September 7, 2017

Front- and Back-Door Politics at D.C.'s Edgar Bar & Kitchen

Washington, D.C. means much more than its politics. We're home to a great foodie and music scene, performing art centers like the Kennedy Center, and plenty of historic places that have little to do with the White House. That being said, plenty of D.C. “wonks” still have a fascination with some of our city’s most famous political places. The Mayflower Hotel and its own Edgar Bar & Kitchen—named after one of America’s most famous Edgars, who dined there every day—is among them.

First opened in 1925, the Mayflower has played host to both secret meetings and glamorous blowouts that everyone who’s anyone on Capitol Hill has attended. The hotel gained its first notable visitors in 1929, when heads of state met in a private room—now called the Pan American Room—to discuss the relationship between North and South America. Other notable guests over the years have included President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and President Harry Truman.

But Washingtonians didn't just conduct their business from the privacy of their hotel rooms. The King of Morocco, Mohammad V., hosted a dinner for President and Mrs. Eisenhower in 1957 at Edgar. In 1994, NBA players and owners met at the restaurant to negotiate the deal that ended the longest suspension of play in American baseball.

Thanks to the hotel owners’ dedication to maintaining the Mayflower’s historic integrity, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 and named a Historic Hotel of America in 1989. Edgar Bar & Kitchen features innovative American cuisine and the same elegant atmosphere that appears throughout the rest of the hotel. The bar is the perfect place to plan a classy happy hour with friends, entertain important clients, or step away from the hustle and bustle of Dupont Circle and into the lap of luxury afforded to some of America’s most famous politicians.

The entrance of Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.

photo by: Kevin Harbor/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Built in 1925, Mayflower Hotel has long been a haven for Washington's most notable politicians.

Location: 1127 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

Hours: 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily

You’re Having: Start out with a signature cocktail, like the pom-blackberry balsamic bourbon. Try some crab cakes for dinner, topped with roasted corn relish, Swiss chard, and wasabi lemon butter. Or if you’re in the mood for a late-night snack, the Edgar burger with local cheddar, bacon, and the kitchen’s special sauce will hit the spot.

Best Yelp Review: “I treat myself to a drink and dinner here after a hard week! I enjoy sitting at this bar. ... The salmon is the best I have ever had and is worth every penny. I believe they have it seasonally, which make sense considering the quality. I really come for the salmon, but while I wait for the season, I still come by to enjoy a great, strong Bloody Mary.”

Carson Bear is an Editorial Assistant at the National Trust. She’s passionate about combining popular culture with historic places, and loves her 200-year-old childhood farmhouse in Pennsylvania.

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