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Posted at 12:53 PM ET, 01/18/2007

Lucy, Let's Go to Bobby Lew's

By Fritz Hahn

Martin Corboy is involved in Angry Inch Saloon and McFadden's -- two places known for young, boisterous crowds that drink lots of Miller Lite, dance to '80s hits and occasionally get into trouble. So for his newest project, Bobby Lew's Saloon, he decided to go in a different direction entirely.

Corboy and his partner -- the eponymous Bobby Lewis -- have taken the old Staccato, added saloon-style lights, and cleaned and polished until it feels -- well, not new, but more like a neighborhood tavern than the dark hole-in-the-wall that Staccato was. For a place open less than a week, Bobby Lew's feels surprisingly lived in, but the decor is more comfortable than kitsch. The giant bull and buffalo heads mounted on the wall are refugees from places like Sign of the Whale and Blackie's. Stools with leopard-print backs line the bar, while a banquette fills the large bay window. Southern rock and country blast from the sound system -- more J. Giles Band than J.T.

There's no room to dance -- unlike the Angry Inch or McFadden's -- and I expect the secluded upstairs mezzanine, with its open floor plan, will become a new gathering spot for groups who'd rather chat cocktail style than sit at tables.

I was pleased to see Andy Miscuk -- ANC Commissioner, former shadow senator candidate, sometime bartender and unofficial Mayor of Adams Morgan -- pouring drinks and greeting everyone who walked through the door. He'll be here Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so Bobby Lew's should become a new midweek destination for neighbors.

The kitchen is tiny, so Corboy's worked out a catering deal with Capital Q, Chinatown's best Texas barbecue joint. It will be supplying pulled pork, chicken, sauce and sides for Bobby Lew's to sell, and even though it won't be prepped on the spot, I'm looking forward to stopping in for barbecue and coleslaw as part of a night of barhopping.

A friend of mine says she enjoyed the place because it doesn't have a jukebox or any overwrought theme. It's just a bar, and that's something Adams Morgan can use more of.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | January 18, 2007; 12:53 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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I have had nothing but bad experiences at Martin Corboy's other two establishments. A bartender at Angry Inch decided to give himself a $60 tip on top of my $20 bar tab. I called when I found out and got the runaround from 3 different staffers. McFadden's has some of the worst lines in DC for a very mediocre bar and the bouncers and doorman are some of the most egotistical. Don't think I'll be given this group a third chance.

Posted by: No thanks | January 19, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I regularly visit DC from new york and have had nothing but good experiences at the inch. I have recommended the inch to numerous friends and told them to go see big marty aka dt cutter. He always treats us well and I can't wait to visit the newest edition.

Posted by: pigpen | January 19, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

As someone who pretty much despises the Angry Inch and McFaddens, I give a pretty solid endorsement to Bobby Lew's thus far. There's not that much there to make it more than a neighborhood watering hole, and that's exactly why I like it - enjoy a Guinness, actually hear my conversation, and not deal with the Bud Lite 'n Jumbo Slice weekenders.

Posted by: jb | January 19, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

With size 12 dancin and drinkin shoes on, there is no place better for me to show off my sickly-sweet moves than Corboy's places. He is the epitome of a good host and I can't wait to get back to D.C. to terrorize his newest establishment.

Posted by: Mad Hungarian | January 19, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I have had nothing but good experiences at Corboy's lounges. Never ever been overcharged in over 10 years of visiting, matter of fact I've never been charged. "No thanks" angry ghost writter above must be a real j a.

Posted by: tbone | January 19, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I have to question "No Thanks'" comment that he was overcharged at "The Angry Inch." I've been "overserved" there many times but never overcharged.

Posted by: Big Al | January 21, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

The place goes off like nothing can save it ! You'd be crazy not to hang out there. Talk about a great book end to the Inch - u wanted the best and now you've got it ! Thanks Marty, I love Washington !

Posted by: Pearly River | January 21, 2007 11:37 PM | Report abuse

I have nothing but kudos for Corboy's establishments. I have followed his career for quite some time. Every place he has worked in or been a part of has been a total blast. Hey "No Thanks" why don't you speak with Corboy directly and he will give you the $60. I liked the guy so much I made him the God Father of my oldest daugther. He also introduced me to my wife. Well, maybe I owe Corboy money? Darn it, ignore this response. LOL

Posted by: Nashville Living | January 22, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Martin Corboy is an angel. He is as pure as the freshly fallen snow on the steps of the Shrine on Christmas morning.

Posted by: Boogie | January 22, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I have been and continue to be a patron of Mr. Corboy's establishments, in both D.C. and Chicago, for over a decade. Myself, my friends and my associates have had nothing short of a positive experience. I very much look forward to hanging out with Martin and Bobby at their newest endeavor...nice job guys!

Posted by: Geoff | January 23, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Love the new bar, fantastic friendly staff - totally laid back, great hang out bar. Corboy's bars are the first place I tell out of towners to go because they never fail to be a phenomenol time. Way to go guys - congrats on the latest addition!

Posted by: AB | January 24, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Corboy is the best host DC has had over the past 15 yrs. He is the most approachable, friendly, outgoing guy in the business. Anyplace he has ever worked or owned always makes you feel welcomed and instantly part of the party. Bobby Lews is no different and will soon be one of DC's favorite watering holes.

Posted by: The Kinger | January 28, 2007 2:29 AM | Report abuse

If you want a great time, meet lots of people go to one of Corboys bar. If not stay at home!

Posted by: WPB | January 29, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I used to work for Mr. Corboy and would prefer to remain anonymous. My name is Kenny and that should suffice for now. If we want to speak of experiences I will speak of many which include getting beat up, puked on, spit on, and forced to do "extra things" for beer money oftentimes by Mr. Corboy and Louis alike. I was also fired several times for no good reason. I did steal thousands of dollars from Mr. Corboy during my years so if he has upset you in the past take comfort in knowing that fact, I certainly do. For the sake of my anonymity I will say no more except that I can't wait to steal from his new bar...and I may or may not still have a picture of myself hanging in the old one.

Posted by: Anonymous Kenny | February 3, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Martin Corboy is the absolute best bartender-host-owner in DC, bar none! His places are raucous fun, as a bar should be! Martin is an absolute natural in the bar business--a true "bar person." He can bring a crowd in to drink like no one I have ever seen. As for the guy with the credit card mix-up, lots of things can happen when people are drinking! I'm sure if you speak with Martin directly, he will refund the entire tab. And Kenny, shame on you!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse

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