After 15 years of serving downtown D.C., Brasserie Les Halles finally closes its doors. Brasserie Les Halles opened in the Penn Quarter when there was little to no activity in the area and has helped spur its growth.
At 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW the restaurant was a neighbor to the Mayor, the City Council and staffers who would frequent the restaurant for lunch or dinner after work. Proprietor Philippe Lajuanie commented on the relationships the restaurant had developed when he stated, “I don’t have the words to express my gratitude to the many friends we have in Washington…I hope we will still have the chance to see many of these people in New York City.”
The restaurant closed its doors due to the natural progression of time as its 15-year lease had expired. It will be difficult for the District to forget this restaurant as it has played a key role in downtown for the past 15 years. Being the home to two of Washington’s biggest annual parties: July’s Annual Bastille Day Race & Celebration, part of the restaurant’s Liberty Festival celebrating the national holidays of the USA and France, and Beaujolais Nouveau, a midnight party each November, Washington bids a bittersweet adieu to the site. Unfortunately, the closing also means that the annual November celebration of Beaujolais Nouveau, scheduled for this Wednesday, will not occur.
Brasserie Les Halles’ legacy will live on, however, as it is remembered to be the first restaurant in the area to offer continuous service with the full menu offered until midnight, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The restaurant brought French cuisine to the district and even redefined many restaurants menus with their introduction of the Onglet (French cut Hanger Steak).
Regulars to the restaurant will not be able to find a replacement quite like Brasserie Les Halles in the District and will have to wait until their next visit to New York to get an experience that will be anywhere close to the experience of France on the terrace at Brasserie Les Halles.
Locations in New York:
411 Park Ave. South
15 John St.