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Game-Changing Proof Restaurant Will Close After More Than a Decade in Penn Quarter

Eater logo Eater 1/23/2019 Gabe Hiatt
a bottle of wine and a glass of beer on a table © Proof/Facebook

February 2 will be its last day of business

Proof, the wine-driven American restaurant that became a fixture on “best of” lists from D.C. critics over the past decade, will close on Saturday, February 2.

Owner Jason Kuller released a statement today saying that restaurant group Fat Baby, Inc., could not re-negotiate a lease to keep the Penn Quarter stalwart in its current location at 775 G Street NW.

“We have deeply valued being part of our neighborhood for over 10 years,” Kuller says in the statement. “Unfortunately we’ve been unable to reach a viable agreement with our landlord to continue Proof in its current location.”

A longstanding favorite of Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema, Proof had previously garnered three stars from the publication and got a two-and-a-half star review as recently as 2016. It had also been featured in the top 10 of Washingtonian’s top 100.

In deference to its decorated past, Proof has added a few classic dishes to its menu for the rest of Winter Restaurant Week, which was extended through Sunday, January 7.

According to a representative for Proof, those items include an ahi tuna tartare with avocado, wasabi soy emulsion, and nori tempura and a wagyu beef carpaccio with chiles, shallots, roasted peanuts, crispy rice, and fragrant herbs. The restaurant will also offer wine deals until it closes.

Proof Restaurant Week Menu by on Scribd

“Above all, we want to thank our dedicated staff and wonderful guests for their years of patronage and support,” Jason Kuller says in his statement. “Proof was my brother’s love letter to this city expressed through food and wine.”

Proof was the first restaurant founded by Kuller’s brother, Mark Kuller, a former tax attorney who opened a string of hits on the D.C. dining scene before he died of cancer in 2014. After Mark Kuller opened Proof in 2007, the family’s restaurant group grew to include Estadio, Doi Moi, and the former 2 Birds 1 Stone (now Destination Wedding) cocktail bar on 14th Street NW.

Max Kuller, Mark Kuller’s son, split from the group last September, taking Estadio with him. Chef Haidar Karoum partnered with Mark Kuller on all three restaurants before abruptly leaving the group in 2016 and later opening the well-received Chloe in Navy Yard early last year.

In addition to Proof, neighboring 701 Restaurant also had to close recently because of unproductive talks with its landlord.

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