Best restaurant to close during the pandemic: Burger, Tap & Shake

Media Credit: Sophia Young | Contributing Photo Editor

Many locals and tourists frequented BTS because of its closeness to the Metro, Georgetown and the National Mall.

Readers’ pick: Burger, Tap & Shake

Location: Formerly 2200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

This past year has forced one too many beloved D.C. restaurants to close their doors. Among the fallen is Burger, Tap & Shake, a longtime burger joint on Washington Circle. 

BTS announced its retirement in a tweet in October with the headline, “Goodbye… for now, burger lovers.” BTS’s owners had hoped to reopen later on during the pandemic, but for now, they remain optimistic, adding they will “hopefully” see customers soon in a “spiffy” new location.

For now, the former burger joint sits empty and dark across from the GW Hospital emergency room entrance.

Before shuttering, BTS promised classic American burgers with a flavorful twist, like its popular “Big Daddy,” ($8) with its signature thick cut bacon, bleu cheese, mushrooms and AP sauce. Customers could complement their burgers with thick milkshakes and, for those over 21, a selection of draft beers on tap.

It used to be hard to find a table at BTS on weekend evenings and warm D.C. nights. The line often stretched out the door of the restaurant and onto the sidewalk as excited customers chatted and perused menus while waiting.

Once you ordered, you were given a pager to notify you when your food was ready. In the meantime, customers hovered over and sometimes scouted crowds at tables who appeared prepared to leave, ready to pounce on the perfect booth.

If you were so unlucky to be left without a table, braving the bar was your best bet.

Once seated, customers were free to wait for their meals while listening to the buzz of a packed restaurant. It was hard to go an entire meal without spotting a friend, ex-hookup or sometimes even a professor.

Unlike most GWorld restaurants, local families and tourists frequented BTS because of its proximity to the Metro, Georgetown and the monuments. Its surroundings made the restaurant a prime location for post-work drinks, family dinners and quick bites to eat.

BTS meant more than its classic, mouth-watering American burgers. The restaurant offered a sense of community to D.C. students, working people and families, which is something that the pandemic has robbed from so many of us.

Though we’ll mourn its prime spot on Washington Circle, we hope to see BTS open up in the near future in a new location

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