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Dr. Dremo’s Still Raising Money for Possible Clarendon Location

by ARLnow.com — July 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm 3,392 76 Comments

Andrew Stewart, owner of the late, lamented Dr. Dremo’s Taphouse, is still raising money for a possible new Dremo’s location in Clarendon.

Stewart tells ARLnow.com that he has raised about $175,000 of the $400,000 to $500,000 he needs to bring the watering hole back to life. Having already sold interest-bearing investments, Stewart is now selling ownership shares in the new bar.

Stewart says that he has negotiated a purchase price for an existing business in Clarendon, and now just must raise enough money to get the new Dremo’s off the ground and running.

In June, the Washington Business Journal first reported that Stewart was eying a 6,000 square foot space somewhere in Clarendon. Stewart says he’s not going to reveal the exact location until he signs a lease.

  • G

    Move to Columbia Pike! It’ll be cheaper.

    • KalashniKEV

      Correction- mas barato!

    • steve85

      You beat me to saying that. Good minds think alike.

    • wat

      And no one will want to go to it because they can’t metro home!

    • http://APFAM Charle

      I agree, come to the Pike. All the yuppsters in Clarendon don’t deserve Dremos!!

  • KalashniKEV

    That would be cool if you could buy a small ownership share and get a special mug that was good for like, 5 free beers every day.

    • R.Griffon

      No joke. They should sell “charter memberships” or some such for $10 or 20K ea. No waiting at the door, a few free rounds, and a proportional share of the profits. I’d buy.

  • JamesE

    Dr. Dremo’s still raising money Sept 13th, 2027

  • NoVapologist

    Just what Clarendon needs – another bar full of dudes walking around like they own the place or something.

    • chris

      +1

  • chris

    Yawn. Dremo was so last century…..

    • BCR

      last decade.

  • ClarendonGUY

    Like the mug idea! I’d buy in.

  • alington_guru

    This was my absolute favorite bar. I raved about this place to all my girlfriends and brought people from far and wide to this place. It was a place that would guarantee a good night.

    how can I contribute? Why don’t the have a fund raiser event? I would not mind helping out!

    • CW

      So are you a polygamist or do you have trouble staying in committed relationships?

  • Ballstonian

    Why don’t they just do a kickstarter project http://www.kickstarter.com and raise capital that way and then people who contribute get rewards like the aforementioned 5 free beers a day. Just a thot.

  • http://towniegazette.tumblr.com Insider

    I bet that Dremo’s is eyeing Jay’s

    • samsonite

      Me too.

    • ME

      Jay’s will be demolished and a high rise put in its place. The Jay’s lease is up in November. It may last a little longer, but the end is near.

      • Lou

        Yeah, I thought we covered that. Jay’s is closing because the landlord is not renewing the lease, because they are clearing several parcels to build a new development.

        • RE Guy

          Eventually. Jay and Cathi probably have at least a year or two to go.

      • FrenchyB

        Also, Jay’s is nowhere near 6,00 square feet.

    • what!!

      I bet you’re Wrong…. HAHAHAHA

  • Bob

    This place was a hole before, I don’t understand why people (and this site) are so fixated on its return.

    It’s interesting once they have the money and a site and are doing something about it. Until then it’s just a stroke-fest.

    • samsonite

      You just don’t get it and you probably never will.

    • b0rk

      It was an awesome bar. If you never had fun, then your loss. I always had a great time at Dremo’s, and still reminisce about the good old days with friends who were lucky enough to go there before they bulldozed it to make a vacant lot.

    • Frank

      I agree with you. It was a pit that smelled like a fraternity basement.

    • Joe

      I always loved it because it felt like a yard party, not a bar. Plastic lawn chairs and tables, beer pong, a kick -a$$ beer selection, long before you could buy a craft beer at fireworks or Circa or Rustica or whatever pseudo yuppie bar/restaurant you choose today.

      Like a party in one of your friend’s yards, but with new people every night, up to 7 nights a week if you were so inclined, new shenanigans daily.

      Good Times.

  • South Arlington

    Seriously, did this guy burn a bunch of creditors when he closed down Dremo’s? He should be able to raise capital for a proven business pretty easily through traditional means. The fact that he’s trying to raise capital through unregulated “shares” in the business and donations is cause for concern.

    I also think any locating of this in the Clarendon area will lead to a Dr. Dremo’s/Dr. Dremo’s clientele that fails to capture the spirit of the old Dremo’s that we all miss..

