Photo by Tatiana Cirisano
Photo by Tatiana Cirisano

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It’s the end of the line for transportation-themed restaurant Union Social, owner Reese Gardner tells Y&H. 

NoMa’s Union Social opened in October 2015. Earlier today, a PoPville contributor reported that staff wrapped up their shifts for the last time around 6 p.m., signifying the end. The sprawling 5,600-square-foot space designed by SwatchRoom’s Maggie O’Neill failed because of its awkward location (100 Florida Ave. NE), Gardner says.

“We just rolled the dice on that spot because of the relationship we had with the realtor,” Gardner says, explaining the same company owns the building that’s home to one of his other restaurants, Orange Anchor in Georgetown. 

Gardner didn’t have to personally guarantee the space, which opened the door for him to “roll the dice and try it for a year.” Unfortunately, he says, not much has changed in the NoMa neighborhood since the restaurant opened. “The underpass project hasn’t been done, [the Department of Justice] didn’t come into the office building like NoMa BID said it would, and two apartment buildings haven’t broken ground.” 

Instead, Gardner will turn his attention to the new Copperwood Tavern opening in two weeks in Virginia’s One Loudoun retail and dining destination.

“It was time to pull the plug,” Gardner says. Gardner also owns Irish Whiskey Public House near Dupont Circle, which is still going strong after six years.