A look at what's going on in Trinidad, on H Street, and in the larger area north of Capitol Hill.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

During the Inaguration...

...you can get a drink until 5am. The council recently passed legislation allowing restaurants, taverns, and nightclubs to stay open 24 hours a day, and to serve alcohol until 5am. Are places on H Street going to stay open? Is this [A] an excellent way for the District to capitalize on this historic opportunity, or [B] a public safety nightmare? Keep in mind that Metro will also be running late, and you can bet that every cab in town will be out on the street.


Anonymous The AMT said...

I'm moving back to DC from England in a couple weeks, and I'll be living just off H. Good site you have going here.

As far as opportunity/disaster-waiting-to-happen, I see a little column A and a little column B. I think it is a great opportunity for revenue and maximizing the returns for the city, since everybody coming is going to be in a festive mood. That said, crowds + lots of alcohol can lead to less than desirable results.

I'm really hoping it looks like I heard it did on Election Night, where people are just celebrating and being happy.

Dec 4, 2008, 8:39:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

All we need now is to have beer cans and liquor bottle with Obama's image on them. What a stupid way to celebrate such an important event.

Dec 4, 2008, 9:17:00 AM

Anonymous 4th & G said...

My Republican friends have all told me that they'll be drinking alone that night. I invited them over for some liberal brie and chamblis, but they all declined my invition...

Dec 4, 2008, 10:14:00 AM

Anonymous JJ said...

Sadly, B. 3 million people coming into town, city services will be taxed to the limit, police will be stretched thin...and what does city council do? Hey, open the beer taps till 5 am!

I seriously hope that nothing happens -- for Obama more than anything else. I'd hate to see the historic character of this inaugural screwed up by drunk, out of towners looking to get their freak on and playing out the old stereotypes.

Can there be any doubt that city council is a.) stupid and b.) totally not looking out for citizen's or the police for that matter (rather, they're looking out for the nightclub owners).

Dec 4, 2008, 10:14:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I don't really see why partying until 2-3 in the morning isn't enough. People celebrating the inaguration really need to booze until 5?

Dec 4, 2008, 10:16:00 AM

Blogger DCJaded said...

Jeez, what a bunch of old fuddy duddies. Whats the big deal. People are going to want to party late. I know I will. Stop complaining and just enjoy.

Dec 4, 2008, 10:40:00 AM

Blogger Tim said...

I agree with The AMT, a little of both. Not all bars will be open till 5. I'm sure some establishemnts will pass up the extension for different reasons.

Also, not everyone who'll be in DC will be partying that late. Obviously there are enough people who hate this idea and they'll stay home.

I don't foresee a disaster that some ANC commisioners in my neck of te woods have been hinting at.

Dec 4, 2008, 10:56:00 AM

Blogger Hillman said...

It's a question of city resources. Do we really think DC cops, fire, EMT, and all the associated groups can handle this much more workload?

Remember, this is the DC government we're talking about.

Dec 4, 2008, 11:04:00 AM

Blogger Tom A. said...

Having the bars stay open later will mean that when people head home- they'll do it in smaller groups- rather than having 1 million people all looking for a cab at the same time at 3am! And we ARE talking about a Monday and Tuesday night anyway!

Dec 4, 2008, 11:06:00 AM

Blogger lowercase hill said...

We are also on this story. For those of you Capitol Hill residents, we also have other news and event for you.


Dec 4, 2008, 11:23:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see places like Adams Morgan, Ust, downtown cashing in on this, but I would not expect Hst buisness to be staying open until 5am. Most places just don't have the staff to pull it off and I don't think people will be out on H that late.

Dec 4, 2008, 11:32:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off topic a bit - it appears that Marty's and Finn's on 8th ST SE have gone out of business. Can anybody confirm this?

Dec 4, 2008, 11:49:00 AM

Blogger Hillman said...

Yes, Martys and Finns are kaput.

Supposedly Martys will now be a Greek restaurant, and Finns was bought by the owners of Lola's and will be redone as well, still as a restaurant but not sure what type.

Dec 4, 2008, 11:53:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

barf on lowercase

Dec 4, 2008, 11:55:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Hillman - I wonder if the emergence of new bars along H st had anything to do with the closing of Finns.

Dec 4, 2008, 11:58:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The credit crunch could also be the cause. The banks are clamping down on small business equity loans and credit card companies are up-ing their fees.

Dec 4, 2008, 1:33:00 PM

Blogger Charles said...

in the case of Marty's, perhaps their mediocre food had something to do with it.

Dec 4, 2008, 2:17:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

could be. I usually don't go to bars for the food though. I loved the golden tee game they had :-(

Dec 4, 2008, 2:24:00 PM

Blogger Charles said...

Yeah but there are plenty of bars on that street. When Marty's opened, they seemed to be aiming for a family dining crowd as well as usual bar business. It was a good idea because the neighborhood needs more regular places like that, as opposed to trendy spots, but their food just wasn't good enough.

Dec 4, 2008, 2:50:00 PM

Blogger Doug said...

Off topic - but as anyone heard anything about this month's "First Thursday" specials? Are they even still doing that?

Dec 4, 2008, 3:49:00 PM

Anonymous Chris Metzler said...

Re: Finn's on 8th Street SE, the opening of new places was not a factor. Mel, the guy who owned Finn's, is from Baltimore and has always wanted to own a place in Baltimore. The folks who owned Lola's next door were interested in buying Finn's. So Mel sold, and is moving towards having a restaurant in Baltimore. Meanwhile, Finn's is being renovated, and will re-open next year, but with a different look/feel. It's a bummer because Finn's has been the Barra Brava's in-city hangout and place to watch away matches.

