$35 Million DC Restaurant Bridge Fund Application Now Live – Details Here

Today, DC made the application for the $35 million DC Restaurant Bridge Fund live. The application will close COB Monday December 28th (another week for restaurants in Wards 5, 7, and 8).  Grants of $10,000 – $50,000 will be provided to at least 700 restaurants (including fast food spots, cafes, delis, coffee shops, food trucks, cafeterias, as well as certain bars and breweries with tavern/restaurant licensees that receive at least 25% of their income from food sales) that were open before October 1st and suffered at least 25% decrease in revenue during pandemic. Spots must actually be open and operating for at least takeout/delivery now (and have a plan to remain open) to receive a grant; the at least 80+ spots that are not currently open will not be eligible. Note: Those spots who take a hiatus during the indoor dining pause are eligible if they reopen by the time pause ends on January 15th.

Funds can be used for:

  • rent/mortgage/docking expense
  • payroll
  • insurance
  • fuel for food trucks
  • utilities
  • expenses related to winterization or COVID-19 prep

Bars that don’t have 25% food revenue will be able to apply for the Entertainment Bridge Fund while breweries/distilleries with manufacturer licenses will be able to appy for Retail Bridge Fund (meaning all except Atlas-which recently changed its licenses, Right Proper Shaw, and Bluejacket are not eligible for this fund).

Funds will be issued on criteria:

  • Amount of economic distress
  • business viability
  • years/months spot has been revenue generating in current location
  • DC resident employed as of Sept 30th (furloughed/laid off don’t count)

Some other relevant restrictions:

  • If spot opened after March 17th, 2020, must show at least $25,000 in revenue
  • Max $10 million revenue for 2019 or max $7.5 million revenue in Jan-Sept 2020. Meaning Old Ebbitt Grill, The Hamilton, and probably some other spots will unlikely be eligible for the funds.
  • Franchises allowed to apply but must be independelty owned/operated.
  • Owners of more than 1 restaurant can apply for up to 5 restaurants
  • Pop-ups/seasonal restaurants with less than 12 month leases can’t apply
  • Sole proprietors that own spots (e.g. food truck) have to be DC residents
  • Bars and restaurants with club/multipurpose/nightclub licenses

A mininum 15% will be reserved for businesses owned by woman/economically disadvantaged DC residents.

Documentation that must be provided by Dec 28th include:

  • Valid basic business license
  • EIN verification
  • clean hands certificate
    • Means that business is not more than $100 in debt to DC Office of Tax and Revenue. More than $100 in debt is ok if they  are current on a payment plan
  • 2018 revenue info (if open)
  • 2019 profit/loss monthly statements (if open)
  • 2020 profit/loss monthly statements for Jan-Sept 2020 (whichever months have been open)
  • Employee numbers for Jan-March, April-June, July-Sept 2020
  • Employee roster as of Sept 30th: employee names, state of residency, full-time/part-time

The application also asks whether spot received other COVID-19 related grants and PPP loan, which implies that receiving other funds may impact amount of Bridge Fund grant.

Awards will be notified in Jan-Feb 2021 with money disbursed after that.

This info was taken from the following:

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Where to Get a Last Minute Thanksgiving Meal in DC and What Is Open Later in the Day

Almost every spot is sold out but looks like there are few spots still offering Thanksgiving meals today for late changing plans:

Worst case scenario, there are severall Boston Markets in the suburbs but inside the Beltway.

In addition, if you want to get out of the house and want to have a socially distant bite/something to drink (before spots stop serving by 10p), here is a list of spots that will be open in the evening:

  • Walter’s: 11a(?)
  • Stoney’s: Noon
  • Trusty’s: 4p
  • Nanny O’Brien’s: 4p
  • Cleveland Park Bar & Grill: 4p
  • Fox and Hounds: 4p
  • Valor Brew Pub: 5p

DC Announces $100 Million Bridge Fund to Support DC Businesses

Today, Mayor Bowser’s administration announced $100 million in funding via the “Bridge Fund” (the logo is clearly inspired by the new Douglass Bridge across the Anacostia). The fund closely tracks the Business Support Grant Program passed by DC Council and signed by the Mayor in July; DC had said in August that it didn’t have sufficient funding at that point, but they’ve found funds now.

The Bridge Fund will consist of 4 programs: 1) hotels 2) restaurants 3) entertainment and 4) retail. The original program passed in summer also included $5 million for child care facilities, but that was already announced September 21st. $80 million of the funds will come from DC’s funds, while $20 million come from CARES Act funding and must be spent by end of 2020.

The Fund’s programs will provide the following (parentheses shows what was included in the program passed in summer)

  • Hotels: $30 million ($28 million)
    • Up to 140 grants of $10,000 – $270,750
    • 80% will have to goto payroll
    • Application goes live Mon. 11/23. Since $20 million of the $30 million allocated comes the CARES Act funding, funds will need to be disbursed quickly.
    • Hotels/lodges/B&Bs with 10+ rooms. Allocated strictly on number of rooms, up to 250 rooms
  • Restaurants: $35 million ($38 million, though $4 million already provided as part of streatery winter grant program)
    • Up to 700 grants of $10k-$50k
    • Application goes live Mon. 12/7
    • TBA stipulations about payroll
  • Entertainment: $20 million ($14.5 million)
    • Up to 400 grants of $4k-100k
    • Application goes live Mon 12/21
    • includes entertainment venues and event planners
  • Retail: $15 million ($14.5 million, though original program only would have supported hospitality-related retail).
    • Up to 575 grants of $5k-$25k
    • Application goes live Tues 12/15

Similar to the original program, at least 15% of the $100 million must goto businesses owned by DC residents that are people of color or women. The original program included requirements to show revenue loss in order to get funds. Unclear whether this will be part of these funds


Personal Note: A Truly Amazing and Awful Week –

[11/19 Update: After nearly 9 days in the hospital, all 3 of us are home after Mrs. Barred was discharged Wednesday afternoon. She had sent me and the baby home the day before so we could all get some rest. We have close family members helping out for next few weeks. Thanks again for all your messages of outrage, sympathy, and support since last Friday.]

