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Shaw’s Tavern Opening At Some Point

by Prince Of Petworth July 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm 54 Comments

I’ve been getting lots of emails from folks asking for updates on Shaw’s Tavern located at 520 Florida Avenue NW. There have been lots of false alarms about opening dates. This is gonna be a situation for me, where I have to see it (or get a photo from a reader) of the opening. There have been some super “soft openings” but I believe they are still waiting on getting their proper permits in order. I’ve heard some people say they will be open tomorrow. I’m willing to say that they will be open soon. If anyone notices a proper opening tomorrow or this weekend – please send a photo and an email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail.

I’m eager to take a taste!

UPDATE: A reader reminds us that the ABRA (alcohol permit) hearing isn’t until July 25.

I’m now told the new target date for opening is Thurs. July 28.

  • Anon

    I heard the latest delay was because they need to get new signs. The new ones will read:

    “Shaws Tavern – Established 2011, Opened 2012”

    • Kev29

      That is a phenomenal sign worth waiting for. Anyone who knows the history of the neighborhood – or loves the movie ‘Glory’ – should appreciate that.

      • greent

        Gah. Broderick was awful in that movie. Awful!

        • anon


  • Robert

    Seeing as their ABRA hearing isn’t until the 25th of July, I doubt they’ll open tomorrow. These things are public record and easily found by searching.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Ah good point! Thanks. I’ll update the post.

  • Shaw Parent

    No need to guess. They’re still waiting on their Cert. of Occupancy.


    • Prince Of Petworth

      And no C of O before the ABRA hearing. There were lots of false opening dates floated out there. But it’s cool. Whenever they open I’m sure folks will be happy.

      • J

        The false opening dates all seem to be coming from Shaw’s Tavern itself. They certainly haven’t made much of an effort to inform the community on their Facebook page. Remember July 1?

        • Shaw Parent

          If you click around, there are opening dates listed in June.

          I think this guy has no real idea when they’ll be open but is trying to keep the buzz alive. Immature and annoying? Yes. Will it keep me from being a regular? Hells no.

          • Bloomies

            Agreed he is doing it for buzz. As of a few hours ago he claims they will open next week once they get their C of O. Do they plan on opening without a liquor license?

            I hope they get their act together with their honesty and transparency with the neighborhood. Because patience will wear thin quickly after the whole “open letter” debacle and being associated with the villified Brian Brown.

  • JJ

    I love the wood exterior. I think I have to try the place out just because it looks so nice.

    • Anonymous

      I used Google for the before picture. What a difference! This place looks great.

  • Anon

    This is all a big play to blame ABRA and the local electeds/community when it doesnt open on time. “oh, ABRA is dragging their feet” regardless of the fact their hearing isnt even till the 25th.

    These are the same folks responsible for writing that outrageous open letter to bloomingdale about Engine Company 12.

    These people seem like amateurs.

    I’ll believe that they successfully open a restaurant about the same time as I see that the open-air workout room is removed from the developer’s front porch.

    • Anon

      Wait, so they’re waiting on a liquor license (pre-hearing) and a CofO and they expect to open before labor day? Interesting.

    • in between.

      it’s very disappointing.
      i really want to like both these places but it’s getting difficult.
      especially considering in between the two are places like rustik, beau thai, and the upcoming boundary stone, whose owners couldn’t be any nicer and respectful.

    • Veronika

      meanwhile, Engine Company 12 was supposed to open July 1 or something and it looks uninhabitable. I’ll be surprised if they open by the end of the year. Anyone know the scoop?

      • Anonymous

        they have the abra placards up. with the normal 45 day period, that puts them getting their liquor license in the middle to end of august.

  • bloomingdale neighbor

    excited for this to open. really wish they would replace the missing molding at the top of the building though – looks really incomplete without it

    • They are putting in rooftop seating to be opened this fall. Not sure if that has anything to do with it though.

