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Posts Tagged ‘Blue Ridge’


A sign on the door of the new Town Hall space at 2340 Wisconsin Ave. says the renovated building—most recently home to Blue Ridge Restaurant—will be open for business on Friday, January 13. Town Hall’s former location, 2218 Wisconsin Ave., closed on January 1.

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From the December 2011/January 2012 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

Town Hall will unveil its new location at 2340 Wisconsin Ave. by hosting a New Year’s Eve bash in the newly renovated space, says co-owner Paul Holder. The restaurant will continue doing business at its current location, 2218 Wisconsin Ave., through Sunday, January 8, he adds. Its new location, the former home of Blue Ridge restaurant, will open for regular business during the second week of January. Holder had no information for us on the future of his current location. Earlier, he told us the Town Hall ownership group would either sell to another restaurateur or open a different restaurant in the spot itself.

Town Hall’s New Year’s Eve event features a full open bar, a gourmet buffet, and “silly amounts of party favors,” according to the invitation. Tickets cost $110; to buy them, visit townhalldc.eventbrite.com.

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From the November 2011 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

Town Hall is still moving from its current home at 2218 Wisconsin Ave. to 2340 Wisconsin Ave., the former home of Blue Ridge, but the move won’t happen this month, as initially planned, says Town Hall managing partner Paul Holder. “Initial target dates are always ambitious,” he explains. “There’s always a few surprises once you actually get in the space.” The big move should happen “closer to the end of the year,” he adds. Holder had no word on the future of Town Hall’s current space.

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Exclusive to the online Glover Park Gazette:

Blue Ridge (2340 Wisconsin Ave.) has new ownership—and Town Hall (2218 Wisconsin Ave.) will soon have a new home. Last night, owners of the two restaurants closed on a deal that will allow Town Hall to move one long block north into the Blue Ridge space, which has been closed since early this year. Town Hall will assume Blue Ridge’s liquor license—a transfer the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board OK’d in early August—and may offer its own space and license to a new restaurateur.

Blue Ridge owners Eli Hengst and Jared Rager had been planning to renovate and reopen Blue Ridge as a neighborhood coffeehouse and diner, but this spring, troubles at a restaurant to which they’d sublet space, Mendocino Grille & Wine Bar (2917 M St.), diverted their attention and funds. Hengst says that Town Hall’s five-man ownership team will be a good one for the Blue Ridge space, which features an upstairs bar area as well as a back patio. “Given their long history in the neighborhood and their stated intention of wanting to create a more neighborhood-friendly restaurant, Jared and I felt the Town Hall owners were a good fit,” he says. “We are sincerely disappointed we do not currently have the resources to see our vision of a community coffeehouse and diner through to completion.” Town Hall opened in its current location in 2005.

Town Hall managing partner Paul Holder says the restaurant’s owners will be renovating their new space “in the coming weeks” and hope to move there by Thanksgiving, with as little downtime as possible—”a few days at most.” Though they have begun marketing the current Town Hall license, “there’s still a chance we may keep it and put a different concept in,” he says. Either way, Holder adds, the ownership team is committed to making the new restaurant “a valuable addition to the neighborhood.”

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From the June 2011 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

The planned renovation and reopening of Blue Ridge (2340 Wisconsin Ave.) have been delayed “a couple of months, at least” by problems at Georgetown’s Mendocino Grille & Wine Bar (2917 M St.), says Blue Ridge co-owner Eli Hengst.

Before they opened Blue Ridge in 2009, Hengst and co-owner Jared Rager sold Mendocino Grille to a staffer there. But Hengst and Rager continued to guarantee the lease on the Georgetown building. So when the new Mendocino owner ran afoul of tax authorities and closed earlier this year, Hengst and Rager got reinvolved.

Time and money that would have been spent on the renovation of the shuttered Blue Ridge—originally expected to reopen this month—have been diverted to the Georgetown restaurant, Hengst says: “Most of the financial resources that we had set aside for the renovations at Blue Ridge have been consumed by our repossession of the [Mendocino] space from the prior owner.” No new date has been set for Blue Ridge’s reopening.

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From the May 2011 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

Plans to remodel Blue Ridge (2340 Wisconsin Ave.) as a community coffeehouse and beer bar are still in place, says co-owner Eli Hengst, but the hoped-for June reopening date is looking unlikely. As part of the permitting process, the building’s Certificate of Occupancy has to be updated to accurately reflect the building’s capacity, and that application has been working its way through the Department of Consumer and Regulatory affairs “slowly—very slowly,” Hengst says.

The restaurant has been closed for renovations for months, but a private dance party there on Saturday, April 9 drew the attention of near neighbors, one of whom complained on the Glover Park Yahoo newsgroup that “our whole neighborhood sounds like one giant, rowdy party.” Hengst says the event was a birthday party for the wife of restaurant co-owner Jared Rager. Most guests were in their 30s or 40s, with kids and babysitters at home, adds Hengst, who says the listserv post “grossly mischaracterized” the event: “The party wound down before midnight. In fact, it was probably the mellowest crowd that strip of Glover Park has seen in some time.”

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From the February 2011 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

The restaurant currently known as Blue Ridge (2340 Wisconsin Ave.) will likely be closed for renovations through early June, says owner Eli Hengst. Plans for the overhaul are still forming, he adds, but will include a continuation of the restaurant’s craft beer program, a coffeehouse component, and “a farm-to-table ‘diner’ menu” with breakfast served all day and night, from 6 a.m. on. The spot will also offer yoga classes, free WiFi, and “lots of cozy seating,” he adds. The restaurant’s new name has not yet been decided, and Hengst invites those with suggestions for this or any other aspect of the redo to contact him at eli@blueridgerestaurant.com.

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