Comet Ping Pong ( frequently abbreviated as Comet ) is a pizzeria, restaurant, and concert venue located on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C. ‘s Chevy Chase neighborhood. Owned by James Alefantis, Comet has received critical acclaim from The Washington Post, The Washingtonian, New York cartridge holder, the DCist, and Guy Fieri of Food Network ‘s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
Reading: Comet Ping Pong – Wikipedia
Comet was founded in 2006 by Alefantis and Carole Greenwood, both of whom besides co-owned another restaurant on the same block. The restaurant was involved in a disagreement with the area ‘s Advisory Neighborhood Commission over concerts inside the restaurant in 2008. Alefantis became the sole owner of Comet Ping Pong in 2009 after Greenwood, a chef at both restaurants, left her position as co-owner and executive chef of Comet. The restaurant is the concentrate of the debunk Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which has been discredited by a wide variety of organizations, including the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia. One Pizzagate militant fired a gunman in the restaurant in 2016, and another started a fire in it in 2019 .
Comet Ping Pong was founded by James Alefantis and Carole Greenwood in 2006. Prior to opening Comet Ping Pong, Alefantis and Greenwood co-owned Buck ‘s Fishing and Camping, another restaurant next door to Comet ‘s current location. [ 1 ] The location of Comet was previously occupied by another restaurant, Thai Room. [ 1 ] When it was announced that it was closing, Alefantis decided that he would rather be competing against himself than another restaurateur. [ 1 ] The original mind for the space was to make a restaurant devoted to roast wimp called “ The Hen House ”, but Alefantis and Greenwood decided against it and made the location a pizzeria rather. [ 1 ] The diagnose came from a neon “ Comet ” sign that Alefantis found at Comet Liquor in the city ‘s Adams Morgan vicinity. [ 1 ] After Alefantis purchased the localization, the DC computer architecture firm CORE redesigned the space by removing most of the features from the build and making it more “ bare-assed ”. [ 2 ] Because the placement was future door to their other restaurant, Alefantis and Greenwood merged both restaurants ‘ kitchens so they could easily move back and forth between the locations. [ 3 ] Alefantis and Greenwood were inspired by New Haven-style pizza in the menu ‘s creation. [ 4 ] Initially, Comet Ping Pong faced challenges : patrons complained that the pizza were besides expensive and that its salad survival was excessively small. [ 1 ] The restaurant changed its menu and was able to find a niche in the epicure pizza market in the D.C. area. [ 3 ] Greenwood served as the chef of both restaurants ; [ 5 ] she left her put as executive chef and co-owner in 2009 citing pressing family matters and other personal interests. [ 6 ] [ 7 ] The Washington City Paper ‘s Tim Carman in 2009 felt that both Comet and Buck ‘s Fishing & Camping had managed to succeed without Greenwood. [ 8 ]
dispute with the ANC
When Comet Ping Pong opened in 2006, Alefantis made a volunteer agreement with the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission ( ANC ) and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board that the restaurant “ would not stay open past midnight or have live entertainment. ” [ 9 ] By 2008, however, the restaurant was hosting bouncy music events and some neighborhood residents complained that the business was open after midnight. [ 9 ] Additionally, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Frank Winstead criticized Alefantis for having placed a ping niff mesa on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant to attract and entertain customers. [ 10 ] Winstead published a video on YouTube, “ Ping Pong in Public Space ”, which showed people playing ping niff outside the restaurant and implied that the position was a traffic hazard. [ 10 ] Anticipating that he was going to request outside seating, Alefantis brought the table indoors. [ 10 ] Alefantis held a meet with the local ANC display panel to formally request that it allow Comet to place outside seat, have populate entertainment in the restaurant, and remain receptive after midnight. [ 9 ] The meet was acrimonious, with some ANC members accusing Alefantis of violating the agreement and holding live entertainment in the venue. Winstead stated that Alefantis was “ trying to turn this area into Adams Morgan with the murders and rapes. ” [ 9 ] The ANC decided in Comet ‘s favor by a 4–3 vote and the sound recording record of the touch went public. [ 11 ] Live music resumed on August 8, 2008, after the decision, and Winstead was defeated by a across-the-board margin in the adjacent election. [ 12 ] [ 13 ]
