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The joint Bar TNT and Society Fair on Columbia Pike will close after Sept. 25. But Arlington’s loss is the District’s gain. Co-owner Todd Thrasher tells Y&H that they’re scouting locations in downtown D.C. to relocate the two concepts, or possibly just the cocktail bar. The move will be the first D.C. venture for Eat Good Food, which also operates Restaurant Eve, The Majestic, PX, and Eamonn’s. (The restaurant group’s owners also include Thrasher’s wife Maria Chicas, chef Cathal Armstrong, and Armstrong’s wife Meshelle.)
Thrasher says about three months ago, a national restaurant chain—which he couldn’t disclose—came to their landlord looking to take over Bar TNT/Society Fair‘s space as well as an empty storefront next door. After some back and forth, the chain offered to buy the restaurant and bar out of its lease. The timing was actually the “perfect storm,” Thrasher says, because they weren’t doing as well as they wanted. “We’re not losing money, but we’re not making any money,” Thrasher says. “And we’re in the business to make money.” (ARLnow first reported that the restaurant was expected to close.)
The place initially opened up as a joint cocktail bar (Bar TNT) and fish and chips joint (Eamonn’s). In January, the Post reported, the owners swapped Eamonn’s for another outpost of their market, bakery, and cafe Society Fair (also in Alexandria) in hopes of boosting the breakfast and lunch crowds through healthier offerings. “It helped tremendously,” Thrasher tells Y&H. “But still it was just breaking even.”
Thrasher says they’re now planning to put everything in storage until they find a new location. He says they’ve looked at four or five different locations in the last three weeks. “I don’t really care what neighborhood it is just as long as there’s lots of people who want to come have cocktails,” he says.
In the meantime, if you stop by Bar TNT on its last night next Thursday, Thrasher himself will be behind the bar with no menu. “I’m just going to try to get rid of all the booze possible and make cocktails all night long,” he says.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery