WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Tune Inn: A Washington Institution

Play associated audio
The fire at Tune Inn started early Wednesday morning.
Patrick Madden
The fire at Tune Inn started early Wednesday morning.

As far as regulars go, few bars can boast a more loyal customer than James Forward. The marine says he's made the Tune Inn his home every day for the past 10 years, usually parking himself outside to read a history book or catch up with friends. He says it hurt to see what the fire had done.

"This is a family," he says.

But like a freshly tapped keg, stories about the bars rich history soon start pouring out. Like the time a neighbor's place burned down and the owner of the Tune Inn opened the bar up.

"With all the proceeds and all the tips, she raised like $6,000 in a few hours to help," Forward says.

Another unique characteristic is the Tune Inn's wall-to-wall taxidermy.

"The owner's husband is a avid hunter. There's a 500-pound bear that he shot with a bow and arrow in Canada," Forward says. "I wouldnt get that close to a damn bear."

Outside the bar, a crew picks up the pieces of the shattered front window. Karen Szala, a waitress, watches the cleanup effort.

"It is absolutely the watering hole of Capitol Hill. Everybody from firefighters to policemen to congressmen and senators hang their hat here," Szala says. "No matter how much you make or what you do, everyone is on an equal playing field. And everybody just wants to sit down, have a good time and have a drink or a burger."

Forward says the best thing about Tune Inn is that it's a family.

"It's not like any other bar I've ever been in. It's like being home," he says.

And with that, Forward resumes his story telling, this time promising some even juicier tales.

The news of the fire swept through D.C. through various social media outlets, yielding an outpouring of support for the popular and historic bar:
NPR

'Star Wars' Editors Defy Hollywood Conventions

In a film industry often dominated by men, there's at least one exception: Many editors are women. Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey speak about their work on the new Star Wars.
NPR

Florida Says Its Fruits, Vegetables Are Safe From Invasive Fruit Fly

Since September, Florida has been fighting an infestation of the Oriental fruit fly, an invasive pest that threatened more than 400 crops. The state declared the insect eradicated as of Saturday.
NPR

The Senate Battle That Looms For Scalia's Replacement

NPR's Domenico Montanaro discusses the upcoming battle on Capitol Hill on replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.
NPR

Colonialism Comment Puts Facebook Under Scrutiny

A Facebook board member lambasted a decision by regulators in India, the social network's second-largest market. He thereby sparked new scrutiny of Facebook's intentions in that country.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.