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P.J. Clarke's, 16th and K Streets Downtown - A New York Saloon Chain in the Former Olives Space

New York Chain Downtown Farragut Square Saloon Patio Raw Bar Open Late Private Dining

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#1 DonRocks

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 09:07 PM

This article in Washington Business Journal appears to be correct - my deep, deep inside source tells me P.J. Clarke's will be opening in the old Olives space, and that it's a "done deal." Signed, dotted.

Confidence level: Medium-High to High (an extremely trusted source, but I had to rush off the phone, and didn't really have time to discuss specifics).

As for the food in New York? I've only been to the one on the Hudson, but my impression is that Old Ebbitt Grill has itself some competition.

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#2 dcs

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 09:30 PM

This article in Washington Business Journal appears to be correct - my deep, deep inside source tells me P.J. Clarke's will be opening in the old Olives space, and that it's a "done deal." Signed, dotted.

Confidence level: Medium-High to High (an extremely trusted source, but I had to rush off the phone, and didn't really have time to discuss it).

As for the food in New York? I've only been to the one on the Hudson, but my impression is that Old Ebbitt Grill has itself some competition.

Cheers,
Rocks.

The location on 3rd Ave in NYC is my go to place after midnight to finish off the night. Earlier in the night the raw bar is in full swing. Yeah, Ebbitt's will have some competition. FWIW, the urinals at the 3rd Ave location are not to be missed. I doubt we will see that grandeur in DC. Maybe we will, click link below.

#3 DonRocks

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 09:35 PM

FWIW, the urinals at the 3rd Ave location are not to be missed.

And yet, some damned drunk will always manage to do it.

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#4 dcs

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 09:38 PM

And yet, some damned drunk will always manage to do it.

You can't miss these urinals. They are bigger than you are.

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#5 Michael Landrum

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 10:44 PM

This article in Washington Business Journal appears to be correct - my deep, deep inside source tells me P.J. Clarke's will be opening in the old Olives space, and that it's a "done deal." Signed, dotted.

Confidence level: Medium-High to High (an extremely trusted source, but I had to rush off the phone, and didn't really have time to discuss specifics).

As for the food in New York? I've only been to the one on the Hudson, but my impression is that Old Ebbitt Grill has itself some competition.

Cheers,
Rocks.

Wait, I'm confused. Olives just closed briefly for renovations. Your sources must be wrong, Don.

#6 zoramargolis

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 10:09 AM

The location on 3rd Ave in NYC is my go to place after midnight to finish off the night. Earlier in the night the raw bar is in full swing. Yeah, Ebbit's will have some competition. FWIW, the urinals at the 3rd Ave location are not to be missed. I doubt we will see that grandeur in DC. Maybe we will, click link below.


Sheesh! Let's hear it for bathroom parity... They invested $80k in urinals for their men's rooms? What about the ladies?

#7 jstevens75

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 02:29 PM

His sources are correct. That is where they are opening at last notice.

#8 Michael Landrum

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 03:12 PM

His sources are correct. That is where they are opening at last notice.

That is impossible. For this to be true would mean that when Todd English himself said (when he arrived in town to shutter Olives that same day with no advance notice to his staff, making them instantly jobless) that it was only for a temporary renovation, it was a lie to avoid negative publicity.

And that, my friend, is simply not possible.

In fact, Mr. Kuller, who entertained him that very night, can confirm the real story.

#9 dcs

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 05:34 AM

October.

Speaking of New York ties, one interesting detail that is being imported: toilets. The men's room will house a pair of large, winged urinals built from molds taken of the 19th-century originals that have graced the flagship Gotham saloon since 1884.



#10 goodeats

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 09:46 AM

They mounted the sign yesterday morning and then had taken it down in the afternoon for some reason, but from the drive-by, it looks pretty close to opening.

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#11 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 10:16 AM

I've never tried a restaurant simply because of its urinals, but now I must.

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#12 FunnyJohn

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 01:34 PM

I've never tried a restaurant simply because of its urinals, but now I must.

