Georgetown's Third Edition, open since 1969, is currently in the process of selling a large stake to another restaurant group, most likely to Richard Sandoval Restaurants. This morning, Guest of a Guest spoke on the phone with owner Gregory Talcott to get more information on the deal.
Mr. Talcott has worked at Third Edition since 1977, and has owned the bar since 1982. Third Edition will close down soon, then re-open with a stronger emphasis on fine dining than dancing. Talcott plans to remain involved as a part owner of whatever takes the place of Third Edition.
The multi-level bar is currently in talks with Richard Sandoval Restaurants, the Mexican dining powerhouse behind dozens of restaurants across the country, including El Centro and Masa 14 in DC.
Third Edition is well known for its cameo in the iconic Saint Elmo's Fire, the 80's movie that follows the lives of a group of 20-somethings in Georgetown. The exterior of Third Edition is shown with the "Saint Elmo's Fire" sign, and the interior shots were done at the Tomb's.
Guest of a Guest previously reported that Third Edition's last night of business would be New Year's Eve, but it is still open, and will remain open until it needs to be closed for renovations.
Many will remember the bar came under fire for underage drinking in 2011, and was forced to close over New Year's Eve weekend last year (2011/2012).
"It was our first and only underage drinking citation in 44 years," Talcott said. Third Edition was "busted" ten months before New Years on two occasions in February 2011 (the 11th and 18th), and ABRA chose the suspension punishment of the back-to-back occasions to occur on New Year's weekend--a precious weekend for the bar, which has to cover an estimated rent of $40,000/month.
Records provided by ABRA's William Hager show that, indeed, Third Edition has no other underage citations in their history with ABRA.
"We are very strict. We have security guards and they check everyone,' said Talcott. "We naturally attract a young crowd, and sometimes they'll have expensive fake IDs from China that scan and have holograms, so it is hard to be perfect."