Young and Hungry

Booze Debate Leads To Earlier Bedtime For Late-Night Burger Joint Black & Orange

Talk about bad timing: The Post today published an article about new late-night eateries Black & Orange and The Hamilton potentially ushering in a new era for the District. Could it be, our sleepy buttoned-up town is becoming a 24-hour city?

The answer, it turns out, is probably no. As widely reported yesterday on this blog and elsewhere, both late-night dining destinations mentioned in the article have abruptly and dramatically scaled back their post-midnight operations. "We jixed it," writes the Post's Justin Rude.

A rep for Black & Orange now tells Y&H that negotiations with neighbors who are protesting the restaurant's liquor license are a big part of the reason for reneging on its advertised "Always Till 5 AM" slogan. Basically, in order to get timely approval to sell beer and open its planned outdoor patio, the colorfully themed burger joint has to compromise on its late-night schedule. Also, as evidenced in the article, the wee-hour burger business has been largely characterized by profound periods of boom and bust. The new schedule is intended to better take advantage of peak late-night traffic while scaling back on expenses during the down times.

Additionally, the new hours at Black & Orange on 14th Street have prompted the burger joint to similarly revise its schedule at its original location in Dupont Circle.

Read the official statement from chef-owner Raynold Mendizabal below:

"As of this week, Black & Orange has revised its operating hours at both restaurant locations, and the timing has been unfortunate due to the recent press surrounding our late night service hours. We'd like to take this time to clear up the reasons behind the changes."

"Black & Orange is still committed to providing the best late-night food option for hungry diners in DC, but recent circumstances have pressed us into this arrangement until further notice. These considerations include operating cost versus demand during the very late hours, but most importantly, a challenge from the neighborhood association in the 14th Street corridor regarding our liquor license and sidewalk café application. To progress in obtaining a liquor license and to open our outdoor patio, we had to enter into negotiation with the local neighborhood associations; which have great influence on the granting of such permits under current dc policies. The result of such is a 'voluntary agreement' that shortens our hours of operation and unfairly limits our the hours of our alcohol sales."

"At this time, we are actively pursuing a plan that will balance the neighborhood association's requests with the demand from our late night customers, so we can resume as planned with our operating hours each day until 5am. We have the strongest commitment to providing quality food to our customers, and we know cravings happen late into the night, and as soon as possible, we'll be back full-time to service those."

"Until then, come join us for a full 18 hours of delicious burgers on Fridays and Saturdays, and just slightly fewer hours for the rest of the week."

The revised hours are as follows:

Dupont (1300 Connecticut)
Sun, Mon, Tues: 11am – 11pm
Wed, Thurs: 11am – 3am
Fri, Sat: 11am – 5am

14th & U
Sun, Mon, Tues, Wed: 11am – 11pm
Thurs: 11am – 3am
Fri, Sat: 11am – 5am

Photo by Chris Shott