      • Chris R

        Are there apartments in the 2nd floor of this building? I seem to remember something about that back in the day..if so the rooftop dining may be a bit loud…

    • Developer

      Yeah – suprising because water gets in fairly easily from those pockets it’s bad for the joists to get that wet at the ends. Warp time! :)

  • Regardless of when I say “yea”

  • Daniel

    Went to one of their soft openings last Sunday…the place was filled with smoke and the smoke detectors were going off. They were having a problem w/ ventilation, but soon got it resolved. Limited, not the most adventurous menu, but I don’t know if that was just a sample. Everything (incl. wine and beer) on the menu was free, with all proceeds going to WEAVE (?). Overall a great addition to the neighborhood.

  • ?????

    Why must everyone hate? A new bar in the neighborhood brings jobs, food, and drink. I’m guessing no one has taken the time to talk to anyone who is part of this project. When I did I found out the Chef who used to work at Rupert’s was doing the menu. I read a comment about a not so adventurous menu? Who are you lol who needs adventure whatever happened to great local fresh ingredients. Apparently that person didn’t eat any food! And yeah wheres the love for good beer and soon to be amazing spirits. Well y’all can sit at home typing on a computer hateful misinformed things or you can go shake a hand. When I did I saw some nice people trying to do something for their community. Whats wrong with that?

  • jm

    some of my friends were walking past last saturday and, seriously, shaw’s tarvern was offering the full menu + drinks all for free. the staff accepted tips, of course, and it was supposedly part of a fundraiser for some cause.

    when my friends called and said that “shaw’s tavern is free, you should get over here!” I thought they just meant it had finally opened and tables were available….damn.

    • As the event planner for what you are calling “supposedly part of a fundraiser for some cause” let me clear it up.

      Broads of the Beltway hosted the official launch party for our blog last Saturday at Shaw’s Tavern.

      Shaw’s Tavern was amazing and provided their full menu and drinks for free in exchange for donations being made to Women Empowered Against Violence (WEAVE). The food was great and we raised almost $1000 for WEAVE, which provides pro bono legal counseling for domestic violence victims in DC.

      • jm

        didn’t mean to imply that there was anything shady, just didn’t have a lot of info! good for you guys!

  • I am very excited for this opening. A few of my coworkers and myself are eager to visit

  • bagelicious

    i hope they do a great job with this place – but they really blew off the neighborhood on their Engine Co 12 place at N. cap and quincy. Why would a new business – run by people who are brand new to the restaurant biz – be so cavalier about the concerns of neighbors? can’t they appreciate that people have legitimate concerns about quality of life issues? Would love to have a well run establishment – or lots of them! – in my back yard. but i’d like to know that the owners give a damn about more than their own bottom line(s). hello abbas fathi, steve may, brian brown? have been waiting for some hopeful communication from you. abbas fathi is the owner btw – and steve may is manager – not mr. brown.

  • Frog

    What’s up with Lydia depillis’ incredibly harsh and rude tweet? What did you do to her pop?
    She’s been rude to you before too, in her column.
    is that the state of professional journalism these days?
    I like her column, but rudeness and hatred is hard to admire.

    • crin

      LD covers alot of ground and that’s good, but she thinks she’s smarter than everyone else. Sometimes it’s subtle, sometimes it’s bratty, but it’s always there.

      • Anonymous

        thinking oneself smart, i can tolerate. being downright mean n a public mean is just flat out offensive.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      For the curious she wrote: “@PoPville rises to new heights of not knowing what the fuck he’s talking about.”

      So she doesn’t like me or the blog. Such is life. I’ll survive. Thanks to all who had my back.

      At any rate I’m now told the new target date for opening is Thurs. July 28.

      • Anonymous

        what kills me the most about this kind of slam is that you get it from someone that ultimately is also interested in the health, revitalization, and growth of this city. people like her and other self proclaimed intellectual urbanist journalists and bloggers just can’t see the value you add, so they denigrate themselves by insulting you.

        yet there are a 1000 people they could be insulting that actually HARM our city. no. they want to focus on people who have methods they disagree with. the pettiness kills me. they have this whole George Bush mentality of either falling into place, or being the enemy. just shows that the inteligencia is not always wise.

