Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

The Tombs Reopens, Welcomes Back Georgetown Community


After 19 long months, The Tombs once again welcomed students, graduates and families to dine in or share a drink at the iconic establishment.

The Tombs, a student-favorite restaurant and bar located on 36th Street, one block away from the front gates of Georgetown University’s main campus, reopened Oct. 21 after closing in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The formal reopening has been highly anticipated among members of the Georgetown community, who frequent The Tombs for a variety of celebrations and traditions. Unable to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many of their customers and employees are students, the establishment originally planned to reopen in late August when students returned to the Hilltop. 

Sara Warm/The Hoya | The Tombs reopened Oct. 21 after being closed for nearly 18 months. In anticipation of the formal reopening, the bar and restaurant held a pop-up event Oct. 15 and 16.

Since reopening, The Tombs has been full of Georgetown students, which makes for a fun environment, according to Melina Asteriadis (COL ’22), who went to The Tombs on Oct. 27 for her 21st birthday. 

“It was pretty exciting,” Asteriadis said in a phone interview with The Hoya. “It was cool that it was all Georgetown people, and it was definitely very much of a relief to finally be able to go.”

The establishment’s temporary closure meant that many students missed out on popular traditions like a “Tombs Night,” a 21st birthday celebration where one receives a stamp on their forehead at The Tombs’ bar to mark becoming legal. In past years, The Tombs has also hosted the 99 Days Club, which challenges participants to make a purchase at The Tombs for 99 straight days, for which their reward is the immortalization of their name on the restaurant’s wall. 

Asteriadis said she was excited to finally have her own “Tombs Night” celebration. 

“Since freshman year, everyone hears about the day that you turn 21 you get to go and get your forehead stamped,” Asteriadis said. “That was definitely very exciting and kind of just felt like some semblance of having the normal college experience.”   

However, a lack of hired staff pushed the opening back to later in the semester. Prior to the official reopening, The Tombs hosted a pre-opening pop-up event Oct. 15 and 16, in which they welcomed guests on a first come, first served basis. The pop-up event was a slightly scaled-back version of what The Tombs looked like during the official reopening, according to Josh Markowitz, manager of Clyde’s Restaurant Group, which oversees The Tombs.

Stacie Hartman (SFS ’21), who was not able to celebrate many of her friends’ Tombs Nights as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, returned to The Tombs for the pop-up event to reunite with friends from college and get her forehead stamped.

“Going back now was a bit different because I didn’t have my whole class there but it was still just as fun especially because a lot of class of 2020 and 2021 alumni were back on the opening night,” Hartman wrote in an email to The Hoya. 

Since the pop-up event coincided with Georgetown Family Weekend, parents and alumni, like Liz Moyer (SFS ’89), were back on campus and had the opportunity to relive their time at Georgetown and The Tombs (Full disclosure: Moyer previously served as editor in chief of The Hoya).

“It was exactly the same room, they haven’t changed the decor at all, and it still smells like beer,” Moyer said in a phone interview with The Hoya. “It was wonderful, and it’s just fun to be there again especially after what’s been going on the last couple of years.”

The Tombs has always been an important part of the Georgetown community. Its close proximity to campus has made it a convenient gathering place for students over the years, according to Moyer, who went to The Tombs frequently while studying at Georgetown.

“That was our go to place because it’s right there, and we were kind of lazy,” Moyer said. “The Tombs was where you went if you wanted to eat actual food.”

Beyond its role as a popular restaurant and bar for the Georgetown community, The Tombs also offers students opportunities for employment. Georgetown students make up the majority of both customers and employees.

According to Markowitz, as The Tombs reopens, it will once again reassume its position as a staple hangout spot for the Georgetown neighborhood. 

“It was designed to be part of the Georgetown community,” Markowitz said. “Ideally, people are either at school, in their dorms, or at The Tombs.”

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    NiNi RAABEApr 19, 2022 at 5:06 pm

    HI – So glad you are back open…is the “gift shop” open. We love our Tombs beer mugs. Use them all the time …they were from the late 90″s 2000. We also lover our white baseball cap with The Tombs embroidered on the front with an oar underneath. Any chance you still sell these. I lost mine sailing and the crew captain would not circle back to get it…to far out to dive in and save it.

    Please please please…I would purchase 3 if you have them. I am not local anymore.