Petition Launched for “ANC Commissioners Should Support the Liquor License Application for The Washington Firehouse Restaurant” in Bloomingdale

1626 North Capitol Street, NW

Thanks to a reader for sending the petition ANC Commissioners Should Support the Liquor License Application for The Washington Firehouse Restaurant:

The Washington Firehouse Restaurant will be a neighborhood restaurant where people will gather to dine with family, friends and neighbors. More than just a local bar or eatery, The Washington Firehouse Restaurant will serve as a neighborhood and community gathering place that will promote community, increase neighborhood security, and add value to local properties. The Washington Firehouse Restaurant will also serve as a destination for other residents of Washington, D.C. allowing them a glimpse of everything that the Bloomingdale neighborhood has to offer.

The Washington Firehouse Restaurant Proposed Hours of Operation are:

Monday – Thursday 8:00 am to 1:00 am
Friday 8:00 am to 3:00 am
Saturday 8:00 am to 3:00 am
Sunday 8:00 am to 1:00 am

Off Street valet parking will be offered at all peak periods.

Live entertainment will be provided on a regular basis, including but not limited to; live music, stand- up comedy acts, and trivia challenges.

These are the identical hours and activities maintained by our sister restaurant, Shaw’s Tavern, located at 520 Florida Avenue NW (The corner of 6th and Florida NW).

The management respectfully requests local residents support our ABRA application.”

65 Comment

  • We don’t have many dining options in B-dale and some that we have are overpriced, overrated, and you can never even find a table. Affordable and spacious place to eat/drink and be merry would def be appreciated.

  • I support this. How do I let the right folks know?

  • no way. parking in this area is bad enough. this “restaurant” is obviously sized and licensed to be turned into a nightclub that is going to attract litter and violence to the neighborhood. get ready for legions of SUVs with Maryland plates crashing into each other at 2AM every Friday and Saturday night

    • there’s always “that guy”…

      • lol I know right, this must be Bertha. Anybody who lives near there knows crime and trash are already problems on this block, but this place will help solve that by putting a daily presence there with people who have want a better community . Parking is not an issue in Bloomingdale I live here and park on the street every day without issue (accept Sunday but that ain’t a club issue it is a church issue.), and they will have valet parking. This is going to be a mid to upscale restaurant, not a hip hop drive by shoot out crib. I ain’t saying it CANT happen, but chances are pretty durn slim. I am up for giving it a try.

        • Note the hours they are looking to operate. These are not the hours of an “upscale restaurant”. Also look at the hilariously broad, unfocused, and grammatically-challenged menu and you will see that this is going to turn into an Alero pretending to be a restaurant but really running as a club.

          • There’s a HUGE difference between Alero and this place: location. Why would someone go far out of their way to attend what you think is going to be a nightclub at 1am on a weeknight at this spot? It’s not happening.

          • 1. i dont think this place will be a nightclub concern really, but
            2. you have no sense of where nightclubbers will go, do you?
            of course if it was one, and it was good, people would show up. location doesn’t really matter for nightclubbers.
            part of the issue here is that they will be sometimes charging covers, and this goes against the sale stipulations.

            basically, this place is not going to live up to its community commitments.
            that’s the issue, not the drive by shooting scenario fear.

            i know it’s hard to digest, but sometimes there are legitimate complaints against some businesses in DC, not just nimby reactions.

          • What are you even talking about? This business is not even off the ground yet, and you’re making baseless allegations. Has Shaw Tavern become a nightclub? Other than the proposed hours of operation, what gives you the slightest idea that this will turn into a nightclub? Stop the nonsense.

          • Why do you put “upscale restaurant” in quotes? In their petition, they state clearly that it “will be a neighborhood restaurant where people will gather to dine with family, friends and neighbors.” They seem to be seeking operating hours that are the same as most other “neighborhood restaurants” in DC. And the menu your criticizing is a draft “preliminary menu,” so I don’t really expect it to be perfect or final.
            I’ve lived in the neighborhood for almost five years and have seen this place start to get renovated multiple times, only to see the progress stall. It’s time to stop blocking their efforts just because you don’t like change. And parking in Bloomingdale is ridiculously easy to find compared to most parts of the city, so let’s not make up false issues. Just because you don’t always get a parking spot within 30 feet of your front door does not mean parking is bad.

