Jump to content

Citizen Burger Bar, Owner Andy McClure's Charlottesville-Based Chain in Clarendon - Closed


Recommended Posts

I happen to walk by here almost every day on my way to the Clarendon metro. Posting because noticed their soft opening last week one night and from cheesepowder's post. Their FB page states they will open *today* at 11:30am.

Parking won't be easy, since it's at the corner of 11th street north and North Highland.

Citizen Burger Bar

1051 North Highland Street

Arlington, VA

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just somehow deleted 15 minutes worth of a review, and don't have the strength to try to redo it.

This place should succeed.  It sounded like it would be in my wheelhouse (good burgers and craft beer), and it was, with the exception (not surprisingly) that I was about double the age of the average patron in this Clarendon location.

The grass-fed beef in the burger was very tasty, but maybe slightly underseasoned--I will have to do a close comparison to Gypsy Soul's, which has been my recent gold standard.  Nothing like grass-fed beef for me.  I ordered essentially no toppings, so that I could better taste the beef.  I ordered "pink" and it was just on the reddish side of "pink" that I had hoped for.  The standard brioche bun stood up to the burger, but was rather bland and added essentially nothing.

I got the standard order of fries, even though I knew from watching other orders come out that the burger itself (8 oz.) would be more than enough for me.  They were more or less what Five Guys serves in terms of whole potato slices, edge potato slices, and smaller niblets, but much less greasy than Five Guys, so a big plus.  Also, for the burger, unless you are a very hearty eater, be careful of how much stuff you order on it, some of the ones coming out of the kitchen were pretty ginormous.

As for parking, which was a concern expressed above, I was there at 8:00 tonight (Friday), so street parking was too much of a challenge, but there is a garage on the same block (I am pretty sure on 11th Street just East of Highland) in which I parked.  It was $2.00 for 3 hours after 6:00 on weekdays, and something like $2.00 or $3.00 for quite a bit of time on weekends.  Somehow, in the 200 feet between the garage and the entrance to the restaurant, or on the way back, I managed to lose my ticket.  I went to the exit gate expecting to ram it, or pay a maximum something like $20, but when I pushed the assistance button to explain, the remote security service asked why I had been in the garage, I told them I had just gone to a restaurant in the building, and they raised the gate so that I was able to leave free of charge.

I will be going back.  Clarendon is a bit of a challenge, but that garage makes it less intimidating.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've been a bunch of times in Clarendon, and we've come away happy every time, including last night. And we go on lots of different occasions: Friday night don't feel like cooking with kid; my birthday, with a group ranging from 6-86 years old; or Sunday afternoon wanting to hang out. First of all, the staff is fantastic. Friendly in a genuine way, and with a "how can we make this a good experience for you" attitude. I happen to love the burgers, especially the "mini," which has a great set of contrasts between the soft potato roll, the crisp lettuce and onion, the beefy tasting burger, and the salty, melty cheese. And the beer list and the cocktails are broad enough to make a group with disparate tastes happy. I'm partial to the cucumber jalapeí±o margarita myself. And I agree the garage is a convenient good deal, especially in the rain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been by there twice.   Its among the highest quality meat in a burger, actually leaving me stunned at the quality and taste of the basic burger.  Not all that impressed by the buns or add ons...but that burger is about as good as anything out there that I've had recently. Among excellent burgers I think the Dino burger is special, and really like Ray's.  This one is quite different but up there in with regard to its own quality.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I meandered over to Citizen Burger last night to get still one more burger and watch the Caps play.  I've only been there infrequently since it opened and frankly had forgotten how good/bad/tasty the burgers were.  I did know that the set up might allow me to watch the Caps game in relative peace as I was a bit weary.  The seating area is booths, and as a sportsy bar it has many TV's.   The bar wraps around a corner, and it and its accompanying high tops might have about 6 separate TV's to watch different sports.  Good bartender all around and he set one of the corner TV's for the Caps game.  He wasn't sure how the crowd was going to react, as it was both the Caps opening game and a Yankee playoff game both going on at the same time. 

Now to that burger.   My my.  The Citizen Burger is of top notch quality similar to the juicy 1/2 pound beauties available at both HellBurger DC and Rays the Steaks in Courthouse.  They all have excellent "meatiness" and are all juicy (I vacillated between rare and medium rare -and the bartender said-"we call it pink".  I went with that).   Didn't add much in toppings--just mushrooms and went with the basic brioche bun. 

Excellent meatiness but a different taste element to the meat than the Rays's offerings.  But excellent quality.   I added fries and as mentioned above they are similar to that found at five guys.   Good--not great.   To my limited knowledge base, Citizen Burger has a variety and good list of beer options.   The burger with toppings came to $12.50.   Frankly that price beats too many other places with a far inferior product.

Good burgers, good beer choices, --good options for watching sports.

I'm sort of burgered out now--but if I wanted a beer/burger/games on TV option....this is an excellent choice. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, MarkS said:

I hope they had the CAPS game on all of their TVs.  Baseball will be forgotten soon, hockey is almost every night!

Good bartender.  When I asked if he would put the Caps game on that TV, he added he didn't know if he could add sound b/c of the baseball playoff game.  He did.    When I glanced around later it was Mostly Caps-- a couple of TV's with the playoff game.  (hey NY is a big city--whaddaya gonna do???)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Based on DaveO's recommendation, we went here for dinner tonight.  Wow!  Delicious burgers.  Even my picky husband liked his burger.  The bacon was made fresh and the blue cheese was good too.  French fries nice and crispy.  The service wasn't the greatest, but for those burgers I can suffer a bit.  We'll be back!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, dcs said:

Citizen Burger Bar Has Closed in Clarendon, by Airey, June 4, 2019, on ARLnow.com.

Well I liked your post, DCS, but that news just sucks.  Arlington just lost two of the absolutely best burger joints in the region.  Admittedly I hadn't been there often.  Last time I went was around the last time I had a "Landrum burger" (at Ray's--last summer).  The Citizen Burger was different but equally as good; and those two were among the best in the region.

Big loss.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, DaveO said:

Well I liked your post, DCS, but that news just sucks.  Arlington just lost two of the absolutely best burger joints in the region.  Admittedly I hadn't been there often.  Last time I went was around the last time I had a "Landrum burger" (at Ray's--last summer).  The Citizen Burger was different but equally as good; and those two were among the best in the region.

Big loss.

I only within the last 6 months started frequenting this joint spurred on in large part by your October 2018 post.  Got the whole family in on the great burgers.  It was never all that crowded when we were there, which may have something to do with the decision to close.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I don't get it.  I never noticed a drop off in quality, but definitely noticed a drop off in size of crowd when I would go in.  It seemed like the initial crowds of late-20s to mid-30s dwellers of nearby apartments gradually gave way to more families occupying the booths, with the bar crowd being almost non-existent.

I didn't go frequently (maybe 4-5 times a year), but will miss it.  Where I want to go next is where several people commenting on the linked article go, those who posted statements along the lines of "not impressed." 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...