      • Jaynuze

        Gotta love “big hitting bloggers” who’ve lived in the city for a whopping one or two years. I blame her petulance on several things:
        1) from Seattle – all that cloudy weather has made her perennially grouchy
        2) her skinny jeans might be too tight
        3) this insurmountable heat
        Keep up the good work PoP

        • Veronika

          who is this woman? i’ve never heard of her

          • Anonymous

            all the better.

          • 8th Street SE

            Me either.

          • Anonymous

            she writes Housing Complex, a Washington City Paper column.

            mostly the column concerns real estate deals, walmart, development issues, the street car, and how much better seattle is than dc.

            with the occasional slam against people with methods she disagrees with.

            i like her writing and wondered why she was still writing for the city paper and not something better. her attitude and things like this tweet make me understand what’s holding her back; a lack of respect. i wouldn’t hire her.

      • Anon

        PoP – good job not sweating it.

        Her blog irritates me and her attitude is even worse.

        I’ve seen no evidence that she uses any more fact checking or verification than you do. She trades in rumors and often offers her opinion, without any supporting evidence. She also posts about 1/10th the amount of time you do, and i’d say she maybe has had 1 or 2 stories that are as interesting as what you talk about. Most of the time she’s just reposting what someone else already wrote on the internet.

        As far as I can tell, her main purpose for existing is to push the idea that we need to abolish the height restrictions and build sky scrapers because DC doesnt fit her idea of what a city should look like.

        • ReedCooke

          So, she’s a branch of greater greater washington?

          • Anon

            In essence, she basically repeats whatever GGW says, and then adds in her own twist or similar stories that didnt meet the editorial requirements of GGW (which are basically: be snide and condescending, but not too snide and condescending). She works hard at doing both, I think.

          • Anonymous

            essentially, yes. they are quite like minded.

      • Anonymous

        I imagine she’s bitter that you get to walk around all day taking pictures and collecting boku bucks on ad revenue while she wears down keyboards at a paper perpetually in danger of Dan Snyder’s wrath.

        • Anonymous

          pretty sure she gets to do the same. only with the freedom to focus on her writing without having to worry about generating sales and marketing.

  • Q-Street

    I am going to drink so much beer here.

    • Stavros


  • DCBrewer

    Me too, looking forward to drinking there after seeing their beer list! http://brew202.tumblr.com/

  • CA

    I think Steve May has a problem finishing things…aside from the Engine 12 and Shaw’s Tavern projects, he has a house up on first he’s been renovating for years.

    He finally tore down the decrepit fence along his house, started to make a new one and surprise stopped.

  • Bloomingdalian


    If you’re going to make an accusation like that, at least get your facts straight. Steve May was hired by Brian Brown to turn his Firehouse into a restaurant. The house on SECOND street has nothing to do with the project (unless they are both owned under an LLC, but that’s besides the point).

    I’m not sure what to think of Mr. Brown, but I do desperately want him to succeed with the restaurant as it will be the cornerstone of change for North Capital, Truxton, Eckington and Bloomingdale.

    Go Bloomingdale, baby! ;)

  • I wanted to openly apologize to all of the blog readers for missing our opening date. We aggressively poured our hearts and souls into this project over the past 4 months and the result is an amazing space that I am confident will make everyone of its patrons happy. The renovated building is an amazing addition to an already incredible neighborhood. The delays involved in getting all of these final inspections wrapped up are solely my responsibility and no one else is to blame, not DCRA and not ABRA. The civic leaders in the Le Droit Park and Convention Center Civic Associations have been incredibly supportive as well as ANC Commissioners Chapple, Nigro, and Padro. As a project manager and developer I could not have asked for a better location or or a more supportive neighborhood to place this restaurant. We passed all of our inspections this week and anticipate obtaining our Certificate of Occupancy early next week. We plan to open late next week barring any unforeseen circumstances. Again I’m sorry for the delays and I look forward to seeing you all in the restaurant once we are open.

    • Anonymous

      i really appreciate what you said there.


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