[Edited 11/14 to add a note at bottom]
Mrs. Barred and I welcomed this baby girl pictured above in our life on Tuesday, in what is likely quite a development to you. Lil’ Miss Barred (Iris) is awesome and beautiful and we’re so happy for her to be part of this world.  I had, of course, in my mind planned some “hilarious” and “clever” introduction to the world on Twitter, and the fact that I was honored to be featured in the City Paper the same week was a stunning coincidence that really would made this a banner week. But instead of being home as scheduled Friday or Saturday,  we are sleeping in separate rooms in the hospital from the baby and who knows when we will be there after Mrs. Barred had a second surgery on top of a painful and infuriating experience.

Mrs. Barred’s lifelong health issues (mixed connective tissue syndrome, an autoimmune disorder without a name), which has resulted in frequent (including several life threatening) hospitalizations at GW since she moved to DC back in mid 2000s-resulted in one doctor saying that she couldn’t get pregnant and others saying she shouldn’t give birth. So her doing so, and keeping our baby healthy in a global pandemic is one reason why she’s my superhero.

For all of her history at GW, she thought going here for delivery (not a common choice for most people we know in DC for births) would make any complications go more smoothly or even avoided if possible. That has not happened. After the c-section, her complaints about excruciating pain were not taken seriously by anyone, even as she repeatedly said “Help Me!” for 5 hours, as they gave her only typical pain meds but refused to call her pain management doctor or just as easily review her chart to see her history tolerating pain meds without issue. Finally when we moved into our overnight room, a special pain management team agreed and quelled her concerns, saying they’d approve specific additional relief. But 5 hours later nothing had happened until we finally asked the nurse and attending docs about it. There was an outright refusal to implement it at first and reluctance turned into incompetence to put in the relief. At least a few of the medical professionals were openly skeptical in front of her that she could be in that amount of pain. In the end it took about 11 hours for her to get any relief to even be able to touch her baby after she gave birth.

Finally on Wednesday, her pain was closer to what would be expected the day after a c section and we spent a lovely day with the baby, seemingly back on track. But she noted to a nurse that her stomach was distended more than it was the day before. The nurse flippantly responded “I didn’t see you yesterday, so I wouldn’t know.” Later that night she started feeling some shoulder pain but chalked it up to how she was sleeping. But at 4a Wednesday morning, she woke up feeling it more acutely as well as some chest pain. Because of her pulmonary embolism history (which they did pay attention to because of relevance to surgery), within 15 minutes maybe 10 nurses and doctors were in the room to assess what was going on. I was ushered out to the hallway with Lil’ Miss Barred. Soon they noticed the distended belly and used ultrasound on her torso to discover there was internal bleeding and the decision was made to operate. But even in that discussion the resident misstated her medical history and missed other details clearly on her chart. Mrs. Barred stopped them and had to present her medical self and history to the team in a dire situation because this was life and death. She then told a room of White doctors and nurses “I know It’s not an exaggeration – the statistics are clear about Black mothers. I don’t want to be in the news about another Black mother in DC who never came home with their child. Please don’t let me die.” They assured her that it wouldn’t happen. As she was rolled out of the room and past me and Iris in the hall, we both told each other she loved me and she told me “to take care of my baby.” The whole situation was shattering (I can’t but weep each time I think about it) as we truly didn’t know whether we’d see each other again.

Thankfully she returned a couple hours later (in the meantime while I waiting I saw my profile in the City Paper People Issue, which couldn’t be the biggest dichotomy ever-a massive high and a massive low-that’s what I used as a Twitter distraction for the day.)  They sent Lil’ Miss Barred to the nursery since I had a tough time emotionally then and it was necessary to keep Jo and her rested while the medical team took more look at her. Once again the pain management orders were unnecessarily delayed and she suffered in more pain.

There was discussion of moving her to the ICU since post partum medical team weren’t really suited for task but they figured out it was better to put her in the larger labor and delivery rooms (where mothers usually give birth naturally) which  have a better nurse coverage. At this point her pain has improved somewhat but she also has breathing issues (possible pneumonia from surgery/anesthesia), possible blood clots, and her blood measurements are still not out of the woods. She has continued to advocate for herself forcefully-she repeatedly is told here thats she’s such a strong woman, but she doesn’t want to have to be a strong woman, she wants medical science to do that job. Instead of a loving few days in the hospital, it’s been pretty traumatic.

The seeming inability for nurses and medical staff to initially believe her has been such a disappointment to say the least. It’s hard to believe there isn’t unconscious/implicit bias at work here against Black and/or younger looking patients like her – https://www.aamc.org/news-insights/how-we-fail-black-patients-pain. Magically when she was able to speak and use medical terminology, or mention her academic or work background, everyone then actually seems to believe her. This isn’t new-this has happened to her for her life, but it’s been especially tragic here.

But I end we are all hopeful that things will be cleared up in due time and we will all get to go home together as a family soon. We were able to spend 4 hours with us today in the suite which helped our mood though is still mostly in nursery. Please keep us (particularly Mrs. Barred, Jo) in your thoughts/prayers/good vibes.

