Renovated Hitching Post Soft Opens for Cocktails Tonight (Wed.) in Petworth

by Prince Of Petworth August 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm 41 Comments

200 Upshur St, NW

Back in June we learned that the Hitching Post, located at 200 Upshur St, NW had been sold to the owner of Fusion. I’m happy to report that the renovations have been completed and they are soft opening for cocktails at 5pm tonight. They will be open for dinner tomorrow night (Thurs.)

Finishing touches were ongoing when I stopped by but the new bar pictured above will give you a taste of the renovations.

The former owners, Mr. and Mrs. Carter, will always be a part of the Hitching Post:

And fear not they kept the jukebox:

  • Wow, that looks nice!

  • Woah! This will take some getting used to. No more cracked vinyl seats? Really interested to see the menu.

    • caballero

      No kidding. It looks nice, but it looks really different. I was hoping for some continuity, but I guess they decided to make a clean break with history. If the food is good and the prices are reasonable, I will spend time there, but I really liked the Hitching Post the way it was.

  • So excited, it looks great! Is there a website or menu?

  • Jack5

    I remember eating fried chicken there late last year and Questlove from the roots happened to be in a booth… That place has great history! Loving Petworth bars so much now that U street went all “Adams Morgan” :)

    • Anonymous

      Hahahaha, I know the guy you’re talking about, he’s a regular and lives on Varnum. Pretty sure it’s not really Quest Love, but he sure looks like him!

      • Jack5

        Nope, it was the real Questlove… He tweeted that he was there just after he left…

  • Chris

    Who cares about the decor or cocktails? Will they still have fried pork chops and fried chicken? Will it still be good? And will you still get an insane amount with your order?

    There are already a metric buttload of hipster bars in this town. I’d much rather have what it used to be: a good, reasonably priced place to find soul food.

    • nony

      +1 …hate it already.

  • Anonymous

    this kind of thing is one of the main reasons why i left dc. that is just the most flagrant and unkind example of gentrification/yuppiefication i have ever seen. that place had the best fucking vibe and now it looks like some bullshit garbage. Fusion is some fucking horseshit. they killed the vibe. they fucking killed it. that place had such atmosphere and now it just looks like donald trumps bathroom. goddamnit, that was my favorite goddamned soul food joint in dc and they goddamn took that away. HORSESHIT

    • PT Varnum

      The Carters sold it and Barry bought it. It’s a restaurant dude, not Old Yeller. Take it easy.

      • anon


      • dcndc


      • lala


    • Er, where did you move to?

    • JM

      I’m glad that you’ve moved somewhere that satisfies your rigid concepts of purity. Bye.

    • Anonymous

      There are other places to get soul food in DC.

      • Chris

        Not very many. Not any that I know of that 1) are west of the river, 2) are reasonably priced, 3) are serving reasonably good food, and 4) have a down-home atmosphere. Maybe (with a little stretch on #4) the Florida Avenue Grill, and maybe (if you’re willing to give up on #4 entirely) Oohs and Aahs; but that’s about it. No one can fault the Carters for selling; but did the new owners really need to take one of the very few places anywhere in the District like it was, and turn it into the 1,523,097,298th places in the District that look/feel like it is now?

    • caballero

      Oh, you left DC because you didn’t like the gentrified decor? You must be a deep-pocketed dude do get up and go at the first sign of aesthetic incongruence. No, you left for other reasons. I might leave myself, but I won’t blame the yuppies/gentrifiers/hipsters for my decision. Hell, if I’m going to stay in the DC region, where would I go? Seriously, is somewhere in Maryland or Virginia somehow more “real?”

    • Pahbs

      As far as rants go, this is great.

    • nony

      +100 to original commenter!

  • jilll

    disappointed, i went there with another housemate. the waitress was nice, attentive but had no idea what the format of the menu would be( soul food, indian, etc…), we ordered two rail drinks for $9 each, not a good opener, not in this neighborhood, took cash only(even though there were credit card stickers left over on the wondows from the hitching post). We live two blocks away, we were so excited, and yet so let down. no concept in style or food seems to have fused like it does at fusion, i hope they atleast have a concept involved with this establishement, as it’s right around the corner, and if it was decent, i’d be there constantly

    • Wait, what?! They are serving dinner tonight and your server had no idea what kind of food that might be and no menu available?

      Also $9 for a rail drink can’t be right. That’s more expensive than Chez Billy. I’ll give them latitude since it’s a soft opening but I hope they get their act together.