Pizzagate conspiracy theory and 2016 shoot
Community messages in front of Comet Ping Pong following the shooting
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In early on November 2016, respective websites and on-line forums falsely implicated the restaurant and respective Democratic Party figures as function of a supposed child trafficking ring, which was dubbed “ Pizzagate ” on Internet forums. [ 14 ] The rumor was debunked by the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia and sources such as Snopes.com and The New York Times, among others. [ 15 ] [ 16 ] [ 17 ] [ 18 ] however, the restaurant ‘s owners and staff were harassed, threatened on social media websites, and given negative Yelp review. [ 19 ] [ 20 ] After cover threats, Comet Ping Pong increased the security for concerts held inside its premises. [ 21 ] On December 4, 2016, Edgar Maddison Welch of Salisbury, North Carolina, walked into the restaurant with a semi-automatic rifle and fired three rounds inside the construction before being arrested ; no matchless was injured. [ 18 ] [ 22 ] In accession to the AR-15-style rifle, police seized a Colt .38 caliber pistol, a shotgun, and a pen up knife from Welch ‘s car and person. [ 18 ] Welch told police that he planned to “ self-investigate ” the conspiracy theory, [ 18 ] and was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, carrying a pistol without a license, unlawful discharge of a firearm, and carrying a rifle or shotgun outside the home or commercial enterprise. [ 23 ] On June 22, 2017, he was sentenced to four years in prison. [ 24 ] On March 3, 2020, Welch was transferred to a Community Corrections Center ( CCC ) and was released on May 28. [ 25 ] In reception to the shoot, the restaurant set up a GoFundMe campaign to compensate for extra security, lost wages, and property damage. [ 26 ] On Facebook, a local PR adviser set up an consequence to support the restaurant and nearby businesses affected by the harassment campaign, which thousands of people expressed interest in attending. [ 27 ] [ 28 ] An arsonist set a fire in the restaurant in January 2019. The fire was promptly put out by restaurant employees and caused no injuries. [ 29 ] A valet suspected to be the arsonist was later arrested [ 30 ] and pleaded guilty at court in December 2019. [ 31 ]
Services and repute
A ring performs in Comet Ping Pong ‘s back board Comet Ping Pong is both a pizzeria and a know concert venue. The Washington Post ‘s food critic, Tom Sietsema, gave Comet two and a half stars out of four, noting that its pizza “ are a estimable for their thin and zestful crusts as for their toppings. ” [ 32 ] The Washingtonian placed the restaurant in the “ top tier ” of Washington pizzeria. [ 33 ] New York magazine featured Comet in its “ Where to Eat ” section of a ‘Navigating the Potomac ‘ feature, describing the restaurant as a “ hipster-heavy pizza parlor ”. [ 34 ] The DCist featured Comet Ping Pong ‘s ‘Time-Out ‘ pizza as one of the ten-spot best in the area. [ 35 ] The restaurant besides appeared on an episode of Food Network ‘s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri in 2010 in which he called the Yalie clam and the Philly calzone pizzas some of the “ best he ‘s ever had ”. [ 36 ] [ 37 ] GQ ranked James Alefantis as the 49th most mighty person in Washington, partially on the basis of owning Comet Ping Pong and its cultural cachet. [ 38 ] Ping niff tables populate the back room, which serves as Comet ‘s concert venue and features a stage at closely ground level. [ 12 ] [ 39 ] A number of artists and bands have performed at the restaurant, including The Apes, Speedy Ortiz, and Tussle. [ 12 ] [ 40 ] [ 41 ] DCist ‘s Mehan Jayasuriya noted of the venue, “ It ‘s not much that, on your way into a hood rock testify, you have to carefully skirt around the band members, for fear of interrupting their table tennis peer. ” [ 39 ]
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