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Marrakesh Restaurant Closes at 617 New York Ave NW, Inventory Being Auctioned Off in October

by Prince Of Petworth September 20, 2012 at 10:30 am 26 Comments

617 New York Avenue, NW

Marrakesh Restaurant has been located at 617 New York Avenue, NW since 1982. In late August we learned Marrakesh’s Dupont location had become La Kazbah at 2147 P Street, NW.

From Rasmus Auctioneers:

“The famous Marrakesh Morrocan restaurant has closed and will make a complete liquidation of all its 2 bars, substantial night club assets, kitchen and exotic decorative accents.”

We judged Marrakesh back in 2009.

  • saf

    I didn’t think Marrakesh and Marrakesh Palace were related?

  • My understanding is that Marrakesh Restaurant and Marrakesh P Street (nee: Palace) were in no way associated…though the Bouzids did at times insinuate they also owned or controlled the former.

  • Lola Peres

    We have fond memories of special occasions at this unique restaurant! Sorry to hear it is closing. Is there any requirements in order to attend this auction? I would love to be able to purchase something. My daughter is also a wonderful chef and decorator and would love to come to this event with me.

  • Bossi

    Even closed it’ll have the exact same street presence it had when it was open.

    • No it won’t; it’s scheduled for demolition in December or January.

  • Anonymous

    Oh no! A DC LANDMARK! How sad!!

  • wow, I read it too quickly “..liquidation of …..kitchen and exotic dancers” :p

  • That’s a drag. This was one of those wonderfully quirky places that make a city interesting.

  • DCnative

    Oh no! A DC LANDMARK! How sad!!

    • Anonymous

      I know! Another classic lost!

      • ann

        I’m glad to see it go. I was blatantly ripped off both times I was there (unless a rail vodka tonic costs $20), and wonder how much of that cash-only business they were reporting.

  • Novagirl

    It was a fun place to take out-of-towners, best enjoyed in a group. Except for that excruciating time a friend brought his latest young wife who had a palate limiited to pasta and chicken who just cried during the meal. Awkward.

    • “latest young wife”…snork! Set aside the limited palate and crying and that’s awkward all by itself.

  • I’m really bummed about this…never got there often, but I don’t think there are a lot of good Morroccan options, and this was my introduction to it.

  • rd

    can i pick up a belly dancer for cheap?

  • suicide_blond

    i for one will miss it.. i understand why a lot of folks didnt “get it” but for me it was a DC institution… i loved it from the moment you used the big door knocker and then they opened up the little door inside the big door to let you in (it never even had a sign out front until recently) just a bit of Arabic by the door…and then you sat on a pillow and ate with your hands and no credit cards and a belly dancer !! no it wasnt for everyone …yes it was a little (maybe a lot) shady… no it was not the best food in town but it was good for what it was.. fun with a little side of dc history.. washed down with a carafe of god knows what red… not to mention it was the only spot in town where you could watch from a front row seat …a tiny drop of sweat roll down the spine of a belly dancer giving it her all & swinging a sword ..
    if you didnt like marrakesh.. we probably couldnt be friends..

    • Definitely an acquired taste, like Restaurant AV nextdoor or Hodges Sandwiches across the street, all of which I will miss.

      • abefroman329

        Unless you need to acquire a taste for delicious food, none of these things are an acquired taste.

  • We all knew this was coming, with Crossfit closing at the end of the month as well, and most of that block scheduled for the bulldozer. Does anyone know if the Eagle will be a part of it as well? It would seem kind of odd to leave it (and the empty lot to the west of it), but I’ve also heard rumors that they can’t be forced out of their building even by imminent domain, since they were already moved once before.

    Also, anyone know how far back the new development is going? The L Street side is a mess–any chance some of that will go/be redeveloped with the new building as well?

    • LoganRes

      The Eagle building will move to the west next to the Lux Lounge. The buildings along 7th will all be renovated and some of the buildings along L Street will also be renovated, moved and then a new building will fill in the empty lots and entire inner block.


      • I found that earlier, but PoP’s commenting system wouldn’t let me post the link. BTW, it looks like the closure of the Marrakesh on the corner is actually due to another developer’s project, which I believe is a new apartment building that will be on the east side of the block, running all the way from New York to L front-to-back.


    Tear all that crap down. Marrakesh was a huge rip-off. Nothing but shady west Africans charging gullable tourists excruciating prices for an annoying and akward dining experience. That block looks like main street in a third world country. The Eagle is in a historic building and it can’t be demolished but I think they will pick the entire thing up and move it next to that GOD AWFUL night club that attracts nothing but hoodrats and their pimps. I am looking forward to that section transforming into something more sophisticated. It’s only a matter of time before the night club and the Eagle have to move elsewhere as that section becomes stuffy.

  • pqresident

    i’m with monkeyrotica and suicide_blond. this is a loss for anyone who has been in DC more than 10 years (or logner). then again, i miss the Popeye’s walk up window on 11th, the Kemp Mill Records on F, and the sticky floor at Polly Esther’s. between F(unky) and G(roovy).

  • RozCat

    The place was always a fun time with a large group. Foodies slammed the food but I loved that carrot salad and chicken pie thingy.

  • Grand Funk

    Sad that it is closing the owner was a nice man and the place had a lot of history

  • Viviana

    as a dancer there the owners were very good & respectful of me personally. It was one of the few places that made the dance a actual show instead of a side distraction. I left in 2006 & heard rumors that after the running of the restaurant was handed to the next generation. Things went down hill including hiring less experienced younger dancers. Instead of dancers trained to dance for a ME audience which was part of the ambience. Feeling like you were experiencing another culture.


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