This guy (who runs Showtime Lounge, as quoted in this WCP article about dive bars):
“I still can’t believe they opened a bar in Marvin Gaye’s hometown where he lived his entire life, he’s a hero here, and they open a restaurant and dedicate it to the year he lived in Belgium. So they could sell $9 Belgian beer, and, like, steak frites,” he says. “That’s insulting to everyone. They keep having to explain it. ‘Oh, did you know he lived in Belgium for a year? That’s why we’re selling Duvel for $12.’” (Vivari adds that he has DJed for three Hilton brothers establishments, including Marvin, and he was fired from all three. A call to Ian Hilton seeking confirmation of this was not returned.)
“I think people in D.C. are just sick of the same fucking place every week,” Vivari says. “All those places on 14th Street. Six Italian places and three tapas places? You just opened up a business on a street where there are six other businesses exactly like yours.“
“A bar like this is such a simple, basic business model,” Vivari says. “It honestly doesn’t make sense why there isn’t one in every neighborhood. Everything that is opening is essentially the same place. It’s the same model: ‘We’re going to have a kitchen, we’re going to specialize in this, but we also do all this other shit. Like, we’re going to do American, but we’re also going to do tacos, too. And have, like, soufflés…’ They’re all trying to build on that Thievery model.”
That’s as in D.C. electronic group Thievery Corporation, and its member Eric Hilton, who with his brother Ian is behind Marvin, the Brixton, Den of Thieves, American Ice Company, Satellite Room, the Gibson, and others.