Grand Duchess Needs a Helping Hand!

Who knew it could be so expensive for two dudes to open a bar?

Grand Duchess has been operating as a “pop up” for over six months, working towards a redesign that will raise its occupancy from a paltry 15 to a respectable 49. Along the way, we got to test out our concept, introduce ourselves to the Adams Morgan and have a lot of fun. But we also hit an unexpected bump in the road — detailed here in this  City Paper article  — and for the past three months we have been forced to abide by the 15 person limit! Now, we need some extra help to get across the finish line.

Aside from the addition of a second bathroom, owners Rory Adair and Vinnie Rotondaro plan to add a bigger bar, some comfy new booths and a cool banquette.  Additionally, we are looking to raise funds from friends, family and Grand Duchess customers to help round out our renovation costs and pay for the following decor items:

*Chandeliers to grace the bay window and alcove.

*A Wooden Fireplace Mantel to frame out a currently plastered-over fireplace.

*New Art, specifically antique Italian amaro posters, an original Zorba the Greek movie poster, and old maps of Pittston and Philadelphia, PA, where Rory and Vinnie's families come from.

*A Memorial Roundtable dedicated to Fred Rotondaro, Vinnie’s father, who passed away last year.

*The Preservation of the Pharmacy Bar Juke Box (which has been around forever, looks awesome and is too classic to lose!)

We know times are tight, and we sincerely appreciate any help that you can give. In return, we are excited to offer you these deals: 

"Wood"         $50     =  $50 bar tab
"Bronze"       $100   =  $150 bar tab
"Silver"          $200   =  $350 bar tab   
"Gold"            $300   =  $600 bar tab  
"Platinum"   $500   =  $1500 bar tab 
"Diamond"  $1000 =  $4000 bar tab

Next month, we will be printing out gift cards that can be picked up at the Duchess or mailed to you with the appropriate bar tab amount included. We will also be hosting a pre-opening party, date TBA, for all donors to our GoFundMe campaign. 

It's our goal to create an environment that will bring good times, great drinks and excellent bites for years to come. We want you to become a part of the family. Come hang!


Rory and Vinnie
Grand Duchess
  • Lucy Caldwell 
    • $300 
    • 40 mos
  • William Kelley 
    • $500 
    • 42 mos
  • Andrew Murphy 
    • $200 
    • 42 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 42 mos
  • Eric Duncan 
    • $100 
    • 43 mos
See all

Fundraising team (2)

Angelo Rotondaro 
Raised $970 from 8 donations
Washington D.C., DC
Rory Adair 
Team member
Raised $700 from 3 donations
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