[edited to add 11/14: We’re grateful for the heartening response we’ve received from real life and Internet friends and family,  as well as stories I’ve gotten from other women (not just people of color) who’ve had similar harrowing stories of pain relief neglect or childbirth. Just a few things to add: this post was really based on what Mrs. Barred said to 5 or 6 doctors, nurses and a social worker Thursday and Friday. I had planned to post something when we were discharged but she told me that it made most sense to post now. Because of those conversations she had, (and my backup as needed) her standard of care currently appears (fingers crossed) to be closer to what he had wished and expected-her needs are being seemingly addressed and there is a clear shared desire to get her out of here healthy and discharged with the baby and me. There still were a couple doctors yesterday who didn’t get that pain is manifested quite differently by people who suffer chronic pain than others, but they were schooled quickly by us. She still is on some oxygen and has an upsetting number of tubes sticking out of her (a IV tower alongside each side of bed), but again in stable, slowly improving condition. She’s aware of the patient advocate (she asked for her at one point; she’s used it many times before when needed) and the GW patient bill of rights (Mrs Barred actually helped write them a decade or so ago and had to say “this is my right” multiple times this week to get them to do something they should have done anyway ).

This account is our perspective and perception of what has occurred. The medical staff, sometimes in the moment, but usually after the fact, have provided mostly unsatisfactory-in-the-end rationales and explanations about why they did what they did (often pointing to concerns about respiration). But this does not change the fact that there was seemingly little to address her concerns at the time and significantly, little to acknowledge/use her extensive pain management and medical history at GW to address these issues. Coordination of care was seemingly lackluster in execution, which resulted in miscommunication to both us and other members of the team and unnecessary delays. We’re both hoping the team here takes long term lessons that can make sure this doesn’t happen again. And to be clear there have been a few docs and nurses who have been incredible and we will never forget their kindness in their actions and words.]


[11/15 Update: Yesterday an anesthesiologist came by our room and said to her “You probably don’t remember me, but I was the anesthesiologist down in the operating room at 5:25a on Thursday. And I just wanted to say how impressed how calm you were in what must have been a scary situation. You’ll be such a great mother how you advocated for yourself.” My wife told me that she had looked around at every person in the operating room and said calmly “Please don’t kill another Black mother. I want to go home with my baby.”]


The G-Man at Capitol Hill’s Mangialardo’s, the Best Sandwich in DC.

The Italian sandwich (slash sub/hoagie/grinder/hero), depending where you hail) is one of the great American food inventions.  Although DC does not have an extensive Italian-American community (though there were certainly pockets in the early 20th century on Capitol Hill or nearby), you can still get great sandwiches in DC, as detailed below (I’ve included a few suburban sandwich essential spots as well). For more Barred in DC sandwiches go here.  This taste test story from 2017 in Post by Holley Simmons (now flower shop owner) is great too. Rankings are based on a series of Twitter polls (the top 3 were essentially tied)

Name of Italian Sandwich (their most popular version) in Italics. Price with tax. 

The Italian Sandwich DC Area Trinity

  • Mangialardo’s (Capitol Hill (near Potomac Ave. Metro))
    • M-F 8a-3p; closed Sat-Sun
    • Pickup (call (202) 543-6212/walk-in/website)
    • Delivery (Grubhub)
    • G-Man (or Big “G” if really hungry, with double all the meat)
    • Meat/Cheese: Ham, Salami, Mortadella, Pepperoni, Fontina Cheese, Provolone Cheese on choice of hard or soft roll.
    • Toppings: Oregano, Lettuce, Tomato, Mayonnaise, Onion,  Oil,  Vinegar, Hot/Sweet Peppers and/or Deli Mustard
    • $9.90 ($13 for Big G)
  • The Italian Store (Arlington, Virginia in Westover and Lyon Village)
    • Current hours: M-Sat 11a-7p, Sun 11a-6p
    • Pickup (call 571-341-1080 Westover, 703-528-6266 Lyon Village/walk-in)
    • The Milano
    • Meat/Cheese: two Italian hams, provolone cheese, and Genoa salami on choice of choice of hard or soft Italian roll.
    • Toppings: sweet and/or hot peppers, lettuce, onions, oregano, and special dressing.
    • $9.20 (small), $10.20 (large)
    • also known for pizza
  • A. Litteri (Union Market Area/NoMa) 
    • M-Sat 9a-6p, Sun 9a-6p
    • Pickup (online/walk-in)
    • Italian Classic
    • Meat/cheese: Capicola, Genoa salami, Mortadella, Prosciuttini, Provolone,
    • Toppings: Lettuce, Tomato. Onion, Hot Peppers & Italian Seasoning (No substitutions though build your own allowed for more $)
    • $8 (9″ hard roll) $5.75 (6″ soft roll), $11 (12″ soft roll), $7.50 (8″ wheat roll)


  • Bub and Pop’s (Dupont)
    • Current Hours Tue-Sat 11a-8p (closed Sun-Mon). Call  if coming after 4 (or check Fbook) to make sure open
    • Pickup (call 202-457-1111/walk-in)
    • Delivery (UberEats, GrubHub, DoorDash). Can due scheduled orders in advance 1 day if you call
    • Bub’s Italian Hoagie
    • Meat/Cheese: Genoa‎ Salami, Sweet Capicola, Hot Capicola, Pepperoni, Aged Provolone on roll. Can be baked on request.
    • Toppings: Iceberg Lettuce, Roma Tomato, Raw Onion, Hoagie Relish (hot peppers, sweet peppers,  pickle & onion), Mayo, Bub’s Vinaigrette, and Pecorino Romano.
    • $10 (half), $20 (whole)
    • Lots of other popular sandwich options
  • Capo Delicatessan (Shaw)
    • Current Hours: M-Th 11a-8p, F-Sat 11a-11p, 11a-9p Sun
    • Pickup (online/Toast/walk-in)
    • Delivery (DoorDash/Grubhub)
    • Capo Special or Italian Combo
    • Meat/Cheese: Soprressata, Mortadella, Provolone (Capo). Genoa salami, capicola, provolone (Italian)
    • Toppings: lettuce, tomato, onion, provolone, house-made Italian Dressing.
    • $11.55 (small), $14.85 (large)
    • Cocktails also available
  • Stachowski Market (Georgetown)
    • Mon-Sat 10a-8p, Sun 11a-6p
    • Pickup (call (202) 506-3125 /walk-in)
    • 4 Meat Grinder
    • Meat/Cheese: salami, coppa, mortadella, soppressata with provolone
    • Toppings: lettuce, tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, and house vinaigrette.
    • $16
    • Lots of other popular sandwich options

