by Larry Janezich

This afternoon, local restaurateur Xavier Cervera confirmed to Capitol Hill Corner that he has received offers to buy all nine of his Capitol Hill operations, and that he is reviewing these offers seriously.  “I have been approached by a private equity group out of Boston and have made large offers which I have not accepted,” Cervara said on the phone this afternoon.  “The offers grow larger every week.  They have a lot of experience in the restaurant business.  They have looked very closely at my operation and like what they see.  They are being very aggressive.”

Cervera added:  “I am close to all of my restaurants and the 345 employees.  You don’t build this kind of operation in four and a half years without great staff.  It’s hard to let something like that go.”

Over the past few years, Cervera has opened several restaurants in the neighborhood:  those currently in operation include Lola’s, Molly Malone’s, the Chesapeake Room, Senart’s Oyster & Chop House, Pacifico, and The Box Car Tavern.  Three more are scheduled to open soon: the Park Tavern will open in three weeks (corrected) in the Navy Yard neighborhood in Southeast; the Hawk & Dove will open early in February; construction has just started on Willie’s Brew and Que, also (corrected) near the Navy Yard.

This would not be the first time Cervera sold his developments as a package.  Originally from Miami, he developed several boutique hotels there and sold them as a package some 15 years ago.


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  1. Maggie Hall

    What a pity he ever got his hands on the Hawk & Dove! If this sale had happened before he got the iconic watering-hole the community might have stood a chance of retaining an establishment that bore some resemblance to the original.

  2. Mary Fraker

    Maybe the Hawk & Dove can be decoupled from the rest of the big deal. Any angels out there who want to buy it and retain an establishment that bears some resemblance to the original?

  3. jbk

    dec. 5, 2012
    unfortunately, “private equity ” has NOT gotten good reviews.

  4. Correction: Both Park Tavern and Willie’s Brew & Que are in the Navy Yard neighborhood of Southeast DC, not on the Southwest waterfront.

  5. Kelsey

    Just a quick note on the location. Both the Park Tavern & Willie Brew n que are location in SE, not SW.

  6. Maybe the restaurants will become something better with new owners. Doubtful, but a girl can dream.

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  8. Rebecca

    Am actually glad to hear this. His restaurants are the same old, same old in every one and mediocre at best.

    • Pedro

      Yeah, I’m sure the private equity folks investing are going to be very gung ho on placing all the rats and underage drinking back at the Hawk.

      • Maggie Hall

        Pedro, you know not of what you speak! btw: to all old H&D fans, tonight there is a reunion at the 18th Amendment!

  9. Shelly

    We love all of their places. I think the popularity of his bars and restaurants are due to the fact that the food and drink are neighborhood friendly with great staff and ambiance. His places are all kind of similar but very different at the same time. Oyster house, Irish pub, gastro pub etc. The new one Park Tavern looks amazing! and Willies we heard is supposed to be a big barbecue place with a sports theme. As for the Hawk. we stuck our heads in and it looks amazing! Construction guy said they have 70 inch plasmas and wood burning ovens. Go Packers!!

  10. Pedro

    You guys realize these are businesses, right? They aren’t just your cultural artifacts. They have to stay open by convincing actual customers to walk through the door and part with their actual money in a competitive market place. Complain all you want about Cervera’s restaurants, but they are successful because that’s what people want. Strangely, people want consistent and reliable food in comfortable surroundings. Who would have thought that? It might not be what you personally want, but we aren’t an economy of one. Hawk and Dove is being redone because it is a failing concept and a failing business in today’s Capitol Hill. Don’t blame Xavier Cervera.