    • Maria

      I agree. I think people need to just move forward with fond memories. A new one would never be the same for them as the first was.

      • Maria

        Well, not to say he shouldn’t open a new one if he can, but I guess what I mean to say is that people shouldn’t expect it to be the same, and it seems like a lot of people are.

    • All the same

      Courthouse/ Clarendon….same thing.

      • South Arlington

        Yeah same thing nowadays. I should clarify that any location on the orange line corridor is going to lead to a Dremo’s unfamiliar to any of us that remember the old one. It will be infested with square toed shoe wearing broheims that usually go to Front Page and C-Ballroom.

  • Vinh An Nguyen

    I wonder where it is. There aren’t many dumps left around Clarendon.

  • gonzo

    Dr. Dremo is still dreaming. Wake me up when something happens

    • MC

      Sorry ARLNOW, there is no news in this story

  • Don Ager

    The place was great, but sometimes you just can’t go home again. Also, having to do this much advertising, actually any advertising, to generate investors can’t be a good sign of things.

  • Chris

    Maybe they’re looking at the old American Flatbread space? Is that 6,000 square feet? I just can’t think of that many other available spaces.

    Also, the original plan was to serve beer and wine, and no liquor, to allow for a lower food/alcohol requirement. Anyone else think it might be tough for them to make money with that strategy in today’s Clarendon?

    • GMo

      Not if I have anything to do about it!

    • ME

      I’d venture to guess they are not looking at that space. When they were open the restuarant often had open letters complaining about their neighbors who would not allow them to have outdoor seating due to noise concerns, even though there was a large patio off the back of the restaurant. If the neighbors were so up in arms about outdoor dinner dates, it’s probably not the best spot for a place like Dremos.

    • charlie

      how about that chinese restaurant at Wilson/Danville; or whatever is the failure du jour at Courthouse Plaza (no way the landlord would let them in there);

    • R.Griffon

      I very much doubt it. I don’t think that place is anywhere near that size, and it’s deep in a dense residential area. They’d have residential noise complaints from above and all sides.

      Besides, I’ve reserved that spot for a Clarendon Lost Dog Cafe. *crosses fingers*

      • wat

        that would be AWESOME

      • Burger

        keep dreaming. LDC just expanded in Westover last year and Westover isn’t far enough away from Clarendon to warrant putting another spot in there to take away business from the home store.

  • Hope

    Please be taking over the Mr. Days or Clarendon Ballroom spot.. pleeeease… I know I’m just dreaming.

    • Louise

      That’s a great idea! Clarendon Ballroom would be an excellent location.

    • ArlingtonNative

      Actually, the Mr. Days spot would be ideal location as it was originally built out as a brew-pub and most of the mechanical infrastructure is still in place. Haven’t been into Mr. Days since shortly after it opened, but I’m guessing the stainless transfer lines from the brewery to the cold-room would still be in place.
      Only problem … you’d still get the brown flip-flop DB’s coming in … so yeah, ditto on that to keep it away from the Courthouse-Clarendon corridor. Maybe at EFC? Take over the old Hardware store space next to the bike trail. That’s an easy stumble back to the Metro!

      • Burger

        Do you mean Browns? I’d argue you’d get a very big argument from the locals on that one.

        • http://ViewLargerMap ArlingtonNative

          Yep – that’s the one.

          “only” neighbors are the condo’s directly behind. Have to imagine that, a) at least a few of those folks would welcome having a casual watering-hole they could walk to, and b) couldn’t be much worse then the eyesore “auto” dealer that is there now!

          Walking distance to Metro & think of all the business they could pull from the bikes & other W&OD trail users passing by.

  • John

    It might be the Buck owned parcel on Wilson where the catering company used to be.

  • Stu Pendus

    I’m thinking outside the food service box. What if it’s something like Arlington Auto Care?

    • R.Griffon

      The old place used to be a car dealership, and it gave the place a lot of character. Something like that would be perfect!

  • wat

    beyond those that love dremos that frequent this blog, do you really think after 3 years of no dremos and the change in the bar scene since that anyone would really care?

    the old patrons have grown older or moved away, and to the newer ones it would be just another place with a billion beers like every other new bar in the last 5 years.

    • samsonite

      I disagree completely. As the comments here demonstrate, lots of people who remember Dremo and Bardo are still around, and a new generation is quite ready to enjoy the new version, which we can be sure will be different from the rest.

      • wat

        you disagree completely? You did read the very first thing I said which was “beyond those …that frequent this blog” yet your evidence to support your disagreement is the people on this blog.

