Monday, October 06, 2008

Brickskeller (not) for sale

A bizarre thread has surfaced on a Washington, D.C. area blog. It concerns the venerable Brickskeller, run by Dave and Diane Alexander, and, before that, by Diane's family.

On 25 September, Capital Spice posted this:

Though you won’t see a “For Sale” sign out front or a listing for an open house this Sunday, the Brickskeller is officially on the market. Randall Hagner Ltd. Showcase lists 1523 22nd Street - the “Brickskeller Dining House and Inn” - as being available immediately for the low, low price of only $12.5 million (down from $15 million a week ago). The best way to find it from the home page is to do a search for properties in ZIP Code 20037. The entire five-floor building is for sale, including 40-plus guest rooms on four floors and the two-floor restaurant/bar. The alcohol license will convey to the new owners, but you won’t be able to keep the memorabilia or even the Brickskeller name - the current owners will be holding onto those.

Dave Alexander responded two days later:
Who came up with this? I would like to know since my wife and I OWN the Brickskeller and are NOT SELLING IT.

This post must be removed immediately. The Brickskeller is NOT for sale this is not true. We OWN the restaurant and we also own the word Brickskeller if these lies are not removed immediately you can expect legal action. The Brickskeller Dining House and Down Home Saloon is NOT for sale.

Capital Spice responded an hour later:

Thanks for responding. If the Brickskeller is not, in fact, for sale, I would encourage you to talk with John Nemeyer, Austin Bordley and/or Ana Carolina Rubio at Randall Hagner. They are all listed as sale contacts on the listing for 1523 22nd Street, NW - found here:

I personally spoke with Mr. Nemeyer before I posted this, asking him if the entire building was included in the sale and further asking about what furnishings and materials would convey with the property. He was direct and clear in his answers: the whole building is for sale, including the restaurant/bar on the lower two floors, and although the furnishings and memorabilia will not convey, the liquor license will.

If this information is incorrect, I would encourage you to discuss all of this with Mr. Nemeyer directly.

Realtor John Nemyaer was not happy and responded in turn:

Thanks very much for identifying yourself as a writer on the telephone. That’s weak.

As the listing was just withdrawn from the market by ownership; I would suggest that you retract the September 25th article.

Lastly, you will be hearing from Hagner counsel.
Thanks again for your wonderful work.

The beat goes on.

The Brickskeller has been the home for too many good beer epiphanies to see things spiral into vituperation or worse. Its very success as an advocate for good beer —since 1957 (!) when good beer was an endangered species in America —has been a major spur and nurture to the wonderful world of craft and imported beer now open to all of us.


  1. I would like to see "good beer" become an endangered species in America again. That would shut up a lot of people who walk into a bar and complain that it only has twelve taps instead of thirty; or people who walk into a grocery store and complain that there are only 200 different beers to choose from instead of 500. Before this currently spoiled beer generation moves on, I would like to see a return to the dark ages of American brewing.

  2. Tom
    terrific, even-handed post--I'll check back to see what happens.


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