Dec 4, 2008, 4:20:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe Englert said:

1) Most of H St. N.E. restaurants and bars will close at 2 a.m. Probably the only exception is R N R Hotel.

2) In Adams Morgan, downtown, G'town, having late hours will DECREASE a crush of people at 2 or 3 a.m. looking for cabs and big slices. It is actually sensible.

3) Historically, it is very difficult to make money from 1:30-3:00 a.m. as a bar in D.C. But, 90% of all problems happen during this time period. Also, some of the posters are very smart. We can't find labor for normal shifts. We will be too short-staffed to open early and longer. It will not happen.

4) I think clubs will do very well from 1 to 4 a.m. More power to them and the extended hours will definitely help them safety-wise.

5) Don't believe the hype in many cases. Out of the 4 million coming (and this number is wildly exaggerated in my opinion), half or more won't be partiers. People who actually want to go to inaugural balls are not party animals.

6) People also do not have stamina to go out night after night and drink and stay up late. Expect Friday and Saturday to be busy. Sunday will be okay. Monday will be a big night. Tuesday will be a dud.

7) Youngish people will come to H. 28-35 to party. But for the most part, people from Dubuque and Des Moines will not find us.

Dec 4, 2008, 6:11:00 PM

Blogger Hillman said...

Joe raises some very valid points.

As for Martys, I sortof liked the place. The food was, for the most part, stunningly bland (one exception was their very tasty steak sandwich), but I admired them for going smoke-free before anyone else did.

What did them in? Probably their instant iced tea.

Dec 5, 2008, 7:41:00 AM

Anonymous Mose said...

Hillman - good call on the steak sandwich at Marty's. I went once for brunch and that's what I had; and I agree it was tasty. There is some pretty tough competition among the restaurants on 8th St. Marty's had a nice space - another restaurant with a more consistently pleasing product should do fine there.

Dec 5, 2008, 9:06:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wondering, has anyone seen Tommy Wells as paying customer at any H street business? The Atlas? Argonault? G Moores?? Martini Lounge?
Napa? Nouveau Fleuer? Sidamo?

Dec 5, 2008, 1:47:00 PM

Blogger Hillman said...

Tommy Wells on H....

I don't make it a practice to stalk the man to check out his eating habits, but I believe he holds a monthly community involvement meeting at Sidamo. That's got to bring in some paying customers.

And he's hosting a fairly large event at Atlas, I think this weekend.

And he's been a pretty active advocate for H Street generally.

Dec 5, 2008, 3:13:00 PM

Anonymous NoMad said...

This is also slightly off-topic, but are any of the bar/restaurants on H Street open for lunch on weekdays? My office has just moved to NoMa and the pickings are mighty slim at lunch time. Any suggestions would be welcome.

Dec 5, 2008, 4:49:00 PM

Anonymous Chris Metzler said...

Weekday lunches? I've picked up weekday lunch at Tropicana, Taylor, Horace & Dickies, and Phila. Water Ice (when "in season"), so they do. Presumably Sidamo, Sova, and the market by Sova whose name I can never remember have their sandwiches available at lunchtime. I think I've seen a sign outside XII that indicates they have lunch available. Dunno about anyone else.

Dec 5, 2008, 5:16:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taylors and Naby's Island are open for lunch and both deliver.

By the way, Tommy's event at the Atlas was last night, and everything was donated.

Dec 5, 2008, 5:36:00 PM

Blogger inked said...

Sidamo and Sova do sandwiches, and Sidamo also does soups and salads. There are plenty of place with carry out lunch. You can also try the places by the NY Ave metro. If you like Korean food you should try K-Young's in the Florida Market.

Dec 6, 2008, 2:40:00 PM

Blogger Mike said...

In addition to all of the above listed lunch options, you could also grab a sandwich from A. Litteri on Morse Street (or the Subway at the corner of 6th and Morse, though Litteri gets my vote if those are the two choices).

I've never seen Councilmember Wells out on H Street for dinner, but he definitely shows his support for the area. He does H Street office hours every month, usually on the fourth Thursday of the month from 8 to 9:30 AM. I know they've been held at Sova, Sidamo, Nouveau Fleur, and Fitness Together in recent memory. Not too shabby.

Dec 6, 2008, 9:39:00 PM

Blogger soul searcher said...

i've personally seen tommy wells eating in tropicana

can't speak on what else he has supported

i agree with tom a and joe that having a later last call will stretch out the time of 'the let out' so the streets aren't crammed with drivers or folks looking for cabs or late night grub exactly at 2am last call (many people party till 2am, only a select few party all night long).

Dec 8, 2008, 2:48:00 PM

Blogger soul searcher said...

ps: i imagine the worst part of a bouncer's job is trying to clear the venue after last call. turning the lights on never seems to be enough. lol.

Dec 8, 2008, 2:49:00 PM

Blogger monkeyrotica said...

FYI, if you're on 8th Street, check out the new Matchbox. It's finally open for dinner. They can't open for lunch soon enough.


Dec 9, 2008, 9:09:00 AM

Anonymous alcoholism said...

The legislation is a total nightmare to the public. It's because allowing establishments to offer liquor until the early morning of 5am can cause a lot of trouble. Bar brawls and street fights can happen when the people cannot have control over themselves. This can happen when they get drunk or during misunderstandings. The government might consider revising the legislation.

Feb 10, 2009, 10:30:00 AM

Blogger inked said...

Yet nothing really happened. Most places chose not to stay open late. I didn't hear of any incidents that occurred at the places that were open late. And I'm not sure why the gov would consider retroactively revising legislation that was in place for three days three weeks ago.

Feb 10, 2009, 11:25:00 AM


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