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Capitol Lounge, Pennsylvania Ave. and 2nd St. SE - Chef Teddy Folkman Comes From Granville Moore's


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Well - Cap Lounge WAS my favorite.  I'm just sick to hear of their loss this morning.

Ten cent wings on Tuesdays has been a favorite since I moved to the Hill six years ago. It's a total bummer. A lot of people are mourning an old friend today.

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Well - Cap Lounge WAS my favorite.  I'm just sick to hear of their loss this morning.

That's really a shame. When I was down by there this morning, I was having trouble figuring out which building(s) it was, but there clearly had been a substantial fire. It looked like it might have been Capitol Lounge, but it was hard to tell from where I was across the street. Edited by Pat
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Done burnt down.

I would have thought that so many years worth of accumulated scuzz, nicotine deposits and intern jism would have combined to make the place pretty much fireproof. A sad, sad loss for anyone who's ever worked, lived or trawled for jailbait on the Hill.

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That's really a shame.  When I was down by there this morning, I was having trouble figuring out which building(s) it was, but there clearly had been a substantial fire.  It looked like it might have been Capitol Lounge, but it was hard to tell from where I was across the street.

From WTOP:

Fire Destroys Popular Capitol Hill Tavern

Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2005 - 10:48 AM

WASHINGTON - It looks like careless smoking caused the fire that destroyed a Capitol Hill tavern early Wednesday.

D.C. Fire and EMS spokeswoman Catherine Friedman tells WTOP the two-alarm fire caused significant damage to the Capitol Lounge.

The fire started in the bar and no one was injured, she says.

Around 6 a.m. Wednesday a cell phone caller alerted the fire department about heavy smoke coming out of the building in the 200 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, Southeast.

Two people who live in apartments on the building's third floor managed to get out of the building safely, Friedman said.

(Copyright 2005 by WTOP and MetroSource. All Rights Reserved.)

Edited by crackers
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This is a total pisser. I've been drinking at the Cap Lounge since 1996. I wouldn't be surprised that if you added up all the times I've been to the Lounge it would equal a year of my life spent there. I've even brought my bartender to DC United games! The Lounge truly was a home away from home for me. Sad day in the Life of Tweaked. :P

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Summer of 2003 probably found me at the Lounge four nights a week. I migrated over to Pourhouse when Colin and Mark bought it, but I'll miss the Wings Night nonetheless.

Though when they started charging .50 for extra blue cheese and for celery and carrots, I nearly decided to stop coming. I guess interns would occupy a table for two hours, drinking water and racking up a $5 tab.

Even infested as it was with Hill staffers during the week, I enjoyed the more locals scene on weekend evenings...

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I've had a bunch of great Cap Lounge moments, especially because it tends to be the end of many a Hill pubcrawl. One particularly fine moment was owning my drunkenness and allowing my pool cue to find its own errant path directly into the kidneys of a particularly vitriolic Senator's staffer of the other party (I'm being purposefully vague, as I fear DonRocks' rabidly anti-partisan delete key :P ). Good times, good times.

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:P I'm planning on asking my friends in UK to mail some soccer scarves for when they re-open. I am being optomistic, but people have insurance, and they place did make $$. rumor is it was a ciggy butt in a trash can/ Official news said basement was just water damage. Let us know if the staff will be guest bartending anywhere. I'll be there and I tip well!

D

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:P I'm planning on asking my friends in UK to mail some soccer scarves for when they re-open.  I am being optomistic, but people have insurance, and they place did make $$.  rumor is it was a ciggy butt in a trash can/  Official news said basement was just water damage.  Let us know if the staff will be guest bartending anywhere.  I'll be there and  I tip well!

D

I was talking with Simon last night. He hopes to pick up some shifts at Trusty's. He also mentioned that the side bar didn't get too badly mangled - mainly smoke damage, so it will hopefully be opened in a few weeks while the main bar will be back in a few months.

Brian still bartends at the irish Channel. Not sure about Tony T, though.

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It looks pretty optimistic, I'd say, but the shrine is a bit much. OK, I'm not big on those things to begin with, but it still seems excessive.

