More bad news for the Hill: The Tune Inn, the longtime Capitol Hill bar that is home to politicians, homicide detectives, chefs, roller-derby queens, lobbyists, veterans and a whole lot of dusty dead animals mounted on the walls, will most likely be closed for the rest of the summer.
After an accidental fire destroyed the kitchen one morning last week, staff expected the bar would be able to reopen quickly, even if it took some time to get the restaurant back up and running.
But owner Lisa Nardelli, whose father and grandfather owned the bar on Pennsylvania Avenue within sight of the Capitol Dome, said Tuesday that while they are trying to reopen as quickly as possible, with a fire investigation ongoing, city permits and reconstruction, 60 days is more realistic.
They spray-painted a “thanks”on the plywood covering the shattered windows of the bar to the firefighters who quickly put out the blaze, limiting most of the damage to the kitchen and sparing most of the things her father and grandfather displayed in the bar area.
“A couple of deer [tails] over the ladies’ room got a little singed up,” Nardelli said, “but my deer [tail] over the mens’ room is in good shape.”
She hired a taxidermist specializing in smoke damage (“I guess in this line of business you meet all sorts of people,” she said, laughing) to treat the animals, including the owl her grandfather shot in the 1950s. ”He’ll bring them back in a month or so, all clean.”
Some are a little unrecognizable at this point, she said. So they are making a plea: “Anyone who has new dead critters — to replace some that have a little more fire damage” — they would gratefully accept them.
“I don’t know if when I show up tomorrow there’ll be a bunch of dead critters at my door,” she said.
Of course there will.