808 7th Street, NW
“Fado Irish Pub in Washington DC opened on March 16, 1998 with a 20-year lease on our building at 808 7th Street. March 16th was our last day of business before the COVID-19 shutdown. It is with great regret that we tell you that, 22 years to the day of our opening, it was our final day of business at 808 7th Street, forever.
Like many others in D.C., the reason for our closing is “progress”. We have negotiated quarterly extensions to our lease for the past two years, while trying to negotiate a long term-agreement. And, after years of trying, we have been unable to do so. There will be many restaurants that will not reopen after the current closures. Ironically, ours is not about COVID-19, we just could not renew our lease.
There are not many places in our business that stay around for 22 years. That is a rare achievement made possible by long-term and caring customers. But there is a bigger achievement, as well. It is the people who have honored us by being part of our team for, in some cases, decades. You never want to single anyone out for special mention but in some cases it is necessary. Marina, Marcelino, Mary, and Jonesy all worked (or as Greg would say, pretended to work!) with us for over 20 years. There were so many other characters, regulars and influencers of our business who were on our team for over 10 or 15 years. The list is too long to mention. They were the reasons we were a D.C. favorite for so long.
To both our long-term customers and staff, we will never be able to adequately thank you.
To those on our team who we lost like Lundy and Tim, who both died to early.
To all those who started here and now run some of the best spots in D.C.
To all the St. Patrick’s Day’s that started before 6am and lasted until after 8am the next day (very busy those last few hours, very busy).
To opening night, when Richard Branson brought the entire crew from a Virgin Atlantic Airlines jumbo jet. They stayed until close.
To days like 9/11, when staff and customers needed a safe and comforting gathering place. We started offering coffee and snacks which led to pints and shoulders to lean on.
To all the World Cups (soccer and rugby), the fantastic matches and Finals. To all the Caps games, playoffs and championships. To all the fans and supporters!
To all the business plans, weddings, families, short lived “romances”, schemes and celebrations that started inside our four walls.
To the day before St. Patrick’s Day in 2020 when we just weren’t sure what was going to happen next.
Now, we are at the end of a road. Fadó, was a place that was a part of so many lives. From work colleagues that became lifelong friends to guests who became some of our best mates. Over the years Fado was a second home and a brotherhood and a sisterhood for so many. It was the crossroads from which we will now continue, remembering the good times and some of the bad.
It’s unfortunate that we are not able to get together one last time, but I know many are doing it in their own way. So, raise a pint, pour a little whiskey and say goodbye to a dear friend. It is with the deepest of gratitude that we say thank you to our staff, our guests, our partners, suppliers and the committed network of people a pub needs to succeed. It has been a great ride and know we will return when we find the right place to continue our traditions in Washington, DC.