Arts Desk

No News Is Good News? Radio Silence on HR-57


Shortly before HR-57 closed down its 14th Street location in favor of new digs on H Street NE, owner Tony Puesan informed Washington City Paper that "we haven't got an opening date for the new location, but it'll be somewhere in mid-January." The venue's website similarly advertised that "Reopening is set for this coming January see you then!"

It's Feb. 1, and the new HR-57 is still not open; in fact, little has changed from this photograph taken last November. (And the old location looks pretty much like what you see above.) The website has changed not at all, save for yesterday when it was down for several hours. Neither Puesan, his nephew/staffer Rafael, nor "house clown" drummer Jimmy "Junebug Jackson have returned calls or e-mails for comment. And scuttlebutt on the local scene is nil.

Indeed, the last piece of news of any kind that this writer can find is this tweet from January, indicating that Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6A, which is responsible for that portion of H Street NE, had signed off on HR-57's liquor license application, including amendments that would allow it to retain its BYOB policy. According to that application, the club's public hearing with ABRA was scheduled for Jan. 24; no minutes have been posted online.

Given the late date of the hearing, there's no reason to believe that the delayed opening of HR-57 has any reason beyond your typical bureaucratic/administrative red tape. But with the previously announced mid-January opening still left undone, it'd be nice to have an update from someone in the know.

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  • Anonymous

    Have you bothered to talk with anyone who has ever dealt with Tony Puesan? To say that he talks out of both sides of his mouth or that you can't believe a word he says is to be charitable.

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  • Stefan

    Calling Jimmy Jackson a "HOUSE CLOWN" is more than offensive. I hope that you have the decency to publicly apologize to Jimmy Jackson for your rudeness. In case you don't know, Jimmy Jackson is a very accomplished jazz musician who has spent many years touring with legendary Jimmy Smith (among others) for which he should receive due respect.

    I am also puzzled why you would mention in the article that "neither nephew/staffer Rafael, nor house clown drummer Jimmy "Junebug Jackson have returned calls or e-mails". Why would they? They are not involved in the business aspect of HR-57. Instead of writing them emails and complaining that they don't answer, why don't you just stop by at their new location and ask Tony -- maybe you will find out that he is busy setting up a new venue and doesn't have time to answer emails from a blogger.

  • Michael J. West

    Stefan, you've left several comments on my pieces in the past few hours, and they indicate that you've only bothered to barely read the pieces themselves. Otherwise you might know that Junebug Jackson gave HIMSELF the title of "House Clown," for starters. I'm certainly not going to apologize for calling him what he calls himself.

    You might also have noticed that I contacted Tony before contacting either Rafael or Junebug --- and I e-mailed him because he that was how he asked me to contact him. When he wouldn't get back to me, I went to other people who I thought might reasonably have information.

    I congratulate you on your apparent involvement in a documentary on DC's jazz scene, and look forward to seeing it. I hope it demonstrates more attention to detail than your comments here have so far.