End of an Era Vol. 11 – Remingtons Closing Monday on Capitol Hill

639 Pennsylvania Ave, SE

Another big hit for longtime Capitol Hill bars – next up on the chopping block – Remingtons located at 639 Pennsylvania Ave, SE “for about 30 years or so”. Thanks to a reader for sending the tip, a call to Remingtons confirms their last day will be Monday at happy hour. I’m told the building sold about a year ago and will be renovated.

Remingtons follows the closures of long time spots – old Hawk n Dove, 18th Amendment, Li’l Pub and Pour House (at the end of April).

48 Comment

  • Not surprising, this place had a bit of an identity crisis towards the end. It was no longer a country bar, that’s for sure.

  • As far as I’m concerned, it’s been closed for years since they completely changed their identity to something that made no sense.

  • Renovated to what? I hope it stays a gay bar (but, unlike Remingtons, one I’d actually want to go to). Either way, this is a prime piece of real estate!

  • This would be a good spot for a Trader Joe’s.

  • Would someone elaborate on what changes this place went through after it stopped being a gay country bar? I went there a couple of times back in the 2005-2008 time frame, but I am not a fan of country music at all, so never had a reason to go really. I thought that Remingtons had closed completely, but I am sensing it remained opened but completely changed formats. Was it still known mostly as a gay bar?

    • Yes, still a gay bar. I live nearby but very rarely went (the musty/moldy smell gives me headaches) but I got the impression it was catering more towards AA men.

  • I think it would get a lot of business if it renovated to be a shiny new gay club with a big dance floor. Lots of gay people live in the neighborhood and don’t have any options.

    • It’s 2014, gay people no longer have to hang out solely at gay clubs. Just sayin’.

      • Let me guess: you’re not gay.

        • you do gotta admit, things have changed.

          • Sure, but that doesn’t mean gay people aren’t still flocking to gay bars.

          • more that the internet makes gay bars less necessary, not going to see many dude on dude make out sessions at non-gay bars. nor any of the heavier stuff.

          • Even with increased tolerance and acceptance, there will always be a need for majority- gay and/or lesbian settings. Not only do they make it easier to meet potential romantic partners, but they also provide an experience that is not available anywhere else. Nearly all LGBT people grow up in settings that, no matter how supportive, are full of straight people. If you’re straight you simply cannot know the overwhelming feeling of walking into a setting where you are suddenly not the only one in the room. For me, when I came out 14 years ago, that was Remington’s the first gay bar I ever went to. I ended up finding other places in the city with music more to my liking & haven’t been there in years, but this still makes me sad.

      • Thank you! I am gay and I totally agree. Gay men are everywhere. lol. I just went to a sports bar last weekend with my girls and met a gay dude there. Anyway, the gays still have Dupont Circle, which is only a metro ride away. lol.

  • Sadly, Remingtons lost all the charm and identity it once had when it went from country to ghetto the past 3 years. I’m sure it will replaced by something corporate, bland, and vapid just like all the other unique businesses have been in cities all over the US.

    • Honestly, I’m glad to see some of the divey bars along Pennsylvania go. I think a few should be retained, but as Barracks Row reaches capacity it will be nice to see Pennsylvania Ave transform into another thriving corridor.

      • Dive bars doesn’t mean a neighborhood isn’t thriving. Some of us who have lived in DC for years prefer the dive bars that have been here for decades.

        • Sure, but if you’ve ever lived in this part of Capitol Hill you’ll know what I’m talking about. Pennsylvania Ave has been a sad strip of dives and outdated businesses that feels frumpy at best and sleazy at worst. Until recently you wouldn’t see many people walking around there because it wasn’t very nice. Newcomers like Labyrinth, Pound, Hank’s, District Taco, Sona, Sapore, and Beuchert’s have helped a lot since then, but there’s still room for improvement.

          • You do realize a dive bar SHOULD be frumpy, right?

            Sad to see it go, but I ain’t been in years. Never liked Capitol Hill, not then, not now.

          • Yeah, and if every other storefront is a frumpy bar then the whole street looks frumpy. I would prefer a mix of dives and fresh new places, which seems to be the direction we’re headed.

          • Tune Inn seems to be doing fine, fire and all

          • Tune Inn seems to be doing fine, fire and all

    • A gay ghetto?

    • Just because Remington’s turned into a “hip-hop” spot and attracted black people means it’s “ghetto?” Not all black people are ghetto. Just saying.

  • Sad. I used to love to head down there once in a blue moon and pretend I knew how to two-step. I guess I should have gone more than just once in a blue moon to help keep it alive.

  • I used to go there for karaoke, it was always a good time, very low key and unpretentious unlike many of the gay bars in DC. It would be great if another gay bar would open in its place, something that appeals to a younger audience that wants craft cocktails, dance music, etc.

  • Please, someone, take this opportunity to open a gay bar in the Eastern market area that is actually a gay bar. If you build it, we will go….

    • Yes please! Capitol Hill is very gay, but we still have standards, which is why Remingtons was always empty. Anything that’s not completely depressing and dumpy will be popular I’m sure.

      • “Nellie’s on the Hill” would be wonderful!

        • I don’t even like Nellie’s, but I was also thinking it would be a good fit for this spot. I think it’s far enough from residences that the noise wouldn’t be a HUGE problem…

  • sorry, with the exception of Xavier Cervera’s mini empire on the Hill, most every new place that’s opened is more interesting than what it replaced. Maybe not the CVS expansion into Zack’s

    At least Remmington’s had it’s own thing (at one time). I wouldn’t lump it into the crappy dive bars which are falling out of favor on the Hill because it was a niche place. Ironically country music is doing better commercially than ever. They should have kept the C&W theme a little longer.

    There’s always a place for good dive bars.

    • I think CW + gay is just too polarizing, especially in a lower density neighborhood like Capitol Hill. There just aren’t that many people in DC who are gay/gay-friendly, like country music, are able to tolerate a rundown bar that reeks, and are willing to go out regularly to a neighborhood that doesn’t have a ton of nightlife.

  • Hey, did it close yesterday the 7th or will it close the 14th?

  • You people love to make it a race thing. Clearly the AB’s or BA’s(African American) turned the place around into a bar that had continuos events throughout the week compared to the western bar it was which patrons died off that couldnt be innovative enough to keep it trending. YOu people kill me with you underlined racist remarks.
    It went from a western bar to a BLACK runned bar/ club with shows and all that even offered a night to the hispanic community to give them a venue to celbrate their OWN. Since you hicks and crakers cant do the same in your own community. Money is money and no matter what it was or what is is now the fact is ts closed now and it went out with a blast by the Blacks holding it down and giving the place some income before it closed.
    THat is all.

  • I visted this place once…once too many. Giving it the benefit of the doubt, this place appeared to be a shell of its former glory. The place was dirty, dark, dated and depressing. This is the result of years of neglect, no one should be surprised by the news.

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