Thursday, January 07, 2010

H Street Martini Lounge Rumor

Many of you may have noticed that the H Street Martini Lounge hasn't been open much lately, and that it was on the market. Now come news that it might have a buyer. Rumor has it that the owner of Wisdom (known for its cocktails and absinthe selection) has purchased it, and will reopen it under the name Chapter 2. I understand that the space will have a different feel on each of its two levels. Upstairs is said to be fancier, with a more casual vibe on the first floor.


I still can't confirm, or debunk this one. If Cliff Humphries has sold the building (there are for sale listings online) I imagine the money might go to his new venture on Capitol Hill. The fact that certain people haven't heard about this makes me skeptical. The Martini Lounge has been open for quite a while, and they seem to do good business. So just treat this as a rumor, not as "news" of a transition.


Efforts to reach the owner of the Martini Lounge via email and phone were unsuccessful. I talked to a few people who should have known about a sale if one had occurred. They didn't, so I'm calling this rumor, FALSE. The Lounge is for sale, but they guys from Wisdom haven't bought the building, or bought out the lease as far as I can tell.


Anonymous said...

Grubb Ellis is currently selling 1236 H Street NE (SSL 1003 0804) for $550K:

Wouldn't it be odd for Clifton Humphries to lease the property to the folks at Wisdom while concurrently selling it?

Matt Latham said...

Retail property owners with a leased tenant can demand a higher asking price. Buyers don't want to buy a building with an empty storefront; unless they don't like collect rent.

inked said...

the pdf to which you link talks about a sale-leaseback provision.

I'm assuming that the Wisdom people are buying out the lease (and possibly also the building).

The building that houses Granville's is also up for sale.

James said...

I'm confused--Inked's post says that it looks like the Lounge has a "Buyer". Where did anyone get the idea that Humphries is leasing it to the Wisdom crew?

Seems to me if they are buying the place to open a new bar, they aren't planning on leasing it back to Humphries.

Anonymous said...

this is H#@L

Anonymous said...

Joe Englert:

Elise, I don't think this is the case. I would call Cliff Humphries directly.

By the way, Clifton was THE pioneer on H.

I think I speak for all the neighbors when I say we hope Clifton does very well no matter if he leases, sells or continues operating the business.

Anonymous said...

i agree with mr englert, having lived in the neighborhood for over 6 yrs, the h st martini lounge is a blessing. the publicized brawl that happened there recently doesn't discount what the Humphries family has added to the neighborhood. I hope they don't leave because Cliff and his wife always treated us well.

Derek said...


Is this some abstract urban poem? What is the tempo to read it as?

It is interesting to throw in the nike brand as though it is message and maybe a critique of our urban culture.

ibc said...


The original (pre-spam version) is even more moving:

Anonymous said...

I agree Cliff was one of the first on the strip to open up a nice venue for cocktails. I hope that there is no truth to the possibility that he is selling his establishment . The few times that I have patronized the lounge,I always had a blast.

5th street

poo's delighted it's finally legal said...


poo poo loves the cowbell said...

Cliff might be nice and all that, but he obstructed justice by "allegedly" wiping out the security camera footage of what happened.

the *real* poo said...


Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious why he would lease -- he wants to attract a buyer and an investor may have issues with HSML and its pending ABRA case that it wouldn't with Wisdom and their clean record.

poo poo is again curious said...

why does HSML have a crappy record, and wisdom have a clean record? is it a matter of their location? clientelle? what?!

quizzical said...

Why would anyone say HSML has "a crappy record" at all? The one incident?

Anonymous said...

I spoke with the owner of wisdom a friend of mine, he said he has also heard that he was adopting the Obama twins. So as far as I can tell wisdon is not buying martini lounge!

da pooparino said...


uh, yeah. everything is relative. hsml does have a worse record than a lot of other places. "one incident"? i'm going for the NO INCIDENT FTW! plus, they seemingly obstructed justice.

i'm just asking.....


thanks in advance for you opinion.

Anonymous said...


Here are a few more websites for your sidebar:


quizzical said...

poop: I'm obviously way too stupid to parse the English in your last post. Can you please rephrase? I don't understand what you're trying to say.

Thaps said...

Yikes, good thing that Souk's food is better than there website.