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Eventide Lounge To Reopen As ‘Odd Bar’ Tomorrow

by ARLnow.com January 30, 2012 at 2:06 pm 7,543 75 Comments

The lounge area of Eventide Restaurant in Clarendon (3165 Wilson Blvd) has a new name, a new menu and a new look.

The lounge has been renovated over the past week and will reopen tomorrow (Tuesday) night as “Odd Bar.” The name pays homage to the restaurant’s historic building, which housed the Independent Order of Odd Fellows after being built in 1925.

Odd Bar aims to attract a bit broader of a clientele than the old Eventide lounge, which tended to skew older and more upscale. Changes to the lounge’s interior are minor, but include repainted walls (now blue), high top tables instead of booths and a couple of new flat screen televisions.

Odd Bar will have an extended beer menu, with Miller Lite, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Blue Moon and Starr Hill JoMo Lager on draft. There will also be 17 bottled beers on the menu, ranging in price from $4 to $18. A selection of bottled and by-the-glass wine is on the menu, with by-he-glass prices starting at $7. Cocktails will also be available.

A new lounge menu, designed by Executive Chef Adam Barnett, promises to feature “classic American fare with a twist.”

There are “snacks” like chicken wings (marinated in a “slightly south of Buffalo sauce” with blue cheese fondue), salt cod fritters and steamed blue bay mussels. Sandwiches include a “Pineland Farms cheeseburger,” an oyster po’ boy and roasted Shiitake mushroom sliders. Cheese and charcuterie plates are also featured on the menu, along with “bistro plates” like steak frites, potato gnocchi and Virginia sea bream.

The upstairs of the restaurant will continue to be known as “Eventide.” The full Eventide dining room menu, meanwhile, will be available in the lounge from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

“Our lounge has always been a favorite hang out for many customers,” said Eventide co-owner Nick Freshman. “With the new menu, an expanded beer list and the renovations, we hope to create a more fun, comfortable atmosphere for our customers.”

  • James

    Probably a good idea. You are really leaving out a ton of clientele by making an upscale place in Arlington…especially on the block with Liberty, Ballroom, and Spider Kelly’s.

    I understand some dress code like nothing skanky or ripped…just let people come in if they have jeans, tees, baseball caps, etc…I mean it is Arlington.

    • CW

      I can’t tell if this is sarcasm or not.

      I don’t have a degree in marketing, but, conversely, in an area with six-figure median incomes and seven-figure housing prices common, I’d actually think that the upscale dining market is glaringly devoid of players around here.

      • JamesE

        I think now is the time for an upscale Taco Bell. Just like in Demolition Man.

        • CW

          Certainly would beat an empty field.

        • Tre

          Now you’re talking. However, the franchise fees are too high… what I propose is just copying the menu and giving it a snazzy name (anything with out “Fresh”) and a sign with brushed steel letters. Bam, winner.

          T-Belle?

          Yo Quiero?

          Ocho?

          • JamesE

            Le Taco

        • speonjosh

          Don’t mess with a Demolition Man.

      • Arlington badly needs upscale/adult dining options. Too many sports bars and restaurants/bars geared towards college-aged kids.

  • RJ

    Customers that “skewed older”…that’s code for 30-somethings and 40-somethings. Too bad because a little more sophistication is what Clarendon badly needs.

    • CW

      I’m younger than that and agree with the second part.

    • JamesE

      I just turned 30 I don’t know where I belong anymore.

      • Swag

        Fairfax.

        • Tre

          Hah! Although this joke will be a lot less funny later this year.

    • drax

      True, but they weren’t going into Eventide’s lounge.

    • drax

      “Skewed older” is really code. It means skewing older.

      • TheNaif

        Is that similar to Cougar Hunting ?

    • Maria

      I’m in my late 20s, and I love going here because you could usually find a seat and, as others have said, not be bumped and poked by messy drunks. We’ll just have to hope none of them hear about this, and we can still go and enjoy the peace but just sit at higher tables??

