Words by Kaylee Dugan
Photos by Clarissa Villondo
Unless you’re an AU student or a Tenleytown resident, you’re probably not going to Millie’s. Maybe if you live in Glover Park, but even then, we don’t you’ll make your way up there often. Located on a part of Massachusetts Avenue most D.C. residents have probably never seen before, Millie’s is a sprawling restaurant and bar complete with one of the largest patios I’ve seen in D.C.
It’s a gorgeous restaurant. Decked out in naval whites and blues (and the occasional touch of Fixer Upper inspired shiplap) it screams family friendly fun (sorry). I can’t imagine a better place to take your grandparents to brunch. It’s bright and airy and I can already see all of the Instagrams. But you’re probably never going to go there and it’s fine.
What’s genius about Millie’s location is that even if a large chunk of the city never sees it, they’ve already won. Spring Valley / American University park isn’t a magical land chock full of options. Unless you’re cool with hanging out with the college kids at Kitty’s / Public / the haunted shell of human existence that is the Dancing Crab, you don’t have a lot of options. Things have gotten better over the years with the addition of the Burger, Tap & Shake, and Glover Park / Cleveland Park have a lot more adult options, but there’s nothing in the neighborhood. Millie’s has a captive audience of families and college students that essentially have no where else to go. They probably didn’t even have to try this hard, but I’m glad they did.
Part of the Georgetown Events family that owns Surfside, Jetties and Due South (among others) the Millie’s on Mass Ave is actually the restaurants second location. Originally opened in 2010 in Nantucket, the casual beach side spot was named after Millie Jewett who spent her life on Madaket. She voluntarily patrolled the coastline and eventually earned the highest civilian rank possible from the Coast Guard. When she wasn’t helping with shipwrecks, she also sold ice cream.
The food pulls from both the east and west coast. Stand outs include the lobster roll, soft shelled crabs and a whole host of quesadillas and tacos. They also have a small kids menu featuring kebobs and quesadillas and a walk up ice cream stand that’s filled with the classic flavors. The drink menu is focused on beach-y easy drinking cocktails like Dark & Stormy’s and margaritas. They also have a single slushie machine that is dedicated to pumping out what they call a Riptide. A mix of spiced rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, cream of coconut and freshly ground nutmeg, it’s essentially a Painkiller. Which also means it’s a frozen slice of boozy heaven. I could easily drink these for the rest of my life (while occasionally stopping for a Piña Colada… What I’m saying is give me all of your frozen drinks).
If you live or work in Spring Valley, Millie’s is exactly what you’ve been waiting for.
Millie’s is located at 4866 Massachusetts Avenue. Hours are from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. with brunch starting this weekend.