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The Greene Turtle, a Hanover, MD-Based Sports Bar Chain with Very Little in the Way of Cuisine


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Based on the sign I saw in the window, it appears that the former Drinx location is going to be the 12th Green Turtle. I can't wait, another restaurant in this location that will have no impact on the culinary landscape and I can completely ignore.

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Based on the sign I saw in the window, it appears that the former Drinx location is going to be the 12th Green Turtle. I can't wait, another restaurant in this location that will have no impact on the culinary landscape and I can completely ignore.

I don't understand why the 6th and F location cannot seem to be successful. You would think that would be a goldmine much like Rosa Mexicano is right across the street, but neither place in the past 5 years has been able to keep up.

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Maybe they should try serving food that doesn't suck?

Nick + Stef's had a lot of things wrong with it, but sucky food was not one of them. Sure it was overpriced and painfully elitist, but they did good meat and had a passable bar.

Also, not sure if you have been to Rosa lately, but they are not winning any RAMMYs any time soon. They've been nothing more than Baja Fresh with fancier names and a little better guacamole for the 2 years they've been there, but you still have to have a 10 minute fight to get your way to the bar for a $9 margerita on any given night. My question is, why can't this formula be reproduced right across the street?

Edit: Danny beat me to it!

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I work a couple blocks away from the cursed location... for whatever reason, foot traffic in the evening really doesn't go beyond 7th St much so the Drinx location doesn't get enough dinner traffic... I've noticed this at Kanlaya and Irish Channel Inn. In my mind, there's really not much difference between Irish Channel Inn and Fado in terms of style, and I think Irish Channel's food is a bit better. Yet, Fado is crowded day and night , while Irish Channel does a good lunch business but is often empty during the evenings... it is my standby pre-Caps meal there. The only difference being 2 blocks. You can even do the Subway on H St vs. the Quiznos on 5th St and the McDonalds on 7th and Burger King on 5th comparisons. Also, in that neighborhood with the large number of DC/Metro/Fed Gov workers in a 5 block radius (particularly to the east, where folks don't have as many choices), to have a good lunch draw, you need to be quick and cheap... something that Drinx and its previous instantiations never were.

The RNR Bar (previously Coyote Ugly, The Rock, and something else I thought) has also had foot traffic problems, and hence the turnover, it seems every other year.

I know most of the Verizon Center foot traffic comes from Metro and for whatever reason, people park on the west side of Verizon instead of the east side. I think when the 2nd Shakespeare Theatre stage opens, that will do a bit for street traffic

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I always thought it was bizarre that the Greene Turtle and Buffalo Wild Wings both opened around the same time and cannibalized each other - chain type sports bars with hardly anything memorable of which to speak. When we did have occasion to end up at one or the other, usually the Turtle won due to the TVs at each individual booth and one particularly cute waitress.

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When we did have occasion to end up at one or the other, usually the Turtle won due to the TVs at each individual booth and one particularly cute waitress.

Oh my boy does that bring back memories on why I had a favorite "neighborhood bar" at a certain time and place in my life.  Jeez:  It was the Irish Bar that used to occupy what is now Nanny Obrien's in Cleveland Park.  I recall her face...and an argument I had with a friend..neither he nor I had moved any further along than regular customer.  Ha ha.  

I suppose that goes under the category of "ambiance".

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I always thought it was bizarre that the Greene Turtle and Buffalo Wild Wings both opened around the same time and cannibalized each other - chain type sports bars with hardly anything memorable of which to speak. When we did have occasion to end up at one or the other, usually the Turtle won due to the TVs at each individual booth and one particularly cute waitress.

The TVs at each booth made it a favorite of my teen and a group of his friends - they've been there two or three times to watch afternoon games while noshing.

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We had a Quizno's replaced by a Subway. My reaction was that was like the 63 Mets replacing the 62 Mets.

Yes, but Marv Throneberry was at least something good that came out of it.

"Ah still don't know whah theh asked me to do this commercial."

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On 4/5/2016 at 11:40 AM, ktmoomau said:

NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO  Oh well, I never went to the Greene Turtle and won't go to Applebees either, but I don't like what it says about my neighborhood that Applebees is moving in, I hope it closes soon too.

Apparently, I got quoted in Arlington Magazine.  http://arlingtonmagazine.com/Home-Plate-Food-Blog/Applebees-to-Open-as-More-Development-Eyes-Ballston/  More information about the Applebees coming into Ballston.  

