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Yikes, Sorry, Rumberos Apparently Not Closing!

by Prince Of Petworth September 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm 77 Comments


Oh crap, this is very bad of me. I just called the store, from Saf’s comment, and they said they’d be open tomorrow. This is where language barrier is a problem. I spoke to a worker yesterday at the restaurant, who said the store was closing, but English was not his first language and it seems I completely misunderstood. I take total blame here. I’ll walk by the restaurant again today to get some more clarity. On the phone they said, they’d be open tomorrow but I’ll quadruple check. I’m terribly sorry for the confusion.

  • MandarinZazz

    Did they change the sign from Rumberos to Jack in the Box? Because that would be awesome.

  • The Heights Life

    That’s weird PoP, because we heard the same thing and last night they were taking stuff down….

  • Um, forget what I said then in my post in the previous thread- this place is awesome and everyone should go! Tonight even!

  • Prince Of Petworth

    @The Heights Life. It is very bizarre. The workman I spoke to said, yes they were closing, those were his exact words. But I literally just spoke to them on the phone and they said they’d open again tomorrow. Very confusing.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Huh, a commenter just said in the other thread:

    “OK. I too just called Rumbero’s and was told that the place is closed.
    I said “So you’re not open for business anymore”
    The sad Spanish accented voice said, No I don’t think so.
    He wanted to know who I was and I said, haughtily, as I have a tendency to be haughty (OK my friends think I’m an asshole, only sometimes I hope) What difference does it make, I’m a customer.”

    I’m heading down in an hour and will update as soon as I get back. This is very very strange.

  • Jimmy D

    Maybe the worker just meant they were closed for the day?

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Yeah, but it doesn’t make sense that they’d put paper up like that if they were just closing for the day. I’ll report back in a few hours.

  • Nuggets

    I was told they were closing months ago by a reliable source. This is wild, man, wild.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    I’m begining to think the guy I spoke to on the phone may not have been straight with me. When I go down if the place is barren I hope that will clear things up. Stay tuned.

  • Don’t know if this is a change, but opentable isn’t taking reservations for Rumberos.

  • MandarinZazz

    A way to drum up some last minute business from the press before they close next week…

  • Petworth Newbie

    This is terrible! Now I have to go ALL THE WAY to 18th Street to Rumba Cafe again? Bummer. Hope this is not the tbeginning of a trend (the de-trendy-fication of CH?)

  • USA! USA!

    This is PoP unleashed. With no day job and a story to correct/further investigate, he grabs his cape and is out the door. Godspeed, PoP.

  • TonyS

    a little irresponsible to report that it’s closing without confirmation, eh PoP? Were you talking to an owner on the phone, or a bus-boy?

  • asl

    This is some serious drama.

  • Dollar Store

    Wasn’t someone asking for a strip club… maybe they had VIP amateur night to try and get things going…

  • Anonymous

    Dollar Store … I think you’ve hit on something: that space would be perfect for a gentleman’s club!

    And hey, look at this potential snafu this way: if they’re NOT closing, they just got the most honest customer feedback they could hope for in the earlier post and its 80 comments.

  • Anonymous

    TonyS, unlike journalists bloggers don’t need to confirm their stories, you know that! 😀 😀 [Yeah, I was being sarcastic about journalists]

  • MnomeNa

    @ TonyS: PoP did receive confirmation first. Not his fault Rumberos is giving contradictory stories to the public.

    I’ve never even been but I walk by it every day and now I’m curious what the hell is going on.

  • @Tonys – The difference between a neighborhood blog and a newspaper is that there is no expectation that anything published here has been fact checked, vetted, confirmed, spell checked, reconfirmed, filed in triplicate, washed, dried, rewashed, formatted, and quizzed before it is published.

    It also provides value that newspapers do not: information that can’t be confirmed, and timeliness that’s much better.

