Marble Alley coming to Adams Morgan

jack rose
2007 18th Street, NW

Big news from the Post’s Express:

“Trevor Frye, the beverage director of Jack Rose Dining Saloon and co-founder of the celebrated basement cocktail lounge Dram & Grain, is leaving the establishment to launch a project of his own in Adams Morgan. A lease is still being ironed out.

The bar, which he hopes to open by the end of the year, will be called Marble Alley, a reference to the notorious D.C. slum known as Murder Bay, which arose in the mid-19th century.”

From Wikipedia:

“In the 1860s, much of the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site south of Pennsylvania Avenue had become a disreputable slum known as Murder Bay, the home to an extensive criminal underclass and numerous brothels. During the American Civil War, so many prostitutes took up residence in Murder Bay to serve the needs of General Joseph Hooker’s Army of the Potomac that the area became known as “Hooker’s Division.” The two trapezoidal blocks sandwiched between Pennsylvania and Missouri Avenues (now the site of the National Gallery of Art) became home to such expensive brothels that it gained the nickname “Marble Alley.” In the 1870s and 1880s, the avenue was the site of significant competition between horse-drawn streetcar and chariot companies.”

13 Comment

  • Ashy Oldlady

    Whew! When I read the headline, I began to worry that playing marbles had become some sort of hipster drinking activity.

  • Is this what’s going into DeVino’s former spot?

    • When they were closing, one of the employees at DeVinos told me that someone from Jack Rose was taking over the place so this was my first thought for location as well.

    • I was going to ask if anyone knew where this was going to be.

    • It’s possible, but I doubt it. The owner of Jack Rose bought that building, which includes Dahlak and that little cell phone store that was between De Vinos and The Blaguard. And the zoning applications reference his company. So I don’t see the owner sinking a ton of money into that building and then allowing his popular beverage director to announce that he’s leaving without issuing some type of clarification that he’s staying within the family.

    • We went to Dram and Grain in December and asked Trevor for details on the DeVinos space…he said that a press release was scheduled to be out in a few weeks, but he couldn’t share anything else. Haven’t seen anything since then, but they’ve got the windows all boarded up, so something is going on in there.

      • Unless “seedy whorehouse” is the look they’re going for, then they’re half-way there.

      • Yeah, they’ve finally started work on it. I’ve been wondering why it took so long to get started. I was wondering if they ran into some issues since presumably they would want to get it open and bringing in revenue as quickly as possible after they bought the space.

  • justinbc

    Because one prostitution inspired restaurant (Red Light) in the area wasn’t good enough? He doesn’t even have a lease yet, and is expecting to open by the end of the year…has he met anyone at DCRA?

    • Worst concept-name ever for a bar that will be filled to the brim with over-compensated paper pushers.
      When is some enterprising service industry huckster going to develop a cartel-themed mezcal bar?

  • Historical stories like this are a good reminder that society isn’t in moral free fall and there wasn’t a magical past where people behaved better.

    People have always been… people.

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