Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Big Plans at the Argo

Argo Patio
Photo provided by the Argonaut

The following is a comment (slightly modified) left by Argonaut owner Scott Magnuson. But take a look, because he outlines some of the really big changes coming soon to the Argo:

Yes Soul Searcher, I am a very lucky guy! I have a beautiful and very supportive wife (who is also a great mother), a loyal staff that has stuck with us through all of this, and a community that makes me very proud to be a part of!

Here are a few things everyone can look forward to when reopen the downstairs.

1. a bigger outdoor space with a garden style drinking area, a covered year round portion on the existing patio and an outdoor portion of our new bar.

2. a bigger indoor/outdoor, bar. moved to the point, not separate from the dining space for a much inproved atmosphere. designed by the great Lee Wealer as a scaled down version of an ancient great ship.

3. a redesigned kitchen, (almost an open kitchen)

4. a service counter to contain supplies and speed up service.

5. new kitchen equipment including a new steamer in which we will be doing steamed shrimp, crablegs, clams, and other seafood in which we can offer steamer specials on a nightly basis.

6. new smaller cleaner mens bathroom.

7. new cleaner interior and exterior look

8. new old dinning room floor which will be level. (don't worry we are using all of the old floor on the new bar)

9. We are playing with the idea of a communal table

10. Bigger Beer list with 12 beers on tap. we are building a walk in and running draft lines to both bars.

11. Bigger kick ass wine list.

12. we are adding to our already large rum list as well.

I can't give you an accurate time line at this point, we are still at the hands of insurance and PEPCO. Hopefully around 8 to 12 weeks.

Thank you all for your support. If you haven't checked out the redesigned upstairs please do so.

This Friday we will Have a food truck Sausa.

and fatface BBQ will be with us every Sunday for football from, 12 to 8.

If anyone has any questions or concerns you can email me dirrectly at scott[at]


Anonymous said...

nice work scott, sounds like the argo will be amazing after all is said and done, can't wait, i mean, i'll be waiting patiently...

Hilloholic said...

Love all the ideas, including the communal table and the increased rum list. And food trucks to tide you over - great idea!

oboe said...

All this sounds awesome...but:

6. new smaller cleaner mens bathroom.

Surely this is a typo. The old mens' room was barely large enough to fit both me and my genitalia at the same time. Not saying it was insufficient; just trying to imagine how it could be any smaller.

Hank Chinaski said...

8-12 weeks... really hoping this will happen. I almost expected it to say 8-12 months. Very pleased to hear that things may be up and running (and apparently better than ever) in the very foreseeable future.

I really miss the Argo. There's nothing else like it on H St.

Scott Magnuson said...

reconfigured a little smaller, no big mop closet and only one pisser + stall

Anonymous said...

This all sounds great. Very much looking forward to it.

S said...

As long as the fish tacos are still there, I'm happy. Everything else is a bonus. Sounds awesome!

Anonymous said...

it was a de facto one pisser anyway. unless you liked overlapping the other dude.

but anyway, these plans sound GREAT!
go argonaut!

Anonymous said...

oh, and keep the fish burritos. much better than the tacos.

Anonymous said...

Seriously...cleaner?? Scott has to announce that the place will be cleaner??? Really??? Cleaner bath room, cleaner restaurant??? The fire at least sanitized the place. I had food poisoning twice from the Argonaut...which I used to go to one a week from the time they opened before being flattened by Ptomaine. Their famous fish tacos?.. The last time (which was the last time I went in) had me hugging the toilet all night. Not my idea of a good date. Cleanliness is something that you do because you appreciate your customers and it is the law. I’ve lived here for over eight years and appreciate the efforts to revive the hood. Joe opened the Argo and I went and supported because it was the only spot on the strip. Ill probably go to see if they will live up to their promises. They cannot take their customer base for granted by their apparent lack of consideration in keeping the place clean. Staff and male customers washing their hands (a slop sink in the men’s room? no soap and rarely any towels...why weren't they shut down earlier) that you almost had to pee in because the room was so tight” Perhaps the women’s bathroom was cleaner so Inked has her blinders on for good reason. I used to like Scott before the arrogance (Argonance?), felt his pain when being taunted by newbies to the hood who said they could behave anyway they wanted in his establishment because they just spend 500k for a house nearby. Now I wonder if he is just naive and dumb (leaving $700 in you car?) and think his lack of business acumen will cause the sinking of the Argonaut. I doubt I will be sad. So many others will feel the same way, they just can’t be bothered to waste any more time on him and the Arognaut. Those of you who believe he is some sort of shaman and that the Argo is some sort of safe harbor can go ahead until you too have been pirated.