    All you need to do is get in your head that this is not a newspaper, and anything here could end up being just a rumor or even a complete fabrication, and you’ll enjoy it a lot more.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s hoping it is, and will remain, open. I quite like the place

  • voiceofreason

    Jamie, understood, but rumors or complete fabrications hurt local businesses sometimes. Every action has consequences.

  • New2CH

    That the restaurant itself seems unable to definitively communicate whether or not it is even open for business is indicative of why, even if they haven’t gone out of business, they are in danger of doing so. I hope someone connected to the place forwards the comment threads to the owner — if they improved the quality and consistency of food and service, plus did a LITTLE bit of marketing / outreach, this place would be packed to the gills …

  • Anonymous

    voiceofreason, what part of “PoP did receive confirmation first. Not his fault Rumberos is giving contradictory stories to the public” do you not understand?

  • Dollar Store

    “The Dollar-Store” is a wonderful name for the future T-bar/gentlemen’s club to be located at the place formerly occupied by Rumberos…

  • Dollar Store

    or maybe “The Peso Store” would be more appropriate with the Tivoli and Rumberos lation roots…

  • voiceofreason

    I thought POP misunderstood the message due to a language barrier, how is that “confirmation”?

  • asl

    Whether he thinks the food is good or not, it isn’t right that PoP is running down their to shut the place down.

  • asl

    crap. ‘there’.

  • Nate

    Unfortunately DC doesn’t give out any more permits to run new strip clubs. Ever. So, uh, unless you can get another one somewhere else to close, good luck with that.

  • MnomeNa

    @ASL: What are you talking about? PoP isn’t “running down there to shut the place down”. He’s going there to speak to the owner in person to confirm whether they are closing or still in business.

  • Dirty

    Obviously he didn’t think he misunderstood the message initially… why are you accusing him of intentional misconduct… it was a simple mistake. He corrected it… give him a freakin’ break. It’s not like you were on your way to eat there, decided to check PoP and had a life altering event because of a misinformed post. I think its time to take another one of your pills…

  • voiceofreason

    I’m not accusing POP of intentional misconduct! Where the hell did you get that? I do, however, think that blogs, including this one, should be held to a higher standard than “rumor or even a complete fabrication” because people’s livelihoods are sometimes at stake.

  • Zoom268

    This place sucked anyway. It was a bad mix of argentine and castillian/catalan cuisine. Overpriced, under quality and over rated. Good riddance!

    Hopefully they make room for an arbys, or something.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Ok, just got back. And… The person I spoke to at the restaurant said he didn’t know. He said the owner would be there at 4pm so I’ll try again at that time.

    To clarify, whenever I post scuttlebutt, I say it is scuttlebutt. This I thought was fact, and still may turn out to be so. Yesterday, when I spoke to a worker who said the store was closing, I considered that fact. After speaking with someone on the phone today who contracted that info, I reposted and said that there was a language barrier to give the benefit of the doubt. To be honest, I have no idea what’s going on here. I obviously don’t want to mislead people and I’m sure folks who read this blog regularly know that I’m a huge supporter of restaurants and businesses. So the last thing I want to do is hurt one. Having said that, I have no idea what’s going on here. I’ll try and get more info at 4pm.

  • LJG

    Well said, [email protected]:54.

  • saf

    Cool PoP – thanks for the followup.

  • rk

    I wouldn’t worry about it PoP. I had never heard of this place, and now I have and am considering visiting after all the reviews in the previous thread.

  • Petworth Newbie

    Well I guess CH has peaked. There goes the neighborhood.

  • asl

    MnomeNa- I was joking. My jokes are mediocre at best 😉

    When I started reading PoP, there was an incident that had DCist speculating while waiting on a public announcement. PoP called a police source and got the story straight. I was impressed.

  • asl

    That was not meant to be a knock on DCist, a decent blog.

  • TonyS

    voiceofreason is right on. if it’s rumor, report it as rumor. who doesnt love a juicy rumor? Thats why I read PoP. But its an important distinction, separate fact and rumor…. obviously!

    confirmation on something like this comes from an owner, not a busboy. its still a rumor if a “worker” says they are closing.

