More H St, NE News – (Temporary) Closings Edition


News Channel 8 is reporting that MPD is closing the H Street Martini Lounge, located at 1236 H St NE, due to fight that occurred injuring two, off duty firefighter patrons. The lounge will be closed for 96 hours.

I know this has happened at many bars/lounges across the city – they are closed for a short time after a violent incident. My question – does the closing make sense?

In other crazy H St. News – Frozen Tropics has published a letter from Joe Englert explaining the situation behind the Argonaut’s (1430 Maryland Ave NE) closing for tax reasons:

“Argonaut was closed down tonight because of a serious miscommunication with DC Tax and Revenue.
A few weeks back, a DC Tax and Revenue officer phoned me and told me that three of my establishments owed tens of thousands of in back Sales and Use Taxes.”

He says he will pay the bill in full “tomorrow”.

Thanks to reader emails for the heads up.

12 Comment

  • Not surprised about H St. Martini Lounge. Only stopped by once or twice. It was EXPENSIVE! Lounges/Clubs that cater to blacks in this city are becoming an endangered species. There is just too many bad apples mixing with the seemingly “good” apples for it to work. I can count numerous clubs that have been closed for fighting, shootings, or worse. The ones that survive seem to go out of business. There is just not a large enough black population in this city to support overpriced drinks without some mayhem occurring.

  • saf

    I am surprised about the Martini Lounge. I’ve been there a number of times, and the atmosphere was great. This is not the kind of thing I would expect to happen there.

  • I second lordscarlet @nate. I had a nice time when I went there, the bartender was attentive and made strong cocktails. I didn’t think their drinks were any more expensive than I usually pay in this city.

    p.s: if the argonaut closes, I will chain myself to the building or threaten to jump off a ledge until someone brings me a fish taco!

  • I went to a bachelor party there a couple years ago. I was surprised to see they allowed strippers in there. That let me know the place wouldn’t be in business long. Hey, they lasted longer than I thought. But when businesses are willing to go so far outside the law in its early period, it is only a matter of time before something like this happens.

    If you are selling $12 martini, it is fair to say that you shouldn’t be drawing a crowd that is fighting to the point where your club gets closed for 96 hours. The rest of the places on H aren’t as highbrow and don’t have a problem with fighting.

  • What do you mean they ‘allow strippers in there’?

  • Argo will be open tonight: (From a comment on Frozen Tropics)

    Thank you all for supporting us for the last four and a half years. I want to say I am sorry to everyone who tried to come to the argo last night for “Kids Night” and “Booze Clues Trivia”!! We WILL BE OPEN TONIGHT! and are having a Fun little TEA party! Drink specials will be as follows

    $8 dollar pitchers of booty beer
    $15 dollar pitchers of everything else!

    Again I want to thank all of our supporters!

    It has been a great four years getting to know all of our neighbors!

  • I went to a bachelor’s party upstairs there one night about three years ago. There were strippers there performing. That is what I mean when I say they allowed strippers. Not that I have a problem with it. But the city does. Run afoul of a law as blatant as that, you are asking for trouble.

  • What this post and some of those articles elide over is that it was firefighter on firefighter violence. Not that that makes it better, but the sense of “firemen stabbed” as the core of this story is sensationalist and misleading. Not blaming you PoP, but the regular news made it seem like the two firefighters were just there helping save someone and got stabbed. Not so. Also, the owner is a firefighter.

    Also @nate, I fail to see the connection between high-priced drinks/black clientele/going out of business/violence. I think it’s a fine place that had an unfortunate incident. Period.

    These closings are fine, but I hope they enforce them equally across the city. Something tells me that they are quicker to shut down places in my neighborhood than, say, Adams Morgan, where I’ve seen a hell of a lot more fights in the bars/streets.

  • Got to any other of the predominately white establishments on H St. and you will not see any stabbings. Now factor in this place is a martini lounge and you would expect better decorum from the people. It would be unheard of to have a STABBING in Lima or any other predominately white establishment.

    I have been to black club after black club in NW only to see almost all of them close down. Most due to stabbings or shootings. Most of these places billed themselves out as catering to a professional demographic. H St. Martini Lounge evidently falls into that category. I mean who carries a knife to a nightclub?

  • I don’t this H St. Martini Lounge is “predominantly black” I have taken (extremely white) people from out of town suburbia there and we all had a very nice time. I for one was shocked when I heard about this and chalked it up as a 1 time aberration. I would still go back without hesitating.

  • yeah, a one time aberration. owned by DCFD, nasty fight by DCFD folks. a prior fight a while ago.

    can’t wait until they reopen! this is definitely totally an outlier, statistically speaking.


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