Argonaut Owner Refuses to Discuss H St. Bar’s Possible Closure

by Andrew Ramonas July 26, 2016 at 10:40 am 9 Comments

A bar that helped spur the revitalization of the H Street corridor when it opened in 2005 might have served its last beer and Argo burger.

Scott Magnuson, who owns The Argonaut at 1433 H St. NE with his wife, Shaaren Pine, declined to comment to Borderstan this morning about reports that the tavern may have closed. Local blogs Frozen Tropics and PoPville today posted stories that The Argonaut had “No Trespassing” signs up and padlocked doors.

“Right now, I can’t talk about it,” Magnuson said in a brief phone conversation with us.

One of the first hints that something possibly was amiss at the bar came from a tweet yesterday afternoon from Running Hearts Poker, which holds games there.

Pine also put out a cryptic tweet this morning.

When a Borderstan reporter visited The Argonaut this morning, she found two doors with “No Trespassing” signs and padlocks. Inside, chairs were stacked neatly on tables.

On The Argonaut’s website, Twitter account and voicemail, there was no indication of what may have happened to the bar. In its most recent tweet, the tavern on Friday promoted a message from its running club, encouraging joggers to “stay hydrated” with a GIF of a cat drinking water.

The Argonaut’s owners in the past have faced struggles, including alcohol and drug addiction and an electrical fire that destroyed their kitchen and bar in 2010. But they have worked to overcome the obstacles, gaining a devoted following in the community in the process.

“We’re laid-back, we’re friendly and we cater to everybody,” Magnuson told Borderstan’s sibling publication Hill Now last year. “We live and die by the neighborhood.”

Photos by Alyse Mier

  • steve849

    They should have raised prices. It was always packed during peak times.

    • anon

      you can’t raise beer prices much higher than they already were, even in D.C…..

      • steve849

        When it’s packed you can raise prices. You are leaving money on the table if you don’t.

  • Jon Brandt

    With all due respect, if the owner says (rightly) “We live and die by the neighborhood,” then he owes the neighborhood an explanation about what is going on.

    • ANC

      I’m sure they’ll provide one, but perhaps there are legal reasons he’s declining to talk. They don’t owe anyone anything.

      • Citizen

        Well said!

    • Citizen

      He is bound legally to not speak a word about what is happening. Its in the lawyers hands at this time.

  • patb2009

    I hope someone can keep the Naut going. It was our favorite hangout

  • EDLIS Café


    Does anyone remember the building when it had railings and balconies?

    It is rumoured to have been in several old films, but which ones?

    It was built in 1930 but the first time it appears in a photograph is 2005!

    EDLIS Café



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