  • PL25rd

    Nooo! Crap. I suppose I’m part of that “skewed older” clientele, being in my 30s, but I eat at Eventide frequently, and this is not a welcome change. Why become more like the dime-a-dozen restaurants in Clarendon, when what you do best is upscale? Ergh.

  • G Clifford Prout

    Wait. That means I skew upscale! First time I’ve ever considered myself in that way, but thank goodness I’ve arrived. And speaking for this upscale oldie I much prefer a civilized place to eat and drink.

    Has anyone noticed that on Opentable reviews your “noise level” options are 1) Quiet, 2) Moderate or 3) Energetic? Since when does loud = energetic?

  • Zach

    “Miller Lite, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Blue Moon and Starr Hill JoMo Lager” on draft is definitely not an extended beer menu. That’s a seriously lazy beer menu and shows a lack of attention to detail.

    • JamesE

      They don’t even have coors

      • Bart

        The Banquet Beer!

    • Steamboat Willie

      Exactly right Zach. Lazy and uninspired, especially considering how many really good beers on tap are available in that area. I had received an email promoting the new bar, at that time unnamed, and the part about an overhauled tap menu caught my attention. But seeing the list doesn’t excite me at all.

    • John Fontain

      A few definitions:

      beer: an alcoholic beverage usually made from malted cereal grain (as barley), flavored with hops, and brewed by slow fermentation

      good beer: a beer that makes insecure people feel better about themselves; often because of characteristics such as high price (e.g., I’m successful because I’m drinking this expensive beer – look at me!) or uniqueness of brand (e.g., I’m drinking a beer nobody has ever heard of, so you know I’ve got to be cool!)

      bad beer: a beer that any commoner drinks; also, a beer that was a good beer (see good beer) but has become so popular that it is no longer unique and, therefore, no longer gives the drinker a feel of being special [related: musical sell-out]

      • drax

        This list isn’t bad beer, it’s “lazy,” which is a good way of putting it.

        You kind of boxed yourself in, John. What beer do you think is good? What is bad?

        • John Fontain

          To me, a good beer is one that tastes good to the drinker without any knowledge of brand or price when tasting it.

          Did you ever see the 20/20 where they got a bunch of young liquor snobs in NYC and had them do a blind taste test of different vodkas? These were folks who said lower end vodkas tasted terrible. Many of them had a favored high end brand and said stuff like, “I will only drink [Belvedere, Grey Goose, Ketel One, etc.].”

          Can you guess what the results were? They loved the Smirnoff.

          Saw a similar thing with wine too. Blind taste test with cheap bottles and really expensive bottles. The testers could not accurately pick the expensive brands when asked to do so.

          • drax

            But you just changed your definition of “good beer.”

            Oh, I get it – you’re the only guy in the world who isn’t a snob. Everyone else is a snob who actually likes bad beer but pretends its good because it’s fashionable. And you know this because you have good taste but nobody else does.

            Wait, that sure sounds like you’re the snob.

          • Bart

            I read his first set of definitions as sarcastic. You know, a joke? Do you get jokes?

          • John Fontain

            Exactly Bart. Drax is sometimes like North Korea in how he responds to even the lightest of posts.

          • John Fontain

            I am by no means “the only guy who isn’t a snob.” There are plenty of us in the world. And I’m not saying that lesser known beers (colloquially referred to as craft beers) are bad. I am saying that many, many people in this area decide a beer is good because it is (a) expensive or (b) not well known. As is often the case with these consumers, they are in complete denial about how they really decide if a particular beer is good.

            Look at PBR as an example. Ten years ago, this was a very ‘bad beer’ using the definitions above. Then it became hip to drink it even though the actual beer hadn’t changed. It became a ‘good beer’ based on the ‘uniqueness’ factor. Its popularity as a hip beer grew so much that now it is going back to being a ‘bad beer’ because it became too popular.

          • John Fountain

            “Plenty of ‘us’ in the world?” So it’s you against them? Sounds snobbish to me.