          • A 2AM closing time is not consistent with other upscale restaurants in DC. it is consistent with a thugged-out nightclub

          • A “thugged-out” nightclub? Do you even know what either of those words even means?

          • It has the same hours as Boundary Stone and Shaw’s Tavern. Are those “thugged-out nightclubs”?

          • boundary stone is totally gansta, dont even pretend otherwise.

        • Can someone please explain who this ‘Bertha’ is I keep hearing about? Her legend is on par with the Loch Ness or something

    • Also it will increase crime in the area, be used as an open air market for methed out hookers, and bring about the apocalypse.

      … or it’ll be just a great place to grab a bite with friends

    • the community voted years ago to make this happen.
      don’t come late to the table and complain that the soup is cold.

    • haha, I live down the street from this location. You really think THIS is what will bring crime and noise to the area? Get a clue.

  • I live near here and am SO ready to support this. It will change the entire face of the area (anybody who knows where it sits understands) It is a block that can go from Shady to Sunny pretty quickly. They have a link on their Facebook page to sign to show support. The reason there is such an issue to support, is because there is our usual “group of five” older residents that protest every liquor license in the neighborhood for any gentrifying business. They are really riding the owners hard to prevent their business from being successful. They are putting a LOT of time and money into this place and I want them to succeed. Bring it on!

  • I could care less either way. But wants to guarantee that place will be for the community. If its 8 beers and small plates, I think most people could do with out that.

  • I am not certain how people are connecting a firehouse-themed sister restaurant to Shaw’s Tavern as a future shoot-em-up nightclub. I recommend people swing by Shaw’s for a night before making that decision. Although piano night at Shaw’s can get pretty wild!

    • This is all about a very small minority of “local” residents who seem to cry wolf at any new development. There’s absolutely zero chance of this turning into the type of place that will attract violence. If nothing else, it will clean up the streets / that block of North Capitol.

      • I totally agree with you, and am used to those residents, living nearby. I just haven’t seen THEM explain how their expectations differ so very much from those who are trying to open it, those who support it, etc.

      • exactly. enough already.

  • anyone else bummed out that its related to Shaw’s Tavern?

  • Is the 1:04 PM anon serious? This reads like a caricature of an out of touch NIMBY, scared of any change. If so, it’s about time the DC government starts respecting the wishes of the majority instead of allowing a handful of vocal NIMBY’s that are driving the process. If anyone knows of any elected officials who are allies with these NIMBY’s, please disclose so I know who to vote against next time.

  • Has anybody even gone to to their website and looked at it. If thats the level of proofreading they use for the public, does not bode well for the restaurant as a community place.

    • I don’t understand what grammar has to do with whether a restaurant will be an asset to the community. And that being said, why do restaurants have to have a community focus? Isn’t it also good to have people from elsewhere come here to spend their money and provide jobs to those working at the restaurant?

    • If that is your best argument about why this place shouldn’t open, you are going to lose.

      • the menu they posted shows that they are not serious about the food they will be producing. Therefore, the only way they will make this work is with tons of booze. Which is consistent with the 2AM closing time. Mark my words, there will be knifings and gunshots aplenty when this place opens.

        • hahahahaha, yea, okay, if you say so

        • And how will that be any different than what normally goes on around there?

        • You do understand what a “preliminary menu” is, right? It was a draft, before the restaurant was even close to opening, to give people an idea of what kind of food will be served.
          And it is pretty scary. I mean truffeled mac and cheese? Pulled duck sandwich? Tuna Tartare? If those don’t lead to “knifings and gunshots aplenty,” I don’t know what will.

        • You sound unhinged. Pls take your meds.

