Young and Hungry

The Pour House Closing on Capitol Hill Tonight


Tonight is last call at the The Pour House, after 11 years in Capitol Hill.

The closure is just one in a series of dive bars that have shuttered in the neighborhood recently. Lil Pub, 18th Amendment, and most recently, Remingtons have all met their ends. Not to mention the original Hawk ’n’ Dove, whose upscaled renovations have erased any trace of its former divey self.

There are no specific bar specials planned for tonight’s last call, but co-owner Mark Menard says it will be an opportunity to give one final thanks to all the longtime supporters, which include Pittsburgh Steeler and Florida Gator fans, as well as a host of skeeball and bocce ball players.

The Pour House is closing because its lease expires tomorrow, and the building is being sold by nightlife proprietor Joe Englert, who also co-owns nearby Capitol Lounge and a handful of other bars in D.C. The owners of Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar, located a block away, plan to open a new restaurant in the space, according to the Washington Business Journal.

In a statement issued today, Menard says:

As you can expect, I’m super busy with the closing and cleaning out [of] the building. We will close tonight at last call. We would like to thank all our staff and customers for a great run and the incredibly awesome memories! We look forward to seeing them all at Compass Rose, Barrel, Trustys, and Star and Shamrock and our future endeavors.

Menard also says there are no plans right now to reopen The Pour House in another space, but he says he’s open to the possibility should it arise.

Photo via The Pour House

  • Tbonebullets

    Who is going to save the Dive Bar in D.C.? I'm not talking about the new ones, with fake aged wood and bars "reclaimed" from some place, but the REAL ones that have been there for many decades, like the Tune Inn, located in the same neighborhood as the Pour House? These are dying institutions that bring a warm, earthy quality to every neighborhood (unless the "neighbors" are too uptight to have them, in which case I don't want to live there).

    Does the D.C. Council need to pass a "historic Dive Bar" resolution, and provide rent support or "residential tenant" status to the owners? Do some rich people have to buy their properties and create nonprofit holding companies for their leases? Somebody step in and save D.C.!!!

  • Alex

    No one is going to "save" them. I miss the 18th Amendment and will miss Pour House, but this is a natural evolution of Capitol Hill continuing to get older and richer. More people who came here for internships and staff jobs are staying put, moving up in their careers, getting married, starting families and buying $500-800k houses and condos. They get older and no longer patronize places like this. With more families with money staying, fewer interns and single staffers can afford to live here, thus driving down the customer base of the dive bars.

  • Tbonebullets

    Alex, there ought not to be a conflict between your beloved gentrification process and protecting our community heirlooms. Not that I'm saying the Pour House is one; but the Tune Inn (as an example) certainly is and the Pour House closure should put fear into everyone's hearts of capital painting the world monochrome unless the people put a stop to it. The Market will ensure that places close if they make no profit, as it should, and that isn't even a topic of this discussion, anyway. Some countries and places see wisdom in protecting their cherished things. We should, too.

  • Philly

    But Pour House as we know it has been around for 11 years... before that it was Politiki, which I suppose was a sort of institution, but it was just a bunch of Capitol Hill DBs and their groupies drinking dollar beers and being obnoxious - pretty awful, and certainly not something to cherish...

  • son of Washington

    Another one bites the dust. Hell I remember when it became the Pour House and we were all upset and now it's gone for good. I'm still salty about Poliitiki closing.

    As for the dive bar movement, the problem is that they don't cater to WWashingtonian's. They cater to trendy folks who stay around for a little while. This is why places like the Black Rooster Pub downtown hasn't left. They tried and it was saves.

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