No more Mangoritas: Mango Mike’s to close Sunday

December 17, 2013

No more mangoritas on Duke Street.


The Mangorita -- a frozen concoction made with mango vodka, triple sec and orange juice -- is the signature drink at Mango Mike's. (Photo by Evy Mages for The Washington Post)

Mango Mike's, an oasis of palm trees and tropical frozen drinks, announced on Facebook this afternoon that it is closing Sunday after 18 years in Alexandria. It will be replaced by a Mexican restaurant early next year.

"It's had a good run, but we decided that Mango Mike's has run its course," says owner and namesake "Mango" Mike Anderson. "Restaurants have a shelf life like anything else, and we decided we're going to close up and launch something else."

Mango Mike's had been on borrowed time since September, when the restaurant's lease ended. However, a deal for a new tenant fell through, and the building's landlord offered a new lease to Anderson and his partner Bill Blackburn. Instead of keeping the Mango Mike's theme, the pair will renovate the building into a Mexican restaurant, which Anderson hopes to open in late January. Anderson says he's keeping most details under wraps for now, but he's keeping the beach-like patio outside, which features white sand, palm trees and steel drums at brunch.

There are no plans for a formal farewell party. Anderson admits he just wanted to close quietly this weekend, but the restaurant's general manager wanted to post something on Facebook. "Now the phone's ringing off the hook, with customers saying 'I can't believe you're closing,'" Anderson says, and he's planning to serve plenty of frozen mango drinks and tiki cocktails in coconut husks over the next few days.

January should be a busy time for Anderson. Beyond the new Mexican joint, he's opening Sweet Fire Donna's Barbecue and Hops in the Carlyle neighborhood of Alexandria. Named after his wife, Anderson says the 48-seat barbecue restaurant and bar will have a menu similar to Pork Barrel BBQ, the neighborhood spot he and Buchanan own in Del Ray. (They're also partners in Del Ray's Sushi Bar and Holy Cow burgers.) A mid-January opening is on the cards for that one.

Mango Mike's, 4580 Duke St., Alexandria. 703-823-1166.

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.
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Margaret Ely · December 17, 2013