New Restaurant, Roofers Union, from Owners of Ripple Opening in former Reef space this January

by Prince Of Petworth December 6, 2013 at 11:30 am 31 Comments

2446 18th Street, NW

Back in October I shared some scuttlebutt that the owners of Ripple in Cleveland Park would be taking over the former Reef space in Adams Morgan. Scuttlebutt confirmed:

“The team behind Ripple in Cleveland Park is thrilled to announce the launch of Roofers Union, a new concept opening in Adams Morgan in January 2014. Just as with Ripple, the menu at Roofers Union will be in step with the vision of talented young chef, Marjorie Meek-Bradley, who plans to showcase her unique take on casual, everyday cuisine in this neighborhood restaurant and bar.

More details after the jump.

Fans of Ripple’s locally sourced meats and sustainable ingredients will be delighted to learn Marjorie plans to apply the same care and dedication to the menu at Roofers Union. The menu will feature house-made sausages stuffed with inspired ingredients like the andouille corndog and the merguez with harissa and lentils. Meek-Bradley will offer vegetarian snacks such as cippolini onion rings with BBQ and cauliflower in a mint pesto sauce. There will be a carnivorous variety of snacks as well including crispy pig ear salad and Denver lamb ribs with curry. An assortment of sandwiches along with classic entrees will also be available on the menu. Menu items range from $12-$24, even allowing diners to choose two items for less than $25. Meek-Bradley plans to launch a brunch menu in the spring.

The bar program will focus on craft beers and cocktails. Ripple’s precedent of delicious, hard to find wines will be evident at Roofers Union, where guests will find 10 to 12 labels by the glass on a moderately priced wine list from around the world.

The dramatic, three-story restaurant in the space formerly occupied by the Reef, allows guests to choose from a few environments, including one of the best rooftops in the city. The interior is being designed by Betsy Marmet, who also designed all of the interiors at Ripple. Featuring a blend of industrial and classic style, Roofers Union will showcase rich colors and rare, decorative finds from days gone by to create the feeling of an old favorite and longstanding local haunt.

A cozy and relaxed first level will include a cocktail centric bar and 24 seats, while the main level will feature floor-to-ceiling windows that fill the restaurant with natural light and of Adams Morgan’s bustling 18th Street. The vibrant dining room will offer full service with a range of seating options including a revamped 20- seat bar, tables for large groups, and banquets. On the heated, covered rooftop guests can enjoy a full bar with options from the main level dining room to nibble along with incredible vistas of Adams Morgan and clear across town.

“We love this neighborhood, we love this part of town – It’s a pulsating, vibrant crossroads in the city,” said owner Roger Marmet. “We’re excited to bring something new to the neighborhood and be a part of its growth.”

Daniel Lobsenz, formerly at BLT Steak in downtown DC and before that, Post in Penn Quarter, will manage Roofers Union.

Roofers Union is located at 2446 18th St NW and will be open at 5pm daily, with weekend brunch to be announced.”

  • Anonymous

    Ugh, can’t we just have the Reef back?

    • Anonymous


    • R


  • Annon

    So, a man dies falling off a roof in Adams Mogan earlier this year and they name their bar “Roofer’s Union?”

    • Anonymous

      The man who jumped from the Reef died? I thought he suffered relatively minor injuries.

  • Parky

    I get the joke, but in the interest of, you know, facts: He didn’t die. I don’t even think he was seriously injured. And he jumped as a prank, he didn’t fall.

    • madmonk28

      But other than that, Annon’s post was spot on, he managed to spell the Reef correctly.

  • Anonther

    “More details after the jump” takes on a whole new meaning in a post about the Reef!

    • Anonymous


  • anon

    same shit, different building. Bring back the reef.

    • Anonymous

      That’s what I was thinking. Overpriced, smallish portions.

  • Irving Streete

    “The team behind Ripple in Cleveland Park is thrilled to announce the launch of Roofers Union, a new concept opening in Adams Morgan….”
    Can we make so that any restaurateur (or any restaurant flack) who uses the word “concept” when they mean “restaurant” be publicly flogged? Are “concepts” why there are so few decent dining establishments that don’t cost an arm and a (free-range, local) leg?

    • Anonymous

      Short answer: yes. People with enough capital to get a place like this going are going to want to see large returns on their investment, hence the “concepts”.

