Sign of the Whale Reopens – Again – on Thursday

Sign of the Whale, the legendary (or infamous) meat markety bar on M St. NW in lower Dupont/Midtown/Club Central/Herpes Triangle, reopens this Thursday, October 27th. The spot has been closed since a fire that roared through the place on March 3rd, popping up some nights at nearby sister spot Nero until recently.

This is at least the 9th iteration of the bar, reopening after closing at least for the 7th time.

  • March 1981- July 1991 (Tommy Goss and Danny Marshall. Closed by DC after owing $700k ($1.5 mill today) in taxes)
  • Nov 1991 – 2006
  • 2006- March 2010 (new owner Britt Swann, owned Rhino. bought out of bankruptcy, almost became an Irish bar)
  • March 2010 – Oct 2017 (reportedly McFadden’s owners)
  • Oct 2017 – February 2018 (briefly as DC Tap House)
  • May 2018 – July 2019 (new owners included Swann again)
  • Feb 2020 – March 2020 (new owner Vikram Bhalla)
  • Feb 2021 – March 2022
  • Oct 2022-?

The spot, interestingly, was home of the Girl Scout HQ for DC in the late 1920s until early 1940s. From 1973-1975, it was the home of Etcetera, DC’s only full time jazz club

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