The Li’l Pub Goes On the Block and Is Under Contract – CVS Bids to Expand
by Larry Janezich
The Li’l Pub is on the way out. Building owner Herb Lehner has entered into a contract to sell the property to the adjoining CVS. It was offered to the long time lease holder Howard Schurr, proprietor of the Li’l Pub, but he declined to buy. If the deal goes through, CVS will reportedly use the additional space to expand its pharmacy.
The Li’l Pub is widely recognized as an iconic and authentic neighborhood bar with a diverse clientele and one of the last hold outs against a wave of renovated and redeveloped faux-traditional and theme-oriented restaurants catering to young professionals and congressional staffers. Featuring inexpensive drinks, pool tables, and a killer juke box, the pub – with only a dozen or so seats at the bar – has a city-wide reputation far larger than the collective enthusiasm of its regulars. It will likely soon join the long list of divey neighborhood favorites which have given way to the economic realities of Capitol Hill’s changing demographics.
Lehner is a long time Capitol Hill real estate developer and has developed and renovated many properties on Barracks Row and Capitol Hill since 1969. Many of the buildings on 8th Street at one time were owned by Lehner, including what was the Patio Cafe and is now the Old Siam, as well as the building housing Café 8, the former Ellington’s Café. Lehner also owned much of the block on 8th Street, just below I Street, closer to the Navy Yard.