J. Paul's - Georgetown

4.1
595 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
J. Paul’s is Washington’s quintessential turn of the century American Dining Saloon. The J. Paul’s bar in Georgetown is itself a 100 year old mahogany shotgun bar, built by the Brunswick Balke Coolander Company and was previously housed in a grand saloon in the Chicago stockyards. Many will swear over their scotch that Al Capone himself bellied up to that very bar. Antique brass elevator doors from New York’s Waldorf Astoria frame the back dining room.

A few short blocks from the Potomac River, in the heart of fashionable Georgetown, the original J. Paul’s has become an institution. Every day, politicians, journalists, artists, business people and Washington personalities share tables with students, tourists and ex-Pats in the nation’s capital. Don't miss out on a visit to this DC institution!
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
American, Seafood
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Hours of operation
Monday - Thursday: 11:30am - midnight
Friday: 11:30am - 2am
Saturday: 10am - 2am
Sunday: 10am - midnight
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Phone number
(202) 333-3450
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Tom Crenshaw
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Wisconsin Ave.
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Parking details
Located in Georgetown Park Mall, entrance on Wisconsin Ave. Parking Lot on corner of Wisconsin Ave and M Streets at PNC Bank. Street parking available throughout Georgetown.
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Public transit
Foggy Bottom, Circulator Bus
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Entertainment
Lively bar area is perfect for every occasion, and there's a large private meeting room upstairs perfect for corporate events or private dinner. and of course, liven up Sunday with brunch at J. Paul's! From Hangover Hash to the J. P. Scramble, you won't leave hungry! Our signature Bloody Mary cannot be beat, and our Irish Coffee is a real eye opener. Join us, Sunday's from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Late Night, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 595 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
3.9
food
4.1
service
3.9
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
58% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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CR
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

eh. went for brunch and just ok. small selection and even made smaller because no waffles available. had to go find server twice for more coffee and the place was empty so not because she was busy. food average. prob won’t go back. too many other choices.

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CH
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

Hostess wanted to cram 6 of us into a booth. They were reluctant to sit us in the dining area and seated us in the bar area. I was taking 5 teenagers out for the night and the bar area didn't seem appropriate, but they would not seat us elsewhere. The food was decent, but the server never came back to check on us. We had to flag him down every time we needed anything. They were super fast when you asked for the check. As soon as they knew we were ready to leave they were clearing the table before we could even get out of the way.

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S
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

I would love to say that everything was great, but how can it be when your waitress is extremely rude. Lady with short yellowish hair rushed my order, when I asked her the size of the crab cakes she mentions crab cake size in a sarcastic manner, didn’t give me the time to explain to her that I couldn’t have tomatoes or pickles. When she would come to the table she would refer to my date instead of asking me if I would like anything more. Extremely rude, the food was ok, but I wish I could have had better service... the food was okay, but if you have a rude waitress it just ruins the whole dining experience...

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

The only thing I didn't like about this restaurant, was the food. It just didn't have any flavor to it. It's a nice place to have a date at, but what's the point if the food isn't good?

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EP
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

Service was not good. It took an hour to serve a bowl of soup and oysters... also, it’s incredibly crowded, the tables are too close together. The food was pretty good but I’m not sure that I’d go back.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The service was really good. although we had to keep asking for basic things, Our waitress was pretty quick at getting us what we needed. The atmosphere was very cozy and energized with the out of town (Holy Cross) football team dining there. The food was good but I thought it was over priced for what it’s worth. Presentation was pretty nice though. I really enjoyed the calamari and the Mahi Mahi tacos dish had a good flavor but the tacos themselves were stale. The shrimp scampi was extremely oily that I just ate the shrimp and left the pasta (was a waste sadly). Others had burgers(good), Cobb salad (tasty) and fish fingers (fries were good but fish was very bland). Thank you.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 5ambience 3

They never got my reservation.