Anonymous said...

It's one of the first things I noticed when moving here a decade ago - very few restaurants in DC ever clean their bathrooms. And a surprising number never bother to renovate them, even when they renovate the rest of their restaurant.

I guess no one ever complains, because the first few times I mentioned it to bar or restaurant staff they looked at me like I was high and/or they told me that it was a bar / restaurant so that's just to be expected.

On the flip side, even the best efforts at cleanliness can be defeated by a few nasty patrons.

So I feel the owner's pain on that one.

But it always struck me as odd - in even very nice restaurants - particularly on the Hill - the bathrooms were unrenovated and filthy. To the point that I always felt dirty coming out.

Hillman said...

I'm the Anonymous above, at 8:15, complaining about bathroooms.

I hit the wrong button when posting.

My apologies.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:05, your comment started out with some valid points.....but ended up making you sound like an ass. your points have been lost and now you seem like another internet troll.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:05, your comment started out with some valid points.....but ended up making you sound like an ass. your points have been lost and now you seem like another internet troll.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:05, from your comments, I doubt very much you know Scott at all, but you obviously don't like him. I've known him and his family for years now, he's friendly, works his ass off, is a great father and husband, and the Argo is his life 24/7. Not many managers of restaurants are as available as he is to his staff and customers.

"So many others will feel the same way...", speak for yourself and feel free to patronize other establishments, more space for the rest of us who like the Argo and have been going since they opened. You so easily judge Scott and imply that somehow he's to blame for his car being stolen with money in it, and a devastating fire. They're rising from the ashes and have the opportunity to do things they couldn't before, but it is alot of work regardless.

Either way, I'm sure they will welcome you back with a smile, maybe even put your name on a plaque in the new men's room.

I also vote for the fish burritos replacing the fish tacos, they're huge and easier to chow down on.

oboe said...

@Anon 8:05:

Perhaps a few more question-marks would liven up your screed, and make it more persuasive.

What do you think?????

Anonymous said...

another vote for fish burritos to replace the tacos, much less messy and management, with all the deliciousness contained in one wrap!

Anonymous said...

Hey Hillman

You always make these ridiculously broad statements about DC restaurants.

Some how, the service is worse than other cities.

The bathrooms aren't as clean.

Scott, and other owners, come from all over the country, so has does this conspiracy work?

I'm actually born and raised in DC, but have lived in NYC, Philly, and Boston.

You really don't know what you are talking about.

It's always weird when arrogance and ignorance come together; it's such a bad mix, but it's a natural aspect of blogs.

I would recommend you investigate the food scene of these cities a bit more. It might give you a better perspective.

Anonymous said...

Want to say thanks to the Argo for staying true to their roots . Special thanks to Sandy and Chris. Thanks for for good conversation and service.

Anonymous said...

so excited for the reincarnation of the argonaut, THE best spot on H! I don't get the comments attacking Scott the manager personally, he's just a human not a shaman, at least not yet. He's trying to run a restaurant, not an ashram. I dig the vibe at the argo every time i've been there since they opened, it's a true H Street corridor institution and will be for many generations I hope. Thanks to their staff for keeping it real in the midst of the challenges they've face from jump

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:05
I'm sorry you are so upset and I understand that it is no fun to be sick, but some of your personal comments are way out of line. The Argonaut and the people behind the scenes there are truly quality. They have clearly tried hard to meet the needs of their customers throughout their existence over the past 5+ years.

Argo--keep up the great work! There are a lot of people who would be sad to see you go and are really happy that you are making lemonade out of lemons right now.


Anonymous said...

Was there Friday night... very chill scene. Tune selection was fabs (Manchester sounds from many eras). Big ups to the sweet, sexy and a savory Sandy! Maybe next time we'll play abs hehe :)