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Posted at 12:44 AM ET, 01/18/2009

A Cold Welcome

By Fritz Hahn

1211 U St. NW -- The Weather Channel says it's 23 degrees outside, but that's not putting a damper on the spirit on U Street. Under the watchful gaze of Shep Fairey's iconic Obama portrait, the line outside Marvin extends from the front door to U Street itself. Around the corner, the queue to enter the Republic stretches past four storefronts. Despite the chill, the ubiqitous sidewalk vendors are hawking "T-shirts! Posters!" to all who walk past.

The line at Ben's Chili Bowl is out the door, but it's easy to get into Next Door, the Alis' recently opened bar and lounge,
where you can get a bottle of Tusker, a Kenyan beer added to the menu for this event. Inside, groups of women in Obama T-shirts groove on their barstools to '70s funk and repeatedly (and loudly) toast the president-elect.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | January 18, 2009; 12:44 AM ET
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