        • samsonite

          I disagree that it’s not just people on this blog. This blog is a cross-section of the whole community. It’s not like every Dremo lover is here and everyone else isn’t. But yeah, that was unclear.

          • samsonite

            Oops, should have said “disagree that it’s just people on this blog.” Again, forgot to think first and type second.

  • Louise

    Well, I’m one of the old patrons and so is my husband. We’ve grown old but we haven’t moved away! I’d love if Andrew got his funding and did it all again.

  • Mad Rose?

    Maybe they are taking over Mad Rose and they are trowing in the towel? Ha!

  • SamsontheCat

    If he’s selling ownership shares can we just band together and form a corporation to buy up 51% of the shares then demand it be built somewhere other than Clarendon?

  • Paul M

    I bet it will be the Mad Rose Tavern spot. That place can’t last.

  • karzai

    I agree with Stu Pendus. I bet they are looking at the Arlington Auto Care at the large intersection of Wilson, Washington, and 10th street. It seems to be about the size that’s reported, it is an existing business, and it fits with the Dremo theme of taking over past auto-related garage-type locations.

    I was thinking it was the space vacated by PNC bank on Wilson, right across from Mexicali, but that is not any longer an “existing business.”

    The Auto Care site is definitely the furthest south to still be considered Clarendon – it really is more Virginia Squre – but close enough. Dremo will do well because legions of people remember it fondly.

    The problem is that everytime Stewart says something, it’s “I’m close to a deal” or “I almost did this or that.” He never seems to pull the trigger on anything. Make an announcement or keep quiet…..

    • Stu Pendus

      I threw that out there as a placeholder idea, just to open up the thinking about places that could be a future Dremos site.

      One reason I think it may not be Arlington Auto Care is that he’s having trouble raising the money. If that was the site, I think investors would be throwing money at him.

      • karzai

        People would really be throwing money at him if he proposed to demolish the Highlander Motel and develop a Dremos on that site.

        The Highlander is a disaster and I am shocked that, with all the development going on, no one can figure out a way to get rid of that disgusting, property value-wrecking eyesore.

        • novasteve

          Accross the street from highlander is that former video to DVD conversion place that’s being demolished. What’s going up there?

          • ClarendonBlvd

            I think its a new burger joint. There was an ARLNow article a few months ago about it.

        • Frank

          Who is supposed to figure that out? I’ll bet whoever owns it has very little debt on it and runs it, at least partially, on a “cash” basis. It’s probably a cash cow, giving the owner very little incentive to sell.

        • CW

          Have you ever actually been in the Highlander? I’ve had family come into town and stay there a half dozen times. It’s an old-style motor in run by a nice local family that has owned it forever. They treat their guests kindly, the rooms are clean, and they serve coffee and donuts in the morning. Like another poster said, they probably paid it off decades ago. Property-value-wrecking? Property values over there seem just fine.

          • ted

            I agree. The Highlander is run by a very nice family.

            Karzai- you call it an eyesore and wish for it to be demolished. It’s that sentiment put into action which has turned Arlington into the homogenized yuppie hell hole that it is today.

          • http://slumlog.blogspot.com/2011/03/help-wanted.html slog1

            A-freakin-MEN

  • cb

    Dr, Dremo can raise as much money as he wants. He burned his bridges in Arlington. His refusal to deal with with the fact that people live in the neighborhood of his bar changed the way Arlington dealt with parking in the 1000 yards of a Metro stop.
    Beyond dogs, the thing that people care the most about is parking in front of their house and people peeing on their Azealeas

    • M L Field

      Thank you, db, I just wrote the same thing, weeks later. I hated Bardo’s and hated Dremo’s – real dives with no respect.

  • Mick Way

    His prospectus says the location is an existing restaurant, 6,000 square feet and has ample parking. That last one sort of knocks out a lot of places. Who has ample parking in Clar?

    If you sign a non-disclosure agreement he’ll tell you.

    I love this, too. It pretty much says all advertising will be word of mouth, social media and free press. The Stewarts were always non-conventional.

  • M L Field

    I never want to see this place anywhere near where I live again. Trash, people urinating on my building, parking hangups – nothing to be gained in my opinion.

  • tom smart

    I find it interesting that there seems to be a lot of interest in resurrecting Dr. Dremos but that no one cares to invest in it. Stewart’s certainly not going to let you have 51% interest. Why would he do that? Maybe he should take his idea before the Sharks on Shark Tank to see what saavy investors think of his plan.

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