The city’s formal denial of Shaw’s Tavern operator Abbas Fathi‘s application to serve booze would seem the fatal blow to this greatly anticipated but badly managed concept. Now, what will become of the shuttered restaurant space?
Presumably, another restaurateur (preferably, one with a better track record with the liquor agency) could come in, take over the lease and apply for his or her own license. Y&H knows of at least one experienced manager who is looking for space in that very vicinity.
That’s assuming Fathi would be willing to part with his attractive perch there at the corner of Florida Avenue and 5th Street NW.
Otherwise, the current operator, deemed “unfit for licensure” on account of various regulatory violations, would need to come up with a whole new business plan—-one that doesn’t involve booze. One idea already being floated: a coffee shop.
Another possibility: the existing location already boasts a fancy-schmancy pizza oven, so maybe an artisanal pie place could work in that space. Then again, that concept is quite played-out already. And the place would have to compete with nearby Rustik, which, of course, has a distinctive upper-hand. Beer and wine flow freely at that location.
What do you think should become of the District’s most drama-plagued location of the year?
Photo by Chris Shott