Now and Then

Examining Georgetown’s bar history from 1980 to present day. Here you can view pictures of now vs. then.

3401 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Then: Poseurs, Now: The Running Company


This bar was geared towards the growing Georgetown punk rock scene. It was the first bar in Georgetown that integrated music videos into the bar! It closed in 1989 and is now the Running Company. However, Poseurs loyal followers hosted a 30-year reunion, check out their event on facebook Event

3477 M Street, NW Washington D.C. 

Then: The Cellar Door, Now: For rent


This building used to house the Cellar Door, a live music club, which played host to famous artists such as Jimmy Buffet, Patti Smith, Carole King and much more between 1965-1981. Since then the location has been a sandwich shop but currently remains for rent.

3295 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Then: Winston’s, Rhino, Now: Club Monaco


This location has been a bar since 1952 when it was first the Shamrock. Then it became Winston’s pumphouse in 1972 and then in 1996 it became Rhino, a popular if not beloved university bar. It was closed in 2015 due to high rents and is now currently Club Monaco a clothing store.

3259 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Then: Crazy Horse, Now: Coach


Now a Coach retail store. Crazy Horse was a local bar popular with both Georgetown students and young adults from the District, Virginia, and Maryland. It is currently a Coach, a high-end clothing and accessory retailer.

1238 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

Then: Carriage House, Then: Tramps, Now: Zara


This location was first the Carriage House, a dining room frequent by social and political D.C. figures. Then it was taken over by the famous disco club Tramps, run by Washington Playboy Mike O’Harro. This establishment was a left over remanent of the 1970s disco scene. Unfortunately, in 1982, it stopped “staying alive” and closed its doors. Now it is a Zara clothing store.

1218 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

Then: The Third Edition, Now: El Centro


The Third Edition was a Georgetown neighborhood staple, serving students, visitors and the neighborhood from 1969 to 2013. It even got a moment of Hollywood fame as the beloved St. Elmo’s Fire bar in the 1980’s classic “St. Elmo’s Fire” Now it is an upscale Mexican restaurant called El Centro.

3150 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Then: Nathan’s, Now: Under construction


This popular bar was dubbed the “the quintessential Georgetown saloon” by Zagat. It was at the center of the Georgetown neighborhood on the corner of Wisconsin and M. This bar wasn’t only a place to drink from 1969-2009 it also played host to a weekly Q&A Cafe, which brought together tourist, neighbors, politicians and notable Washingtonians.

3104 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Then: Mr. Smiths, Now: Fine Retailer


Mr. Smiths was arguably the second oldest continuous bar in the Georgetown neighborhood as it was founded in 1962. In 2014 it was forced to move from its M Street location to K Street, where it replaced longstanding bar Chadwicks, due to rising rents. Now, it’s location is filled with “Fine Retailer” whatever that means.

3111 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Then: Bayou, Now: AMC Theater


Currently the AMC theater the Bayou was the go to music scene from 1953 to 1998. Check out this website to learn more!

3003 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Then: Garret’s Railroad Tavern, Now: I-Thai


Garrett’s Restaurant and Railroad Tavern shut its doors for the last time in 2011. It was described as “not simply another restaurant closing but rather the loss of a popular community hangout loved and frequented by locals, students, employees, and tourists.”  It has since been replaced with a Thai restaurant. Check out this article about the closing of Garrets.

1206 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

Then: Champions, Now: The Sovereign


Champions closed its doors in 2002. It was a dubbed the original sports bar and was a favorite with the Georgetown student body, visiting college students, residents of VA and MD and tourist. The bar was bought and converted into an upscale Belgium restaurant called the Sovereign.

Image sources:

  1. “30 years later, Poseurs nightclub.” WTOP. Web.
  2. “Neil Young News.” 2008-copenhagen-2-28-crop.jpg. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.
  3. “Rhino Bar to Close Feb. 28.” The Georgetowner. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.
  4. Beach, Laura. “Vintage Photos.” Pinterest. N.p., 05 June 2013. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.
  5. “Now and a Long Time Ago: Billy Martin’s Carriage House Restaurant.” The Georgetown Metropolitan. N.p., 03 Aug. 2016. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.
  6. “Georgetown alcohol measure set for vote.” Georgetown alcohol measure set for vote | The Georgetown Dish. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.
  7. “Washington Social Diary: Permission to Inhale …” New York Social Diary. N.p., 11 Mar. 2015. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.
  8. “Georgetown Landmark Gets Second Life.” Bisnow. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.
  9. “Back to The Bayou: Film explores Georgetown club.” Back to The Bayou: Film explores Georgetown club | The Georgetown Dish. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.
  10. “What Would Be Your Heartbreaker?” The Georgetown Metropolitan. N.p., 07 June 2011. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.
  11. “Bar Power.” Arlington Magazine. N.p., 16 Feb. 2017. Web. 27 Apr. 2017. and “Posts about Bars on The Georgetown Metropolitan.” The Georgetown Metropolitan. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

Main Picture: “Georgetown Theater Sign Lit Again.” The Georgetown Metropolitan. N.p., 03 Jan. 2016. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.