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The Shaw Bijou shuts down less than 3 months after opening

After just a short two-and-a-half month stint, the Shaw Bijou closed its doors to the public on Sunday, January 15.

Kelly Gorsuch, the principal owner of Shaw Bijou, told The Washington Post, the pricey tasting menu wasn't filling seats or covering costs.

The restaurant which opened in November stirred up controversy in the D.C. food scene with their high prices making them one of D.C.'s most expensive restaurants. The 13-course menu from first-time executive chef Kwame Onwuachi cost $185 per person, not including alcohol pairings, tax, or tip.

A few days after the opening, The Post's Tom Sietsema wrote his First Bite review, saying that after dropping $500 per person on the meal, he left the restaurant still hungry. Following Sietsema's review, The Washingtonian gave the restaurant a mere two-star review.

After just a month and a half of business, The Shaw Bijou had already made some changes, they originally planned to use the second-floor bar as a members-only bar, but instead decided to accommodate walk-ins, allowing the general public greater access. Then less than two weeks later the pricey restaurant lowered their tasting menu price to $95. It seems now they may have seen the end coming.

After the decision to lower the tasting menu price, Onwuachi wrote in an email "humility creeps up on you when least expected, and the opening of this restaurant has taught us just that. This being our first restaurant, and for some a first business venture, we had a substantial amount of learning and adjusting to do. And we have, immensely."

Gorsuch told the Washington Post that on Sunday he called Onwuachi and general manager Greg Vakiner into a meeting and told them he was closing Shaw Bijou immediately. Gorsuch told The Post he could not longer afford to keep the place running.

As of now, we don't know what's next for Onwuachi, but we are sure he has something up his sleeve.

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