Six D.C. establishments placed in Restaurant Business’s 2015 list of the top-grossing independent restaurants this year, up from only three in 2014. Old Ebbitt Grill remains D.C.’s highest-ranking dining option with sales totaling $28,056,008.
What gives the tavern-style Old Ebbitt Grill such staying power? For one, its current location at 675 15th St. NW, just a stone’s throw from the White House. But what’s really helped secure the iconic eatery’s status is its rich history of A-list guests — and, of course, a steady flow of tourists and power lunchers.
Old Ebbitt’s love affair with society’s most prominent dates back to its founding in 1856. Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Johnson, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt and Warren Harding supposedly used to frequent the bar of the then-boarding house, which later morphed into D.C.’s first saloon.
In modern times, Old Ebbitt remains a staple for the rich and famous. This year, musicians such as Lenny Kravitz chose the restaurant as their go-to while in town for September’s UNITE To Face Addiction rally. Actor Gary Sinise (perhaps better known as Lt. Dan), “Jersey Boys” star Michael Lomenda also dined there this year, and Charlie Sheen, err… tried to.
Other famous faces have made an appearance there over the past few years — Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert, American Chopper star Paul Teutul, Jr. and “CSI” actor Eric Szmanda have all stopped by.
Also on the Top 100 list? New kid on the block Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab landed the 16th spot, the Hamilton nabbed 20th, the Source ranks at 33, Le Diplomate sits at 41, and Sequoia finishes off the group with the 53rd spot.