Thai place on one side of the ward, a Sala Thai on the other side, and a gay bar. Really I’d be ok with anything. But I would love to see a nice neighborhood cafe (coffee in the morning and simple dinner and drink menu at night). I think a true sports bar would do crazy well in parts of Ward 7 too. Something simple and unpretentious that would capture all the adults who may want to grab an after dinner beer and watch a game but don’t have the time to drive across town.

  • I Dont Get It

    A retro Midwestern Gay bar. Dark, windowless and you discreetly enter from the alley. Some old guy smoking a Marlboro Light collects your cover at the door (cash only) and has a switch that flashes the interior lights as a warning if the cops show up. Despite these occasional raids, the bar is never actually closed since the owner has “connections.” Disco music is played non-stop 24 X 7 and there is a small dance floor where you have awkward moments like that time the lights slightly came up and you realized you were dancing with your (shirtless) High School History teacher.
    Drag Night is every Thursday, of course.
    Lesbian Night is last Monday of the month.

  • My H St food wish list:
    A (good) gelato or ice cream place (Rita’s sucks ok??)
    A BBQ place or Ivy City Tavern-style smokery
    For Fresca to be open on Sundays
    For Taylor Gourmet to reopen (WHEN?)

    • justinbc

      Good BBQ, hell even decent BBQ, on H Street would ruin me. Ryan at Queen Vic knows his meats and how to smoke, I just need to convince him to spend his money on more real estate!

  • the correct answer is actually ramen. bonus points for throwing in tapas.

  • Give me a bar with beer prices comparable to the raven in mount pleasant, and not terrible food.

    Also, an all night diner would be amazing. In Jersey these things are the best and it is the one thing I miss the most about home.

  • How about a place not owned by Paul Rupert on lower Upshur? Like maybe just a legit Baltimore corner type pub

    • I appreciate what he has done for the block, but yes, agreed. Would like a place that takes reservations, fit more than 10 people and changes their menu and has specials. Biggest travesty IMO is Slim’s, such a big building and you expect a big space for a diner, but it’s so small inside and the service is eh.

      • Yah, Slim’s ruined that space. What a good opportunity just totally blown. I keep giving it a chance only to be disappointed time and time again.

        • Agreed on Slim’s, but I gotta give Ruppert props for Petworth Citizen & Upshur Books. Although its a small menu, Citizen food has vastly improved in the last year. Their burger is amazing and their vegetarian option is always delish. And they are family friendly in the early hours.

          I would love Petworth to get a sit down basic Chinese or a salad place.

  • I’d love to see good authentic sit down family style chinese food. There’s a place in Rockville called East Pearl that is AMAZING. Wish it could open a second location in brookland/edgewood (bc that’s near me) 🙁

  • More to-go/delivery options in Columbia Heights:
    Soul Food
    GOOD Chinese

    -(Another) Fish in the ‘Hood, this time on 14th Street

  • A NY Bagel shop in Mt. Vernon Sq/Chinatown area would make me so so happy!

  • maxwell smart

    Kitsch Dive Bars.

  • Quotia Zelda

    A Vietnamese restaurant that serves more than just pho and cha gio so I don’t have to drive to Eden Center for banh cuon and jellyfish salad.

    An old-fashioned bakery like Gambinos where I could get a really good birthday cake or petits fours or pastries or cookies or whatever.

  • A compass coffee. Because they need to open here.

  • When I lived in DC, the two things I wanted most were cheap, good Indian (hard to do because of rent, but we have it all the time now…yay!) and a Jewish deli. Not gourmet, just good – matzo ball soup. Our local one has a pickle bar. We go all the time – kid friendly, cheap, reliable. Breakfast all day. It rocks and that model would be killer in DC.

  • An okonomiyaki place – bonus points if you can make your own.

  • A neighborhood bar in Dupont/Logan that is not pretentious, not a tourist trap, not serving small splates. Just that Cheers-vibe that everyone wants that won’t drain their wallets if they go once or twice a week.

  • I live right on the Truxton Circle/Shaw border and I would LOVE a solid breakfast option. A classic, unpretentious, inexpensive diner would be a serious dream come true. (If I’m missing something around me…lemme know!)

  • Not my neighborhood, but a fast casual place on 14th somewhere between P and S. No quick take out place to eat except Maki shop (and by then you might as well go to Whole Foods or Sweetgreen) when you’re shopping in the neighborhood on a weekend.

  • I’ve been pleased with the number of new places that have been springing up in northern Park View and southern Petworth, but every morning I walk by the vacant spaces in the Park Place building, it makes me cranky. I would love to have a fast-casual restaurant like Panera or Sweetgreen in the neighborhood, and Park Place seems like a good place for one.
    I noticed the other day that Amanuel Market is being gutted. I hope it’ll be replaced with something other than another mini-mart.
    Unfortunately Petworth Cafe (in that same block) is mostly wasted on me because the Indian/Pakistani food is too spicy for me, and the marinara sauce for the pizza contains ground-up onions. I’d probably be getting takeout pizza there a lot if it weren’t for the onions.

    • I’d love some kind of dessert place (gelato?) or bakery place in the neighborhood, too.
      And a freestanding (non-grocery-store) Starbucks would be nice. I don’t actually go to Starbucks myself, but Starbucks seems to be a prerequisite for other kinds of development.
      I still don’t quite understand how it is that we have low-end places like Subway and Dunkin’ Donuts, and high-end places like Chez Billy and Crane & Turtle and many of the pop-ups at EatsPlace… and not a whole lot in between. The arrival of Timber Pizza helps to fill that gap. (Technically Slim’s fills it too, but they need to work on their service.)

      • +1! Only now we don’t really have Chez Billy or Crane & Turtle… boo!

        • Right. It sounds like Himitsu is going to be pretty pricey too (though maybe not)… I hope Chez Billy’s replacement is less pricey.

          • I actually thought Chez Billy was priced very well – quality food, good portion sizes, I though their pricing was right on point for what it was.

            On a side note, I hope to god you aren’t allergic to onions, you should have said something before I practically foisted a chunk of my lasagna off on you!!!!

    • justinbc

      Are you allergic to onions?

      • Lots of people aren’t allergic per se but have trouble digesting onions and garlic and get really gassy from them. I try to avoid them because I dislike feeling like a balloon but it’s so hard when eating out.

  • More BYOB restaurants!

  • a quiet, not crowded speakeasy so that you could actually hear the conversation with friends and that always had a spot saved for local residents. 🙂 I so often feel I can’t enjoy the great restaurants and bars in my neighborhood (Shaw/Ledroit) because they’re so crowded and overrun.

  • HR-57
    Bohemian Caverns
    Patty Boom Boom

  • Giordano’s & Portillo’s (yes, I’m from Chicago) preferably near my house in Fort Lincoln.

  • I would like an expensive dive bar you can smoke in: too expensive for hipsters, too low class for foodies, too unhealthy to be kid-friendly. That way it would never be packed, and I’d always have a place to go.