      • Steamboat Willie

        When I was in college the beer I drank was not good by any definition. It was cheap however. If it makes you feel better about yourself defending Miller Lite and Blue Moon as no different from hundreds of quality craft brewed beers, then you’re the one with the insecurity issue.

        • JamesE

          My go to cheap beer is Yuengling, same price as Miller, Bud, etc at most bars and about 1000x better.

        • John Fontain

          I’m not defending those particular brands, I just think its funny when people define good beers as those whose sales volumes aren’t high (i.e., craft brewed beer).

          • drax

            You assumed that.

    • Larchmont

      I’ll be there for the PBR in a can specials!

  • drax

    I am a rather odd fellow so I appreciate the name.

    • SomeGuy

      Agreed.

      • drax

        You agree I’m an odd fellow?

        • SomeGuy

          Yup. And it’s not often you and I agree!

          • drax

            I disagree.

  • Zach II

    What a bummer. This was one of my favorite bars in Clarendon. It was nice to actually be able to sit at the bar without getting constantly bumped and, call me conservative, but I enjoyed being able to hear other people speak.

    Too bad. These are not welcome changes. And I totally agree – that is not an impressive beer menu.

    • Duh

      Ok, you’re conservative.

    • creative

      I agree on all counts, Zach II.

  • Dum Dum Guy at the Gates of Dawn

    I though the Mad Rose Tavern was the odd bar in that part of Clarendon.

  • Elizabeth

    The dreaded TV’s. Can anyone please tell me where this “old” person can now go out and get a drink without the omnipresent television sets sitting above me?

    Seriously. Where?

    • Dum Dum Guy at the Gates of Dawn

      PX Lounge in Alexandria.

      • CrystalMikey

        Love PX.

    • SomeGuy

      They had TVs in there before. These might just be new TVs to replace the old ones.

      TVs are, as you say, omnipresent at at bars. Your best option is to choose your seat wisely.

    • JamesE

      Willow?

    • drax

      Solution:

      http://www.tvbgone.com/cfe_tvbg_main.php

      Make sure they can’t see you doing it and they’ll get frustrated and give up trying to turn it back on.

    • Thank you! Someone that shares my sentiments about TVs and Arlington restaurants. I guess you can’t have a viable restaurant in Arlington unless you show sports on TVs somewhere. I guess they assume all the “foodies” go to DC.

      • Tabs

        I was disappointed to see that William Jeffrys is full of TVs too, even in the quieter back bar.

  • TuesdaysChild

    This is sad news. Just had dinner in the bar three weeks ago. Was great.

    I can understand how the bar is looking to cash in and make crazy “Spider Kelly” money with the younger crowd. But would prefer more options without the 20 something/ 30 somthing crowd.

  • Southeast Jerome

    I thought people older than 40 didnt go out. They want to get crazy boy band crowds, duh.

    Anyway – this place having Miller Lite on tap, the worst among all light beers, really gives it a black eye. Maybe they will charge $6 for it tho so I feel like since I am paying a lot it must be good, like crappy cheese.

    • JamesE

      The Miller Lite man up commercials are pretty much the worst advertising I have ever seen. I think the only ones worse are the new Heineken ones with the terrible music.

  • arlingtonian

    Longtime reader and first time commenter…this seriously saddens me. My boyfriend and I enjoyed Eventide for the many reasons mentioned–namely it did “skew older” so it was possible to hear one another speak; the food/beer selection was decent, decor and ambiance were sophisticated and it wasn’t packed to the gills with overgrown sorority girls in dresses that didn’t fit them in college, let alone 4 years later.

    Although we are still in our 20’s and enjoy hitting the bar scene every once in awhile, more often than not we are looking for a quieter, intimate lounge spot to enjoy some craft beer, good wine and food. Unfortunately these places are disappearing in Clarendon and it is too bad for those of us that live and work here with the discretionary income and desire to support establishments that eschew dollar draft nights.

    • Bart

      Can you let me know where I can find these young women and their ill-fitting Laura Ashley’s? That sounds much more like my speed.

