- Florida beach-goers told to beware flesh-eating bacteria in water
- Lundergan Grimes uses ‘war on women’ strategy to attack McConnell
- Rep. Jeff Miller: ‘Ain’t no leash for VA’
- Al Qaeda nets $125M from ransom payoffs from Europe since 2008
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich cruising to re-election: survey
- Landslide hits Indian village; 150 may be trapped
- Albania bank loses $7M in theft; police arrest 2
- Gov. Mike Pence irked as Obama sends illegals to Indiana on sly
- Israel, White House say Obama phone call to demand cease-fire was fake
- Nancy Pelosi: Deporting kids un-Christian, sends them ‘into a burning building’
Iconic Capitol Hill bar returns with a whole new look
New owners hope Hawk ’n’ Dove will appeal to long-timers
Question of the Day
The Hawk 'n' Dove, a Capitol Hill mainstay where congressmen and clerks, lawyers and foremen, college students and pensioners rubbed elbows over beers and burgers, reopened Thursday as a sleek, sophisticated version of its former self after a 15-month renovation that came with a change in ownership.
The new faces inside promise an updated version of the neighborhood institution, but some veteran barflies were skeptical about whether the stylish destination would live up to its predecessor's lowbrow reputation.
"We're still trying to be a friendly neighborhood place," said Jeremy Magnanelli, the restaurant's executive chef. "We want the crew back, to come in here."
The Capitol Hill watering hole opened in 1967 as a place where pro-Vietnam War "hawks" and anti-war "doves" could eat and drink on neutral territory.
It's official address is 329 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, and for the past 44 years, the dark old bar drew in staffers, lawmakers, lawyers and Hill residents, and even got a taste of the limelight when the TV show "The West Wing" filmed a scene in its dim light.
The man behind the renovation is Xavier Cervera, the owner of several other bars and restaurants along Barracks Row that are known for their shiny wood interiors, champagne-colored light, and flat-screen TVs playing the day's sporting events.
The Hawk 'n' Dove, however, was known for its ramshackle interior that included a collage of bumper stickers on the walls, empty beer bottles on its mantles, and dusty animal heads that surveyed patrons.
The bar changed hands in October 2011 when the longtime owners lost the lease. It closed for remodeling, and regulars of the original will find few things where they left them when the place was shuttered.
The bottles and taps are still housed behind a bar that runs along the east wall, but the shelves and cupboards are polished, gleaming wood. Bright chandeliers hang from the ceiling, which itself is an ox-blood color.
While the menu at the original Hawk 'n' Dove was limited to burgers, Mr. Magnanelli said patrons will have their choice from wings, sandwiches and fancier entrees.
Mr. Magnanelli admitted the place had a "completely different feel," but the hope is to bring back the fans and return that familiar atmosphere.
"We want it to be comfortable," he said.
Munching on a sandwich and fries at the neighboring Tune Inn, a Capitol Hill staple in its own right, Louis Clark, 57, said he was skeptical about the new version of the old standard.
"That's not going to happen," said the Capitol Hill resident, who went to the Hawk 'n' Dove for decades. "It's way too different there."
"In the back room you could play pool or darts, there was a band for the kids to dance," Mr. Clark said, adding that he used to jump between the neighboring bars and trust he could leave his tabs open.
He mentioned the June 2011 kitchen fire at the Tune Inn, which caused enough damage that the bar had to be renovated.
"When they remodeled [the Tune Inn] they remodeled it for the customers," he said. The Hawk 'n' Dove, "they're doing for different reasons."
The Hawk 'n' Dove's new owners bid on the same animal heads and original sign from the bar, and they are hung throughout the remodeled site.
"They had an auction, but nobody picked me," said Phil Panitch, 69, who was a patron at the Hawk 'n' Dove for 30 years and now goes to Tune Inn.
Mr. Panitch said he had been past the redeveloped bar and it looked nice enough for him to try out his old standby.
"We'll see what it brings," he said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Teen girl exorcised by priest, sends demonic text messages in response
- Obama nominates Rabbi David Saperstein as ambassador for religious freedom
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- No official word yet on Pope Francis visit: Archdiocese of Philadelphia
- Higher Ground: War no deterrent
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell's wife had 'crush' on CEO
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Feds sue Pennsylvania State Police over women's fitness tests
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world