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CR
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 3

Food was subpar and was not even addressed by the manager. Manger just told the waitress to take it off the bill. Do he even care what we thought about the food. No I don’t think so

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KM
London
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

J. Paul's needs a good clean. J. Paul's needs to invest in servers who know how to take an order and who care about the dining experience.

Our server got everything wrong. And the floors are filthy.

Disgraceful.

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AR
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Writing this review makes me sad as J Paul's is (used to be) my go-to spot when in DC for the past 20+ years. I will admit it was 4 years since my last visit and the first since the fire there. However, my visit this past Sunday evening was average at best and that's with me being somewhat nostalgic and giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Started at the bar while waiting for the rest of my 8 person party to show up. My wife ordered a beer...it was a nice cold beer served in a very warm glass. Annoying but not terrible. I ordered an old fashioned...I'm not certain the bar tender knew how to make it. I'm also not certain he understood my question "what type of bourbon or rye do you recommend?" He recommended I look at the bar and pick. The end result was disappointing and overpriced at $11 (compare to an EXCELLENT Old Fashioned at Fiola Mare around the corner which was worth twice the price of the $15 cost).
The rest of my party arrived and everyone ordered a variety of items. The wait was a touch on the longer side but not ridiculous. Everyone enjoyed their beer/wine but I steered everyone away from cocktails (if you can't figure out an Old Fashioned, what if someone ordered a martini?). The food arrived and was good, not great. Portion size was admittedly pretty awesome and the people who ordered the ribs really liked them. The carrot cake was ordered and shared for dessert; once again, it was good/solid but not memorable.
Overall, as the person who picked the restaurant that evening I was a touch embarrassed. My once glorious go-to is nothing more than a bar with an average menu. When I head to Georgetown next time, I will be forced - by this experience - to select a different spot and hope for a time when J Paul's returns to it's past level of service, food and tasty drinks.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Was a bit of a mess as they did not have my reservation that I made through this app. We had a group of 11 people so it was almost a nightmare. Luckily they were able to pull some tables together for us. Had a great J. Paul’s experience but a terrible Open Table experience.

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HI
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

The restaurant was terribly understaffed. They had no coffee cups at brunch. The server was nice but overwhelmed. Disgraceful.

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MF
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

J Paul's feels like it's gotten tired over the years. Fun bar scene, but food is very average as is menu. Service was OK, but we generally had to waive down our waiter for service and had to send two items back that were incomplete. Overall, was an ok place to visit but paying Georgetown prices for less that Georgetown service and quality.

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OT
New England
4 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great steak and the caesar salad was delicious.

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S
Minneapolis
6 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Parents weekend at school so had a group of 11. Staff was amazing. Food was delicious. Easy for Gramma to navigate in her walker. Would highly recommend and will be visiting on next DC trip.

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NW
Phoenix
4 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

This is a great neighborhood restaurant. It was the first time my in-laws have been to DC, to visit my son at Georgetown. This was a very nice restaurant close to campus. We all had good meals. I have also been there for lunch and had a delicious sandwich. A great pick in Georgetown.

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OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

Underwhelming. Fish of fish and chips soggy. Po Boy - weird not traditional. Mussels cold. Interior/ambiance tired.

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TL
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The breakfast sandwich on the brioche bun was so tasty, and the home fries were delicious!

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OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My family traveled from Missouri, Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia to celebrate my Mom’s 60th birthday. We heard great things and were excited to try out J. Paul’s. The staff was friendly and helpful, our server was knowledgeable of the menu and helped up with our choices. And our server surprised my Mom with a birthday dessert! It was a great experience and I would highly recommend it for any visiting or living in the Georgetown area.

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j
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great Crab Cakes! Bar service and beer on tap are nice

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great experience, very quick and attentive service. Loved the food (the mussels app was amazing!) would definitely love to go back!

