Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Where Have All The Good Bars Gone?


Those of us of a certain vintage (let’s stick with “old enough to know better”) can recall spending hazy nights at such bygone watering holes such as the old Crow Bar and 15 minute club downtown off eerily quiet K Street, or the Insect Club and dc space in once-desolate Penn Quarter – spaces now sporting sleek new office buildings or a Starbucks. Well, the next generation may soon be boring its young-‘uns with tales of long-forgotten bars such as Carpool and Dr. Dremo’s where new condos now stand, if current development plans come to fruition.

First on the block is Carpool, on Fairfax Drive in Arlington. Donohoe Development plans on replacing the billiards and beer hall with a 232,500 sf mixed-use development of 188 condominiums and retail outlets, with completion sometime in 2008. This isn’t your typical “small guy driven out by developers” story, though - Carpool actually owned its building, and sold the land to Donohue with new projects and locations in mind.

As for Dr. Dremo’s (like Carpool, a former auto showroom), the stretch of prime Wilson Boulevard real estate it resides on is slated to become a mixed-use development called 2000 Wilson, with 174 condo units and retail. If the settlement on the property goes through, the developer, Elm Street Development, hopes to begin work later this year.

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