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Buddha Bar, A Paris-Based Chain on Massachusetts Avenue near Mount Vernon Square - Closed

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I was perusing bisnow.com's real estate section, and saw this interesting clip:

"Cushman's Dave Dochter... recently signed Little Buddha, a Vegas-based restaurant, to space at 455 Mass [Ave NW]."

The Vegas Little Buddha looks pretty posh and trendy. They serve sushi, and it seems to be mostly favorable reviews. Could fill a niche downtown in Mt Vernon square, an area currently crying out for culinary options. Anyone been to the Vegas one at the Palms Hotel? Thoughts?

In the same post, they mention a restaurant group called BlackFinn Group (from sleuthing, it looks like a Chatlotte-based entertainment group) signing a lease at 3175 Wilson Blvd. which is between the Clarendon Ballroom and the new restaurant Eventide. (From the looks of the places the group has opened, I expect it to be cheesy and gimmicky. Just what Clarendon needs... yikes)


This opened as the Buddha Bar.

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Buddha Bar: You were an anachronism of a conspicuous consumption before you opened - not even stopping to be a cliche. It is where the ghost of Lehman Brothers past float above black tables and compare their business card designs milling among people who chose an evening of expensive cocktails over bottle service.

I suspect few readers of this board will ever go - but as a public service so that you do not have to feel guilty about making your party pick up and leave, I offer this warning: Do not go unless you are dress code code compliant (which not surprisingly matches anything you might see someone wear in a hip-hop video, a middle class family on vacation, or a Caps season ticket holder).

I went last night for happy hour to meet up with some friends. I arrived after they started, but was told I could not stay because I was wearing sneakers, contrary to their dress code. I explained this to my friends and they graciously agreed to move on to somewhere else if management insisted. Management insisted even after I took off my shoes and offered to have them hold them until we were done.

The place had many "reserved" placards spread around. However, when my friends cancelled their order and we left the staff outnumbered the remaining customers (at 8:00 pm on a Friday). It seems to me that if you are in the hospitality business you let the group - including the slightly less than natty dresser - finish their round rather than adhere to a strict policy, especially during a dead time. But subtlety is not their strength. Their strength is fleecing those willing to spend monopoly money on mediocrity. I only hope your cynical business model collapses under its own weight sooner rather than later and slouches back to Vegas.

Apologies to any who have gotten this far into my rant.

Kushi was delightful as always.

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They made you leave without finishing your drinks because one of your party had the wrong footwear? WTH

"Unfortunately with the constant struggle of the DC cliental not understanding our concept" this from Eaters post today.

As a restauranteur, I get not wanting to compromise your values. You should have some concept of whether or not they work with you target demographic before you move in though. Very emblematic of many of the restaurant failures recently reported. Silly.

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Gloria got sick on the Metro? (with a tip of the hat to Mad Magazine).

"What, me worry?"

Sounds like a failed restaurenteur who refused to compromise his concept in order to be give the customers what they want, a/k/a BuddhaBar's quote in Eater.

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