City Paper is not for tourists
It’s been a week since the abrupt closure of Posh Restaurant and Supper Club. After a three-year run, management addressed its “valued patrons” in a statement on its Web site, highlighting the good times: playing host to movie premiere parties, staging karaoke, and providing live music acts.
So what happened?
Derek Newton, a restaurant consultant for Robert “Bob” Johnson‘s Bethesda-based RLJ Companies, which owned Posh, says the downturn in the economy and the recent snowstorms are to blame.
Posh’s lease was about to expire and that, given the recent blows from both Mother Nature and the economy, the company thought it was best to not renew, says Newton [UPDATE: The original post attributed this to Newton as a direct quote, when in fact it was not. City Paper regrets the error]. The location was not perfect, either. The owners thought that the old convention center development, a mixed-use project that included office, retail and rental spaces, would help bring customers to Posh. But the development never got off the ground.
A spokesman for RLJ Companies, Traci Blunt, had only this explanation: “Mr. Johnson decided not to own any more stand-alone restaurants, and has no plans to replace Posh.”
One critic who will not miss it is the Washington Post‘s Tom Sietsema, who once called it “a lesson in more is less.” In his review, Sietsema wondered if part of the decor was left over from BET Jazz, another supper club venue once owned by Johnson, calling it “a cross between a Las Vegas showroom and a high school gym that’s been dressed for the prom.” “One of the roles of a critic is to help people make good investments of their time and money,” he wrote. “In the case of Posh, I wasted mine, so you don’t have to.”
Still, it had its fans. District resident Nicole Blackwell, who frequented the venue a few times a year,was shocked to learn Posh was closing.
“I was just talking to a girlfriend a few weeks ago who wanted to go there to celebrate her birthday,” says Blackwell. “She is the one who introduced me to the place last year. The spot was nice, cozy, the food was OK. I love lounges, and I didn’t get molested on the dance floor like I do at other D.C.-area clubs. It was the closest thing I could get to Miami’s ‘The Forge’. … It will be greatly missed.”
Additional reporting by Tim Carman
Photo from Posh’s Facebook page