City Desk

At the Post Pub, No More Bernsteins and Whatchamacallits

post pub flickr karol a olsonIt's two hours after word broke that the Washington Post, storied institute of journalism, would pass from the storied Graham family to geeky Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and the Post Pub is practically empty.

A handful of regulars sit at the bar and joke about their racist dogs while slow oldies twang from the jukebox. One guy complains loudly that the songs are repeating. "Am I in The Truman Show?" he barks. "Hey! Let me out!"

From 6 to 7 p.m., few Posties venture around the corner from the newsroom to their dark, fabled dive. Four huddle around a pitcher, tapping at their phones and speaking in low tones. Not exactly the scene of liquor-laden carousing one might expect at the twilight of the Washington Post's Graham era.

Bartender Jen Bernard isn't surprised that Post staffers haven't flock to their traditional, eponymous stomping ground. "I can count the number of Post people who come in here on one hand," Bernard says. "People come in here saying, 'Is that the place where the Post people sit?' No, that's where the alcoholic comes in and day drinks."

Bernard started working at the bar four years ago and says the journalism mystique has long worn off its red leather booths. "I don't feel like it's the Bernsteins and whatchamacallits," she says. Nowadays the Post Pub caters to a quick lunch crowd, exhausted tourists who stumble in after taking tours, and anyone who doesn't mind Real Housewives on the TV on the weekends. "People kind of stumble upon us and get wasted and end up making lifelong friends here," she says.

Though she counts few Posties as regulars, Bernard still followed the news of the paper's sale with interest.

"My boyfriend works at Amazon," she says.

Photo by Karol A. Olson, Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0 License

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  • EP sato

    The post pub isn't far from my home. Given the lack of neighborhood bars in DC, the Post Pub is a nice change of pace within walking distance from Logan's Circle.

    There didn't seem to be any newspaper people on any of the occasions when I've visited, either...

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  • Amy

    The premise of this story seems to be that all of those depressed Posties would be heading over to their local to get wasted. I think that would be a lot more likely if mgmt had just announced another series of layoffs. Having a billionaire come in and buy them with the likelihood of dumping millions more into the joint isn't exactly something to cry in your beer over.

  • scoop

    Duh ... Ever hear of deadlines, City Paper? Reporters learning of a big story at 4:30 p.m. are not going to be drinking two hours later.

  • Niki

    I wish the author did a little bit more investigating, before posting. She really should have talked to Kathy the general manager/day bartender. She has been there for years and has seen the variety of changes to the clientele.

    Newspaper people do not wave sign saying they work at the post. There are several nights a week that you can still find a group of young post employees. There are also other newsies in there at various times. The Post Pub has a booth dedicated to The Examiner. Granted they had a larger crowd when The Post had their distribution around the corner over 20 years ago. Also, they lost a chunk when The Washington Post offered early retirement in lieu of the changes to the economy.

    I will say it is a common misconception that The Post Pub is named due to its location and they cater to a larger clientele than just Post employees. Post employees are most likely to be seen Monday - Wednesday evenings for an after work happy hour. I do not see the sale changing anything.