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The Pub & the People Is Expanding In Mount Vernon and Bloomingdale

In addition to buying Sixth Engine, ownership is waiting on permits to open a basement bar at its first home

Pub & the People just bought Sixth Engine.
Pub & the People/Facebook
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Long Shot Hospitality announced yesterday that it was selling the Sixth Engine in Mount Vernon Triangle after seven years and handing off the historic firehouse-turned-restaurant to the team behind the Pub & the People in Bloomingdale.

Eater has learned The Pub & the People has another hospitality venture cooking right in its own basement (1648 North Capitol Street NW) .

Details on its compact drinking lair are slim for now, but Eater’s tour of the space last summer revealed a 1970s-themed den filled with vinyl albums, wooden wall paneling, midcentury modern furniture, and vintage decor.

The team has been in a waiting period with D.C.’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) for the permits needed before the bar can be unveiled to the public. In December, Pub & the People winterized its patio via a heated, dog-friendly tent expected to run through mid-March with holiday lights, hot cocktails, snuggle blankets, and music.

“There are several permit applications for interior renovations at this property, but they have not been approved and are still in the review process,” DCRA spokesman Timothy Wilson told Eater this week via email, in reference to its downstairs bar.

Once it’s approved, the pub’s underground addition will be accessible from a set of stairs on North Capitol Street.

For now, ownership’s latest focus is renaming Sixth Engine (438 Massachusetts Ave NW) and importing over many features from its inaugural location. A statement announcing the deal says to expect craft beers, cocktails, and gastropub fare.

The historic building from the mid-1800s was the oldest firehouse in D.C. until it was decommissioned in 1974. Long Shot (Town Hall, The Dubliner, the Salt Line) flipped and renovated the site into a restaurant in 2012. During its run, Sixth Engine became a go-to destination for local craft brews, cocktails, and modern American cuisine before and after events at the nearby Capital One Arena.

Selling the bar frees up time and resources for Long Shot to focus on other projects that are piling up. This fall, the group will open a massive New Orleans-style venue named Dauphine’s in downtown D.C., filling a void recently-shuttered Acadiana left behind. Next year, the group will open a second location for the Salt Line in the revitalized Ballston corridor. Long Shot is run by award-winning chef Kyle Bailey, Jeremy Carman, Gavin Coleman, and Paul Holder.

Coincidentally, the Pub & the People is neighbors with another longtime D.C. firehouse-turned-restaurant: Spark at Engine 12. Last month the reinvented Trinidadian-inflected barbecue spot opted to limit its kitchen to special events and a small number of ticketed tasting dinners.

Its executive chef Peter Prime is gearing up to open his own restaurant a mile away. Cane (403 H Street NE), expected to open in about a month, will highlight Caribbean fare from his native land.