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Argonaut Getting Cleaned out on H Street

by Prince Of Petworth March 3, 2017 at 10:00 am 31 Comments

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A reader reports:

“Looks like they are clearing out the Argonaut after months of nothing. pics taken on 3/1.”

Argonaut abruptly closed back in July. Still waiting to see who takes over the space. Stay tuned.

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1433 H Street, NE

Another reader sends an updated photo earlier this morning:

“Clean up crews have been working at the Argonaut space on H st this week. Any updates on what’s become of this space?”

argonaut

  • Linc Park SE

    That is a shame. That place was an H St pioneer. Best days were pre-tablecloths and with the original veggie burger. RIP.

    • Morton

      Fond memories of getting their $5 “yings (yeungling) and wings” happy hour special before heading over to RFK for a Nats game.

  • Giddy Foodie

    They should turn the space into an intimate, speakeasy-feel cocktail bar with playful libations and whimsical snacks inspired by the mixologists’ experiences backpacking through Patagonia.

    • Bryan

      God I hope this isn’t serious.

  • kapitolhill

    So what’s it going to become? Bets? It won’t happen, but it’d be a neat spot for a Starbucks.
    It died because of tax issues, right?

    • Anon

      I thought it closed because the folks running the place had some serious drug/addiction issues?

      • Anon for this

        Had, as in past tense. Guy has successfully been in recovery for years and even wrote a book about it.

    • Trinidad Ginger

      Starbucks? There are plenty of places one block down H Street to get better coffee. Take yourself down to 6th and H if you need your corporate crap.

  • S

    I’m sure it will be another overpriced restaurant just like most of the new places on H St

    • MadMax

      If you think H Street is overpriced just wait til you see most of the rest of the city!

      • Bryan

        H Street is overpriced because of this. It is not a super high density area and not very close to much pubic transportation. It should be cheaper than the other areas.

        • MadMax

          Well you’re in luck, it is cheaper!

        • divebar311

          H Street is becoming more dense by the month. Have you seen the Apollo building? Another residential building at 5th and H and do not forget the massive residential development at the former strip mall at 11th and H.

          Not sure what you mean it is not close to public transportation. There’s this little controversial vehicle called the streetcar that runs up and down H. The X2, X9 and 90 buses also service the area.

          Your’e welcome.

          • Anon Spock

            Public transportation usually means metro only. Lots of people here never take the buses.

          • divebar311

            False. Public transportation means transportation for public use. Metro is one of many forms of public transportation available. Lots of people here never take the metro but take the bus, streetcar, etc.

            You can also take taxis to H Street. I’m just saying the ‘it’s not close to public transportation’ complaint for H Street is tired and expired.

          • Anon Spock

            I meant that when people say something “isn’t close to public transit” they are referring to metro specifically. I am aware of the meaning of public transportation, but in this town, proximity to metro takes the cake on whether something is considered accessible because many people won’t do buses.
            I was agreeing with you….

  • wonder about

    I still don’t understand the hype of H Street. How can it support so many restaurant/bars?

    • MadMax

      What is there to “understand”? It’s a long commercial corridor, the type of which exists all over this city. 14th Street, U Street, 18th Street, 7th Street, Florida Ave, Connecticut Ave…..

      • northeazy

        Because it is DEAD during the day. I live on 12th and G and occasionally walk around on a work day when I am off. Its a ghost town. No offices. A couple Hipsters drinking coffee. Some moms and strollers. But nothing like 14th st or U st or Connecticut Ave. Obviously places are surviving, I just do not understand it either.

        • MadMax

          If you’re counting on alcohol sales to drive most of your revenue then why would you care if your business is more or less empty during the day?

    • Jesse

      Hipsters circa 2000 – 2007 had kids and didn’t move. Now they can’t stand putting all their children into a car to drive to the suburbs and walk everywhere to burn their money on local establishments….so I’ve heard.

      • 10thstreetmom

        I’ve heard the same thing, Jesse. Not that I have any experience on the subject at all.

        Also, the west end of H St is wildly more alive during the day than even just 6 months ago. Just between the Anthology and Apollo buildings there are so many more bodies on H. Once the Whole Foods opens, there will be even more bodies during the day.

        And can we stop saying H isn’t metro friendly? It takes me 10 minutes to walk from 10th and H to metro, and on that walk I can drop my hipspring off at his DCPS for free childcare from 8:10am-6pm.

        Finally, the Argo was good people. They are missed.

  • northeazy

    Honestly, Fuck Argonaut and the whole team behind. This is like a bad break up. I was totally shocked I was dumped. Then I was sad. Then I really missed her and wished we could work things out. But now I am mad and hope nothing but bad comes to the owners for removing this gem of a restaurant (not like actual bad stuff, but you know, stub their collective toe or something). Why not sell the fucking thing as-is, get new management, whatever, but close? I know they made money. They were always busy. I honestly couldn’t care less what replaces it because it won’t come close to what was there. So who cares.

    • Publius

      In your post above, you claimed to not understand how H Street could support so many bars/restaurants … yet here, you state you know Argonaut made money because they were always busy. Argonaut, though an H Street pioneer, served incredibly mediocre food and drinks at best. If they were always busy and made money, what’s to understand about why H St is booming?

  • NE rider

    So, does anyone have any actually useful information on what is going on with the Arg?

    Yah, the food was not special and the beers tended to be expensive, but the employees were like family, they had the best papusa’s I have ever had, an interesting beer list, they were open for brunch earlier than anyone else on Hst, had a great patio, showed sports, had kids night, and served the end of the street where there were not that many other options. In other words it was a solid neighborhood spot, which are few and far between in this city. That is why people are bummed.

    • kapitolhill

      I miss their Bloody Mary Bar

    • Ally

      I really miss this place. It was the first place we ever took our son after he was born and the staff were so welcoming (we were so clueless, we didn’t even know you could flip a high chair upside down to have it perfectly fit a car seat). I’d be coming to this place for the past 10+ years. Poker nights. Tempeh tacos (probably what I miss the most). Wonderful bloody mary bar. Argonaut will be very much missed by me and my family. That being said, curious to see what’ll be moving in.

      • Ally

        been*

  • anon

    thank the englert restaurant mafia for Argo’s demise and for screwing everyone who worked there including the managers who ran the place for over 10 years and had a loyal following. won’t be patronizing any of englert’s dives because of his unethical treatment of the Argo and staff.

    • divebar311

      Englert mafia? Do tell.

  • KGA

    FWIW, guy who ran the place has a firm stop date on his linkedin about the place:

    Managing Partner
    Company Name
    Argonaut Tavern
    Dates Employed Jul 2005 – Aug 2016
    Employment Duration 11 yrs 2 mos
    LocationWashington, DC

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