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Posted at 8:19 PM ET, 02/ 7/2009

Solly's Reopens After Crash

By Julia Beizer

Unlikely as it may seem, Solly's U Street Tavern is back open for business this evening, even after a taxicab crashed into its side window last night. According to owner John Solomon, the fire department checked both upstairs and downstairs for structural damage before giving Solly's the go-ahead to reopen.

"We have a bay window on the 11th Street side and that was just basically taken completely out," said Solomon, who returned from a trip to St. Louis after hearing about the accident. A restoration company has now boarded the window.

As The Post reported this morning, seven people were injured in the crash. None of their injuries appeared to be life threatening.

As Gurus, we have a bit of a vested interest in the state of Solly's, since we're hosting the second of our monthly happy hours at the bar on Thursday. Many of you have asked, and the answer is yes, the happy hour is still on as planned. We'll see you Thursday for Kostume Karaoke.

-- Julia

Update from Fritz: I went to Solly's Saturday night: about 18 hours after the crash, things were almost back to normal. Bartenders were slinging $3 cans of PBR, patrons were packed shoulder-to-shoulder upstairs for a birthday party, and the crowd was grooving to Vampire Weekend and party jams on the jukebox.

What's not normal is how the place looks. You can't use the front door, which has been covered with a sheet of plywood because the metal security gate was sheared off by the wayward cab. The large picture window facing 11th Street was destroyed in the crash, so it too is covered with plywood. (Outside, the plywood is covered with a sign, made to look like police tape criss-crossing the window, that says Solly's is open.) Now you get in from the 11th Street side door, which opens into a stairwell first and then into the bar.

Inside, the first-floor is a little depressing -- having huge pieces of plywood instead of glass makes the room darker and more claustrophobic. It's almost like the bar has battened down for a hurricane. The mood is lightened somewhat by a huge picture of a damaged New York City cab that hangs where the window was.

Outside on 11th Street, near the "new" main entrance, owner John Solomon was trading jokes with some of the staff and regulars. Solomon, who was on a trip to St. Louis when the accident occurred, says it's going to be "a while" before the windows and door are restored. "We have a meeting with the insurance company on Monday," he says, wearing a resigned look.

According to the police report, the driver of the cab didn't have a license permitting him to operate a taxi. Solomon said four people inside the bar were injured in the crash, along with the driver and two passengers; the most serious injury was that a woman in the cab broke her nose.

-- Fritz

By Julia Beizer  | February 7, 2009; 8:19 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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correction: kostume karaoke is on wednesday night!

Posted by: ap27 | February 9, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

It's on Thursday this week too for our Going Out Guide happy hour. See the link above for more details.

Posted by: Julia Beizer | February 9, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

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