Last Call for H Street Lounge (for Now)

Bar temporarily closed by police

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCWashington
    The H Street Martini Lounge has been temporarily shut down.

    The H Street Martini Lounge has been shut down for four days after a fight on Tuesday led to the stabbing of an off-duty firefighter.

    D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier issued the emergency order Wednesday.

    Martini Bar's Last Call (For Now)

    [DC] Martini Bar's Last Call (For Now)
    D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier temporarily shuts down a Northeast hot spot. (Published Thursday, Oct 29, 2009)

    During the birthday party Tuesday night, Humphries said the fight started when someone started taking pictures and another person didn't want his picture taken. An off-duty firefighter was injured during the incident, and another firefighter was stabbed.

    The victims drove themselves to a hospital, where they were treated and released.

    Clinton Humphries, the lounge's owner and a D.C. Fire Lieutenant, told News4 that he believes the shutdown is an overreaction to the incident.

    But with two previous incidents at the club in the past four years since it's opened, Lanier doesn't agree.

    "The authority that I used to close down an establishment is based on emergency closure powers, when I think there is a public safety threat," she said.

    Local business owners interviewed by News4, however, are standing by Humphries.

    "What I do know is that Cliff Humphries is a very respectable business person on H Street," said Frank Hankins of SOVA Espresso, a coffee and wine bar on H Street. "A number of people frequent his establishment, from all backgrounds, and they really like his establishment." 

    A hearing is scheduled for November 4.