Buffalo Billiards is closing, after 10.9 million beers

After 25 years, Dupont Circle mainstay Buffalo Billiards will rack ‘em up for the last time.

After 25 years, Dupont Circle mainstay Buffalo Billiards will rack ‘em up for the last time Aug. 24.

Buffalo Billiards, and its longtime Dupont Circle neighbor The Front Page, are both closing after failing to negotiate new leases with their landlord.

For The Front Page, it ends 32 years of brunches and happy hours.

The building, at 1330 19th St., NW, is being redeveloped by its new owner, WeWork.

For Buffalo Billiards fans, there is the opportunity to take home a piece of history. Buffalo Billiards is auctioning off everything from pool tables to shuffle boards, arcade machines, DJ equipment, TVs and bar and kitchen equipment.

Some of the proceeds from the auction will go to D.C.-based nonprofit So Others May Eat.

Buffalo Billiards was opened by founders Geoff Dawson and Mark Handwerger on April 1, 1994. There are still outposts in Philadelphia and Austin.

Buffalo Billiards founder Geoff Dawson at the 1994 opening. (Courtesy Buffalo Billiards)
The grand opening invitation. (Courtesy Buffalo Billiards)

“With news of the closing, we’ve had an outpouring of disbelief and outrage from our customers far and wide,” Dawson said.

“We are heartbroken to leave the premises but proud of what we’ve built over the years, and want to thank everyone — staff and patrons — who have helped grow Buffalo Billiards into the landmark D.C. bar where so many have made lifelong memories and friendships.”

It has been quite a run. Buffalo Billiards — 1994 to 2019 — by the numbers:

  • 10.9 million beers sold;
  • 78,000 kegs emptied;
  • 1.7 million games of pool played;
  • 72,500 burgers eaten;
  • $8 million in rent paid;
  • $8.4 million in D.C. sales tax paid;
  • 782 employees;
  • 104,125 hours open;
  • 3,091 college football games watched;
  • $13.1 million in total staff tips;
  • 6,053 private parties.

And, Dawson and Hangwerger claim, 11 babies have been born to couples who met at Buffalo Billiards (that’s 11 they know of).

Buffalo Billiards has set up a “memory page” on Facebook for patrons, past and present, to share their stories, pictures and anecdotes.

Its closing bash party will be from noon until close on Aug. 24, with memorial T-shirts, giveaways, music and entertainment and special pours from Board Room Brewing Co.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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