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On 4/5/2016 at 11:40 AM, ktmoomau said:

NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO  Oh well, I never went to the Greene Turtle and won't go to Applebees either, but I don't like what it says about my neighborhood that Applebees is moving in, I hope it closes soon too.

On 6/13/2016 at 2:35 PM, ktmoomau said:

Apparently, I got quoted in Arlington Magazine.  http://arlingtonmagazine.com/Home-Plate-Food-Blog/Applebees-to-Open-as-More-Development-Eyes-Ballston/  More information about the Applebees coming into Ballston.  

nnnnnnnnnnnnnooooooooooooooooooo....They left out the richest part of the quote :D

What it says is that Applebees looked at the demographics and density and liked what they saw.  They don't count foodies vs non foodies.  If they had...maybe they would've looked at Uncle Julio's and Willow and decided that hey....this isn't upscale foodie city. They also have some "corporate design/urban plan"    hmmm....that probably means nothing in terms of food.  

I don't think it says anything about the neighborhood's food preferences.  I doubt Applebees is that sophisticated. 

BTW:   For once I got a kick out of the title.  Somehow I don't think the Greene Turtle and the word "cuisine" ever set foot in the same room. ;)

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I always associate Applebee's with the infamous Tonya Harding.  From her website:

Quote

Tonya would like to make enough money boxing then retire to live alone with her Persian cat, Smalls.

"It would be having enough money to go hunting and fishing and go to the big four-wheel-drive mud bogs," she says. "And every once in a while put on a really pretty dress and go to dinner at a place like Applebee's or something."

 
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I read about this yesterday.  For me, Applebee's is the same restaurant as Chili's, Friday's, Ruby Tuesday, Bennigan's...nothing special.  Not that I haven't eaten at any of these places, but it's usually because I can't decide on a place and give in to "meh".

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On 6/14/2016 at 11:01 AM, mare22204 said:

I read about this yesterday.  For me, Applebee's is the same restaurant as Chili's, Friday's, Ruby Tuesday, Bennigan's...nothing special.  Not that I haven't eaten at any of these places, but it's usually because I can't decide on a place and give in to "meh".

Reminds me of a quote from the 'Memphis Belle' movie:

"Anyway, I'm gonna open a whole bunch of restaurants, exactly like the first one.  So you can go to Detroit and get the same hamburger you got in Baltimore."

"Nobody wants the same old food everywhere they go."

"Sure they do.  It's comforting."

(and no, the guy's last name wasn't Applebee)

In regards to Greene Turtle, though - the only thing I ever remember enjoying there was the first time I tried their boneless wings.  Since then I've yet to have a single 'good' thing there - including the boneless wings.

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Arlington Now is reporting that the Greene Turtle on Glebe in Ballston is closing, and will be replaced by another Applebee's.

For those of us underwhelmed by both, does this development mean that the Greene Turtle's expansion has hit a wall, or does it mean that Applebee's is successfully chasing Arlington's appetite for mediocre food, or somewhere in between...?

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On 8/23/2016 at 10:50 AM, Kibbee Nayee said:

Arlington Now is reporting that the Greene Turtle on Glebe in Ballston is closing, and will be replaced by another Applebee's.

For those of us underwhelmed by both, does this development mean that the Greene Turtle's expansion has hit a wall, or does it mean that Applebee's is successfully chasing Arlington's appetite for mediocre food, or somewhere in between...?

A couple of points:

1.  This has been reported before

2.  This (and I presume other Greene Turtle's) are franchised and owned by different folks.  The bar school had staffed a lot of folks there over the years, including managers.  We get a lot of feedback over time from grads.  We discount most of it.  This one though, generated a serious number of "complaints".  We still discount the comments, but the noise/complaint level was higher.  Reviews for this location on other web sites were not good over a period of time....and frankly I strongly believe that is the weaker side of the road for easy foot traffic.

3.  Based on my old work in leasing restaurant spaces and working with restaurateurs and chains....I don't think they conceive of the term "mediocre food" in looking for locations.  They focus on demographics of total population, ages, income levels, working people, etc etc.  The restaurants sort of know where they are (spoken or tacitly) in the quality food chain and price chain.   I think if they see the overall package of demographics that covers a large population...and it looks appealing, and they don't have a restaurant in that area, or they see a location as upgrading another location, they'll try and make a deal. 

So I suspect this says more about just this Greene Turtle at this location and doesn't speak to their plans or expansion in general.  (of course that is just my $0.02)

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