Young and Hungry

Artisphere’s Here Cafe Bar, R.I.P. (2011-2011)

Back in June, Y&H colleague Alex Baca wrote about the foot-traffic woes of Artisphere, Arlington County's would-be Kennedy Center for young people. Part of the problem: losing Busboys & Poets, the creative-class magnet that restaurateur Andy Shallal had originally intended to spin-off into yet another buzzy location inside the arts center. But the deal fell through.

Now comes word that Shallal's eventual replacement in Artisphere's restaurant space, Casa Oaxaca operator Karen Barroso's Here Cafe Bar, is not renewing its contract after just seven months in business.

In a statement, Barroso tries to put a positive spin on the closure: “Although this particular restaurant concept didn’t translate for the Rosslyn business crowd, the catering arm of our business saw great results from our partnership with Artisphere."

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  • tomaj

    It could be that (1) Rosslyn is a lunchtime-only eating crowd. It's dead after 5:00, and HERE didn't help. (2) HERE has a strange, cutesy name (that's what happens when you let the public vote to decide your name), does little advertising, and is invisible to the street. You have to go inside Artisphere and stumble upon it to find it. (3) Its bar is only three or four stools, and the two times I've gone for the (dead) happy hour I have to shout to the back to get someone to come out and serve me. They servers don't know anything about their beers and they serve them in plastic cups. Rosslyn desperately needs more happy hour places (and food in general) to keep people there after work, but Here (sorry, I meant HERE) seemed to put little effort into this. (4) the food is sandwiches (burgers and wraps), with a few salads and pizzas. No distinction.

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