After four seasons, Anthony Bourdain’s travel-slash-cuisine show “No Reservations” finally got around to arriving sans reservations in the District. As one would expect, Bourdain sought out the “other” non-federal Washington, yet nonetheless spends an entire segment on spies in D.C. (a topic which probably constitutes about half of all DC-based movies). At least he does more than just visit the Spy Museum. In fact he visits Georgetown’s own Chadwicks.
Chadwicks is a historical site for espionage because it was there that Aldrich Ames betrayed his country. On June 13, 1985, Ames had lunch with a KGB operative at Chadwicks to hand over two shopping bags full of top secret intelligence information. Ames’ actions were devastating to the CIA’s Soviet operations and led to the execution of at least 10 individuals who were helping the U.S.
As for the restaurant itself, Bourdain describes it as neighborhood joint that is the “kind of place that serves a solid cheeseburger and good cold beer.” Further, he says “it’s special for, well, not being all that special.”
GM hopes that the next time he visits Chadwicks there’ll be a sign saying:
“Solid cheeseburger, and good cold beer…Special.”
Chadwicks isn’t Georgetown’s only site of espionage history, Martin’s Tavern and Au Pied de Cochon (now a Five Guys) were notorious spy hang-outs.
During Walking Town DC’s periodic free walking tour festivals, they sometimes include a Spies of DC tour through Georgetown. The next festival is at the end of May. If you’re interesting in Georgetown’s espionage history, keep an eye out for those tours. But act fast because they fill up almost immediately.