1919 L Street, NW
Ed. Note: In 2009 Black Rooster almost closed after the Peace Corps HQ planned on expanding but it was saved last minute. Since the reason for this closure is the “lease is up” it doesn’t sound like a similar reprieve will be likely.
“It is with tremendous regret and personal sorrow that I must announce the upcoming closing of the Black Rooster Pub May 2018. The Rooster opened in 1970 and has had a long and successful run–certainly more than most pubs in the city. However, our lease is up and all good things must come to an end. It is certainly the end of an era.
My greatest sorrow will be missing the great guests and staff that have really made the Rooster what it has become. As I like to put it, “A port in any storm.” I will miss everyone tremendously. We have celebrated your happy and special moments and stood beside you through the tragedies and bad events that we all must eventually suffer through. Both have affected us.
I walked through the doors in 1972 for a cold beer after a wet rugby match and knew that I had found a home. It is hard to leave home. Through all this, especially with all the “fancy” new and trendy establishments proliferating around DC, what is most important in a successful operation are simple things–sincere and loyal staff, good food and drink, fair pricing, pleasant conversation, a firm handshake and, most importantly, a “welcome back, stranger.” Hard to imagine that many places still don’t have this formula down.
Throughout the years I have discovered that the Rooster has meant as much to many people world-wide as it has meant to us. I remember on that fateful day of 9-11 in DC, with troops and military vehicles on every corner, we stayed open and realized how important a safe haven was to our guests, staff and perfect strangers. I can remember on 9/14 everyone proudly standing when, to our surprise, the British played our National Anthem at Buckingham Palace. The very first (and probably last) time to be done. Not a dry eye in the pub. During our near demise in 2009, I received emails of support from all over the world -Australia, Korea, Wales, England, Brazil and others. I even received a signed petition from a platoon of Marines serving in Iraq whom we took care of during their deployment rotations.(Thank you, Sgt. Major.) I am proud of our continual and steadfast support for the military, law enforcement and various Childrens’ charities. Does anyone remember when we auctioned off a Delorean vehicle for KIDS, Inc. or Tommy Jacomo from the Palm walking a gigantic lobster by leash down 19th Street to auction it off by the pound? (I believe Mike Minnig got high bid.) Or when that villain, arch nemesis (good friend and rugby teammate) Tom Self instigated the shaving off of my treasured handlebar moustache while sitting on a stool atop of the bar because “It was to raise money for unfortunate children,” while everyone plied me with Jameson? Lot of fun was had by all for 48 years but it’s, sadly, time to go.
Anyway, I’m starting to ramble. Last but certainly not least, a special thanks to my son, Jake Taylor, for your many years of service. We have had our moments but I wouldn’t trade it. I did enjoy sending you out on your “walk-about” on your 1st week’s initiation in search of the elusive “left handed martini dryer” (or was it the “beer defoamer?”). I love you. I love you all and will miss you one and all. I will try not to be a stranger. Try to stop by and give my great staff a “fond farewell” and perhaps an extra dollar in their tip cup. Please stay tuned for announcements of closing nights. Cheers! Jody”