According to Popville, RFD ended its run a day after the sudden closures of L’Enfant Cafe, Irish Whiskey and the 1st floor of Policy.
Popville reported that none of the staff seems to have been notified in advance.
“After 15 years, 4.9 MILLION BEERS, & 30k Brick Burgers, @RFDLoveTheBeer & the Brickskeller family are closing our doors. Cheers & God Bless,” wrote RFD on its official Twitter account.
After 15 years, 4.9 MILLION BEERS, & 30k Brick Burgers, @RFDLoveTheBeer & the Brickskeller family are closing our doors. Cheers & God Bless.
— RFD Washington (@RFDLoveTheBeer) July 11, 2017
The bar also posted a link to The Doors’ “The End” on Facebook.
According to DCist, rising rent forced RFD to close.
Owner Josh Alexander says that while business has remained strong, the bar’s original lease was up for renewal, and a corresponding rent increase of around 10 percent was going to be too big to stomach.
“It was just too expensive from an operations standpoint,” Alexander says.
The lease expires on July 31, but RFD closed this morning to allow time to clean the space before vacating. Alexander says most of the beer is gone and he’s planning a restaurant auction in the coming days. The bar is working its network of industry contacts to find placement for staff.
In January, Yard House Beer Hall posted a liquor license application at 812 7th St NW directly next to RFD’s property. While the new bar hasn’t opened yet, it likely would have further drawn future funds away from RFD. Combined with the 10 percent rate increase, the bar’s future did not seem bright.
“We got in at the right time, and we’re getting out at the right time,” Alexander said.
For a decade, RFD served as a popular pregame and postgame landing spot for Capitals fans attending games downtown. Named the “Best Draft Beer Selection” by the Washington City Paper, RFD was the sister bar to DC’s legendary 53-year-old Brickskeller. According to the RFD website, the bar offered over 30 beers on tap and featured 300-plus bottled beers from around the world. It also had 21 flat-screens, 2 projection screens, and subscriptions to all the best sports packages.
In the past, RFD helped run several iconic Capitals events which made it a household name among season-ticket holders and fans.
In 2008, the bar partnered with the Caps, DC101’s Elliot In The Morning, and Mike Green for a postseason promotion entitled Rock The Hawk. Fans shaved their heads into a mohawk to emulate the Capitals defensemen’s look for the playoffs.
The Washington Capitals have teamed up with DC 101, Elliot in the Morning and Hair Cuttery to present a special promotion for the Capitals 2008 playoff run. On Thursday, April 10, Caps defenseman Mike Green will be on the air with Elliot from DC 101’s Elliot in the Morning radio show and both will get playoff mohawks to support the team’s “Rock the ‘Hawk” promotion, which is presented by Hair Cuttery.
Beginning at 7 a.m. the following day (Friday, April 11), the first 45 fans to arrive at the Elliot in the Morning studio in Rockville, Md., and have their head shaved into a mohawk will receive a single ticket to Game 1 of the 2008 Stanley Cup quarterfinals that night at Verizon Center. They will also receive a special Rock the ‘Hawk T-shirt to wear to the game, presented by Bud Light.
Those fans who cannot make it to the studio on Friday can go to RFD, located in downtown Washington D.C., beginning at 5:30 p.m. for a special pre-party before the Capitals battle the Philadelphia Flyers at Verizon Center. A very limited number of tickets to the evening’s game will be available for fans who receive a playoff mohawk at RFD. Stylists from Hair Cuttery will be at RFD serving up mohawks to desiring fans. Bud and Bud Light drink specials will also be available from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and fans who already have tickets to Friday’s game will also be able to receive playoff mohawks.
Hair Cuttery will also be on-site at the Verizon Center beginning at 5:30 p.m. Stylists will be shaving mohawks for fans in the arena who would like to follow Green’s lead and support the Capitals in the playoffs.
Another memorable moment occurred in 2011 when Capitals defenseman John Carlson held his 21st birthday at the bar in conjunction with DC101. Capitals fans packed the location as the defenseman stood atop the bar and drank his first beer.
RMNB also hosted several of its nine parties at the location. During RMNB Party 6, we jumped for joy together when the Caps end their 21-year losing streak in San Jose.
At RMNB Party 9: O RLY, we watched the Caps take on the Blues. Alex Ovechkin scored a hat trick and netted his 50th goal of the year in the same game. Braden Holtby also tied Martin Brodeur’s single season win record.
A post shared by Kim Peacock (@kimdotpeacock) on
Thanks for the memories, RFD.
Thank you to everyone who came to #rmnb9 at RFD last night, especially those of you who drove long-arse distances (Syracuse, Newport News, Tennessee) to party with us. I was told 300-plus people came out last night to watch Ovi get a hatty/hit 50 goals and Holtby tie Broduer’s win record. What a night!
A post shared by Ian Oland (@ianrmnb) on
Thanks to @elizqueenmama for the heads up.
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