  • MnomeNa

    Sorry, I get defensive over PoP. I read both PoP and DCist regularly, for different reasons. I’ve read DCist long enough that I get most of commentarati jokes (nudge nudge, wink wink) but I’m still fairly new to PoP. I’ll have to look up the story, thanks for the clarification! 🙂

  • New2CH

    If a restaurant can’t effectively communicate to customers whether they are, or are not, closing down (how about a consistent message when you call? putting a sign up about what is going on? telling their employees what is going on? this isn’t rocket science folks) then you can’t really blame a blogger for being as confused as the rest of the potential customers. This one is on Rumberos, not POP.

  • christopher

    why is it so hard to find someone who speaks english at this place?

  • Mal

    Agree with New2CH – if *any* employee tells you they are closing, I’d reasonably assume that they are, in fact, closing. PoP will clear this up, no worries!

  • victoria

    Wow- people – take a breath! It’s a restaurant, not a president on life support. Restaurant closings are often sudden and secret. I once showed up to work a lunch shift at a downtown restaurant to find a sign on the door. No employee or customer had the slightest clue.

    So before we put PoP in the stocks, let’s wait and see what happens.

    I hope they do stay open, and take advantage of all the polite comments offered so far – with which I tend to agree, that it is a beautiful place, nice staff, nice bar, (though often too loud to talk) but food is very inconsistant and overpriced. (Or overpriced for being so inconsistant.)

    I went for brunch the first time just this Sunday and was hugely disapointed – everything was drastically over-cooked and over-sat on the steam table – eggs, shrimp, sausage, omlettes were all tough as chew-toys. (This was at 11:20, when brunch starts at 11:00) I think the problem was more with choosing items that don’t work well on a buffet.

  • “I do, however, think that blogs, including this one, should be held to a higher standard than “rumor or even a complete fabrication” because people’s livelihoods are sometimes at stake.”

    Seriously? It’s a blog.

    We can’t even get Fox News to stop reporting bald faced lies. I think they should be held to a higher standard because they actually purport to be a legitimate news source. Yet still they go on.

    PoP doesn’t purport to do anything here other than pass on what he’s heard. In this case he said “I walked by today and a neighbor and worker inside told me the place had closed. ”

    What’s wrong with that? He told us what someone said to him. Take what you want from it.

  • Jimmy D

    Jim and Pam are pregnant. Stanley is having an affair. Frank is actually a robot that has a small person inside him that uses levers to control his body. Michael is a super model.

  • rg

    Dollar, I asked for a strip club, and I am still asking.
    new name “Morningwood”, or perhaps “Klassy Kat”

  • @Jimmy D, I find your last comment intriguing. Are you the same “Jimmy D” that makes sausages and other fine breakfast products?

  • Anonymous

    nice one jimmy

  • RD

    This is clearly a clever ploy by Rumberos. I had never really hard anything about this place or considered going. By faking a closing they got thousands of people to read about their restaurant in the local blog.

  • RD


  • Anonymous

    Rumberos’ is quite nice, actually. I strongly recommend it, especially for a casual glass of wine. Others are correct though, in that the food can be hit or miss. Some of it really good, some of it really bland. And the service can be spotty as well. But, really, a great place despite that.

  • Anonymous

    Dollar Store, hows about “Rump Bare’os” or “The Titoli Theater” or some combination thereof if it goes strip club?

  • Maria

    Pop, It looks like no, Rumberos is not going anywhere!

    I can call them and speak in spanish to them if you want. This whole thing is making me mad! I think it is all rumors and it is hurting their business. Not only that but you are probably scraing the hell out of their employees who might now think they are going to lose their jobs.

    After this mess, all of us are going to need to go there and get a mojito!

  • TonyS

    Jamie, don’t downplay the importance of PoP. “Its just a blog” is kind an insult. He has a lot of influence in the community, and tons of readers. I’m just saying… with great power comes great responsibility… like spider man. If its rumor it should be clearly marked as such.

