The Argonaut in 2008
I posted yesterday morning that the Argonaut (1433 H Street) was closed starting on Monday, and has padlocks and No Trespassing signs up on its doors. Since that time there's been rampant speculation about the cause. Some thought it might be a tax issue, but that would have involved a pretty obvious placard, as would any issues with the Department of Health. It appears that the closure stems instead from an internal dispute among the owners (like many H Street establishments, the Argonaut has multiple owners).
I reached out to a few people associated with the Argo and got the same response received by the folks over at Borderstan, no public comment. Fritz Hahn from the Going Out Gurus over at WaPo spoke to an employee who confirmed that staff were notified by email of the closure, and described it as "a dispute within ownership." So the situation is currently developing, and we'll all just have to wait and see what happens.
What is more clear is that the Argonaut occupies a special place in the hearts and minds of many in the neighborhood. Opening in 2005, Argonaut has been a sort of poster child for the new development along the H Street Corridor. It started off as a bar, but over the years it morphed into the more family friendly establishment that we all know today. The restaurant suffered a devastating fire several years ago, but seemed to bounce back stronger, boasting a revamped and spiffed up first floor upon reopening. I, for one, am keeping my fingers crossed for a swift resolution and quick reopening.