Replace shuttered alumni favorites at these restaurants and bars

Media Credit: Dean Whitelaw | Hatchet Photographer

An employee hands a cone of matcha ice cream to a customer at Bon Matcha, located on the corner of I and 20th streets NW.

Alumni returning to campus for Colonials Weekend will encounter a revamped GW.

Over the years, Foggy Bottom has seen both openings and renovations to food establishments. But along with the new additions, some treasured campus businesses have shuttered their doors.

Here’s an update on where to go if your go-to is gone:

Cone E. Island
For those looking for sweets, you won’t find the beloved ice cream shop Cone E. Island, which closed in 2014 after a drop in sales. This Foggy Bottom staple in The Shops at 2000 Penn was open for 27 years as a go-to, late-night stop with its dimmed lighting, dance music and disco balls.

Unfortunately, a true replacement has not found its way to campus, but if you’re craving ice cream, Captain Cookie and the Milkman might do the trick. Located in Cone E. Island’s previous location inside The Shops at 2000 Penn, Captain Cookie is known for its custom ice cream sandwiches ($5) and has become a hit among students since it opened in 2015. Open until 2 a.m. on weekends, this dessert spot is perfect for when you have a late-night craving for something sweet.

For a replacement that provides more unique flavors, Bon Matcha offers various matcha-themed drinks, affogato and soft serve ice cream. The walk-up booth located on the corner of I and 20th streets NW often elicits a line of customers wrapping down 20th street to purchase flavors like matcha, a seasonal flavor like honey or watermelon, or a swirl of both flavors.

J Street Dining Hall
GW gave its dining plan an overhaul when it closed the University’s only dining hall on the Foggy Bottom Campus in 2016. The new dining plan no longer requires freshmen to spend GWorld funds at on-campus vendors and instead allows students to use dining cash at any partnered restaurant.

But if you want a flashback to a traditional dining hall experience, the Whole Foods prepared foods section can supplement a bevy of cravings. In the back of Whole Foods at 2201 I St. NW, you can choose from a pizza station, a ramen bar and a station with burgers and fries. The options continue with a hot food bar on a pay-by-the-pound system that mimics the former dining hall.

When eliminating J Street, GW rolled out multiple quick-service restaurants instead like Chick-Fil-A, Sol Mexican Grill, Wiseguy Pizza, Peet’s Coffee and GRK Fresh Greek. The space has become a gathering spot for students, so alumni can check out the new hangout during their return trip.

TGI Fridays
The national chain’s location at 2100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW closed earlier this month after more than two decades of supplying strong drinks and endless apps. Nothing has replaced the vacant space yet, but there are still plenty of greasy food locations students are fond of on campus.

While nothing replaces TGI Fridays’ wings, Froggy Bottom Pub manages to add a spin to the classic number, with drink options to boot. Along with your usual chicken tender ($9) and sandwich dishes ($9 to $12), the restaurant at 2021 K St. NW spices up its menu with traditional Vietnamese dishes like Bahn mi ($8 to $12) and pho ($10) that TGI Fridays wouldn’t dare attempt.

To fulfill your burger craving, try a Burger Tap & Shake sandwich piled high with toppings. Each month the shop showcases a burger of the month like the Oktoberfest ($9), a bratwurst pork patty sandwiched with Swiss cheese, Bavarian sauerkraut and beer mustard. The expansive menu also offers boozy milkshakes dubbed shaketails ($8.50) that are a delicious alternative to the long island iced teas at TGI Fridays that became infamous among students.

Lindy’s Red Lion
A sad sight for many, the iconic Lindy’s Red Lion shut down in June. The iconic dive that predates The Shops at 2000 Penn shuttered after decades of serving as a staple GW watering hole.

If you can’t belly up to this trademark bar, you can replace the sticky sports bar with a more polished locale. Church Hall, a spacious beer hall located at 1070 Wisconsin Ave. NW, features more than a dozen flat screens and extensive beer and cocktail options, with a gourmet menu of some of the best pub grub you’ll find in the District, like the Carolina barbecue chicken sandwich ($12) or a plate of ultimate nachos ($9 to $12). Come for the beer and find a reason to stick around with a number of potential board game options, like giant Connect Four or UNO with large cards.

If you’re still desiring a nostalgic drink or two at an old haunt, Sign of the Whale recently reopened this year after rebranding as D.C. Tap House last October. The sports bar at 1825 M St. NW, known for its college nights and gargantuan Whale Pails, is the perfect spot to relish in those undergraduate memories.

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