  • Eric in Ledroit

    you people are so ridiculous. he didn’t report that they were closing. did anyone actually read his post? he reported that (1) there was white paper covering all the windows (which the photo shows is true) and (2) he walked by and a worker told him it was closed. then he said he was sorry to see it go. what exactly are voiceofreason, tonys, etc mad about? what he reported were several FACTS that he reported very specifically.

  • voiceofreason

    I’m not mad about anything. All I did was oppose the idea from Jamie that it’s okay for blogs to post rumor or fabrication. The anger stuff people projected onto me for some reason.

  • Geezer

    I hope they stay open, but I rather enjoy the suspense when a “news” story gets retracted and rechecked after it’s published. Then again, perhaps I have a very boring life…

  • uhh NoteToSelf

    Get thee to Rumberos and spend dinero.

  • TonyS

    this conversation has officially gotten boring.

    eric in ledroit, you get the point… it was unclear in how it was reported. I am glad PoP clarified. It is honorable that you came to the defense of your hero PoP, but, he isnt infallible.

  • Zoom268

    @anon 3:33
    “Rumberos’ is quite nice, actually. I strongly recommend it, especially for a casual glass of wine. Others are correct though, in that the food can be hit or miss. Some of it really good, some of it really bland. And the service can be spotty as well. But, really, a great place despite that.”

    No offense, but you just described this place as sucking major doo doo and then said “really great place despite” the doo doo? Really? I’m glad we agree. This place sucks.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Well, still no answer on the phone. I’ll stop by again in an hour and if still no word I’ll stop by again tomorrow. Believe me this is not my preferred way of relaying fact or scuttlebutt…

  • Stay on top of it PoP! We want the truth! (Even if we can’t handle it.)

  • RD

    people still read voiceofreason posts?

  • Anon808

    wow! Not cool! I agree with TonyS and voiceofreason!
    If they have not closed permanently, I really hope this doesn’t cause them any loss of business. Earlier today I told my wife that Rumberos had closed, she quickly told her best friend (who loves the place), who I’m sure told all her friends and colleagues. I’m sure this is spreading very quickly…

    I’m just shocked people are blaming rumberos because someone decided to report on a public forum, that they were closed for good based on a random employee’s comment. Like someone said earlier, unless it comes from top management or the owners themselves, it shouldn’t be considered as fact.

    Love the blog, but this was pretty lame.

    PoP, now that you’ve gone pro, I recommend investing in a good errors and omissions policy…

  • CiaoCH

    Why would a business put paper up on the windows and not answer their phone and not be available for reservations via opentable unless they were closing/renovating?

    I’d say PoP was right the first time.

  • poboy

    ya man pop was “rite” right

  • Jay’O

    PoP was right – as a business you’re responsible for your Public relations! ! ! ! ! ! !

    If you paper up the front of your business and your employee(s) tell customers the place is closed, then hey – word of mouth is already spreading regardless of what PoP posted on the blog. If anything, PoP is letting folks know there is some controversy.

    If I walked by I’d say another CH business bit the dust – Only reading here do I know the truth: They have no idea what they’re doing!

  • Jay’O

    I just called Rumberos and they told me they were going to close “at the end of the week”. I asked if they were going to close FOREVER and they said “yes, unfortunately”

    I guess that sums it up!

  • Néstor Sánchez Cordero

    Oh well, for times like these some of us Caribbean Latinos say “Todo tiene su final, nada dura para siempre” in remembrance of el gran y único Héctor Lavoe!!!


  • Anonymous

    Isn’t this the reason why places have big signs proclaiming that they’re open when they might not look so open?

    I mean really, what kind of business who plans to stay in business papers over their windows without a sign explaining that they’re not closed for good, except onethat has no concern about looking closed to passers-by.

    This whining about it being posted here is pretty disingenuous. The papered-over windows and removal from Open Table are there

  • Anonymous


    There for anyone to see.

  • Anonymous

    I was walking by just now and asked. They ARE closing.

  • Anonymous

    I work in the building and the manager of the building says they are gone.


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