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Changes coming to Eventide in Clarendon?

December 14, 2010 - 11:33 AM
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Eventide Restaurant
Eventide Restaurant in Clarendon. (Photo: TBD Staff)

Just a few weeks after Clarendon bar and restaurant Eventide won a local award for best customer service, its general manager and bar manager have departed, according to an announcement they posted on DonRockwell.com.

Former GM Dave Pressley, who is also an investor in the restaurant, cited differences with his partners over the direction for the bar and rooftop at the three-story space.

"We will both resurface in restaurants that are more dedicated to giving good, caring service and genuinely care about the people that walk through the door each day," Pressley wrote on behalf of himself and bar manager Steve Warner.

The departures beg the question: is there just not room for a more upscale, non-sports bar in Clarendon? Eventide, which is partly owned by the same person that co-owns Spider Kelly's, Clarendon Ballroom and Clarendon Grill, Pete Pflug, usually provided a calmer, more attentive foil for its sister restaurants on the same strip.

The bar had an aggressive door policy that aimed to prevent overcrowding, and Warner, who was behind the bar most nights, would greet regulars by name, usually remembering their poison. The restaurant also received a solid review from Washington Post's Tom Sietsema within its first few months of opening.

Still, the preference in the neighborhood seems to be for huge sports bars with deep discounts. Hard Times Cafe built its second floor in that image, and Spider Kelly's last year expanded from a one-storefront hole-in-the-wall with a mean burger to a behemoth sports bar with a winding line on the sidewalk most weekend nights. And Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill just opened, complete with dozens of TVs, including some that can be programmed to individual tables.

We've reached out to Pflug to see if the change in personnel means forthcoming changes to Eventide, but haven't yet heard back. We'll update this post once we hear from him.


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