The campaign to “save” D.C.’s beloved, embattled Tabard Inn is only 80 signatures -- and $562,000 -- away from its goal.
As the Post’s Tim Carman reported over the weekend, the Dupont Circle institution is embroiled in a magnificently sordid power struggle between employer Fritzi Cohen and some of her veteran employees, who own shares in the company.
Both sides sound deadly serious: Cohen has fired eight high-level staffers, or seen them resign, since May. Meanwhile, employees have organized a crowdfunded “Save the Tabard” campaign to buy out Cohen’s stake in her own company. For a $3,000 donation, bartender Patrick Owners will get a tattoo of the "Save the Tabard" logo -- he doesn’t specify where. Other promised rewards include a personalized cocktail ($1,000), a private dinner for up to 20 guests ($7,500) and a wedding at the Tabard complete with wedding cake, three-course dinner, DJ and open bar -- which for $30,000 seems like an okay deal. [Addendum: Note this is offered by Save the Tabard Inn Campaign. Rewards can only be obtained if the campaign succeeds.]
While that campaign has earned only $1,500 in its first day online, a petition expressing support for the staff has garnered more than 600 signatures.
“There is not enough room here to tell you why I love the Tabard,” one signee wrote. “But it mostly comes down to this: STAFF. At every turn, the staff has been the thing that has kept me coming back. I have stayed at the hotel (even when I lived in the District!), eaten at the restaurant many times, and had one of the more special events in my life take place there … Don't give up the fight!!"
It’s unclear what, if anything, such a petition could accomplish -- Fritzi Cohen either owns or oversees more than 70 percent of the company, and previous attempts to buy her out went unanswered. But in either case, the unfolding drama makes for a good read.