Yesterday there were people looking around like they were planning repairs. Today there was a fire and restoration truck outside and people looking like they were planning repairs.

The 3 stuffed bears I saw at 9:30 this morning were supplemented by flowers and a lot of American flags by 4 PM. Plus there is now something called a Capitol Lounge Memory Book (or something close to that), and a handwritten notice saying they'd be reopened in a few weeks.

I used to go there back in the 90s (it was a great place to take people from out-of-town), but I hadn't gone there so much in recent years. I hope they get back on their feet soon.

No politics. No Miller Lite.

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There have been many rumors floating around out there about when Cap Lounge will reopen again, the buzz on the hill today is that they will reopen at 4pm today.

I haven't been able to confirm this, but there is furniture inside, beer taps have been reinstalled, and there are now liquor bottles back on the wall. Additionally theres been a flurry of employee activity inside all day.

I'll try and walk by around 4 to see if she's back! :lol:

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There have been many rumors floating around out there about when Cap Lounge will reopen again, the buzz on the hill today is that they will reopen at 4pm today.

I haven't been able to confirm this, but there is furniture inside, beer taps have been reinstalled, and there are now liquor bottles back on the wall.  Additionally theres been a flurry of employee activity inside all day.

I'll try and walk by around 4 to see if she's back!  :lol:

If that's true, Tweaked will be very happy tonight.

Edited by crackers
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Wasn't the last fire started in a dumpster? If so they oughta install a sprinkler system in the damned things.
I think the conclusion was an improperly discarded cigarette inside the bar.

This time doesn't look as bad from a perspective standing on the street, but since it started in the back, I don't know how much that impression is worth. The two buildings that sustained the most visible damage from the front are the Trover card shop and the Lounge. The ladder of the hook and ladder was up on the roof of the bar still at 9AM. Art and Soul (next to the card shop) looked to have damage but less. Sonoma and the book store didn't look as though they'd had fire damage from my vantage point. I was standing in the median on PA Ave behind the police tape. Mayor Fenty appeared to be there inspecting the damage (or someone who looked like him from a distance :angry: )

One thing I noticed was the sons from the Trover shop walking out of the card shop with an officer (maybe the police chief?) just before 9. If they were in to inspect damage 3 1/2 hours after the fire started, I'd consider that a good sign. I couldn't really see if there was any activity at the Lounge, though.

I feel terrible for the firefighters being out there in this heat.

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Article at Roll Call (subscription required) says Lounge will be open Friday. Insider report says that there's no real damage inside. Just fire smell. Could even be open tonight. Outdoors (back patio) is where the damage is.

Apparently the Feds are checking the fire out. There was a small fire behind the Lounge on the night that Eastern Market burned down. All indications are fire yesterday was not suspicious, but ATF (not sure why them) is checking into the various incidents.

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After a 6 week renovation of the basement, they have put the "Lounge" into Capitol Lounge. Gone is the smell of vomit, urine, dead rat, and industrial cleaner, replaced with new floors, low slung seating, trendy cube shaped stools and tables. The new beer list offers almost 50 beers by bottle, housed in a large glass cooler behind the bar. 12 taps are going in soon. More renovations to the upstairs are coming.

The beer list includes

Common

Bud/Bud Light

Stella

Sierra Nevada

Blue Moon

Bass

Newcastle

Less Common

Rogue Dead Guy

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog

Three types of Chimay

Bells' Porter

Rare

Ommegang Hennepin 750 ml ($21)

Moa Original 750 ml ($20)

Eggenberg Dubbelbock

Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale (in a can)

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According to the press release, Teddy Folkman has by now taken over as Executive Chef. The new menu is on their Web site, so I assume that means it has officially been rolled out - has anyone sampled it yet? I've never been to Granville Moore's, so I don't know how similar it is, but I'm thinking this would improve the pre-game dining options for DC United fans.

