Smith Point, the Georgetown bar and restaurant that was a magnet for young Republicans and preppy young professionals during the George W. Bush administration, is for sale, according owner Bo Blair. He's currently trying to find a new owner who will take over the "very below market lease" and the tavern-class liquor license, which is a rarity in the neighborhood.
When my colleague Maura Judkis spoke to Blair in November about a possible "Trump bump" in Georgetown, Blair said he was planning to renovate Smith Point, because he thought the new administration would "invigorate Georgetown and hopefully re-energize it." But "over the past couple weeks," Blair says, he's changed his mind: He'd rather focus on the upcoming opening of Millie's, his Nantucket restaurant that's opening on Massachusetts Avenue in Spring Valley, and the Surfside empire, which has new taco restaurants in D.C. and Boston in the works. (Blair's Georgetown Events restaurant group also includes Due South and Bayou on Penn.)
Smith Point gained quite a reputation during the Bush years, when its guest list-only weekend door policy regularly attracted the likes of Jenna and Barbara Bush and, Blair told Judkis, Ivanka and Eric Trump, when they were students at Georgetown. It was the primary home of the notorious invite-only Late Night Shots social network. And it was a pretty good place to down RBVs (Red Bull and vodkas) before hitting the makeshift dance floor. The difficulty of getting in gave the bar far more cachet than the basement frat party vibe would have on its own. Business, however, has tailed off over the last eight years.
While Smith Point will stay open Thursdays to Saturdays until it's sold, Blair expects the next owner to "come in and do a new concept," he says. "Seventeen years has been a good run."
And in case you were wondering: Smith Point has been rented out for private parties the night before and the night of inauguration.
Smith Point, 1338 Wisconsin Ave. NW.