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Li’l Pub Closing January 6th on Capitol Hill

by Prince Of Petworth December 12, 2013 at 1:50 pm 25 Comments

655 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

Thanks to a reader for sending word of the sad news that Li’l Pub was closing on Capitol Hill. I spoke with owner Howard Scherr who confirmed that the Li’l Pub was closing and their last day would be January 6th. He says that building was sold to CVS next door. Mr. Scherr says he realizes that the Li’l Pub was an institution and that “we will all miss each other.”

Last November 2012 there was a rumor of a closure. Sad news for an iconic spot:

“Built in 1937 as Little Tavern No. 20 – Little Tavern was: a chain of hamburger restaurants in Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.  The first Little Tavern opened March 24, 1927 in Louisville, Kentucky, by Harry F. Duncan. The first Washington location was opened in October 1928 and the first in Baltimore opened its doors in June 1930. By 1937, there were 33 shops open. At the height of the chain, there were almost 50 locations. Duncan sold the chain in 1981. The last restaurant closed on April 29, 2008.”

  • Anonymous


  • Ward One Resident

    One more reason to HATE CVS.

    • Anonymous

      To be fair, that CVS could use the extra space. That location is waaaay too small for the volume of customers it gets.

      • Anonymous

        I’m sure the cost of acquiring and converting the Li’l Pub will make up for lost potential sales. There have been lots of occasions where I walked out of that CVS without buying anything– either because the line was too long, or the aisles were too crowded, or they didn’t have enough space to stock what I needed. When I go in other CVS stores (even other city ones) their relative expansiveness makes me giddy.

        • Anonymous

          Commenter…..CVS can use the extra space? Please move out of DC now. Thank you

          • Anonymous

            You obviously don’t live in this neighborhood. Unfortunately there are times when a person needs something from CVS, and this one is not sufficient.

          • Anonymous

            Or else let me know where I can buy the locally-sourced artisan cosmetics, toilet paper, and dental floss that you apparently use.

          • from neighborhood

            i live in the neighborhood. This is a shame, especially since there is a CVS on 12th and Penn, only a few blocks away. Stop turning our neighborhood into a mini Arlington.

          • Anonymous

            So you’re saying avoid this CVS altogether. Wouldn’t be a bad idea, except 12th and Penn is pretty far for people that live east of 8th.

          • also in the neighborhood

            What, does Arlington have a surplus of CVS’s or something? You have to admit this one is pretty damn small.

          • Anonymous

            @1:22 You mean West of 8th. 12th is East of 8th in that Quadrant. And it’s 4 blocks. What is terrible is the 12th STt location cut its hours from Midnight to 10PM.

  • jim_ed

    Hate to see Lil’ Pub go. This is the bar my wife and I went to the night we got engaged to celebrate. I’ll miss $1 jello shooters and pool and the friendly barflies that made this place special.

  • Stavros

    Cool bar. Too bad. Will try to hit it one last time before 1/6.

  • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      Sorry to hear you’re too good to shop at CVS!!

  • whatthewhatwhat

    I once had a cab driver tell me that Lil Pub (when it was Little Tavern) was the site of a gruesome unsolved murder in the 70s or 80s. Apparently, the owner had closed up for the night and whoever he opened the door for, acquaintance or stranger, shot and killed him.

    • From WAMU:

      “Three months in to their opening this place, he was killed right in that pathway — the middle between here and there,” recalls Watson, pointing to a narrow walkway that leads to the pool tables at the back of the bar. “A guy broke in during the middle of the night after closing and stabbed him to pieces. He was a retired cop, so it was national news.”

  • Anonymous

    Am I the only one to encounter the old, rude, dip packing bartender?

    • Anonymous


    • AG

      Nope. Don’t know about the dip packing but the lady bartender was always mean to me. I’ll stick to Tune Inn thank you very much.

  • Anonymous

    Sad to lose the bar, as I’ve only been greeted/treated well by the staff/regulars, but I’m more torn up over losing the pool tables. Not every bar needs them but at least one a neighborhood right? Only other place nearby I guess is Remmingtons? But I’ve never been.


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