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LR
Fayetteville
12 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were in town for business and stayed an extra day to sight see. Everyone said Georgetown was the place to be for food and shopping and they were right! We randomly picked J.Pauls based on good reviews online. We were so pleased with everything from the moment we walked in to the moment we left. The server Jamaica was amazing! What a great smile and personality she had. She really went above and beyone to make our experience there amazing. Also, the food runner, the bar staff, the manager and the host were all professional and so friendly. Wish I could take this place back home with us! Love Love Love J.Pauls. If I lived near here, it would for sure be a weekly staple.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food with great service.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We loved the food here! The Mac n cheese bites are delicious and I almost died over how amazing the creme brûlée was!!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and very nice staff

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience! Nice waiter helped rescue my nephew’s toy that fell behind the table and wall.

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OT
Washington DC
140 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

Our server was engaging and fun. Philly egg rolls were good, as were the brussels sprouts (lots of bacon!!) The ahi tuna salad was fantastic; and it looked like most of my group enjoyed the chicken BLT. The fish and chips were not great; and everyone's fries were VERY salty. The carrot cake was very good.

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LC
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I took my work team here for dinner. The food was very good, but the person who had tuna tartar was very ill the next morning and had to stay home from work. When he returned he said he must have had “morning sickness” which makes no sense! We all wonder if it was the tuna tartar.

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OA
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed the prime rib dinner. The sides we liked the best were the fried zucchini and the mashed potatoes. We also ordered oysters on the half shell and they were very good. The caprese salad was also very good with a large amount of mozzarella. We really liked the Malbec wine too.

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G
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Jamaica was our server and she did an awesome job! We were a lively group for Sunday brunch! Food was good and we all enjoyed ourselves.

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TH
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and atmosphere for a casual dinner with friends.

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Visit with family in DC

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S
Washington DC
31 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

J.Paul's wasn't bad--the food was good, beer selection was solid, and location is great. It also feels like a local, neighborhood spot. The service was ok, though drink refills took awhile and notes (seating requests due to mobility issues) left on the reservation through OpenTable were not looked at prior to our arrival. Still, our overall impression was "it's ok". Nothing spectacular, nothing bad; just a generally average experience.

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OT
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Really enjoyed the crab cakes. Full, lump crab meat. Spinach was delicious too. Great service. A Georgetown classic!

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S
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 1ambience 3

Arrived early for reservation so waited at the bar for my date to arrive, we were sat by a very nice host when he arrived at a window table which was nice. The window were open and there was a breeze to enjoy. The table paper was stained which did not start things off showing attention to detail or care. I noticed them setting another table with stained papers, appears the roll got wet but nothing was done to remove the stained area. Our server was being shadowed by someone I assume was in training, it was never really addressed but she was definitely not on her A game. There were not enough people in the section for her to have missed some of the basic things that occurred. When we sat down, I asked for sparkling water, my date got a beer. She never brought him a water and after he finished his beer, he asked for a glass to share my sparkling and after about 10 minutes of waiting we had to ask again before the glass came. There was a hair in our calamari (which as a former server i know happens sometimes), we politely told her when we noticed, about halfway through eating - and she took it away with barely an apology and no inquiry into if we were done, if we wanted a fresh order or to have it removed. When the bill came, it was still on there and we had to ask her about it. The food was good not great, especially for the cost of the dishes, they should have been more phenomenal. Overall it was an experience that I would not repeat.

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KB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

soggy tuna ahi salad greens, inedible, wilted... and reeked of smoke from the grill. apallingly bad. my date finished a shrimp cocktail appetizer and they left the martini glass full of shrimp exoskeletons right there through the whole meal: nobody collected. also. dc. summer. windows left open to street... overall, a really unpleasant experience.

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HN
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good food and atmosphere for the value!

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KT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Very nice place, oysters very fresh. Outstanding service.

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J
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We loved the atmosphere and our waiter was outstanding. The calamari appetizer was the best we had so far. My husband really enjoyed the beers.

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GG
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Food was good, not great, but a good meal. Don’t order a martini from the bar. Had to ask the bartender to make one twice and both were horrible...I mean horrible! Not picky drinkers at all, but this martini was just awful.

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