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Capitol Hill Restaurant Bounces Back

Tune Inn Restaurant open for business

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John Clark, known as Curly, with another Tune Inn employee behind the bar.
Armando Trull
John Clark, known as Curly, with another Tune Inn employee behind the bar.

The ice and glasses are clinking once again at the Tune Inn Restaurant after a devastating fire forced it to close for business for four months of fire-related repairs.

“Everybody in here calls me Curly, it’s  just a nickname I’ve had for a few years... actually I’m bald, it's kind of a joke," says Curly, whose real name is John Clark. He's worked at the Tune Inn for nine years. “Everybody’s friendly, everybody knows everybody -- if you come here more than once, you’re part of the family."

Family indeed: Tune Inn patrons collected $40,000 so workers who depended on tips, such as Curly, could survive the four month closure.

Since 1947, the Tune Inn has been a rare Capitol Hill watering hole where political animals of all stripes, such as Mike Bassett, have peacefully coexisted while quenching their thirst.

“It’s a place where everyone comes to be happy forget about politics and leave it at the door; that’s why we all come here," says Bassett. "She’s a Democrat, I'm a Republican, and we just come here to enjoy life."

Think of it as a gastronomic Switzerland. Just not as boring, with great cheeseburgers and ice cold draft beer.

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