The Post Pub, a longtime haven downtown for newspaper production workers, journalists, and other devotees of cheap domestic beer and unfussy cheeseburgers, announced on Facebook today it will close after nearly 44 years of business under owner Bob Beaulieu. According to its website, the dark, dank space at 1422 L Street NW with a weathered green awning dates back to the 1860s and has housed one restaurant or another since 1934.
In the bar’s farewell statement, Beaulieu writes “the COVID-19 pandemic and related factors” forced him to close the Post Pub.
“After 43+ years in the same spot, it is hard for me to say goodbye,” Beaulieu writes. “I am most proud of the fact that three people worked at the Pub for over 30 years and six people for over 20 years. That tells me it really was more than just a business, it was a family.”
The bar’s location across the street from the former headquarters and printing facility of the Washington Post gave it a built-in customer base for everyone involved in putting out the daily newspaper, from printers to Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters and editors. When the Post moved out of the building in 2015, the newspaper ran a retrospective on the bar that included Beaulieu’s memories of serving drinks to press workers on their breaks between printings.
“They would get their shot and a beer and stand in the front window for 20 minutes to watch the hookers walk by,” the owner told the paper.
The article also mentions instances of reporters writing stories from within the bar’s booths and details visits from Bob Woodward, who became famous for his reporting on President Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal. ESPN commentator and former Post sports writer Michael Wilbon said he likely consumed “1,000 bowls of chili” from the pub over three decades.
“Even as the dining scene continues to lap the place,Post Pub surpasses most with its warmth, history and hospitality, none of which can be faked or manufactured,” food columnist Tim Carman wrote in a review for the Post. He called out “bartenders and servers who seem to have absorbed the joint’s DNA” along with painstakingly made onion rings and standout Buffalo chicken dip.
The Washington Post building was demolished, and Carr Properties erected the glitzy Midtown Center development in its place. That complex houses the headquarters for Fannie Mae along with spaces for anticipated restaurants including a regional Greek venue from Masseria chef Nick Stefanelli, a huge New Orleans-style spot from the group behind the Salt Line, and a two-piece Japanese project from one of the owners of high-end sushi chain Zuma.
On Facebook, Beaulieu says the Post Pub has some leftover merchandise it would like to sell. People can email PostPubDC@gmail.com if they’re interested in a T-shirt.