Lots of Support

  • Taylor Gourmet (Dupont, Downtown, plus suburban locations)
    • Dupont (M-F 11a-7p, closed Sat-Sun) Downtown (M-F 11a-3p, closed Sat-Sun)
    • Pickup (Online/Chownow or Walk-In)
    • Delivery (In-House App, Caviar, DoorDash, UberEats
    • 9th Street Italian or Federal Italian
    • Meat/Cheese: 9th St Italian (Genoa salami, hot capicola, prosciutto, sharp Provolone); Federal Italian (Genoa salami, hot capicola, cured ham, pepperoni, fresh Mozzarella). Both on “original, farmhouse wheat, soft roll, or gluten free wrap”
    • Toppings: 9th St (Lettuce, tomato, onion, ultimate vinaigrette); Federal Italian (house made tomato vinaigrette, roma tomato, red onion, fresh basil, olive oil)
    • $9.60 (regular), $14.85 (large)
    • Lots of other popular sandwich options
  • Vace (Cleveland Park, Bethesda)
    • M-F 9a-9p, Sat 9a-8p, Sun 10a-5p
    • Pickup (call 202-363-1999 CP, 301-654-6367 Bethesda; walk-in)
    • Italian Cold Cut
    • Meat/Cheese: Genoa Salami, Ham, Mortadella And Mozzarella Cheese (optional provolone instead) on Hard roll or soft focaccia bread
    • Toppings: Lettuce,Tomatoes,Onions,Hot Peppers, Italian Dressing, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Mayonnaise, Yellow Mustard
    • $7.15
    • Also known for pizza
  • Grazie Grazie (The Wharf)
    • currently 11a-8p daily
    • Pickup (online, walk-in)
    • Delivery (Caviar, DoorDash)
    • 8+1 or Minelli
    • Meat/Cheese: 8+1 (Genoa salami, hot capicola, prosciutto, sharp Provolone), Minnelli (hot capicola, peppered ham, prosciutto, pecorino romano)
    • Toppings: 8+1 (lettuce, tomato, onion, EVOO + red wine vinegar, house seasoning), Minelli (spicy aioli, oven dried tomatoes, red onion, fresh basil, arugula, EVOO + red wine vinegar, house seasoning)
    • $12.10 (8+1), $13.20 (Minelli)
    • Lots of other popular sandwich options
  • Santucci’s Italian Delicatessan  (Silver Spring, Maryland)
    • currently M-Sat 10a-8p, closed Sun
    • Pickup (call 301-593-8338)
    • Italian Cold Cut Submarine
    • Meat/Cheese: Italian meats and provolone cheese on 10″ (12″ available, as is 10″ hard roll or whole wheat rolls)
    • Toppings:  creamy Italian herb dressing, homemade oil and vinegar and hot peppers, lettuce, tomato and onions. Mayo and mustard available
    • $10.55 (regular 10 inch) $12.67 (12 inch)
  • Filippo’s Italian Specialties (Wheaton, Maryland)
    • M-Sat 9a-5p, Sun 9a-2p
    • Pickup (Online, call)
    • Delivery (DoorDash)
    • Italian Cold Cut or Panino (get the latter)
    • Meat/Cheese: Italian Cold Cut (capicola, genoa salami, provolone); Panino (Prosciutto di parma, mortadella, genoa salami, provolone)
    • Toppings: Lettuce, Tomato, Onions, Oil and Vinegar, Hot Pepper, and Italian Herbs
    • $7.37 (regular), $10.55 (large)

Others DC Notables:

All of these are great, but haven’t quite received the recognition due to their location or length of time open. Listed in italics is the name of their most Italian sub.

  • Salumeria 2703 (Brookland, coming to NoMa)
    • M-Th 11a-3p, 4-7p, F 11-3p, 4-8p, Sat 11-8p, Sun 11a-6p
    • Pickup (Chownow, walk-in)
    • Italiano Sandwich
    • $14
    • Lots of other popular sandwich options
  • Italian Gourmet Deli (Downtown)
    • M-F 7a-8p, Sat 8a-4p
    • Pickup (Chownow, walk-in)
    • Delivery (Chownow, possibly in-house)
    • True Italian Sub or Spicy I
    • $10.45
  • Subbies (co-located with Coconut Club in Union Market area)
    • currently closed
    • Ponza Scheme
    • $13.75
    • Lots of other popular sandwich options
  • Each Peach Market (Mt. Pleasant)
    • 9a-8p daily
    • Pickup (order online)
    • The Dude
    • $10.15
  • Mother Rucker’s Subs (Carver/Langston near H St NE)
    • M-Sat 10:30a-6p, closed Sun.
    • Pickup (call)
    • Delivery (DoorDash, GrubHub, UberEats)
    • Mother-load (get it Mother’s Way)
    • $8.75 (regular), $11 (12″)
  • Sorrelina (Dupont)
    • Currently Tue-Sat 8a-8p, Sun 8a-6p, closed Mon.
    • Pickup (online)
    • Delivery (UberEats, Grubhub)
    • #5 Lynn
    • $12.10
    • Lots of other popular sandwich options
  • Subbs by Carl (Woodridge in NE)
    • M-Sat 9a-4;55p, closed Sun
    • Pickup (call (202) 529-6225 or walk-in)
    • Genoa Salami (#1)
    • $7.70
  • Bozelli’s (Downtown, coming to Georgetown, couple in the suburbs)
    • M-F 10a-7p, Sat 11a-4p, closed Sun.
    • Metro Italian
    • $8.80

Other notable in suburbs:

Twinbrook Deli (Rockville), Cornucopia (Bethesda, MD), Gemelli’s Italian Market (Gaithersburg), New York Italian Deli (Brandywine, MD), Pasta Plus (Laurel, MD), Seminary Beer Wine & Deli (Silver Spring, MD) The Italian Place (Old Town Alexandria, VA)


The Big Stick Reopens Today After More Than Seven Months of Closure. Why Are Many Not Happy?

