New 7th Street Bar May Be Short-Lived Due to Upcoming Douglas Construction
Yesterday, my colleague Jessica Sidman broke the news that an island-themed bar called Hogo is coming to 1017 7th St. NW. But it appears the bar might only be able to stick around for a year.
Douglas Development Corporation is under contract to buy the vacant building, once home to Ruppert's Real Restaurant, according to Douglas' Paul Millstein, who leads the company's construction efforts. He was unaware that Paul Ruppert and Tom Brown were planning to open a bar in the space until I called him this afternoon. He said he was "surprised" that they'd start a bar at a location they'll have to leave in about a year.
"I think we’re a ways away from going to construction on that row, maybe a year," said Millstein, referring the string of 7th Street storefronts that Douglas is under contract to buy. "So I’m surprised they’re going to be opening a bar if they’ll have to close in a year."
Reached by phone, Ruppert declined to comment on the bar's prospects. "I think this is between Douglas Development and ourselves," he said. "I don’t think this is something for the newspaper."
When I asked if he expected to keep the bar open for more than a year, he repeated, "I think this is between Douglas Development and ourselves."
Millstein expects a neighboring bar co-owned by Ruppert, The Passenger, to close as well as a result of the planned Douglas construction, which includes a big new office building around the corner on New York Avenue.
"The Passenger, it’d be hard from them to stay," Millstein said. "I think they’ll have to pull out." He said the bike store on the same strip, BicycleSPACE, would remain; it's a Ruppert property, but Douglas will build around it.
I'm meeting with Douglas tomorrow and will have more information on the construction plans for the block.
Photo by Jessica Sidman