Has Buddha Bar Closed?

Eater DC reports that Buddha Bar at 455 Mass may have abruptly closed for business permanently.

While I didn’t express this openly on the blog when Buddha Bar first opened I always had my doubts it was a good fit for the neighborhood. It wants to be a club but no other clubs are near by. The atmosphere was about dim lighting and DJ’s which was incompatible with the 180 seat patio and thus that generous outdoor space was left largely ignored. It may not happen overnight, but if Buddha Bar is done for business I think a better option will arrive and we’ll be better off for it.

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  1. 1

    washingtonydc says

    I didn’t understand Buddha Bar but just figured it wasn’t my scene. Because the curtains were always drawn, it seemed completely cut off from foot traffic–you couldn’t see whether it was crowded or empty. In fact, if it weren’t for the valet stand on Massachusetts, I’d have never noticed Buddha Bar was there at all. The patio was always a sad clump of closed umbrellas.

    I’d like to see something like Mad Fox from Falls Church fill the space. If they ever wanted to open a DC location, this would be perfect. Lots of condos, apartments, and hotels nearby, close to two metro stops, and enough offices for a happy hour crowd. Such a large patio space is practically begging for a good beer on a nice day.

  2. 2

    FP says

    buddah bar is global institution, and i was happy to have it next door. the inside is just beautiful and the quality of the music is really hard to find in this area. buddah bar brought a different and more diverse crowd to the area, and i’m afraid it will be replaced by something a lot more cookie-cutter and less interesting.

  3. 4

    KP says

    I was first very excited about buddha bar, but I just think they did a horrible job designing the place. That said the place may be a global destination that doesn’t work in the US. I had been to the one in NYC a few years back and was shocked to hear that closed a couple of years ago (I think right before this one opened).

    I just think the food was subpar for the price, if they want bring in buddhakan or tao

  4. 5

    FourthandEye says

    For what it’s worth, several other DC restaurant closings have been announced this week (albeit less abruptly) including Potenza near the White House. Buddha Bar just wasn’t the right concept for the location at the right time. Maybe if the Art’s at 5th & I had delivered a Me By Melia hotel and Boisdale Jazz Club by now like the developers initially planned then Buddha Bar would have worked. Who knows.

    But like I said in the body of my post – I want to see a new concept that will use the patio for pete’s sake…

  5. 7

    cozmot says

    @washingtonydc, you nailed it. I had completely forgotten about the place and never noticed it at all. As FourthandEye pointed out, perhaps this would have worked had other planned development in the are taken place. @Bo, where would customers park for a Trader Joe’s? Besides, I hear rumors that they may open a store in City Center.

  6. 8

    james says

    i worked at Buddha bar dc until the doors were closed, it employed many dc residents, who themselves paid there share of taxes and now find themselves outta work just like me, i was there from the beginning, the restaurant never had a nightclub license, therefore it never was a club, “club promoters” came by the hundreds and were turned down, no sound issues, no dance floor and we maintained Buddha Bar Branded Music, thus never having to play music that promoted dancing, such as music from the radio. as an individual coming to Buddha bar, one can only offer there own selfish opinion on what should or should not be done based on what’s in front of them, sadly those individuals will never know what it takes to have and run a business here DC, with square footage at a premium and rent and utilities taxes and overhead out of this world, not many institutions could afford or would go through the process, everyone with the attitude of “not in my neighborhood” “i wish it would be what i want” will never be satisfied or serve the community anyways, Buddha bar is resilient will keep it’s concept for those who get it and for those who don’t, i hope you don’t become a hater on the next pace i work at :)