Press Club

Whitlow’s Is Closing Next Week and Throwing Itself a Going-Away Party

People walk past Whitlow’s on Wilson in the afternoon light (Staff Photo by Jay Westcott)

Whitlow’s, the long-time watering hole on Wilson Blvd, is closing its doors for good on Saturday, June 26.

But first come the parties.

Earlier this week, the well-known Clarendon bar and restaurant hosted an alumni staff reunion and had a send off show featuring local 90s cover band White Ford Bronco. Tickets to that show sold out.

On Wednesday, June 23, there’s a “jam session” featuring members of the Grammy-nominated reggae band SOJA. The group hails from Arlington, with several members graduating from Yorktown High School. More live music is scheduled throughout this week and next, according to Whitlow’s website.

Then on its final day next weekend the local mainstay is hosting what it is calling the “Last Waltz,” featuring music from The Poprocks and KleptoRadio.

“One final blowout… Get here early,” says the website. “No one cuts the line unless you are Dave Grohl.”

An employee confirmed to ARLnow on the phone that Whitlow’s last day at 2854 Wilson Blvd is set to be June 26. They also noted that management was looking for a new location but haven’t found anything yet.

ARLnow has reached out to management about any further updates on the future of Whitlow’s, but has yet to hear back.

In late March, the restaurant announced it was closing after efforts to renew its lease were unsuccessful.

Whitlow’s had attempted to negotiate an extension on a lease expiring at the end of June, a social media post said, but talks proved fruitless. So, instead, it is set to close its longtime Clarendon space while “actively looking for a future home.”

Whitlow’s opened in 1946 as a greasy spoon eatery and bar in D.C. before closing in 1989 and relocating to Clarendon six years later. Opening in 1995, it has remained a neighborhood mainstay for more than two and a half decades. That is, until now.

ARLnow first reported in August 2019 that the space would be available for lease starting July 1, 2021 but management seemed confident that a deal would be brokered.

“We plan on being here for years to come,” manager Jon Williams told ARLnow at the time.

Currently, 2854 Wilson Blvd still appears to be available for lease at an undisclosed price.

“We don’t necessarily see this as a goodbye, but more of a see you later,” the March social media post read. “In the meantime, there are three months left and we are going to make the best of it!”

With now less than two weeks left, Whitlow’s does seem to be partying hard before the music stops.

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