"We're trying to make it look like the original. If you look around the Raven and the [neighboring Mount Pleasant Dry Cleaners], you can see that there are still cracks. We need a new coating that looks like original," said George Rothman, President and CEO of Manna, Inc.
Manna’s in-house development, design and construction teams worked with the Raven’s owner, Merid Admassu, for the build-out of the Antonatl Condominiums - a name invoking an El Salvadoran war hero, which you already knew. Manna resurrected the 12-unit, affordable condo out of the charred remains of 13 fire-gutted apartments above the fabled watering hole, built in 1928 and gutted by fire in 2003. Work on the Raven itself will include a 300 to 500 square foot addition to the bar’s rear, primarily for storage space. Both projects should be completed in one fell swoop.
“The [condo] construction was probably completed in December and people have been living in it…We haven’t finished the front of the building yet because we’re finding a sub-contractor to do the specialized work with those windows,” said Rothman. “Everything inside is finished and the outside, we’ll probably do that when we’re doing the addition in the rear to the Raven.”
For those fearful that their designated hangout for three dollar PBR’s might lose some of its old-school DC charm, Rothman emphasized that the bar won’t be going anywhere and should be keeping normal business hours when work gets underway in the next four to six months.
“The Raven is an institution. It will stay. That’s always been important to us” he said.