D.C. Hails Tony & Joe’s on 35th Anniversary
By June 9, 2022 One Comment 737•
Mayor Muriel Bowser “with the nearly 700,000 residents of Washington, D.C.,” as she wrote in her June 5 proclamation, congratulated Tony & Joe’s Seafood Place on “35 phenomenal years — here’s to many more!”
It was indeed a special day for Tony & Joe’s owner, Tony Cibel — it was his 85th birthday and time for a party.
The tale of Tony and Joe’s is a part of Washington restaurant lore, going back to 1987. It was the first restaurant to open at Washington Harbour, a Herb Miller project with architect Arthur Cotton Moore.
Native Washingtonian Cibel has been a player on the restaurant scene since the 1970s with other places: the Dancing Crab, Nick’s Riverside Grille, Kaufmann’s Tavern, Cabanas and the Rockfish. He’s a family man. His sons Nick and Dean and their cousin Greg Casten are part of the operation. His business partner Joe Rinaldi — hence, Tony & Joe’s — died years ago.
Tony and Joe’s was hit hard by the devastating April 2011 flooding of Washington Harbour, but the restaurant came back stronger. “The post-flood redesign truly puts the word ‘tony’ in our name,” they like to say. “Sweeping floor-to-ceiling windows allow diners to enjoy panoramic views from every seat in the house. To one side, take in the Potomac River and Kennedy Center. To the other, enjoy the Washington Harbour’s Las Vegas-style fountain.”
After 17 months closed down and nine months of a $4-million reconstruction, Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place and Nick’s Riverside Grill reopened in 2013. Today, they are joined by Sequoia, Farmers, Fishers and Bakers, Bangkok Joe’s, Fiola Mare and Guapo’s of Georgetown.
Tony and Joe’s is the longest-lasting eatery at the mixed-use complex. With its dockside view of people, boats and the river, the restaurant pioneered the use of waterside outdoor space in the District.