Reliable dive Capitol Lounge, a go-to for locals, Hill staffers, and college sports fans alike, will close this month after a 26-year run. The brick-lined bar (229 Pennsylvania Avenue SE) will pour its last beer on Sunday, September 20, according to a social media post published today.
It is with the heaviest of hearts to report that our last day of service will be Sunday, 9/20. It’s been a great 26-year run, and we’re most proud of the way our management and staff have handled incredible adversity over the last 6 months.— Capitol Lounge (@CapLounge) September 10, 2020
Thanks to all for the love & support. pic.twitter.com/erxDPkvFdX
The affordable pub was founded by prolific nightlife entrepreneur Joe Englert. Its motto was, “No Politics. No Miller Lite.” It was known for weekday specials like half-off pizza on Mondays; 25-cent wings on Tuesdays; and $5 Bloody Marys and mimosas during weekend brunch. As the home of the Michigan State University Alumni Association of Greater Washington, March Madness and college football season were big money-making sporting events.
The worn-in bar made a valiant effort to make ends meet since the dawn of the pandemic, immediately pivoting to takeout and delivery in March and unveiling a newly covered patio area in June. Sales of its 25-year anniversary T-Shirts aimed to support staff. This week the bar revealed it applied for a Facebook small business grant, but was denied.
Pandemic-era deals included gallons of its house jungle juice “to get you through quarantine like it got you through a bad frat party!”; Nationals opening day to-go kits filled out by peanuts, beer, and wings; virtual happy hours; and a bingo promotion with Devil’s Backbone. The bar also functioned as a drop-off site for supplies for protesters in June.
The Southeast neighborhood lost another long-running staple to COVID-19 with the closure of 20-year-old French bistro Montmartre in May.