Probably the only reason to visit this place -- so ladies, don't bother. Ok perhaps a litlle harsh, but this is a very average bar/streak house joint. It may have the look of the real PJ Clarke's, but not the feel. I went last night with a group of members of the Red Meat Club to pay our respects to one of us who decided to hand in his lunch pail last week. Most of us ordered the hanger steak frites cooked to varying degrees of doneness -- I was glad I ordered mine bleu. The steak was fine but no finer than can be had in any number of other establishments (on the menu they tout the fact that their steaks come from Murrey Farms). What was not so fine was the "frites" which turned out to be a mess of potato slivers which had no taste on their own and were too small even to put Ketsup on. They also offered an array of sauces to accompany the meat and I had the Maitre d'Hotel which turned out to be a small vessel of melted garlic flavored butter -- or maybe butter flavored synthetic dairy product -- couldn't really tell.

On the plus side, the service was very attentive --- when our food orders seemed to be excessively long in coming to the table, two managers visited to apologize and they compted the table with two orders of real frites. And the aforementioned urinals are truly Wilt Chamberlain sized.

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#13 RWBooneJr.

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 11:39 PM

I went to P.J. Clarke's tonight for the first time and, for what I wanted, it was excellent. One of my favorite bartenders in DC-- ever -- John Miller, is back (formerly -- circa 2004 -- of Signitures) and working here, and he's one of the best in the business if you want a classic cocktail. They don't have a cocktail menu here, but if you want a martini or manhattan, and a hell of a conversation, he does it better than anyone I've ever known. I had a dozen oysters, which were among the best I've had in DC. They don't have the selection that others have (kumamoto and two types of virginicus tonight) but the two kinds I had (the virginicus -- Naked Cowboy and Wairua) were amazingly fresh and briney (albeit small, though I was just in Paris at a place where the oysters are huge, so I'm a bit jaded). I also later had the deviled eggs, which were in the classic style and tasted how you'd expect (great, but nothing out of the ordinary -- they are, however, served on good pickle slices). My companion had the the French onion soup, which was good but a little too sweet.

Anyway, I like this place as a bar with food. It's not a dining destination, and isn't trying to be, but it's a great place for a drink. If you go, say hello to John.

#14 B.A.R.

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 11:04 AM

Prior to attending a charity function at the Capital Hilton, my wife and I wanted to grab a drink and a snack. As I made a quick survey of the area, the two most promising options within my sight were Adour and PJ Clarkes. I so love and appreciate the refined Adour, but I knew I lacked the willpower to not spent $100 in the 30 minutes we would be there.

So we went to PJ Clarke's. It was pleasant to find a hostess standing out near the sidewalk to welcome us. It was a warm and sincere greeting. It was also the highlight of the night.

The bar, which was bracingly cold, has about 15 seats and maybe 5 tables. All of the bar stools were taken and one of the tables. The most prime spot in the bar, dead center, is allocated for the service bar. As I stood behind two seated patrons, neither of the bartenders made an attempt to greet or make eye contact, so I slid into the service bar area to get their attention. I ordered a Dirty Kettle Martini (I know martinis have gin, but my wife does not) and a Hendricks and Tonic. The drinks were made quickly, the martini being straight vodka, and before presenting the cocktails, the bartender asked if I wanted a twist or olives. "If I could have it dirty, please", I responded. A female patron exclaimed "throw dishwater in it" and the bartender and the patron's companion laughed heartily, while the bartender produced a squirt bottle and filled the remainder of the glass to the rim with warm olive juice.

I excused myself, as I had to reach over the lady to retrieve a drink I was destined to spill 2oz of, and joined my wife on the cocktail rail opposite the bar. Within minutes, two seats in front of the Raw Bar opened up, so we slid into them. Both my wife and I are oyster lovers, so we thought a few might hit the spot prior to dinner. There were four varietals listed, and I asked the lady working the raw bar if there were any Happy Hour specials. "$1 oysters" she said, and then she left, leaving us to stare at the iced down oysters and the former patrons glasses for about 5 minutes.

When she returned, I asked if we could have a dozen oysters, 3 of each. She looked at me, glanced at the bartender, and asked if we had ordered them. "Am I supposed to order from him?" I asked, confused why I could not order from the person working the Raw Bar with stools for patrons immediately in front of her. "I'll tell him" she said, and then informed me that only the local oysters were a dollar at HH and the others were regular price. "OK" I responded.

When the oysters arrived, I was immediately reminded of a post by Rocks years ago how Whole Foods was guilty of fine cheese abuse and neglect. The oysters I was served were a crime against humanity, and bivalves. Five of the 12 appeared scrambled. None of the adducter muscles were separated. Each oyster had shards of shells, and all of the liqueur was drained from the shells. They were presented on a bed of crushed ice (with ice on many of the shucked oysters) with thimbles of ketchup, pickled horseradish, and red wine vinegar ( seasoned with one 1/8" dice of red onion floating around in it).

