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The Gryphon has ditched any trace of a sports bar and reopened in Dupont as a “meat and raw bar social house.” Instead of 31 flatscreen TVs, there are now only nine—most of which you can’t see because they’re hidden behind mirrors.
The restaurant initially opened in March 2013, but closed about three months later. Co-owner Tony Hudgins previously told Y&H his team rushed the restaurant’s initial opening and the service wasn’t up to par. But more significantly, he says, the owners realized that the initial sports bar concept didn’t mesh with the upscale vibe they wanted the place to have. The changes were too big to make without closing.
Back in September, Hudgins dubbed the retooled restaurant a “high-energy steakhouse.” But it turns out that’s what neighboring restaurant STK is calling itself. Now, Hudgins says The Gryphon is not a steakhouse, although it will have ribeyes and New York strips. Instead, he’s calling it a “social house.” He explains: “For us, as the owners, the way we dine is large groups… We’re connected to each other through the food. It’s our way of family-style dining.”
Chef Joseph Evans, a veteran of Smith & Wollensky, oversees the kitchen of The Gryphon as well as sister restaurant Lost Society. Most items on the menu are dubbed “social bites” and include things like roasted bone marrow with shallot mustard jam, lobster gnocchi, and prosciutto-wrapped monkfish. Steaks are marketed as feeding two people and sliced to share unless guests indicate otherwise. What was once an office has been converted into a room for dry-aged meats that guests can peek into from the dining room (see below). The raw bar is also a new addition, with a variety of oysters and clams, ceviche, and shrimp or lobster cocktails.
The restaurant will have a DJ on weekend nights, but Hudgins says the place is not trying to be a nightclub. Brunch has already begun on Saturdays, and lunch will commence in the coming weeks. Happy hour includes half off every drink from 4 to 5 p.m. The price bumps up a dollar from 5 to 6 p.m. and a dollar more from 6 to 7 p.m. Prices go back to full price after that.
Check out the full food menu and photos of the new space below.
The Gryphon, 1337 Connecticut Ave. NW; (202) 827-8980; thegryphondc.com
Photos by Jessica Sidman