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Bummer – Döner Bistro closing August 1st in Adams Morgan

by Prince Of Petworth July 19, 2016 at 2:55 pm 35 Comments

doner bistro
1654 Columbia Rd, NW

From Döner Bistro:

“Achtung: What you are about to read might upset you! Everything has an end – only the sausage has two“ (German saying)

We wholeheartedly thank you for the unforgettable time here in AdMo

As you might have heard through the grape vine, it is true:

August 1st is not only the day when we first received the key to our door to Germany here at 1654 Columbia Rd. four years ago; it is also going to be the day we will be returning it as this location will be closed down on August 1st

We are grateful for all your support and use of our beloved AdMo living room throughout Sunday, July 31st.

We appreciate all your loyalty, open mindedness towards our modern/Northern German craziness, your friendship, relationship, story exchanges, constructive criticism which has made us stronger and better at what we do; and your support in general throughout the good times as well as the bad ones.

The initial overwhelming sadness that we felt is healing through looking back on the four years spend together as a community. Our hearts are filled with a sense of pride and happiness, looking back on memories made such as:

Costume contest won by the big yellow chicken at our Faschingsfest Oktoberfest craziness with some of you across the street complaining about the German madness going on with us and our guests leading conga lines out the door and over the tables, birthday parties, family reunions, blind dates, runners meetups, doggie day outs (though one dog of a customer bit one of our team members once),

DAS BOOT, FIFA WM, FIFA EM, Keg bus tour to the U.S. vs. Germany friendly were the DC bus driver did not find the stadium at first; and of course and most importantly all the countless hours spend together just by summing up the regular day to day visits by some of you – Just to say hi and a Döner Box and or a Bier of course J

Thank you for all you have been to us – we hate to go, though with our minds at peace and with our hearts telling us we’ll see you again some day!

So long, friends – Stay great!

Yours Truly,

Timo, Nicole and the whole Team at DB AdMo

PS: Please visit us in Leesburg Virginia and/or Frederick Maryland to satisfy your Döner cravings.”

  • Anon

    Nooooooooooooooooooo! They seemed to be busy every time I’ve been there.

  • Wednesday Addams-Morgan

    NO! Hope they bring back another DC location. :(

  • BN

    Aww, this place was great! The only place I know in DC to get currywurst. RIP, you will be missed!

    • anon&confused

      Currywurst used to be on the menu at Garden District; not sure if it still is…

    • CoHiRocks

      At the Airedale in Columbia Heights too

  • oh2dc

    I love this place. Sad.

  • neighbor

    Any word on why? This location always seemed pretty successful, and with all the new stuff going in along Columbia Road it will only get busier there.

    • Thomas

      Revenue may be up but rents are going *way* up. Entire neighborhood has been upscaling as owners seek out high-end apt/condo developers (ex. Ontario 17 & The rather ridiculously-named Adamo) and/or more boutique shops (Wise Owl Club, Rise Bakery). Farewell to Chief Ike’s, Cashion’s, and Millie & Al’s…

      • neighbor

        It’s only been there for a few years though. Wouldn’t they have signed a long term lease?

      • Lgindc

        Columbia road is losing all casual drinking spots.

  • dlab

    So sad… I lived in Germany for a few years and it was always really nice to go to this place and remember glorious Doner. Hope their Frederick shop keeps going strong.

  • wdc

    What?? There was a doner place in DC and I didn’t know about it?? Was it really authentic, with the crusty chewy bread and everything? Wait… maybe don’t tell me…

  • P. Lecheval

    This is sad news for me because I’ve never gotten around to giving them a try.

  • LongLiveShawarmaKing

    Bring. Back. Shawarma. King.

    • Schwarma4lyfe

      +1 for more Schwarma

      • Lgindc

        Word. French fries were IN the beautiful beautiful shwarma.

  • Sok

    Sad news indeed. Hopefully, Austin based VertsKebab will expand in this location. Multiple media outlets reported that they were looking to expand into the DC market during 2016. I spent a few years in Austin and Verts is solid.

  • Anony

    Don’t get it, food was good, business always seemed to busy?

    • OP Anon

      The (new) rent is too damn high. (most likely)
      This place is FANTASTIC. The doner was awesome, very consistent with what you get in Berlin. And great German beer selection at good prices.

      • scooby

        If you are saying the quality was consistent with Berlin doner you are completely nuts. It was nowhere near that good (and, of course, 2-3 times the price).

        That said, it was passable if you were a little tipsy and better than many of the other options for similar food in DC. The restaurant did do a good imitation of style of the extremely casual fast food/beer restaurants you see in Berlin and other Euro cities.

        Always thought of Doner as more of a drinking place than a eating place to be honest. For that, it was one of the best places in Admo and will be very hard to replace.

        • OP Anon

          I think your sense of nostalgia tastes 5x better than the actual doner. I’ve eaten doner in Germany (including Berlin) and German-speaking parts of Switzerland about 10 times in the past 6 months, as I’m in those countries once per month for work. Doner Bistro is on par with everywhere else I ate in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, and Zurich. Maybe you know of some amazingly incredible, world-class doner shop? Because Doner Bistro is as good at the typical late night doner shop in any of the cities I mentioned.

          • JD


  • Laura

    Sad… I liked this place…

  • MtP

    This is very sad, I loved this place, especially the beer and the Doner boxes. I agree with others that it must be the rents – I imagine business would be picking up as that stretch fills in a bit.

  • Anonymous

    Please think about setting up shop somewhere cheaper. (If that’s possible anymore.) This place was a really nice offering to the restaurant scene; it would be a shame if it went away.

    • John

      They have 2 other locations in Leesburg and somewhere in MD

    • divebar311

      COME TO COLUMBIA HEIGHTS, preferably on 14th somewhere between Meridian and Randolph Streets. Thanks!

  • ajr

    NOOO!! I am truly upset over this!!

  • d

    Ughhhh, really? Why? This place always seemed busy and was my favorite go-to for a quick bite and a pint on Columbia.

  • BE

    I loved this place. . . until we got food poisoning. That really sucked, because I couldn’t go back after that. Probably had a lot to do with how the manager was never on-time, and probably didn’t get things cooked properly. Several times we were sitting outside waiting for them to open, the cook was there. . . no manager. It was still worth the wait. The day we got ill the manager was the only one there, and she was trying to do the cooking. Obviously that didn’t work out too well. Never returned after that. :-(

  • OP Anon

    PS – $10 says this store front remains empty for at least a year, thus negating any potential profit the landlord would make by jacking up the rent. It’s not a large space and really can only be filled by another fast-casual food joint.

    • Finitor

      Pop-up cell phone shop with unhooked plastic banner signs.

  • Love this place, but their prices were steep – especially on their (admittedly great) German beer selection. I realize this was part-and-parcel due to the rent, but it was also a losing battle against some of the new beer gardens and loss leaders in craft beer here in DC.

    Döner is street food, plain and simple, and the prices here didn’t reflect that – and probably couldn’t. Sad, but inevitable. And I agree that this storefront will likely remain vacant for a while.

  • AdMoRez

    This place is terrible, good riddance. I lived in AdMo and was excited about Doner Bistro, until I tried it. THe doner sandwiches had way too much bread. Everyone knows a real doner sandwich has lamb meat, theirs was only beef. Anyone who thinks this place is authentic is clueless. The currywurst was also dumbed down for DC tastes, definitely doesn’t taste like real currywurst. People who have lived in Germany know this is crap, and anyone else who pumps it up as “authentic,” is just another DC poser who thinks they know international food, but the extent of their travels is Columbia Heights.

    • anonymous

      The number of Germans I saw here on a regular basis would suggest otherwise. Wurst rant ever.


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