The Big Stick (Oct 2017 photo)

[Author’s Note: One of the owners of The Big Stick reached out and we had a 15 minute conversation Wednesday addressing some factual issues in this article. I had drafted a summary of that conversation that I was going to add to the end and sent it to them to make sure it was accurate and didn’t reveal off-the-record info (the latter at their request). After review, they decided they no longer wanted to make a statement, though they once again indicated that this article contained false information re the bar. Since the first conversation was still on the record, I decided that, instead of adding the two paragraphs, to revise/edit throughout to incorporate information from the on-the record conversation. ] 

The Big Stick, the low(ish)-key Navy Yard neighborhood favorite since it opened in December 2014, reopens for business Tuesday, November 3rd. The spot has been closed for all service, even takeout, since March 15th, with near radio silence on social media since. However, instead of joy, the news has met with anger in my DMs and on social media from several staff members and regulars.

I tried to get some clarity about what is going on. This is based on discussions with some of of The Big Stick’s staff as well as statements made by The Big Stick (including an on-record conversation with one of the owners):

  • Few of the front of house staffers were rehired for reopening. There are only a handful of tables at the reopened Big Stick
  • There are approximately 7-8 staffers on the payroll now. There is a new GM, but many (the Big Stick says the “majority”) of the staff working now came from the pre-pandemic staff. Note this does not mean that a majority of the previous staff was re-hired.
  • All the staffers who weren’t hired for reopening learned of the reopening the same way the public did, from the social media post on Monday. One of the owners told me that they had been focusing on communicating with those they were able to bring back.
  • The staff were informed in early June that The Big Stick applied for and received a CARES Act Small Business Administration (SBA) Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan and they would be reopening soon, but have not heard anything since. One of the owners said they are in compliance with the PPP requirements.
  • The impression the staffers had gotten when the announcement was made was that they all had been replaced by the new GM. One of the owners denies this was the case.
  • The Big Stick’s former bar manager was asked by The Big Stick  management/ownership to help prepare the bar for re-opening by helping purchase liquor and supplies. There is an allegation from at least one former staffer that essentially this was a bait and switch-that he was induced to leave one job to help them when they in fact did not hire him to be bar manager for reopening. From ownership’s perspective, they emphatically deny they “blindsinded” him into quitting his new job to come back. They understood that he already had another job and thought there were no hard feelings.

Here are some more details to flesh this out:

The Big Stick indeed, according to SBA data, received a PPP loan of somewhere between $150,000-$350,000. The loan was approved on May 12th, and according to SBA data (which has reportedly had some accuracy issues), the bar noted that it had 28 employees before the pandemic.

On June 5th, one of the owners sent an email to the “Big Stick Team” that read in part (bold is mine):

We wanted to provide a positive update that we have applied for and received a [SBA PPP loan] that will help us re-open.

The current plan is to re-open over the next month or so, with a special focus on outdoor sales …The initial operation will be smaller but we will hopefully expand operations to where they were before COVID-19 as soon as it is possible to so, both financially and according to the DC regulations.,,,

We will keep you all posted on a weekly or bi-weekly basis as we progress towards a re-opning, or sooner if there is major news. To ensure that we are all prepared, please reply to or directly call any of the ownership/management team if you have any questions or to indicate your availability to work as we re-open.


On Monday, following the announcement of reopening a staff member posted this on a neighborhood Facebook group

…I want you to all know that you won’t be seeing any of the faces behind the bar that you’re used to. The owners decided that bringing back the legacy bar staff wasn’t a good idea after hiring a new GM. Despite emailing the staff months ago telling us they were opening soon and leading us to believe we’d be working there again soon; and going so far as to have [the former bar manager] help set everything  … up for the current “Grand Re-Opening” they decided a new GM and a new staff was better for them.

Do with this inormation what you will, but know that many of us still don’t have jobs because we were waiting for our owners/management to bring us back with the PPP loan they received.

Soon after this was posted to Facebook, the bar finally sent an email to their staff:

As many of you have seen on social media, we are opening the big stick tomorrow with limited operations and staff. We sincerely apologize for not communicating to everyone earlier. We should have done a better job of keeping everyone informed. …

We will reach out to folks if the business can support more positions or please feel free to stop by when we are open to talk to us.

Alternatively, please keep in mind there is a real possibility that we are forced to close our doors again in a month or two (or less) depending on the ongoing public health situation. One thing we wanted to avoid was hiring and then having to cut a bunch of staff which would impact folks’ income / access to unemployment benefits.

Again, we regret not informing you all earlier. ….

Another staffer told me:

…Them posting on social media that they’re reopening is the only communication I have heard from them in months. This is apparently how I am finding out that I do not have a job anymore….

Tuesday morning, The BIg Stick posted this statement on social media channels:

We are excited to reopen The BIg Stick today. The last 7 months have been extremely challenging and we’ve been navigating the process as best as we can. We want to reopen to serve our neighborhood which we have loved being a part of for the last 5 years. While the majority of our team includes our former staff, we are unfortunatey unable to bring back our full team given capacity restrictions and slower consumer traffic in the neighborhood We hope to bring back more staff down the road and we understand some disappointment that we’re unable to do so at this time. With so many places closing their doors for good, it’s our goal to endure and get through this to serve our community welll into the future. For now, we’ve excited to open our doors and welcome our customers once again.