  • rexweil


  • Marcus Aurelius

    The decor – or what I can see of it – doesn’t really fit the “affordable American-style” spot that it is being billed has. It seems pretty generic and sterile.
    And why keep the jukebox? Nothing about this new place says classic soul or jazz, which is what the jukebox featured before.
    In any event, the new owners have a right to do what they want with the space and I wish them well. Can’t say I’m a big fan of Fusion. Not the best Indian food I have ever had. And I don’t understand how you can be an Indian restaurant and have bad naan.

    • Anonymous Rex

      I think the Fusion food is generally good (although not traditional Indian fare), but you are right about the naan. It’s honestly the only South Asian restaurant I’ve ever eaten at where the naan is lousy–particularly the garlic naan, which seems to just be the regular naan with lots of garlic salt poured on top.

      I hope Barry does well with the Hitchin Post. It’s close to my house, and if the food stays like it was, I’ll eat there.

  • Jarlington

    The food there was decent before (not great). The main charm in my opinion was how familial and throw-back the place was, a rarity in DC. Looks like they managed to make it look like a Pinkberry, which kind of sucks the charm right out of it.

  • I am sad that the original Hitching Post is no more. I think in the end I prefer them over what’s there now — but the owners were old and wanted to live there rest of there lives relaxing. Let’s not make it out to be more than it is.

    Now back to the message at hand — $9 for a drink, good lawd that’s a lot of money!

  • dsheon

    Give it time for the dust to settle. Barry from Fusion told me the menu will be American foods, not Indian. This is a family run business too – just like the old Hitching Post, so that’s something a lot of people prefer over chains and mega wealthy ownership groups. But the flip side is that it requires more patience. The drinks will settle on a fair price point and the food will be excellent, if Fusion is any guide. I loved the old HP but it took an hour to get your food. I don’t think that will be an issue any more as the kitchen has been upgraded.

  • sadness.

  • I hate to pile on here, as starting a local business is very hard, and they have clearly poured some money and sweat into it, so they deserve kudos for that. But I do wish more business owners would understand that people tend to LIKE a bit of worn character, rather than just a generalically decorated contemporary, clean space. There are already far too few places with genuine character in D.C., and it’s sad when you see another one torn up like this. It’s like when Alero replaced Rumberos in the Tivoli, that didn’t have old-school character like Hitching Post, but it was a beautiful, unique space that became one of the most, if not the most, horrifically decorated space in DC. Why not just leave the previous gorgeous, unique, and cozy decor? Why spend money to make something less appealing? I don’t get it. (For those who haven’t seen it, here is a shot from POP of the previous decor, a great, old-school sort of diner vibe, just a little sprucing up while keeping the general feel would have been far preferable to this):

    http:[email protected]/1120312243/

    • +1

    • Agreed. But you also have to wonder what it’s like for a new owner taking over a well-loved space that had started to go downhill. Obviously there is an incentive to make a name for oneself by creating a space distinct from the previous business. It’s more of a matter of paying homage while still redefining the place. It would be silly to assume they would leave it exactly the same.

  • Anonymous

    The old place had such wonderful food and the inside had a lot of charm. I’m going to miss it a lot. And if rail drinks are $9, it isn’t going to last in this ‘hood. People bought in Petworth because they got priced out of more expensive neighborhoods.

    • Anonymous

      Not true – many people that live in Petworth can afford to live elsewhere. I would guess the primary reason is that yes, while you can have a really reasonable mortgage payment, when you sell your place they believe there’s more money to be made than elsewhere in the city where places aren’t appreciating as quickly.

  • Well F that. Totally jumped the shark.

    RIP Hitching Post…

  • the totten.

    I think it looks nice and i’m looking forward to trying it out… I definitely want to give a place that close to my house a good opportunity to succeed.

    That said, if the drinks are really that expensive, I won’t be there much, if at all. It’s a neighborhood joint. It shouldn’t charge a premium location price in this area. That’s just illogical.

  • Joe and Angie

    Yeah, I would love some clarification on the $9 rail drinks, y’all got some grey goose as your rail?

    The Hitching Post will be missed, I’m just happy I had a chance to go there in the first place. Neighborhoods change, restaurants change, just keep it moving.

    oh yeah and RIP half pitchers at Lauriol Plaza

  • Kimberly Collins

    Sad to see them go along with one of the few places to get good soul food. More of D. C’s soul has departed. I wish they had sold it to someone who understands that.

  • Esmeralda

    I can’t remember the last time I was this disappointed with a restaurant. The fried chicken was over-fried (or re-fried) and the meat itself smelled old. The mac and cheese was bland (I don’t even know how that’s possible!). The cole slaw was drenched in mayo. The only decent dish was the side of collard greens. While the staff was very friendly and attentive, there’s no way I would go there again, or recommend the place to anyone.


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