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Jun 30, 2006 12:56 AM

The Queen is dead

Despite recent protestations and rumors to the contrary, the venerable Queen Bee vietnamese restuarant in Clarendon is closed. One of the first vietnamese restaurants in the area, it has closed after several decades and the Indian Curry House has supplanted it. The Curry House opens July 6. I hated to see the Queen Bee go. Fortunately, Nam Viet is just around the corner and still open. With the way the area is being renovated,however, I wouldn't wait if you want to try Nam Viet; many surrounding stores are already closed.

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  1. What a shame! I moved out of the DC area about 9 years ago--have been back several times since, but only once to that part of Arlington. The Clarendon area was such a treasure trove for Vietnamese food, and Queen Bee was one of a kind--not my #1 favorite but it had an atmosphere all its own and some French-leaning dishes that set it apart from the others.

    Are Cafe Saigon and Little Viet Garden still there?

    1. Cafe Saigon is also gone. Coincidentally, it too was replaced by an Indian restaurant, the Delhi Club.

      1. Little Viet Garden is still there, and I think will have some life due primarily to the outside dining area. Nam Viet is still doing good business, and the neighboring residential sprawl has sort of taken them in fairly well - it would be hard to see what that space alone would become otherwise. If the set of buildings closer to the square were renovated then they'd be in greater jeopardy, I think.

        To the OP, if you do come back and go to Clarendon, don't drive as you'll probably run over people while gawking at the way it looks now. Simply dreadful imo.

        1. Man! I about had a heart attack when I saw the headline, fearing it was a reference to "Queen" Nzinga at Ras Doobie's! I know one should not jump to conclusions, but that was the first thing that came to mind the instant I saw the headline. Dude, you SCARED me!

          1. As far as rushing to try Nam Viet, keep in mind that restaurant has several locations serving the same menu. So, even if the Clarendon location gets shuttered, it'll likely still be around.

            It really is stunning how quickly the "Little Saigon" district folded!

            2 Replies
            1. re: theoneontheleft

              Little Saigon, as far as that name truly goes, went a long time ago. But the last vestiges surely are folding up. Eden Center replaced the Little Saigon area in the 80's I believe. Public TV has a great documentary on Arlington, including the food scene in general and LS in particular during one point.

              1. re: Dennis S

                Little Saigon took over the old Clarendon shopping district virtually overnight some 30 years ago. One day there were Sears, McCrory's, Woolworths, Kann's, Hahn's, JCPenny, Hecht's, etc. There was the Keyhole Inn, O'Carroll's Seafood, various hillbilly bars, barbershops, tittybars, delicatessens--all swept away by the "yellow tide", as it was noted in the long-defunct Northern Virginia Sun (which published near Washington Blvd.)in the space of about 18 months. That's the Clarendon I miss the most.