Here’s the upshot of everything from my perspective: The lack of communication with the staff, after giving them an impression in June that they could be rehired soon, was devastating to the staffers who saw that social media post yesterday, and their apology was certainly warranted. I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all for The Big Stick to only have a skeleton staff, particularly during the winter, but the fact that they took a PPP loan unfortunately gave the staff the impression that would help them get their jobs back. The allegation about the former bar manager being blindsided seems to be more murky and lack a lot of details.

It should be noted, PPP loans could be used for payroll, benefits, mortgage, rent, utility, and some other interest payments. To obtain full loan foregiveness, the business must use at least 60% of it for payroll costs in either an 2 or 6 month period. Otherwise, the loan carries a 1% interest rate though payments are deferred for 10 months after the end of  the period. There’s no requirement to rehire the same workers. As noted, the owner I spoke to believes they are in full compliance with PPP requireemnts.


Links to Other Stories – Where to Watch the 2020 Election and/or Get Election-Related Specials in DC – 2020

The 2020 General Election is concluding November 3, 2020. In most years, many people (but not as many as people make you believe) would be crowded bars/restaurants around DC or meeting up with friends. Obviously due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this isn’t exactly happening this year, but many spots are welcoming the less than 5% of followers who want to and many others are offering election related food/drink specials

Instead of curating my own comprehensive list, just check out these 4 articles :


DC Restaurants and Bars That Will Be Closed Permanently or For the Winter or Longer

As predicted by many in the industry, the pandemic as well as the associated restrictions have led restaurants/bars to announce that they are closing permanently. In addition, many spots 1) reopened but since have announced winter/indefinite closures including takeout (Still hoping to come back, despite poor reading comprehension and/or less optimism than me by many) and 2) spots that have not reopened but haven’t announced permanent closures.  The ones in DC that serve alcohol are listed below.

Last Updated: January 11, 2021

Permanent Closures

(date of opening in parentheses)
* indicates that they didn’t close due to pandemic per their announcement

  1. Post Pub (1974/1976)
  2. The Meeting Place (1970s)
  3. Otello (1985)
  4. The Big Hunt (1992)
  5. The Oval Room (1994; new concept from same owners coming)
  6. Eighteenth Street Lounge (1995)
  7. Capitol Lounge (current owner says 1994, but I think it’s 1996)
  8. Fado (1998)*
  9. Twins Jazz (1987/last location 2000)
  10. Legal Sea Foods Chinatown (late 90s/early 00s?)
  11. Montmartre (2001)
  12. Lucky Strike (2005)
  13. Billy Goat Tavern (2005)
  14. The Source (2007)
  15. Cafe Soleil (2008)
  16. Wisdom (2008)
  17. The Gibson (2008)
  18. Seventh Hill Pizza (2009)
  19. Ziegfield’s/Secrets (1980; last location 2009)*
  20. Molly Malone’s/Finn McCool’s (2009)
  21. U Street Music Hall (2010)
  22. Acqua al 2 (2010)
  23. Kitty O’Shea’s (2011)
  24. El Centro D.F. 14th (2011)
  25. District Commons (2011)
  26. Burger Tap & Shake (2011)
  27. Codmother (2011)
  28. Harold Black (2012)
  29. Bistro Bohem (2012)
  30. Maddy’s Tap Room (2012)
  31. A&D Bar (2012)
  32. Matchbox 14th (2012)
  33. Cusbah (2012)
  34. Taqueria Nacional 14th/T (2012)
  35. Roses De Javu (2012) (to be replaced by spot called Vibes on H)
  36. Red Rocks H Street (2013)
  37. B Too (2013)
  38. Rebellion (2014)
  39. Coppi’s Organic (early 90s/last location 2014)
  40. Willie’s (2014; will be new concept from same owners)
  41. Oki Bowl M St (2014)
  42. Texas de Brazil (2015)
  43. Momofuku/Milk Bar (2015)
  44. Sotto (2015)
  45. Campono (2015)
  46. The Airedale (2015)
  47. DC Eagle (1971; last location 2015)*
  48. Big Chief (2016)
  49. Bareburger Dupont (2016)
  50. Nocturne (2017)
  51. Johnny’s Half Shell (1999; last location 2017)
  52. America Eats Tavern (2018)
  53. A Rake’s Progress (2018)
  54. Taco Bamba Chinatown (2018)
  55. Poca Madre (2018)
  56. Taqueria Local (2018)
  57. Po Boy Jim’s on 9th/Shaw (2018)
  58. High Street Cafe (2018)
  59. Olivia (2019)
  60. Phillips Seafood and Steak (2019)
  61. Pom Pom (2019)
  62. Emilie’s (2019-will now be Paraiso)
  63. Roy Boys Navy Yard (2019)

Other notable closures of non-booze spots include: Amsterdam Falafelshop 14th St, Sundevich Georgetown, several Beefsteak locations, Firehook Bakery (CP), Mason Dixie, Peregrine 14th, Pleasant Pops, Red Hook Lobster

Indefinite Closures

Dates in () were the last day they were open in 2020.  Many have closed for the foreseeable future, and have uncertain futures, but several have stated they will return. Spots that closed after the indoor dining “pause” was announced will be added if they don’t reopen after the pause is over.