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According to the press release, Teddy Folkman has by now taken over as Executive Chef. The new menu is on their Web site, so I assume that means it has officially been rolled out - has anyone sampled it yet? I've never been to Granville Moore's, so I don't know how similar it is, but I'm thinking this would improve the pre-game dining options for DC United fans.
When I googled "Capitol Lounge menu" the first hit that came up started: "Capitol Lounge is a wine bar in Washington, DC." It also says "The Capitol Lounge, one of Capitol Hill's most storied restaurants, is raising the bar to a new level." Uh...What have they done to this place? I haven't been in several months. Is this all Teddy Folkman-related or had they started making things fancier before? Wine bar? really?
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As someone who has eaten more then their fair share of Cap Lounge Grub (and lived to tell about it) the menu doesn't look that vastly different. There some new apps, the addition of mussels, and some new sandwiches and pizza options.

They have been slowly upgrading the place for months, redesigned the basement, expanded the beer offerings, etc. etc. Now maybe the food quality will get an upgrade as well.

As long as patrons can kill rats in the bathrooms, it's still going to be the Cap lounge, filled with Hill staffers on the weekdays and locals on the weekends.

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As long as patrons can kill rats in the bathrooms,

The first time I went to Cap Lounge I saw a guy scoop up a huge rate in between 2 beer glasses in the bar area and fling it out the front door of the restaurant. I was the only person in my vicinity that seemed even remotely phased by this, which gave me a good glimpse into what I could expect for my future visits.

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When I googled "Capitol Lounge menu" the first hit that came up started: "Capitol Lounge is a wine bar in Washington, DC." It also says "The Capitol Lounge, one of Capitol Hill's most storied restaurants, is raising the bar to a new level." Uh...What have they done to this place? I haven't been in several months. Is this all Teddy Folkman-related or had they started making things fancier before? Wine bar? really?
Ah yes, "most storied" indeed, and if those interns ever write their memoirs... :D

On the wine bar aspect -- perhaps if they finally succeed in burning through the fire wall that separates them from Sonoma, then it could be considered a proximate wine bar.

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(The Lounge hasn't been open since the 80s, though, as the article indicates.)

The article says in its 20 year history -- I assure you the Cap Lounge has been open in this decade and in the 90s as well -- except for the closings due to fires and the required repairs.

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The article says in its 20 year history -- I assure you the Cap Lounge has been open in this decade and in the 90s as well -- except for the closings due to fires and the required repairs.
But wouldn't a "20+" year history have it open in the 80s? :D. It sure wasn't there when I moved to the Hill.
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It opened around 1995.
That's about what I remember--mid-90s. I think we may have discussed it here at some point. Was Stevan's in that space before (late 80s-early 90s), or was that Jenkins Hill? My memory for these things used to be better and at some point I had actually kept track. I think Jenkins Hill was closer to the corner at 2nd.
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That's about what I remember--mid-90s. I think we may have discussed it here at some point. Was Stevan's in that space before (late 80s-early 90s), or was that Jenkins Hill? My memory for these things used to be better and at some point I had actually kept track. I think Jenkins Hill was closer to the corner at 2nd.

I don't think it was Jenkins Hill. (Was Jenkins Hill where Pour House is now?) There was Steven's. And wasn't there something called Michael's or am I just conflating it was Steven's? And then Steven's became this weird amalgam -- I want to say it was a cross of something and Korean. It was counter service, I think. And then Capitol Lounge. Which was quickly axed from the lunch rotation in my office for serving burgers on foccacia bread and the mix on the soda machine being off. And then it stopped being open for lunch.

I started working on the Hill in 1991 at it wasn't open until I had been there a few years... I don't think I've been there this decade!

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I don't think it was Jenkins Hill. (Was Jenkins Hill where Pour House is now?) There was Steven's. And wasn't there something called Michael's or am I just conflating it was Steven's? And then Steven's became this weird amalgam -- I want to say it was a cross of something and Korean. It was counter service, I think. And then Capitol Lounge. Which was quickly axed from the lunch rotation in my office for serving burgers on foccacia bread and the mix on the soda machine being off. And then it stopped being open for lunch.

I started working on the Hill in 1991 at it wasn't open until I had been there a few years... I don't think I've been there this decade!

Pour House is farther east. Not on that block. Firehook might be where Jenkins Hill was. I'm almost certain that was west of Stevan's. Stevan's had a distinctive configuration in the back of the dining area that seems similar to the layout of the Lounge, which is why I'm thinking that must be where it was.
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