BREAKING NEWS – Townhouse Tavern Closes

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Townhouse Tavern, the most under-the-radar dive bar in town, has closed, according to its Facebook page. The Dupont bar (17th/R) has been open since April 1997. It was the site of a federal cocaine sting in 2011. Recently, it has hosted regular comedy nights. No word on what is replacing it.

UPDATE: The reaction to BiDC’s breaking news was swift and hilarious on Twitter and especially in the comments section on PoPville. Eater DC also picked up the story. My favorite tweets/comments below:

“Please do not replace with a tapas place… ” – @DCBadger

“RIP Townhouse Tavern. Ye were a savage beast” –@Mr_Robinson95

“Good. I love dive bars, but TT was disgusting  ” – @jmurray20

“Not the Townhouse Tavs! … Just push me off on an ice floe already, D.C.” – @kristoncapps (Staff Writer for CityLab, The Atlantic)

“Holy crap, I can’t believe that Townhouse Tavern – the bar that built the progressive blogosphere – is closing down.” –@Laurenm 

“Now where will I go to get cheap beer and vaguely racist comments?” –@stego_21

“RIP Townhouse Tavs … I will miss your weird smell, sort of” -@sommermathis (Editor for CityLab/The Atlantic, formerly DCist head editor)

“It was always a dump, but got worse after [the FBI coke bust”, in terms of service and crowd (or lack thereof)…. It was interesting in early 2000s, but had not been worth your time (unless you lived there) for years.”-@fritzhahn (2nd tweet)

“Yeah, it became pretty crappy. I’m down with dive bars, but there were far better than Town House.” –@BenHarris_1

On PoPville (multiple references to it being a “coke den”)

  • “..That place was such a dump, but its departure seems to harken the further decline of 17th Street.”
  • “Townhouse was my “Cheers” for many years. It was a dive, but the people who owned it, worked there, and frequented it in the early 2000s were some interesting folk…”
  • “Yeah I’m struggling to come up with one [bar] that even comes close to being as disgusting as Townhouse.”
  • “This place was basically a Coke Den.”
  • “Anyone who has witnessed the tragic mess that used to occur every Friday and Saturday nights at 3 AM after they “closed” can attest to the fact that it was a coke den. Large groups of people outside with coke dealers lingering about. It was not a secret.”
  • “As someone without a coke habit or any interest in revisiting it, but who knew plenty of people with habits in college, it’s obvious if you’ve spent even an hour or two at Townhouse on a Friday or Saturday. Anyone saying otherwise just doesn’t know what they’re talking about or what to look for. I brought my out of state cop friend there and he couldn’t stop chuckling.”
  • ” This place was dirty, smelled awful, and was filled with sketchy people. I had one of my drinks drugged once there.”

My favorite comment:

  • “Yep and they used to keep the party going until the next morning. You weren’t allowed to leave because they didn’t want to alert suspicion that they were open past hours. I remember getting trapped in there once and having some scary guy screaming at me when I finally found a way to force a locked door open at dawn.”
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3 responses to “BREAKING NEWS – Townhouse Tavern Closes

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