Caddies on Cordell is mentioned in most discussions of Bethesda’s bar scene and on Oct. 6, the golf-themed sports bar with the famous outdoor patio will be celebrating 10 years.
“We’ve been lucky,” said manager and bartender Lisa Gormley, who was a customer at Caddies before joining the staff four years ago. “Obviously, places come and go here. Somehow, we’ve found the right formula.”
That formula started with the three original owners, Bethesda natives Gabe Coulon, Chris Sansone, and Andrew Leach, who joined up to create Caddies (4922 Cordell Ave.) after working their way up at various Bethesda area restaurants.
Leach has since opened a new restaurant in Olney, which opened up a spot for Coulon’s brother, Rob, to join the ownership group. The brothers began at the now closed Rio Grande Cafe on Fairmont Avenue.
“We’re all local here. For a lack of a better way to say it, it’s that kind of “Cheers” feel. We know everybody. We know what they drink,” Rob Coulon said. “It’s a place where you don’t have to feel uncomfortable going by yourself because we all get to know you. That neighborhood feel is what keeps us going.”
The sports bar emphasis doesn’t hurt.
Over its 10 years, Caddies has attracted Washington Redskins Hall of Fame running back John Riggins (“I remember having dinner with him right back there,” Coulon said), Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green and golfer Sergio Garcia, who signed one of the golf flags hanging from the ceiling.
Then, in what was likely Caddies’ most famous moment, there was former Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman.
Riggleman, a Rockville native, headed to Caddies after he quit the Nationals job following a game in the middle of the 2011 season. In a moment that will live on in D.C. sports lore, he was photographed drinking with some of his favorite female fans.
“Yeah, well, I was solving the world’s problems last night at Caddies,” Riggleman said in a radio interview the next day. “Hey, I was big in there. My face is up on the screen and everything.”
“Everybody brings that up and that was a wonderful time,” Coulon said. “But that wasn’t the only time he was in here. That just happened to be the one that blew up.”
Caddies 10th Anniversary celebration is set for Oct. 6, from open to close and will include drink specials, giveaways and a DJ from 8 p.m. to close.