  • I live on the street a few houses down from the firehouse and have mixed feelings. It’s tough to find parking already, and I do worry about the crowds somewhat. With that said, it’ll be great to have another spot in the neighborhood, and I’ll finally be able to entice friends to visit more often (as if we didn’t have enough spots!). As much as some people put down the guys on the street corners, or at the halfway house on the opposite side of Quincy Place – they are some of the friendliest and nicest people you can talk with. They’re not preoccupied with cellphones, babies, or dogs, and always say hi, comment on the going-ons, etc.

    • Those residents you speak of are indeed extremely nice. The ones I’ve spoken with also support this development. As for parking, wasn’t someone trying to make Quincy Pl NW into a 24hr zoned street like R St? Seems like that should solve some of the potential problems.

      • Yep! People are way too quick to stereotype them.

        Yeah, but I don’t know what happened to it. Haven’t seen anything recently. I support that push, but the small part of NIMBY in my mind is I have a lot of friends visit from out of town – and they rely on the weekend parking since Quincy Place hasn’t been zoned yet. I have no issue making them park on the other side of North Cap though. A very small issue, to the point that it’s almost a non-issue.

        I just wish the owners/whoever is posting online would make an effort to check for grammar errors and put out a polished product. I’ve been a bit out of the loop in terms of community engagement, but have they tried holding a neighborhood happy hour or something? I know the bar opening up on Florida around 2nd or 3rd made a point of getting community feedback at two of the Bloomingdale spots.

  • I live in Bloomingdale and want a vibrant and somewhat dense city. That said, I’m not a knee-jerk “all development is good and everyone who opposes it is a NIMBY-type” like so many posters seems to be.

    I really want to see this place developed, and I don’t care if it’s a club. My biggest issue is that it’s the “good folks” from the Shaw’s Tavern fiasco that are behind it. I love the atmosphere in ST, but the food sucks. If some other group were behind the Firehouse, I’d express my support. Fortunately, Bloomingdale doesn’t have to beg for investment anymore so I’m fine with letting the place linger for a few years more.

    • My thoughts exactly. I really don’t want to see a club from my front steps though. If they get their act together on this place – I’m all for it!!

  • Can someone please explain where the fears of a knife-infested “thug club” are coming from? Only gangsters stay up late and have poor grammar?

  • Ha! This is the first outreach the owners have ever done. No participation at any neighborhood meetings. No courtesy to local volunteer leaders. Oh — and a history of violations.

    No thanks. Someone else can take it over and try.

  • Restaurant? Ha ha. They’re asking to “seat” 450 people, and charge cover, and operate chiefly after midnight.

    • You people are nuts. 450 sounds about right for a restaurant this size. They’ve posted pictures of the chairs, tables, bar, and inside area. They will charge cover for special events like Shaw’s Tavern does and where are you getting this “chiefly” after midnight bit?

    • 11 hours a week of being open after midnight is “chiefly” to you?

  • I think the concern about the club is how big the place is and the floor plan makes it easier to function like a club unlike Shaw’s Tavern. It didn’t help that at one point they were trying to be allowed to do a cover charge (not sure if they are still seeking this). You can say that this is for comedy shows or whatever but the fact is that there is a risk that they could operate like a club.

    Because the other places that have opened up in Bloomingdale have been great neighbors doesn’t mean this place will be. Aside from Aroi Thai (who I don’t know about) all of the other bars/restaurants have owners who live in the neighborhood, this makes a big difference.

    Look I really want the Firehouse to open and be a great place. Let’s hope it does and all of this discussion is a moot point.

  • When you submit your liquor license application, you put the maximum allowed hours. The hours will vary depending upon business. If it makes financial sense to open at 8am till 1am they will, more than likely they won’t. You want to have the option available to you. If they are going to have live music, then a cover charge is typical to offset the cost. Sounds like they plan to cater to the neighborhood, so voice your opinion on what you’d like, ie….food, music, etc.. If they don’t have the neighborhood supporting them as customers ultimately they will fail.

  • Hell no. They don’t need to be open until 3 a.m. in the morning.

  • I live just down the street! We need a neighborhood bar.

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