Stars and Bars: Last Call @ Duffy’s Irish Pub — 11/4/14

Bushmills and the fallen

The first clue that something was going to happen at Duffy’s Irish Pub (2106 Vermont Ave. NW), for me, came yesterday when the Satellite Room (2047 9th St. NW), the diner located behind the 9:30 Club, announced it would start giving a free shot of Jameson to anyone who produced a 9:30 Club ticket stub after seeing a show when they bought a beer.

Hey, I said, they stole that idea from Duffy’s.

Except PoPville already reported rumors that Duffy’s was set to close at midnight last night, and other sources indicated that owner Andy Duffy couldn’t afford to keep the place afloat any longer. Duffy would offer $5 beer and free wings, long rated the best in the city by the Washington CityPaper’s Best of DC readers poll, as long as they lasted.

Dropping by the closing last night, I asked Andy about his future plans. He said he didn’t immediately have any, but that he would keep friends posted on his next move via Facebook.

Closing night at Duffy’s drew a robust crowd, filling the back bar and spilling out on the patio. The mood was somber but relaxed, as people reminisced and watched returns from the mid-term elections.

Duffy’s came to its initially empty corner in Shaw eight years ago, pioneering a local bar in a neighborhood then arguably underserved by them. Surrounding additions of other businesses and Duffy’s growing reputation as a Nationals baseball bar eventually drew some crowds, but not regularly enough apparently to keep the bar going.

Before establishing Duffy’s, Andy was a longtime manager at Ireland’s Four Provinces in Cleveland Park, which became Ireland’s Four Fields and soon closed down itself.

Andy set about setting up shop on Vermont Ave. after leaving the 4 P’s, inspired to offer a mix of craft beers alongside Irish favorites and of course his hot wings, which won best wings in the Best of DC poll every year since 2008—except in 2013, when they were displaced by newcomer Boundary Stone for a year.

We hope to see Andy back in the DC bar scene sometime soon, perhaps offering those famous wings while managing at another establishment.

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