It was always going to be a challenge to run a successful restaurant on P St. far from the commercial corridors. So it should not come as a surprise that the After Peacock Room has recently folded. Unlike previous closures, this one is permanent.
After Peacock Room opened originally in the summer of 2014. Its original concept seemed to be roughly that of a tea house, with small finger-food also offered. After remaining open only a few months, it closed and retooled into a full sit down restaurant.
Although the rapid change of business plan raised some red flags, after the reopening, things seemed to be going well. The interior (inspired by Whistler’s Peacock Room) was sleek and an improbably raving review from Tom Sietsema seemed to announce a bright future for the restaurant.
Things seemed to continue to go well for the restaurant through the first half of 2015. But then it closed down for all of August. Maybe it was just a summer vacation, but it raised those same red flags again.
After reopening in September, the restaurant then closed again in December. And it stayed closed through February. Any restaurant would have trouble coming back from such a break, but one so tucked away as After Peacock Room had no chance.
And so the other shoe finally dropped. A sign in the window announced that after two years it’s now closed for good. (It’s also available for lease!)
After Peacock Room is the type of restaurant all of us wish would succeed. It’s elegant, quiet, and embedded deep in the neighborhood. But that’s also the cause of its demise. To succeed it needed to be fully embraced by the community, and while residents might like the idea of the restaurant in theory, in practice they just don’t supply enough demand to support it. By taking tourists completely out of the equation, there just aren’t enough potential customers.
GM hopes someone else comes along and tries to revive the space. In his opinion the model that would work is a coffee shop and pastry shop in the morning that converts to a wine bar at night. And with the eventual opening of the Avery boutique hotel next door, another source of customers will arrive. It would still be a challenge, but it might just work.