The Phillips Flagship, successor to the old Flagship Restaurant on the Southwest Washington waterfront, opened this week. We went to try it, and had a generally pleasant experience.

Metro Scene was appalled last November when the former owners shut down the Flagship without notice, turning 200 employes onto the street. But, the truth be known, we also had given up the Flagship as a hectic purveyor of mediocre and almost invariably fried food. One wondered why it kept its status as a preferred D.C. urban renewal leaseholder.

Unlike the old Flagship, Phillips has instituted an inviting bar near the entrance, a piano bar nearby, lots of Tiffany-type glass and an open design that includes a New Orleans-type terrace with banquettes and randomly arranged tables. Ours unfortunately was near a drafty doorway.

Be warned: the place as operated by the Phillipses of Ocean City already is getting popular. On Wednesday evening, a 25-minute wait was required. And some of the new help isn't quite up to speed; my party found the server earnest but bumbling. Dinner was good, but we'll leave detailed reviews up to Phyllis Richman and her crew. However, Flagship's old rum buns are gone and the frigid butter that arrives with the crusty rolls is much too hard to spread.

Gee, though, I miss the real old seafood places on the wharf, a slice of Washingtoniana that will never return. And I miss Harrigan's and old Hall's on Seventh Street. Do you remember Hall's?