Old Ebbitt Grill is a historic bar and restaurant located at 675 15th Street NW in Washington, D.C., in the United States. It is Washington’s oldest bar and restaurant, and as of 2012 was owned by Clyde’s Restaurant Group. It opened as an unnamed restaurant in the Ebbitt House Hotel. The Hotel distinguished itself as the first hotel in Washington to remain open all summer instead of closing when Congress adjourned. In 1827 the Hotel was razed and rebuilt in the same location. Ebbitt House Hotel was razed in 1925 to make way for the National Press Building, built in 1926. The restaurant was incorporated by Anders Lofstrand, Sr., as a stand-alone business. It moved into new quarters at 1427 F Street NW. After Lofstrand’s death in 1955, the restaurant was purchased by Peter Bechas in 1961. The restaurant was sold at a tax sale in June 1970, and was purchased by Clyde’s Restaurant Group. The 1427 F Street NW location was demolished in 1983 during redevelopment, and Old Ebbitt Grill moved into its current quarters at 675 15th Street NW.
For many years as part of Ebbitt House, the bar/restaurant had no stand-alone name or identity. It began using the name “New Ebbitt Café” in November 1910. In 1926, after the restaurant became incorporated as a stand-alone business, it was known as both “Ebbitt’s Grill” and “Old Ebbitt Grill”. Over time, only the “Old Ebbitt Grill” name was used. It retained that name after its ownership changes in 1961 and 1970.
Since 1970, because of its popularity Old Ebbitt Grill has been frequented by numerous politicians, some known for scandals and maneuvering. It has also been the site of parties hosted by famous actors and singers. For many years, it has been the restaurant with one of the highest amount of sales in the United States. Old Ebbitt Grill created a popular annual event known as the Oyster Riot in 1995.