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The address may not read 666, but something about the 6,000-square-foot space at 405 8th St. NW spells doom for area restaurants. The most successful venture to occupy the building, José Andrés’ Café Atlántico, closed in June 2011. The three-floor spot’s been a revolving door ever since.
Andrés gave it another whirl with America Eats Tavern, which had a one-year stint before fleeing for the ‘burbs like a well-heeled soccer mom. (To be fair, it was meant to be a six-month pop-up.)
Once Andrés’ left, in came Frederik de Pue, who also owns Table in Shaw. Azur was first up in April 2013—an ocean-inspired space with a seafood menu that got a positive nod from the Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema. But any positive juju was cast aside when it closed that September (not enough business for too much space).
To address size concerns, De Pue announced a multi-concept approach called Menu MBK, which featured a first-floor market, a bistro, and a small chef’s counter offering themed tasting menus. It opened in January, then closed abruptly in October. Is three floors too many? Is foot traffic too sparse? Or does D.C. have some picky ghosts that have yet to like what they see?