  1. Dio (6/14; plans to open again, perhaps at Phase 3)
  2. Magnolia (7/10; “closed for the foreseeable future”)
  3. Echo Park (closed in Julyish; closed for “the foreseeable future”)
  4. The Public Option (briefly opened for to-go sales in July, cancelled liquor license but will reopen post-vaccine)
  5. Northside Tavern  (sometime in July or August. “We hope to reopen again in the future.”)
  6. H Street Country Club (early August)
  7. District Chophouse (closed in Summer or fall; “We hope to be back open soon)
  8. Som Tam Union Market (9/13; “back at some point”)
  9. The Partisan/Red Apron Butcher PQ (9/28; “hope to reopen as soon as the time is right”)
  10. Muzette (10/11 closing til Phase 3)
  11. Carving Room Mt Vernon (10/25; closing “temporarily…We will continue to look for ways to re-open our doors and hope to see you all again”)
  12. Declaration Shaw (10/28ish. “temporarily pausing operations…fullest intention to re-open sometime in the near future”)
  13. American Ice Co. (10/31; closed for “the foreeseeable future” but currently available for private parties)
  14. The Brixton (10/31; closed for “the foreeseeable future”)
  15. Hazel (10/31. was only open 10/1-31; “shutter our doors for the foreeseable future…until we see you someday.”)
  16. Declaration Nats Park/Navy Yard (11/3; “”temporarily pausing operations…fullest intention to re-open sometime in the near future”)
  17. Smoke and Barrel (11/23 last day, announced 11/30. Hoping to “reopen early next year with lower rent and less space.”)
  18. Boundary Stone (11/25; closed “until further notice…we are hopeful that we will be welcoming you all again at some point.”)
  19. Last Call (11/29, was only open 9/5-11/29; closed “for the time being…our Last Hurrah until we see you again!”)
  20. Da Hong Pao (12/16, closed “until further notice”)
  21. Daily Grill (temporarily closed)
  22. Monocle (closed in Nov/Dec “temporarily closed due to further COVID restrictions”)
  23. Public Bar (1/10/20, “pausing operations…look forward to opening back up, sooner than later”)

Other notable indefinite closures of non-booze spots include Breadline

Winter Closures

These spots have indicated that they plan to return in March/spring. Dates in () were the last day they were open in 2020. Spots that closed after the indoor dining “pause” was announced will be added if seems they won’t reopen after the pause is over.

  1. Ristorante Tosca (10/10, will reopen in spring 2021)
  2. Coconut Club/Subbie’s (10/18; “Our plans are to close for fall and winter, with reopening plans for 2021”)
  3. Room 11 (10/31 but lunch to-go cafe still open; “We hope to return in April – perhaps with a new look or  anew name”))
  4. Free State (11/7; “look forward to seeing you safely in the spring”)
  5. Penn Social (11/21, was only open 9/13-11/21. “Closed for the winter”)
  6. Madhatter (11/22, was only open 9/20-11/22. “temporarily closing our doors for the holiday season.”)
  7. Boqueria Penn Quarter (early Dec. slated to reopen March 1, 2020)
  8. Pearl Street Warehouse (12/12; “our last weekend of 2020”; “winter intermission”)
  9. Tyber Creek (12/13, “winter hibernation”)
  10. Electric Cool-Aid (12/13, back in spring, likely would normally close winter anyways)
  11. Sandlot Southeast (12/13, back in spring, likely would normally close winter anyways)
  12. The Pig (12/13, close “for the winter, with the hope of reopening … in the spring”. Menu items at Commissary/Logan Tavern)
  13. Grillfish (12/13, close “for the winter, with the hope of reopening … in the spring”. Menu items at Commissary/Logan Tavern)
  14. DC9 (12/19, “last day until March” though could be earlier)
  15. La Jambe Shaw (12/20, “hibernating for a few months…we will be back”)
  16. Left Door (12/20, taking a “winter break”)
  17. Tune Inn (12/23, “closed until further notice” with occassional holiday to-go specials
  18. Solly’s (12/24, closed “until March”)
  19. Cordoroy/Baby Wale (“temporarily closed for winter hibernation” but soup available many nights)

Has Not Reopened Since March 16th Restaurant/Bar Shutdown (very incomplete)

  1. Velvet Lounge (reportedly for sale)
  2. Dodge City
  3. Quara (possibly permanently)
  4. Astro Beer Hall
  5. Marvin
  6. Player’s Club
  7. The Pug (Peregrine coffee during morning/early afternoon)
  8. China Chilcano
  9. Minibar
  10. Dan’s Cafe
  11. Bravo Bar
  12. Bier Baron (hosting streaming comedy shows)
  13. Bedrock Billairds
  14. 9:30 Club
  15. Black Cat
  16. Echostage
  17. Jackpot
  18. Rocket Bar
  19. Denson Liquor Bar (but may be reopening soon)
  20. The Boardwalk
  21. Bravo Bravo
  22. Living Room
  23. Opera Ultra Lounge
  24. L8
  25. Spin
  26. Heist
  27. St. Arnold’s on Jefferson
  28. Pure Lounge
  29. Tropicalia
  30. The Dabney Cellar
  31. Club Timehri
  32. The Tombs
  33. JImmy Valentine’s
  34. Madam’s Organ
  35. The Anthem
  36. Truth 78
  37. 12Twelve/KyssKyss
  38. Nomad (currently used by Queen Vic outdoor seating)
  39. Russia House
  40. Ozio (2.0)
  41. Edgar Bar & Kitchen
  42. Mari Vanna (may be reopening soon)
  43. Rosebar
  44. Saint Yves
  45. Hawthorne
  46. New Vegas Lounge
  47. Lost Society
  48. b burger bar
  49. Ultrabar
  50. Circa Chinatown
  51. Sichuan Pavillion (may be permanently closed)
  52. Union Trust
  53. Bar Deco
  54. Carmine’s
  55. Rosa Mexicana
  56. Junction Bakery
  57. Maialino Mare
  58. The Fireplace
  59. Sushi Para
  60. Plume
  61. Hank’s Capitol Hill

Incomplete List of Heated Restaurant / Bar Patios in DC

Garden District with heaters from 2014 (photo by Barred in DC)

Colder weather is on its way. In normal years, that means spending more indoors in bars, but obviously due to COVID-19, many people would rather stay home. Enter heaters on patios. I’ve gotten several queries about this so I will start an incomplete list until DC announces the 666ish awardees of $6,000 Streatery Winter Ready Grants. [11/5 UPDATE: Found here] You will need to check youserlf for details whether the spot is enclosed (seems potentially lelss desirable) or not as that will change throughout the winter. Eventually essentially any place that is open that has an open patio should be on this list but I will have stopped updating the list by then. I used personal observation, social media research, this Washingtonian article, and the PoPville comments on this post. If I know if a spot has covered (a single table umbrella doesn’t really count for cold purposes) seating, I’ve indicated that but most of these probably do.