    • textdoc

      In response to your questions: (1) Yes, please! (2) Quite possibly.

    • bmoredc

      Ditto for retail and…well anything, basically. (Case in point, a press release announcing the new Ann Taylor “concept” in Union Station a while back.) I guess I’m an old crankypants about language usage…a restaurant or clothing store can HAVE a concept, but it is not, in itself, a “concept.” (Related note: moratorium on establishments describing their inventory or menu offerings as “curated,” for the love of all things holy! ;)) As far as Roofers Union specifically…meh, not a fan of the name, but I have enjoyed Ripple’s food the couple of times I’ve been, so I’d give it a chance.

  • anon


  • Anonymous

    I think Ripple is a rip-off, with high prices and small portions for average quality, so this does not excite.

  • dno

    Sounds great. Glad someone took over this space as quickly as they did. That rooftop deck is too nice to sit empty.

  • wdc

    Ripple has been a consistently good experience for me. A tad pricey, but always good (sometimes great, and I don’t say that often) food, and always top notch service.

    I never go to Adams Morgan and I’m annoyed by the marketing-speak, but I hope the new place does well for the owners anyway, because I like what they’re doing at Ripple.

  • wdc

    And one more thing: WHAT DO YOU PEOPLE WANT??? You hate chains. You hate small plates. You hate “pretension”. You hate “lack of ambiance”. You hate people who talk about local improvement but do nothing to further it. And now, apparently, you hate the people who are putting their money where their mouth is. There are only so many ways to configure 4 walls, a kitchen and some seating, and only so many ways to put calories into your body.
    Has PoPville, at the ripe old average-age of 23-45 already seen, done, and eaten it all?

    • Anonymous

      I’ll take a restaurant over a stabby bar. This place may just work.

      • Anonymous

        One person got stabbed there. It was not a stabby bar. You make it sound like it was a weekly occurrence. And while it was a total shit show on the weekends, it was a terrific neighborhood hangout during the rest of the week where the bartenders knew everybody by name and the beers were cold. I’ll miss it.

        • Anonymous

          One stabbing is plenty

          • Anonymous

            One butterfly does not a spring make.

        • Anonymous

          Loved the Reef on Sunday afternoons and after work on weekdays. Good crowd of locals and cheap drinks. I can promise that I will probably never go to the “Roofers Union” (really?!?!)
          I’ve moved my drinking to the Mellow Mushroom rooftop. Same great view and better draft selections. Really good deals on booze and food during happy hour. Check it out come spring time, if you don’t have a new spot.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    fwiw the owners of Ripple serve on the Board at the Washington Animal Rescue League and donate wine tastings from time to time at Ripple.

  • jim_ed

    This is organized labor SWAGGER JACKING!!!1!!1!1!! Your grandfather didn’t go on strike and bring you the 40 hour work week just so you could misappropriate his struggles for artisanal cheese foam and local organic ice! Why is no one else OUTRAGED?!?

  • admo res

    will miss the weekday crowd on the reef rooftop during the summer.. but hopefully the new owners will keep the casual vibe and good beers and ciders on draft. that rooftop is too wonderful to be vacant so i’m happy that something is moving in and hopefully will open before spring hits. until then, no judgement!

  • Gene

    This “concept” is already being done in Adams Morgan by more than one bar–Libertine, Black Squirrel, Smoke and Barrel, Mellow Mushroom –just to name a few. Craft cocktails and craft beer is hardly an original concept. I like the places that really do something unique like the new Japanese place, Donbari.

    • mmm

      except Smoke and Barrel is a bbq, beer, and whiskey place; Black Squirrel is beer, burgers, and bar food; Mellow Mushroom is a pizza place; IDK what Libertine is, but unless it is all of the above, it’s different too.

      Roofers Union sounds like it focuses much more on food than any of the places you mentioned (and the food sounds pretty different and higher end). That may not appeal to you, but it definitely is different from what is happening in Adams Morgan right now.

      Plus, you pretty much have 2 options for beer (craft, or mass produced) unless you get more niche (Pacific Northwest beers only!). And craft cocktails sell so it makes sense that more than one place would serve them in a given area. Plus, they are different where ever you go.

  • Anonymous

    Who’s thirsty?!?!?….for expensive crap cocktails?!?! Not I. Bring back Reef and enough with the ‘concept’ rubbish already.


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