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Pho Bar & Grill, 14th and H Street NE - Northeast's Only Pho With A Discount for Area Residents - Closed


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Does anyone know if Pho Bar and Grill is closed or if they'll actually reopen? They've been closed the last few times I've walked by there with a sign that they're closed temporarily for renovations and training. No work appears to be taking place inside.

This evening at 11:11 PM, 3 1/2 hours after you, PoPVille posted the exact same question you did:

Source: PoPville

Pho_bar_and_grill_h_street_ne.jpg

1360 H Street, NE

"Dear PoPville,

It appears that the Pho Bar and Grill on H Street, NE (1360 H Street) is closed. Sign says for renovation and training, but I think it's been dark for at least a week now. We'll see if they return. Not the best food but adequate. Hopefully it will return much better! H Street needs some good Pho!"

I feel like that sign has been up for at least a couple of months! We judged them back in Dec. 2012 (they opened in Oct. 2011.) Their facebook page hasn't been updated since July and ...

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Thank you for your dilligent and hard work, Mark - you do us proud. Anyone agree? Our H Street Crew is a terrific bunch of knowledgable diners who just don't get enough credit, and I'm going to do my best to change that. Thank you all.

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Per Frozen Tropics on Twitter, they are closed but looking to rent the space out.  I'm shocked that, even with them not putting out great food, they weren't able to make it.

I guess I'm about as qualified as anyone to make this comment (aside from others with access to the Dining Guide): the closure rate of H Street restaurants is much higher than the norm. Why is this?

Rents were enticingly low at one point?

Unseasoned restaurateurs opened there?

Increased supply has diluted demand?

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I think it's mostly number two (unseasoned or unprepared restauranteurs), followed by number three (increased supply). Initially I get the sense that the area was so starved for restaurants that pretty much anything would succeed wildly. When people serious about what they were doing got involved, and more and more places opened, a lot of places weren't seeing the business they needed.

On Pho Bar and Grill, for example, I have no idea about the backgroud of the people who owned it, but they didn't seem to have a clear idea of what they wanted to be. Initially they appeared to want to be pretty much a divey spot doing a lot of takeout business. They then added first one, and then two bars, and attempted to attract more of a drinking crowd. I think they lacked a clear vision.

Others may have a better idea or more insight.

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I guess I'm about as qualified as anyone to make this comment (aside from others with access to the Dining Guide): the closure rate of H Street restaurants is much higher than the norm. Why is this?

Rents were enticingly low at one point?

Unseasoned restaurateurs opened there?

Increased supply has diluted demand?

I'm not so sure H St. NE has a higher than usual closure rate, but if you wanted to argue that it did, I agree with DCDuck and say that it's primarily due to unseasoned restaurateurs with not-fully-baked concepts of what they're opening.  This probably stems from your first point, although, that is changing fast.

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I'm not so sure H St. NE has a higher than usual closure rate, but if you wanted to argue that it did, I agree with DCDuck and say that it's primarily due to unseasoned restaurateurs with not-fully-baked concepts of what they're opening.  This probably stems from your first point, although, that is changing fast.

Agreed.  We've had a ton of spot open and very few close -- I'd tend to think H Street's closure rate is actually remarkably low.

I also disagree with Don's suggestion that increased supply might have lessened demand for individual businesses.  Most H Street business owners I know suggest the opposite is true -- they once relied almost exclusively on neighborhood support, but have found that the more places that open along the corridor, the more customers come to the corridor.  As a neighbor, more supply helps us be more selective in where we spend our money.  That's surely part of why some of the inexperienced folks who saw the H Street goldmine and thought they could open a place that serves food and drink and get rich without doing anything haven't succeeded.  Expectations are definitely higher than that here, especially as we have more options and ones of a higher quality.

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Some of closed Dining Guide restaurants that were placed under the H Street NE heading weren't really on H Street NE (Casa Roma, Young's Deli, and arguably Capital City Diner).  So that lowers the closure rate a bit, IMO.

H Street NE is more unique in the city because there really isn't alot of hotels or office space on the strip, so a vast majority of people who go out are spending their own money.  It doesn't strike me that many restaurants there are chasing corporate accounts, or get the traffic of travelers who are forced to eat out.  That is different than pretty much the rest of downtown DC.

Plus, the neighborhood isn't presently a "disposible income for dining" type of demographic.  Mostly students, young families, interns, and legacy residents.  That's changing big time, plus the neighborhood is growing vertically.  So the demand should grow here pretty soon.

But I do think that there is alot of unseasoned restauranteurs here, and I've heard as much from their (former) staff.  One pizza spot with a gorgeous (and often empty) space just started advertising half-price pizza nights, so I wonder how much longer that venue will last.  I think the main thing is that some venues just don't understand the H St NE market, and how it differs from most other DC commercial strips.

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