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Bloomingdale/North Capitol Firehouse Update: Washington Firehouse Restaurant/Washington Smokehouse Applies for Liquor License

by Prince Of Petworth August 21, 2013 at 10:22 pm 27 Comments

1626 North Capitol Street, NW

It’s been a while since we checked in on the Bloomingdale/North Capitol Street Firehouse. A liquor license application posted out front lists the name Washington Firehouse Restaurant/Washington Smokehouse and says:

New Tavern with entertainment limited to music and musicians only. Cigar Bar in the rear of 3rd floor. Seating capacity is 322. Total load is 370. Summer Garden with seating for 85 patrons.

Hours will be Sunday through Thursday 8am-2am; Friday and Saturday 8am-3am.

Ed. Note: It’s not clear to me if this is the same group that will be opening the Truxton Kitchen and other spots. The firehouse has at times been referred to as Engine 12. To say it’s history has been confusing is an understatement…

Stay tuned.

A peek in the window:


  • JohnDC

    So is it going to be called Washington Smokehouse? Honestly I like it better than EC12

    • Bloomingdame

      The plates pictured on their facebook page have “Washington Firehouse”.

      I wonder if Smokehouse refers to smoked food or the cigar bar.

      • Anonymous

        I’m guessing that PoP was making a funny re: “smokehouse”. The liquor application was the first time that I heard about the proposed cigar lounge.

        • Sorry no joke “Washington Firehouse Restaurant/Washington Smokehouse” is exactly what was written on the liquor license application.

  • anon

    If you live at 463 Florida Ave and happen to be missing your blue recycling can, I have a lead on where you can find it.

    • Anonymous

      Noticed that too!

    • etcetera


  • neighbor

    I’ve lived near this place for a little over four years. And for the last four years, it’s been “close to opening.” I’d be shocked if this opens in 2013 and would bet against it opening in the next 12-18 months. I hope I’m wrong, but history says I’m probably right.

  • Anonymous

    Cigar bar? Eff that.

  • Anonymous

    No more proposed roofed deck?

  • Ben

    I think it looks great! Best of luck to the proprietors and neighbors.

  • Anonymous

    out of all the people i see smoking in the city… maybe 1% are cigar smokers… is there really a demand for this type of place out there? Can a cigar smoker out there comment on this?

    • That Man A

      Well… what they may get instead is a lot of people who like the establishment because you can smoke ciggs inside as well

      this used to be common here, i remember when any time you went to a club all of your clothes smelled of smoke when you got home. ha

      but take for example Ozios. they are filed as a cigar bar but what a lot of people like is they can have their cig right by the bar

      but i am with you, i do not think there is a HUGE cigar smoking subculture out there awaiting an establishment of this type to open. esp not in this neighborhood

      • anon

        I don’t really understand the cigar-bar exemption from the smoking ban — as That Man A points out, it seems like some venues call themselves cigar bars as a way to get around the ban.

    • Anonymous

      There’s a place down in Richmond called Havana that is split between a restaurant and a cigar bar. I’m not a frequent cigar smoker, but I really enjoy going there as an occasional change of scenery.

  • Anonymous

    Yikes. this place definitely has a 90s sensibility with the boring food options and cigar bar. That being said, it’s better than a vacant and hopefully the foot traffic will invigorate the street scene on N. Capitol. I think forward-looking spots like red hen and boundary stone play a little better in this part of town, but N. Capitol is desperate for retail options so I say bring it on.

  • bb

    Not stoked about the cigar bar part, but anything that jump starts development on North Capitol is good. We’ll see if it happens.

  • Jaynuze

    What’s the big deal with a smoking lounge? If it is done correctly by venting filtered fresh air from outside while cigar smoke is simultaneously expelled you’ll barely notice a difference. Plus it’s one room. If you don’t like it, don’t go in.

    • Anonymous

      it’s because for the past 7 years or so, this project, a former public piece of land, has been nothing but a complete disappointment.
      a smoking lounge is super douchey, so maybe others, like i do, expect very little from such a promising piece of property.

  • Anonymous

    Yesterday, PoP reported that the Cham Restaurant group seeks to open a new restaurant in Truxton Circle. After misreading their blurb, I posited that it would move to 87 Fl Ave NW that was recently sold. But I just stumbled on the following text in the Chef/Bio section of their website:
    “In his new venture, with the formation of Cham Restaurant Group (CRG), with the first concept, Engine 12 Restaurant to open late summer 2011, Cham tells us that we are yet to see him at his best. There are other concepts to follow in the near future states Chef Howsoon, but right now focus would be on the Engine 12 concept which will feature a well diverse menu good enough to satisfy any palate.”
    I assume that this HAS to be the Washington Firehouse Restaurant. That text is clearly now outdated, since it’s 2013 and they are just now applying for a liquor license. Again, this is conjecture on my part, but seems to make sense.

    • As a representative from the Washington Firehouse, we do not have any affiliation to Cham Restaurant Group. Opening the 1626 N. Capital property is definitely going to happen. At the moment we are awaiting services to be rendered by DC Water and Sewage Authority.

  • Anonymous

    this is so obviously a scam (maybe even a parody) that I can’t believe people are taking it remotely seriously.

    look at the “Cham Restaurant Group” website. It lists FIVE restaurants, NONE of which are open at this time. They are all just fantasies.

    Interesting that “Cham” is so similar to “Sham” or “Scam”

    Not to mention the guy’s name is “howsoon” as in “how soon” is this restaurant going to open. Never.

    I’m guessing this is some sort of scam to get people to invest. Kind of like when someone in Nigeria contacts you to ask for your help getting his gold out of the country.

    • Anonymous


  • In The Know

    The Truxton Kitchen is not the same as the Firehouse. They were one of the many previous groups that wanted to partner with the owner to put a restaurant here but did not with all of the issues. The Firehouse will be run by the same people as Shaw’s Tavern most likely (and they are doing a pretty damn good job so suck it up haters).

    The main restaurant will be called “Washington Firehouse”. It will hold a few hundred people, nice big place on two floors with outdoor seating. The top floor will hold a private dining room that can be reserved for large groups and parties, and the back half of that will be the “Cigar Bar” called Washington Smokehouse. Now don’t get your panties in a wad, you can’t smoke in a restaurant, unless you have a smoking ONLY restaurant labeled as such, so that is why this section has a different name. For those nicotine addicts (the ones that claim they only like a smoke with brandy etc lol) now have a nice place to go and drink and smoke and eat even. It SHOULD be totally closed off from the rest of the place and properly vented to prevent the smoke smell from coming in the firehouse. A “Cigar Bar” sounds much nicer than a “Cigarette Lounge” hence the title, duh it is marketing peeps, you can smoke anything you want there accept Pot unless you got your scrip with you. SO if you don’t like to smoke, don’t go in it, and the world will be a happy place. Enjoy the rest of the place that will be a very nice addition to the hood.

    The ABRA license says the entire process will be over in December including all of the complaints that will undoubtedly come from the Bloomingdale “Group of 5” party killers, but after that they should be open. Most places wait for the liquor money to roll in before opening.

    • Anonymous

      figures someone in the know would come off sounding like this.

    • Anonymous

      Damn, so $8 Blue Moons? Yea, good luck with that …

  • Anonymous

    thank you previous blogger. cham restaurant group has nothing to do with the firehouse the same people running shaw tavern will be running this place too. Steven May & co


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