425 12th Street, NW
From a press release:
“Assets from the Washington, DC landmark eatery Ollie’s Trolley, a downtown lunchtime hotspot at the base of the historic Hotel Harrington since 1989, are now up for auction at CapitalOnlineAuctions.com.
Fans of Ollie’s Trolley can bid on more than 100 lots from the restaurant, which will close Dec. 12 as part of the Hotel Harrington sale. Available to the highest bidder are the iconic “Ollie Fries” and “Ollie Burgers” neon signs; additional Ollie’s Trolley indoor and outdoor signage; vintage and vintage-inspired décor items; trolley imagery and décor; the eatery’s signature red booth seating and padded chairs; high-end commercial kitchen equipment, and much more.
“There are many pieces of nostalgia that will strike a chord with fans looking for an item to remember Ollie’s Trolley by,” said Mitch Rotker, owner of Capital Online Auctions, which is hosting the online auction. “We also hope that the commercial kitchen equipment and classic dining fixtures can go back into the local business community to be used in area businesses and restaurants.”
Bidding on the Ollie’s Trolley auction begins closing on Dec. 14 at 11:00 am EST.
R. also reported: “Harry’s Bar’s last day is Sunday, December 3. I’m there on Friday night December 1 and it is packed.”
436 11th Street, NW
Fox5 reported last month:
“Hotel Harrington and Harry’s bar in downtown D.C. are closing next month.”
Hotel Harrington building:
11th and E Street, NW
History from Hotel Harrington:
“Downtown Washington, DC bustled in 1914. Elegant new office buildings rose amidst the 19th century theaters, shops, saloons, and newspaper offices. Nine department stores drew crowds of shoppers. A few blocks away, Washingtonians and increasing legions of tourists marveled at the wonders displayed in the Smithsonian’s recently opened Natural History Museum.
Harrington Mills, a hotelier, spotted an opportunity. He and business partner Charles W. McCutchen built a hotel that met “popular one-room-and-bath-demand,” an unusual concept at the time, as described by the Washington Post. They set aside special “sample rooms” for traveling salesmen to show their wares to buyers from nearby stores.
Mills and McCutchen officially opened their Hotel Harrington, at 11th and E Streets, NW, on March 1, 1914.
Designed by the architectural firm Rich & FitzSimons, the six-story hotel boasted a dining room and two-story lobby with a mezzanine, all finished in marble. Upstairs, mahogany-trimmed hallways led to 80 rooms, all with running water and most with private baths.
The hotel proved so successful that in 1918 Mills and McCutchen doubled the size of the lobby and built a 12-story annex along E Street, containing a two-story ballroom and 100 additional rooms. The Harrington now ranked among the city’s largest hotels. A final expansion in 1925, a 12-story wing with another 125 rooms, filled in the rest of the E Street block to 12th Street.
In 1932 the hotel installed Art Deco embellishments, including the stainless steel canopy, with back-lit letters, over the front entrance. Always innovative, the Harrington in 1938 became DC’s first air-conditioned hotel. Late 1940s modernization resulted in reduced ceiling heights in the ballroom and lobby, and modern finishes and furnishings throughout the building.
The hotel has provided a comfortable home-away-from-home for its guests—more than 10 million of them over the years—as well as for its employees. Tenures spanning several decades are not uncommon, and many staff members have spent most of their careers with the Harrington.
To the Table
The 1934 end of Prohibition brought renewed excitement to downtown DC. At the Harrington it took the form of the Pink Elephant Cocktail Lounge, touted by a nightlife critic as just the place for a “cozy tete-a-tete,” and featuring cocktails that “hit the spot.” As war loomed in the late 1930s, the Pink Elephant was replaced by the more dignified Harrington Tavern, but in the early 1950s the Pink Elephant returned with the latest in modern decor, including spacious red circular booths.
The Harrington’s elegant white-tablecloth dining room had been a popular spot for meetings of the Washington Board of Trade and many other civic and professional groups through the 1930s. Huge increases to DC’s downtown workforce during World War II, and a faster pace of life afterwards, led the Harrington to convert the dining room to the self-service Kitcheteria. A favorite of tourists and office workers alike, the Kitcheteria served more than 1 million meals annually during its 1948-1991 run.
Ollie’s Trolley opened at the hotel’s 12th Street corner in 1989, succeeding the Beefe ‘n’ Rolle and the mid-1960s’ Queen Bess Coffee Shop. Harry’s pub opened in the former Pink Elephant Lounge in 1993, followed by Harriet’s Family Restaurant in 2005, in the former Kitcheteria.
Taking to the Airwaves
A skyscraper by DC standards, the Harrington was the ideal location for the city’s first television station and transmission tower. DuMont Corporation’s W3XWT (soon renamed WTTG-TV and now known as Fox Channel 5) set up shop on the upper floors and in 1946 began broadcasting about 20 hours of programming a week. The popular and pioneering Milt Grant Show, a daily dance party featuring local teenagers and a virtual Who’s Who of national stars, was transmitted live from the WTTG studios between 1956 and 1961.
A radio station found a home in the Harrington as well. In 1953 Washington’s “Good Music Station,” WGMS-AM and FM, moved into what a reporter described as “new and more sumptuous quarters” in the hotel. The station offered Washingtonians the finest in classical music, including live concert broadcasts of the Library of Congress chamber series, National Gallery of Art Orchestra, and National Symphony.
WTTG moved to upper Northwest DC in 1962, and WGMS followed in 1965.
A Washington Institution
In 2014, as the Hotel Harrington celebrates its 100th anniversary, it continues to welcome travelers and school groups, many with loyalty dating back decades, from around the globe. The oldest continuously operating hotel in the city, the Harrington remains a family business, in the hands of third-, fourth-, and fifth-generation descendants of the founders. Ann Terry, Managing Director since 1986, looks forward to taking the Hotel Harrington into its second 100-year run as “Washington DC’s Tourist Hotel.”
Harriet’s Family restaurant also holds a space in the building:
432 11th Street, NW
Thanks to Priscilla for sending from Mount Pleasant. You can see a pretty enjoyable scroll of Free2move woes here.
Thanks to Andy for sending this great shot from the Mall. Friends of the White Whale Society is brought to you by the team behind Hawks*** around Town. You can…
2928 Georgia Avenue, NW “Dear PoPville, Just noticed License Suspended at NuVegan, appears that the license on Georgia has been suspended as of February 14. Any idea why?” I think…
If you have any animal/pet photos you’d like to share please send an email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail(dot)com with ‘Animal Fix’ in the title and say the name of your pet and…
Martha’s Table hosts a Teacher Hiring Fair to recruit Lead Teachers and Assistant Teachers. During the Hiring Fair, they will host on-site interviews, and successful candidates can receive job offers, a $3,000 sign-on bonus, and generous benefits. Candidates should bring copies of their education credentials, resume, and (3) professional employer references to the event.
• Date: March 2, 2024
• Time: 10:00 am – 1:30 pm
🎉 Tonight, we invite you to the French Riviera, one of the most exciting places on earth – without ever boarding a plane! And celebrate Mardi Gras and the Carnival of Nice on French soil as we welcome you to a special evening at the Embassy of France!
From the elegance of classical French culture to the most celebrated Rivera nightlife of the 21st Century, experience a special evening of fantastic French food, wine, music, and ambiance.
Enjoy the flavors of Nice, Monaco, and St. Tropez in the beautiful and festive Maison Francaise at the French Embassy.
AC Milan Academy is hosting a soccer camp at Maryland Soccerplex from March 1st through March 3rd for girls and boys aged 5 to 16 from any club who want to develop their soccer skills and learn the unique methodology