Hill Restaurant Group Gives Up Leases on Two Barracks Row Venues
August 7, 2020
By Larry Janezich
Tom Johnson, managing partner of The Hill Restaurant Group, told Capitol Hill Corner that he is giving up the leases on two of Group’s seven restaurants – Finn McCool’s and the space formerly occupied by Orchid. Both buildings are owned by the Quillian family, and Johnson has been unable to negotiate a way forward for use of the spaces in the current economic climate. A clause in the lease allowed him to make an exit, and he will turn over the keys this weekend.
He says he hopes someone else will come along and fix the two spaces up – especially, Finn McCool’s. Johnson said he hated to let Orchid go, “but the risk is too high”. He had planned to turn the former LBGT bar – which closed in August of 2019 – into a high end steakhouse named 8th Street Butcher.
The Group’s remaining restaurants on or near Capitol Hill include Hawk ‘n’ Dove, Lola’s, Tortuga, Willie’s and Ophelia’s Fish House.
Johnson cited some changes coming to some of the remaining restaurants. Willie’s near Nats Stadium will be transformed into the Stadium Sports Bar and Smoke House – an upscale casual dining sports bar. Willie’s will continue operating as a BBQ catering company from the same location. He also plans on putting a kitchen in Lola’s – which previously shared a kitchen with Finn McCool’s.
Johnson says he anticipates a lot of spaces becoming available in the next few months and expects to pick up a couple more and expand.