Last Updated: Nov 1, 2020

  • H Street/NoMa
    • Little Stable (closes 11/7 wknd)
    • Pursuit (covered)
    • DC Harvest
    • Wunder Garten (firepits?)
    • Masseria
    • Red Bear Brewing
    • Cusbah (closes 11/15)
    • Oku
    • St Anselm’s
  • Columbia Heights/Park View/Petworth
    • Lou’s City Bar (Covered)
    • Homestead
    • REd Derby
    • The Midlands
    • Hook Hall (will be a Viking Village w/ fire pits and heated cabanas starting Thur 11/5)
  • 14th/Logan/U/Shaw/Bloomingdale
    • Cork
    • Lulu’s Winegarden
    • El Rey
    • Exiile’s
    • Barcelona
    • Commissary (covered)
    • Logan Tavern (covered)
    • Chi Cha Lounge (covered)
  • Shaw/Bloomingdale
    • La Jambe
    • Electric Cool-Aid (covered)
    • Dacha
    • El Techo (may be closed roof)
    • Espita
    • Calico
    • The Pub and the People (Fire pits)
    • Ivy and Coney (open roof)
  • Dupont/Adams Morgan
    • Iron Gate (fire pits)
    • Floriana
    • Annie’s
    • Heurich House garden Bar (Wed/Thurs evening) (fire pits and heaters)
  • Penn Quarter/Chinatown/Downtown
    • Cuba Libre
    • Taberna del Alabardero (covered)
  • Georgetown/Glover Park/Foggy Bottom/West End
    • Victura Park
    • Bourbon Steak
    • Circa
  • Cleveland Park/AU/Tenleytown/Woodley Park
    • Medium Rare
    • Chef Geoff’s
    • Trattoria Al Volo (covered)
    • Macintyre’s
  • Capitol Hill/Eastern Market/Barracks Row
    • Trusty’s
    • Barrel (covered)
    • Beuchert’s Saloon/Fight Club (covered)
    • Shelter/The Roost
    • Union Pub (covered)
    • The Brig (partially covered)
  • Navy Yard/The Wharf
    • Dacha Navy Yard (mostly covered)
    • Salt Line (covered)
    • H Bar
    • Kaliwa
    • Sandlot Southeast

DC’s Restaurant and Bar Groups

I am often amazed at which spots share ownership or are outright owned by the same group. Since I just got the second question of the last couple months asking for more details, here’s a list of spots that belong to named ownership groups as well as spots that at least share some ownership or partners but may not be a full-on restaurant group. I will 100% get an email or DM from a bar owner who will tell me this list is wrong so I will correct but I also want you to tell me what spots are missing. Including DC spots only, many of these places own other spots outside DC.

email barredindc@gmail.com or @barredindc on Twitter to complain or fix.

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2020

H2 Collective (Hilton Brothers)

American Ice Co
The Brixton
Echo Park
El Rey
The Gibson
Players Club
The Brighton
Chez Billy Sud
Victura Park (operate)
Crimson Whiskey (operate)

Neighborhood Restaurant Group

Birch & Barley
Red Apron
The Partisan
Iron Gate
The Roost
The Sovereign

Knightsbridge Restaurant Group

Bombay Club
Oval Room
Rasika / Rasika West End

The DC Restaurant Gruop

The Bottom Line
Shaw’s Tavern
Northside Tavern

Hill Restaurant Group

Hawk n Dove

Clyde’s Restaurant Group

Clyde’s Gallery Place / Georgetown
The Hamilton
Old Ebbitt Grill
The Tombs

Georgetown Events Group

The Bullpen
Due South
Due South Dockside

Tin Shop

Church Hall
Penn Social
Franklin Hall

Lahlou Restaurant Group

Lupo Verde (14th and Palisades)
Lupo Marino
Station 4
Tunnicliff’s Tavern

Mission Group

Mission Dupont/ Navy Yard
The Admiral

KNEAD Hospitality & Design

Mi Vida
The Grill
The Gatsby (coming)

Rose’s Restaurant Group

Rose’s Luxury
Little Pearl
Pineapple and Pearl’s

Blagden Hositality Group

Tiger Fork
Fainting Goat

Better Hospitality Group

The Boardwalk


Casta’s Rum Bar

RW Restaurant Group

Brasserie Beck

Starr Restaurant Group

St. Anselm
Le Diplomate


Shared Ownership (no company name), Not always the same team at each place. But Commonalities

Bantam King

Truxton Inn
Union Pub
The Eastern
McClellan’s Retreat
(one of the owners of a couple of the spots also owns Trustys)

Red Hen and Boundary Stone are  owned separately but they together own:
All Purpose

Pub and the People
Present Company

The Pug and Solly’s are owned separately but they together own:
Brookland’s Finest
Union Trust

Timber Pizza
Call Your Mother
Mercy Me

Last Call
Buffalo & Bergen

Free State
Lost and Found

Lulu’s Wine Garden
(which partnered with Blagden Hospitality to operate Hi-Lawn on Union Market)

JImmy Valentine’s
Little Miss Whiskey’s


The Blaguard

Lyman’s Tavern
Raven Grill

Brookland Pint
Smoke & Barrel

Jack Rose
The Imperial

Dew Drop Inn
The Wonderland
Looking Glass

The Queen Vic
Granville Moore’s

Dodge City
Velvet Lounge

Showtime Lounge
Neptune Lounge


Nick’s Riverside Grill
Tony and Joe’s
Ivy City Smokehouse

Saint Yves

Duke’s Grocery Dupont/Foggy Bottom
Duke’s Counter
Gogi Yogi

Russia House
Biergarten Haus