      • Tabs

        Laura Ashley? Are you kidding? Shyte, I skew older and haven’t seen a Laura Ashley dress in 25 years.

        • Southeast Jerome

          Bart- any mall bar in Ballston has herds of them roaming around clucking it up in their stilettos and puffing on Newports.

  • CW

    I am kicking myself right now because I’d always planned to eat a nice bar menu dinner down there and never got around to it. Oh well.

  • Quoth the Raven

    Any word on the rooftop situation? I always liked it up there, and I wonder whether that will change too.

    • good question

      I’ve been scrolling through all of these comments to see if this question would be asked/answered. They have a great rooftop but would always announce last call by 1230. Hopefully this changes.

  • Wild Bill

    “Odd” perfect for most Arlington clientele…

  • R. Griffon

    *sigh*

    And this is why we can’t have nice things.

    /over 40

  • Il Postino

    I tlooks like Eventide has lost it’s Mojo and must now cater to the kiddie crowd; too bad.. I’ll spend my 100€ bar tab at an appropriate establishment..

  • sue

    It is becoming ‘Adams Morgan South”. Where are us old, upscale people going to go? Maybe we can take over Hunan Number 1:).

  • MC

    Quite a pathetic development. Eventide may be one of the better places to eat anywhere in Arlington, but they choke on the formula. Last time we eat there, on New Year’s eve, we had a nice meal that was most memorable for its stinginess and hyperactive interruptions from staff. The place feels unwelcoming, so the answer seems to be: go down market and serve Pabst. No! Keep what’s good (the food) and fix what’s bad (the dining experience) and the crowds will take care of themselves.

  • Louise

    Why do all restaurants around here think they have to line the walls with TVs? I don’t go out to watch TV and I find them distracting. There are enough ‘bars’ in Clarendon. What about just a nice place to go and have a drink and…talk? It’s not a matter of age, but of sophistication.

  • Big Cat

    I’m just glad we won’t have to watch the patrons running around the sidewalks with their shirts off getting in everyone’s way anymore. Good riddance.

  • Eric

    This is so sad, another upscale place catering to the 20’s crowd who want to get sloshed on Miller Lite and pretend they are eating fancier. As someone who ate in the lounge at least 1-2 a month, I will no longer spend a dime there. Once the GM, head chef and terrific bar manager left we knew something wasn’t going right there. A shame that so many Arlington businesses are becoming so unoriginal. RIP once proud and unique Eventide.

  • Phl P.

    ” Odd Bar aims to attract a bit broader of a clientele than “THE OLD” Eventide lounge, which tended to skew older and more upscale ”

    The whole restaurant has only been open three years, so I love that the “old’ lounge is giving way to the brat pack …

  • My girlfriend and I never got around to trying Eventide, but with these changes, we probably never will. Guess we’ll have to continue going into DC and NY to get our foodie fix. Arlington seemingly doesn’t want our money.

  • CW

    Has anyone actually gone to this yet? I walked by a couple times and it frankly looked almost exactly the same. Same clientele more or less, too – couples sitting and high-tops with glasses of wine. Walls were a different color. New TVs in the same spots as the old ones. I think we all, myself included, may have been overreacting a wee bit at the mere mention of Miller Lite.

    Also, the sentence that was upsetting everyone was “Odd Bar aims to attract a bit broader of a clientele than the old Eventide lounge, which tended to skew older and more upscale.” Notice that there are no quotes from anyone afiliated with the restaurant in there!!! This is 100% ARLnow, the way it’s written. That could be a paraphrased quote, it could be reading between the lines, it could be pure conjecture on behalf of the writer.

    The point being – this is a local business with a good rep that appears to be genuinely trying to do something nice. We read between the lines and may have unfairly shot it in the foot before it even got off the ground. Let’s give it a chance. Any field reports?

    • Maria

      HOLD ON. Are you saying people blew a simple change totally out of proportion? I can’t possibly believe people overreacted without even bothering to try the new atmosphere! That never happens.

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