I sat and stared at them, the dirty glasses from the previous patrons, my empty glass, and my wife's empty glass, and should have just paid and left then and there. But instead, I doubled down, ordering another gin and tonic and a glass of Pinot Noir for my wife. She usually does not drink Pinot Noir with oysters, but upon seeing the oysters she decided she wouldn't be eating oysters at all.

I gamely plowed through 9 of the 12 oysters, which were wonderfully fresh, and then asked for my check. I was unceremoniously given a bill for $74, no "thank you" or "how was everything" and immediately put down my credit card. After a few minutes, I got up and approached one of the two bartenders and asked if he could process the check. As I exited the restaurant with my $85 receipt, I spied the cool light emanating from Adour across the street, and realized I had made a terrible fucking mistake.

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#15 DonRocks

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:17 PM

When she returned, I asked if we could have a dozen oysters, 3 of each. She looked at me, glanced at the bartender, and asked if we had ordered them. "Am I supposed to order from him?" I asked, confused why I could not order from the person working the Raw Bar with stools for patrons immediately in front of her. "I'll tell him" she said, and then informed me that only the local oysters were a dollar at HH and the others were regular price. "OK" I responded.

When the oysters arrived, I was immediately reminded of a post by Rocks years ago how Whole Foods was guilty of fine cheese abuse and neglect. The oysters I was served were a crime against humanity, and bivalves. Five of the 12 appeared scrambled. None of the adducter muscles were separated. Each oyster had shards of shells, and all of the liqueur was drained from the shells. They were presented on a bed of crushed ice (with ice on many of the shucked oysters) with thimbles of ketchup, pickled horseradish, and red wine vinegar ( seasoned with one 1/8" dice of red onion floating around in it).

I sat and stared at them, the dirty glasses from the previous patrons, my empty glass, and my wife's empty glass, and should have just paid and left then and there. But instead, I doubled down, ordering another gin and tonic and a glass of Pinot Noir for my wife. She usually does not drink Pinot Noir with oysters, but upon seeing the oysters she decided she wouldn't be eating oysters at all.

I gamely plowed through 9 of the 12 oysters, which were wonderfully fresh, and then asked for my check. I was unceremoniously given a bill for $74, no "thank you" or "how was everything" and immediately put down my credit card. After a few minutes, I got up and approached one of the two bartenders and asked if he could process the check. As I exited the restaurant with my $85 receipt, I spied the cool light emanating from Adour across the street, and realized I had made a terrible fucking mistake.


Your story does sound hauntingly familiar.

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#16 jiveturk21

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 02:16 PM

Our lunch here today is a testament to why even I could be a restaurant consultant.

 

I haven't participated in Restaurant Week for years, so we didn't take that into account when we walked into PJ Clarke's today for lunch.  But, we were given a restaurant week menu, so we figured if we were already there and they are offering it, we may as well take advantage of it.  The thing is, this Restaurant Week menu looked a little different.  It was $20.13, but it only included two courses (appetizer and entrĂ©e).  In my mind, this is a big no-no.  If you participate in Restaurant Week, you need to actually participate, you can't offer two courses while everyone else is offering three.  In essence, that is kind of bullshit.

 

Even with that being the case, we still ordered off that menu.

 

My plan was to order the crisp parmesan tater tots ($7.55 on the regular menu) and the Cadillac burger ($13.55 on the regular menu).  The issue is that the Cadillac burger came with fries, but that seemed redundant with the tater tots.  So, I asked if I could substitute a vegetable for the fries and explained my reason for asking to do so.  I was told that there were no substitutions.  Even after stating that I would pay an upcharge for a substitution, the waiter still told me I couldn't do it.  So, we sent the waiter away and I relooked at the menu.  I decided to order the deviled eggs ($9.70 on the regular menu) and the crab cake sandwich ($17.85 on the regular menu).

 

So, while I can't speak for their food costs, their inflexibility in the end had me pay $20.13 for $27.55 worth of food as opposed to $20.13 for $21.10 worth of food.  In addition, they lost even more money by not allowing me to pay for a substitution (say $2 or $3).  More importantly, they kind of pissed me off in the process.

 

By the way, the food pretty much sucked.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: New York Chain, Downtown, Farragut Square, Saloon, Patio, Raw Bar, Open Late, Private Dining

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