Embattled Florida Avenue eatery Shaw's Tavern is shutting its doors on Saturday. But don't blame the hurricane. Blame the lack of hurricanes. According to a message posted on the restaurant's Facebook's page late Friday night:
Shaw’s Tavern is closing its doors from Saturday 27th of August.
We could not survive without a liquor license. We will re -open when we are allowed to serve alcohol.
To all of our 936 plus loyal fans and 30 dedicated employees, we thank you for your amazing support and understanding.
And so ends the brief life of D.C.'s only 100-percent dry tavern. (For more, read this week's Young & Hungry column, "Tavern on the Wean.")
"I am done here," chef John Cochran tells Young & Hungry. He was just starting to get the hang of the new pizza oven, too. Albeit not so much for pizza.
"I’m not quite sure how much longer that will last," the former Rupperts toque dished about his frustrations with pizza-making earlier in the week. "It’s good bar food for later on, but I’m lovin’ the pizza oven."
Soft shell crabs, pork shoulder, vegetables galore -- all sorts of foodstuffs got roasted in that pizza oven. Just this past week, the chef began serving meatloaf, a "classic James Beard recipe," he explained at the time. "I heat it up in that 700-degree oven and it just crisps up."
"The last couple of weeks I’m just beginning to feel it out," Cochran said of the fancy kitchen equipment. "It’s like driving a new car."
Now, he's returning the keys.
Shaw’s Tavern, R.I.P. ‘We Could Not Survive Without A Liquor License.’ was originally published by Washington City Paper on Aug. 27, 2011.