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Hawk ‘n’ Dove, Opening Tomorrow
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Hawk ‘n’ Dove, Opening Tomorrow

January 16th, 2013 by Maria Helena Carey · 21 Comments · Capitol Hill

HawknDove

The kitchen prepares for the soft open, January 15, 2013. Photo by María Helena Carey.

Some in our fair community would say that this is not a reopening.

To quote resident curmudgeon Tim Krepp, this is “a Hawk ‘n’ Dove-themed bar.” Perhaps it’s not even that: the new Hawk ‘n’ Dove, brought to us all by Xavier Cervera of Senart’s, the Chesapeake Room, and many others, doesn’t have much left of the original establishment except for the name and, as a patron noted at the soft opening that took place Tuesday, January 15, a few of the deer heads and other memorabilia from the old Capitol Hill favorite, which closed back in September of 2011. When we asked Cervera why he took such a radical departure from the look and feel of the old Capitol Hill haunt, he cited the terrible structural shape the building was in, after many years of neglect. The original floorplan –which was actually two three-story lots joined together– was dark and cramped, according to Cervera, and the open floorplan allowed for better airflow and light.

The sign, one of the few staples, was commissioned by the original owners back in 1967 for about $250. In order for Cervera to get it into the new place, he engaged in a bidding war that resulted in a price tag of $7500. Overall, the renovation of the place cost over $2 million. Here are a few photographs to give you an idea of how the space is laid out.

Cervera’s next opening, Park Tavern, has been slowed down by permits — other than that, he says, “the place is ready to go.” He estimates that the opening date should be about one month away, still in time for catching the tail end of skating at Canal Park.

Regarding the buyout offer that was made for all nine restaurants by a Boston group, for around $22 million, Cervera demurs. “I am still considering the offer,” he smiles.

Entrance

Staff, dogs, chandeliers. This is the view that welcomes you to the new Hawk ‘n’ Dove. Photo by María Helena Carey.

ChefJeremy

Chef Jeremy Magnanelli oversees the kitchen. Photo by María Helena Carey.

DonkeysandElephants

A commissioned mural of Donkeys and Elephants anchors the western wall of the downstairs dining room. Photo by María Helena Carey.

West_Bar

There are two bars: this is the upstairs bar, which is more intimate than the one in the main level. Photo by María Helena Carey

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  • Jillian Bold

    this is not hawk and dove. this looks like the same generic garbage as all his other restaurants. i’m sick of this guy. i miss the old hawk and dove.

  • Will P

    I don’t miss the dusty taxidermy of the Old Hawk ‘N’ Dove, but do wish this guy would show some creativity in his designs. Aside from the Pacifico Cantina, all of his places look and feel the same. I’m holding out hope for the Park Tavern.

  • http://twitter.com/tomveiltomveil Thomas Veil

    Of course it’s not the old Hawk & Dove — this place actually looks safe, clean, and welcoming to newcomers. I look forward to trying it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/levistamper Levi Stamper

    I stopped going to the Hawk in the 90s. Then again I don’t understand the desire to drink, surrounded by filth. Now if we can replace “Lil Pub”, I’ll be happy.

    • http://www.dclikealocal.com Tim Krepp

      Why do you CARE if Lil Pub is replaced? Is there an insufficient number of other places for you to dine? Why crap on the ones we like?

      • http://www.facebook.com/levistamper Levi Stamper

        I was kind of joking, but by ripping on all the Xavier restaurants, you’re crapping on places I like, no?

        • http://www.dclikealocal.com Tim Krepp

          It’s a fair point, but it’s Xavier’s places pushing out ours, not the other way around.

          • Ivan Frishberg

            Tim, his places replaced a video store that had beta max and porn, a sandwich store that me and three other people went to, a flower store that didn’t really sell flowers. I can’t even remember what was in the Senarts place. I don’t think he even ‘pushed’ the Hawk out. He bought it from a willing seller.

            When I sell my house and my kids complain that I am walking away from their history and forsaking the memories we have, I will be proud that I have kids that have such passion for our memories but I will not blame the buyer.

            • http://www.dclikealocal.com Tim Krepp

              The willingness of the seller has been the subject of much debate. I’d hesitate to use that adjective.

              When you sell your house, it will no longer be the Frishberg residence. It will be a new home, with a new family. There’s no continuity with this Hawk n Dove and the original. Any more than there is with Tunnicliffs and the tavern of the same name that John Adams stayed in as VP. The difference being, of course, that Tunnicilffs doesn’t pretend to an authenticity that doesn’t exist.

              • Ivan Frishberg

                The name is obviously property in a business just as much as the lease for the space is. If that was not the case then Xavier could not have bought it from the prior owner. Across the street from me is a house that was originally the Maples, then was named Friendship House by one set of owners and now the new owners are going to call it The Maples again.

                Is someone wanted to call it Frishberg house after I left, you are right I might be concerned. But if I sold the name then they can use that too.

                You don’t own the name. Call it whatever you want. I call La Plaza “Henry’s” and never asked him for permission.

                I will say that I have a lot of history of my own from the Hawk back then. I have lots of evenings there that have political and personal meaning to me, and which I regard as part of my history. I also stopped going there at all regularly about 7 years ago just because I didn’t want to go there if I had a choice. that doesn’t change my history there. I have heard great stories about Marion Barry using it as a campaign office for Ward 6 and Tommy Wells working on his campaign from there. That history is still real and lives on with people.

                Keeping the name may help to keep some root to those personal histories even if the building is different. Maybe keeping the building as is would have made it even easier to keep those histories but I don’t think that is the obligation of the prior or current owner. This is my personal history, not some legal property right or public asset that should be governed by HPRB.

                Now it is time for some other generation of people to take a bar, make their own history there. Good luck to them. now I might even go back given that the wine list and food are more what I look for these days.

                • http://www.dclikealocal.com Tim Krepp

                  You know that the sale of the bar isn’t anywhere as clean as you make it out to be, right?

                  • Ivan Frishberg

                    Never done it. Long since gave up my ambitions of the food business but I bet you and I could have fun running one of these places in to the ground with comps to Brian Pate.

                    • http://www.dclikealocal.com Tim Krepp

                      Ha! No thanks! At one point I had dreams of owning a bar, but then what I realized that I liked about it was DRINKING at a bar. Best not to get those to things confused…

  • wmichaeljones

    YAWN. Can’t this dude go screw up the food scene in another neighborhood?

    • http://www.facebook.com/levistamper Levi Stamper

      There was no food scene to screw up here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/apmckinley Andy McKinley

    Thank the Lord Hawk N’ Dove signs appear to be everywhere. Without them, I’d lose track of which overpriced establishment was serving me mediocre food.

    • http://www.facebook.com/levistamper Levi Stamper

      That’s funny. You’re lamenting the loss of the old Hawk N’ Dove by complaining about the anticipated mediocre food in the new bar. Did you ever actually eat at the old place? It wasn’t good, and hasn’t been good for years.

      • http://www.facebook.com/apmckinley Andy McKinley

        Yes. Same quality as the rest of his places and half the price.

        • http://www.facebook.com/levistamper Levi Stamper

          I think you were drunk.

          • http://www.dclikealocal.com Tim Krepp

            Yes. That’s what one does at bars.

  • http://www.facebook.com/craig.dooge Craig D’Ooge

    Big, generic, and no different than any other place: all the things the old place was not. Profitable, no doubt, and the tables will turn quicker in such an uninviting “atmosphere.” You’ll find me next door at the Tune Inn.