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Posted at 12:28 PM ET, 02/14/2011

D.C. neighborhood favorite shuts its doors

By Elizabeth Flock
Adams Mill Bar and Grill was rumored to be a Panera, Dr. Dremo's Taphouse now looks like this empty lot. (Washington Post archive photos)


Panera Bread may be coming to Colombia Heights instead of Adams Morgan, TBD reported Monday. Attorney Louis Courembi, who represents the landlord for the Adams Mill building, says nothing has been signed for the Adams Mill space yet. He did say, however, "It's got a great patio area and lends itself to a bar-based situation." Meaning we could get another summer patio spot soon. We'll keep you updated.


A choice DC patio spot closed this weekend, soon to be replaced by a Panera Bread, Prince of Petworth reported today. Adams Mill Bar and Grill, just north of 18th Street and Columbia Road NW, sold their last inexpensive beers in Adams Morgan this weekend, all at $3 a pop.

It's not the first time Panera has swooped in to replace a local favorite: The chain replaced the cherished Lawsons Deli in Dupont Circle in November.

A few of our Posties shared other neighborhood favorites that closed, such as the Biograph Theater, which became a CVS in 1996, and the Key Theater in Georgetown, which once showed art house films but which now serves as space to hawk furniture.

A Post editor who used to work in Arlington remembers Dr. Dremo's Tap House, a "funky bar with cheap pool and a great array of beers," which shut down in 2008 to make room for condos. After the market crashed, the spot became a fenced-in grass lot.

What neighborhood favorites of yours have been replaced? Or do you say good riddance to dive bars such as Adams Mill?

But as this writer bemoans the loss of standalone bars or theaters to chain stores, I have to say I celebrate the District's native "chains," such as the night spot monopoly run by Ian and Eric Hilton of Thievery Corp. They've been the brainchild behind many much-beloved spots in the city, including 18th Street Lounge, the Gibson, Marvin, and Patty Boom Boom.

Sometimes, central management can be a good thing. Especially when they produce a song like "Lebanese Blond." Listen here, D.C.:

By Elizabeth Flock  | February 14, 2011; 12:28 PM ET
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It makes me sick every time a big national chain moves into Adams Morgan. If it continues, I'll move. I couldn't believe it when the cool shops (Miss Pixies, Little Shop of Flowers and DaDa) inside the historic building across from Adams Mill were replaced with a FedEx and Wacovia. This was just after Starbucks moved onto 18th and Columbia kitty corner from McDonalds. If I wanted to live in Bethesda, I would have moved to Bethesda. Also what's with Billy Dugan buying out the indy music store, DCCD, and giving the sign to a bar in Columbia Heights, then just letting the store front stand empty and awful looking for more than five years? Which reminds me, I'd like the Comet Liquors sign back from the pizza place on Connecticut near Nebraska. I guess we are just going to keep selling the heart and soul of our neighborhood. I thought Adams Morgan had a group of committed leaders keeping our best interests in mind?

Posted by: CMinDC1 | February 14, 2011 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Since when was Adams Mill Bar & Grill a dive? Gotta love gentrification

Posted by: oliverswordhands | February 15, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

This has been my favorite bar for years! The people, the patio, the beer and the wings could not be beat. I didn't go anywhere else. My friends who moved away, when they return visit, must must must go back . As a matter of fact, I'm having a friend from NY visiting next week and I suggested that we go there. His reply was "I'm psyched! If I could live there I would!!!" I don't want to give him the news..... So sad... And nothing like it in the area.... And to think, they are replacing it with a generic, chain that is an over-priced bread joint. The thought of it makes me want to VOMIT!!!

Posted by: Mpratch | February 15, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I guess there is no end to the need for DC consumers to get ripped off spending huge sums of money for anemic sandwiches made with MASSIVE amounts of bread. I wouldn't eat at a Panera in the 'burbs so I cannot imagine the scenario wherein I would patronize one in the city. More fodder for the "don't know any better" crowd I think!

Posted by: SoCali | February 15, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Having a Panera in that spot is an insult to the character and spirit of Adams Morgan. It's very, very sad.

Posted by: bellescn | February 15, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I will miss the Mill, so I made a Downfall parody.

Posted by: nyankee2003 | February 15, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

This is so sad and disturbing to hear. We really enjoyed sitting on the patio relaxing for happy hour. It was so nice to bring my dog, watch intersting people go by while enjoying a pitcher of cold beer and wings. Now that whole relaxing, peaceful vision this summer is ruined with one of those stupid blinking red lights on my table to alert me when my overpriced turkey on stale bread is ready.
No thanks!

Posted by: JMC12 | February 16, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

It was wonderful to see a spot like Adams Mill exist, and flourish in the face of two corporate giants like McDonalds and Starbucks on either corner of 18th and Columbia. Adams Mill lended the much needed character to that corner. It is very, very unfortunate that Adams Mill closed to make way for another corporate food store with run of the mill, mass produced items for sale to an already weary public. If someone wants a convergence of corporations and chain stores, all they need to do is go to one of the numerous suburbs that surround DC. Why destroy that last remaining symbol of individuality on that particular corner of Adams Morgan? I say (and I hope the Adams Morgan Community of residents and businesses takes note) "Revive ADAMS MILL and Restore the SPIRIT of ADAMS MORGAN!"

Posted by: DaveB27 | February 16, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

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