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American Flatbread in Clarendon is Closing Christmas Eve


DanCole42
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It is with an abiding sadness that I announce the closing of American Flatbread in Clarendon. The Ashburn location will remain open. Here are some excerpts from the email I received from the owner:

It is with a heavy, heavy heart that we are going to close the Clarendon location. We plan to cease operations Christmas Eve. It is the result of a number of factors including but not limited to: severe issues with the environmental system, the dramatic loss of business from the outdoor seating issue, and; an extremely adversarial landlord.

I am hoping to get the word out quickly so we can go out with a bang. I am hoping to generate as much revenue for the staff as possible before we close. We plan on maintaining regular hours until we close next Friday. Please feel free to share openly.

So there you have it. At this point they're most concerned about their staff, so please do what you can to support them over the next week and give yourself a final taste of the best pizza in Clarendon.

And then, if you'd like to try some of the best pizza in the area west of Orso, check out the Ashburn location!

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That sucks, and I feel bad I haven't been there in ages. There's been once or twice I skipped going there because it was close to closing time, but...

...hmmm. I'll definitely have to try to hit it next week, but maybe tonight or tomorrow night will work, too.

Let me know and you could have company if you want it. Man our hood is taking a lot of hits lately: this, Eventide things, stupid American Taproom replacing Sette Bello (not that I loved Sette Bello, but the replacement is even worse).

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Let me know and you could have company if you want it. Man our hood is taking a lot of hits lately: this, Eventide things, stupid American Taproom replacing Sette Bello (not that I loved Sette Bello, but the replacement is even worse).

Clarendon, the area that once had so much potential, is becoming dumbed down. And if anyone doesn't see it, then they aren't looking very closely.

---

(Separate issue: Completely by chance, I had dinner at American Flatbread last night, and at 7 PM there weren't many people in the dining room; Screwtop Wine Bar was humming when I walked by, so it's not like Zoso Flats is completely cursed.)

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Clarendon, the area that once had so much potential, is becoming dumbed down. And if anyone doesn't see it, then they aren't looking very closely.

---

(Separate issue: Completely by chance, I had dinner at American Flatbread last night, and at 7 PM there weren't many people in the dining room; Screwtop Wine Bar was humming when I walked by, so it's not like Zoso Flats is completely cursed.)

The few times that I have eaten at the Clarendon location is was dead as well. Not sure of the reason as other places in the Court House and Clarendon are seem to do a brisk business.

This is not a good thing.

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Clarendon, the area that once had so much potential, is becoming dumbed down. And if anyone doesn't see it, then they aren't looking very closely.

Falling prey to the restaurant version of the lowest common denominator syndrome, I am afraid.

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Was there tonight, and it was EMPTY. Dining room just barren - bar barely better.

That really doesn't help things, I guess. As one person there asked: "who is going to come back into here? I can't imagine it's easy to move that oven."

And to make sure I say: the short rib/barbecue pizza was flat-out AMAZING CRAZY OMG WTF good. GO THERE AND GET IT before it's gone!

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Clarendon, the area that once had so much potential, is becoming dumbed down. And if anyone doesn't see it, then they aren't looking very closely.

I'm not sure I agree that Clarendon is BECOMING dumbed down. I grew up nearby and live there now. It is, was, and always will be a town fueled by Miller Lite, the cheaper the better. If you do not serve it on draft, you probably won't be around for long. If you don't believe me, go to Hunan Number One. I would wager money that Eventide has Miller Lite on draft soon, and that the bar and roof buzz like Liberty Tavern and Clarendon Ballroom in no time. I would also bet attracting that crowd is the only sustainable economic model, at least anywhere near the Metro. The Liberty Tavern group does a good job serving this demographic without "dumbing down" the experience. And Screwtop and Galaxy Hut are exceptions to the Miller Lite rule, but both places are tiny and fill a niche. Unfortunately for American Flatbread, it wasn't that small and pizza isn't a niche product. Their pizza was the best in the neighborhood, but that's often immaterial. Especially when you refuse to call it pizza.

It would be an overstatement to call this a tragedy, but not much of an overstatement for me personally. In the past year, I have eaten at American Flatbread more than any other restaurant and possibly even more than I have eaten in my own apartment. I actually never liked the design of the place. They built it backwards, with the small, intimate room in front and the big, "fun" room hidden in the back. The place also despreately needed a neon sign or something, because it always looked dark even when it was open. And, for a restaurant that served very few things, the menu was strangely difficult to read. But the pizzas were excellent, the six taps well chosen (I hate Miller Lite), and the staff great. Had they stuck the place in McLean or somewhere else with acres of parking and lots of young families, it probably would have been packed. I guess the concept was just wrong for the neighborhood.

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Falling prey to the restaurant version of the lowest common denominator syndrome, I am afraid.

Frat it up Clarendon... :) We live a few blocks behind Sette Bello/Eventide and are seriously losing the spots we can walk up the street and dine out at a nice grown-up bar sans Frat Party... we're in our early/mid 30's so not far removed from the "frat"... it has its place - please just not in every place! :)

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Frat it up Clarendon... :) We live a few blocks behind Sette Bello/Eventide and are seriously losing the spots we can walk up the street and dine out at a nice grown-up bar sans Frat Party... we're in our early/mid 30's so not far removed from the "frat"... it has its place - please just not in every place! :)

In our recent visits, at lunch at least, it seems that the "grown-up" bar in Clarendon is Harry's Tap Room. As early/mid 30's, however, you may feel like youngsters. Not that there is anything wrong with that. :lol:

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...And to make sure I say: the short rib/barbecue pizza was flat-out AMAZING CRAZY OMG WTF good. GO THERE AND GET IT before it's gone!

And a hearty "second that" from tonight's experience. Tried it on the gluten-free crust, along with the sausage flatbread (also gf). The barbecue was the clear winner with a pleasant punch of smoky spice, bright red onion, and zippy tang.

A must try before the bye-bye.

(and please remember to tip your waitstaff as generously as possible)

('tis the holidays, and an ebbing opportunity for gratuity)

(mohawk adam approves)

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A reminder to everyone who wants to support American Flatbread that as Friday approaches, it will become more and more important to go there and eat them out of house and home (somewhat literally) - I expect the menu to become quite limited this week, but the last thing they need is to be stuck with food that will go to waste after they close on Friday. Let's at least help them finish off their keg of Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA.

And if you want to look at it selfishly, restaurants often pile on the extras right before they close (for vacation, or otherwise).

Hopefully, things can be shipped to the Broadlands location.

Dan, what are you going to do about your wedding ring? (It's in the oven. No, I mean ... it's IN the oven.)

I really can't believe this place is closing. If they could have lasted six more months, I know I could have helped them, and would have, gladly - I was thinking about standing out in front of Cheesecake Factory and handing out flyers (and I'm still thinking about doing this for restaurants such as Spice X-ing and La Canela). And if you think I'm kidding, I'm not.

This year, I'm in a position where I'll be alone on Christmas Eve - I may just end up at American Flatbread.

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Dan, what are you going to do about your wedding ring? (It's in the oven. No, I mean ... it's IN the oven.)

I will likely ask for a piece of the oven for sentimental reasons.

My wife and I will be there tonight a little after six for our final meal. Feel free to stop by.

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