Falls Church’s Dogwood Tavern celebrates its 15th anniversary on June 15. Named after the official flower and tree of Virginia, Dogwood proudly proclaims itself “A Celebration of The Old Dominion” in its logo’s tagline and, as its owners say, “It remains a steadfast devotee of the commonwealth.
Dogwood Tavern opened in the spring of 2008 to an enthusiastic welcome from The Little City, excited to be the home to a third installment of the popular Vintage Restaurants collection, which at the time included Clarendon’s Rhodeside Grill, which opened in 1996, and Ragtime in Courthouse, which opened in 2002.
Vintage Restaurants now includes five restaurants, with the addition of William Jeffries Tavern in 2011, on Columbia Pike in the Penrose section of Arlington, and Bear Branch Tavern in 2019 in Vienna. Each Vintage Restaurants venue sports its own unique “Virginia” feel, with walls covered in historic photos, maps, and murals of the surrounding area. Despite the historic nod, each draws eclectic crowds, regularly bustling with young professionals and townies alike.
Dogwood Tavern was the brain-child of three visionaries, dubbed “Fearless Founders.”
“Adam Lubar, Chris Lefbom and Wilson Whitney put this place together with nothing but their bare hands and a singular vision all the way back in 2007,” said District Manager Sam Saslowsky, who has worked for Vintage Restaurants for eight years.
Despite working across multiple locations, Saslowsky said, “wherever I go, Dogwood Tavern is always my home.” Support from the local community during the pandemic is just one example of why the location has a special place in his heart.
“The Little City is such an amazing, tight-knit community,” he continued, emphasizing his gratitude for the way residents stepped up during such difficult times. He says that, over the years and especially now that things are getting back to normal, “I’m incredibly fortunate to see so many friendly faces every single day.”
Saslowsky described Dogwood Tavern as an “Ode to Virginia.” Indeed, the main indoor restaurant and bar’s wood-paneled walls, which add an authenticity to both the tavern and Virginia theme, are adorned with artwork, artifacts and maps celebrating the Commonwealth as a whole, historic Virginians of the past, and (of course) Falls Church specifically. Beyond the décor, Saslowsly points out several Virginia staples, including locally-sourced ham, oysters, apples, and chicken salad. Additionally, their extensive selection of 16 draft beers comes almost exclusively from the region.
Dogwood Tavern has evolved with the community over 15 years, with the addition of more local craft brews, upscale ingredients, and dinner entrees one might be surprised to find at a “Tavern.” An extensive lunch menu is also available, and patrons are regularly seen enjoying the dog-friendly front patio with their furry friends.
The introduction of additional outdoor space in 2014 — the incredibly popular outdoor rooftop and covered patio, which on sunny days is one of the busiest places in town — transformed the venue into a truly four-seasons establishment.
“Falls Church is truly an exceptional city,” remarked Adam Lubar, one of the “Fearless Founders” of Dogwood Tavern. “We’re proud to celebrate 15 years here and look forward to many more.”
Beginning at 11 a.m. June 15, visitors to Dogwood Tavern will enjoy anniversary specials including $15/doz oysters on the half-shell, $15 specialty tacos, and craft cocktails in honor of the “Fearless Founders” throughout the day, with grilled oysters starting at 4 p.m. and live music from 5 p.m.—8 p.m.
Dogwood Tavern is located at 132 W. Broad St. For hours, contact information, and more details, visit dogwoodtavern.com.